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The Dilruba Player and The Boy, a poem by Chrissie Gittins

We are pleased to share a poem by local writer, Chrissie Gittins, responding to our Hear it Live! session with Baluji Shrivastav OBE. We think the poem articulates with great sensitivity the power of music to reach out across all types of perceived barriers, and the opportunities for these special moments to occur within our Museum.

The Dilruba Player and The Boy

A blind musician plays the dilruba,

sad sounds come from the strings.


A boy in a wheelchair appears in the audience,

his chest is congested – he wheezes and cries.


He cries and he wails –

the musician can hear him.


Moving his bow over the strings

he echoes the cries of the boy.


The boy cries once more, the musician replies,

the boy silently smiles.

Chrissie Gittins

The Dilruba is a stringed instrument of North India and Pakistan. ‘Dilruba’ is a Persian word for ‘heart stealer’.