Screenshot photos from video show Surrey musician Sharanjeet Singh Mand and his sitar, which he says was damaged on a recent flight from Vancouver to Montreal. (Images: Facebook.com)

Screenshot photos from video show Surrey musician Sharanjeet Singh Mand and his sitar, which he says was damaged on a recent flight from Vancouver to Montreal. (Images: Facebook.com)

‘More shattered than this’: Surrey musician’s cherished sitar made it to Mt. Everest but not Montreal

‘It’s heartbreaking. This is the third or fourth time I have experienced this,’ Sharanjeet Singh Mand says

A Surrey musician is crushed about his cracked sitar.

Sharanjeet Singh Mand says his cherished musical instrument, which he recently played at Mt. Everest’s base camp, was badly damaged during a May 14 flight from Vancouver to Montreal, where he was due to perform in concert and record music.

Mand posted video to social media showing the broken sitar, which he checked for his Flair Airlines flight.

“I paid extra, over extra, I said I don’t mind, but you need to be sensitive to my instrument, this is my life, and I received it in this state,” Mand says as he holds the sitar and reveals a large crack on the back of the instrument.

“This is shattered but I’m more shattered than this.”

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On Thursday (May 19), a representative with Edmonton-based Flair Airlines, billed as “Canada’s everyday low fare airline,” said the airline is “currently in contact with Mr. Sharanjeet Singh Mand and working with him to arrive at a reasonable solution in these unique circumstances.”

Mand says he’s hurt, shocked and disappointed by Flair staff’s initial reaction to the broken sitar.

“This is deliberately broken,” Mand charges in the video. “No sitar breaks like this in a fibreglass case with proper padding, unless it’s dropped from a height and treated as a usual piece of luggage.

“It’s very unfortunate that a musician who always thinks of everyone’s betterment and happiness has to go through this fate. It’s rather disappointing and tormenting,” he adds.

Mand says he doesn’t know who’s going to take “emotional responsibility” for the broken instrument, and he says it’s not the first time this has happened to him.

“Even if they refund me and pay for the damages, to see your most beautiful, most imperative part of this life, your most dearest possession in this shape, not even your possession, your companion, it’s heart-wrenching, it’s heartbreaking. This is the third or fourth time I have experienced this. Traveling is such a nightmare.”

On June 11, Mand is scheduled to perform at Surrey City Hall’s Centre Stage theatre in a “Sitar For Peace” concert presented by Gurukul Canada. Tickets are $35 on tickets.surrey.ca, or call 604-501-5566.

RELATED: Watch Surrey sitar virtuoso play at Mt. Everest base camp in ‘special’ trek up famous mountain.

In April Mand travelled to Nepal with a group of 11 people, and carried his delicate sitar up the famous mountain to its base camp. The highlight of his 10-day trek was playing his sitar near the mountaintop on April 26, for a video now posted to his Facebook page.

“To be able to be there with my instrument, it was special, and I wouldn’t have felt complete without it there,” Mand said on May 3.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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