Internationally acclaimed orchestra conductor Zubin Mehta on Sunday said he would love to come back for another concert in Kashmir if the people of the valley wanted him to.
“If I am wanted, If Kashmir wants me, I will come back ... (if) all parts of Kashmir (want),” Mehta, who mesmerised the audience at Shalimar Bagh on the banks of Dal Lake on Saturday, said.
In a series of interviews to electronic media, Mr. Mehta said the event – Ehsaas-e-Kashmir (Feel of Kashmir) -- went beyond his expectations.
“It was much more (than expectation). It turned out to be an occasion which we will be proud of. Let us come back (next time), maybe we can do some things differently,” he said.
The maestro, who played most popular compositions of western classical music, tried to reach out to his critics and opponents in Kashmir saying he was their friend.
“Geelani Sahab hum to aapka dost hoon (I am your friend). You don’t believe it! I wish all of our opposition would have come and enjoyed the music,” Mr. Mehta said referring to hardline Hurriyat Conference leader.
“I am not only a Parsi, I am a Kashmiri too,” he added.
Mr. Mehta said he and his orchestra were not into politics and his endeavour was to use music for starting a process of healing in Kashmir.
“We are not politicians. We cannot change boundaries but we can start a process of healing. The politicians have tried for 60 years. I don’t think they got too much.
“Let (us) have another way, a spiritual way and I think yesterday there was a beginning of some process of healing because Hindus and Muslims were sitting together in complete harmony. Healing and harmony are the two most important factors that we are striving for,” he added.
The 77-year-old Mumbai-born music conductor admitted that he was hurt by some of the accusations made against him ahead of the concert and lamented that his opponents were not well informed.