A dangerous weapon

My flute gave me the greatest joy and also the greatest suffering when I stopped at Delhi airport on the way to Madras.

The customs man gave me a very hard time. He opened all my things. When he opened my flute case, he was positive it was a gun. He lifted up the three parts and held it to the light as if he were trying to see through it. O God! Everywhere there is suspicion, suspicion!

I kept telling him, "It is not a gun! It is a flute!" But he would not allow me to touch it in order to show him. He was afraid I might do something dangerous. I said, "For God's sake, allow me to play." Then I put the three pieces together and for a second I blew through it.

"Oh, it is a flute!" he said. "Okay."

— 29 September 1984