A sitar player’s tears of joy

The sitar has been found. And Anwar Khurshid is stunned. “Someone walking by saw it and took it for safe keeping,” said Khurshid from…

The sitar has been found.

And Anwar Khurshid is stunned.

“Someone walking by saw it and took it for safe keeping,” said Khurshid from Ottawa, where he was teaching a class on Tuesday.

Last week, after performing at the Yukon International Storytelling Festival, Khurshid took his sitar out to the trails behind Crestview to practice.

Evening fell and he grew chilly. So, Khurshid tucked his sitar into the bushes and zipped home for a hat.

He was gone 10 minutes, at most.

When he returned, the sitar was gone.

The next morning, a distraught Khurshid boarded his plane, heading back to Toronto.

He spends more time with his sitar than most people spend with their partners, he said last week.

The loss was devastating, like losing a loved one, he said.

Khurshid received the sitar four years ago, a gift from his teacher.

This week, Khurshid performed in Montreal and Toronto without the instrument.

“I had to perform with another sitar,” he said. “And it wasn’t the same.”

Khurshid, who had a wonderful time in Whitehorse, left his sitar by the trail because he trusts people, he said.

It never occurred to him it would be stolen.

And last week, before the sitar was recovered, Khurshid still hoped for the best.

As luck would have it, the hope wasn’t misplaced.

Sarah Dawson found the sitar, said Khurshid.

“She took good care of it,” he added.

“And all she wants is to hear me play it when I get it back.

“So, I’m going to play it for her over the phone.”

When he is reunited with the sitar, Khurshid plans to compose some new music and dedicate it to Dawson, he said.

The sitar will be sent back to Khurshid, the RCMP confirmed.

“I am going to make the arrangements when I get home tonight,” said Khurshid.

He sounded joyful.