My last post ended with some humor inspiring a comment by the wonderful musician Jaywant Naidu from Hyderabad:
“Hi Prince Sachin Tendulkar of Chowmahalla palace. Enjoying the photos and cute music created by us.”
In reference to the following picture:
Promting this response: “Ah!…you have discovered the secret! Brilliant!…I’ll find a genealogist to find Sachin’s and my royal ancestors! We must be related!”
My African and English heritage (both sides with a couple hundred years history in the U.S.–Georgia and Connecticut) has given me looks that can be mistaken from many different countries and cultures. Growing up in NYC I was often mistakenly believed to be Puerto Rican or Dominican. Now that I play Brazilian music people expect that I have that background (I love to fool them into believing I am from Bahia!–someday, maybe I will be!).
In 2003 I did a tour of 9 countries in 7 weeks: Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Oman, Turkey and India. In all the countries up until India people asked me if my heritage was from there (that actually shocked me!). But I thought this would all stop when I went to India…to my surprise there were two Indian women at my last concert in Oman who told me about this famous cricket player, Sachin Tendulkar whom they said was my spitting image. “Sachin who?” I asked…”Sachin Tendulkar, the Michael Jordan of cricket” they exclaimed!
I could not believe it and soon forgot about it on the plane trip to Mumbai. After arriving in the hotel lobby a beautiful nine year old girl came up to me with her mother and asked for my autograph. Without thinking I said “great, the Embassy must be doing some good publicity with the Jazz Ambassador program!” She looked at me and her mother with utter disappointment…I was not whom she thought I was and they just walked away! I was confused too until I remembered Sachin Tendulkar!
Returning to India seven years later I can say that the situation is still the same:
THERE IS A CRAZY CRICKET PLAYER WHO IS TRYING TO IMPERSONATE A JAZZ MUSICIAN!!!
These cute girls came up to me at Chowmahalla Palace (Hyderabad) and asked me if I knew I looked like Sachin. I should have said “yes, he’s my brother” which I’m sure would have fooled them!
Actually, when I drive around and look at the huge billboards of Sachin or see his pic in the paper or on TV I really don’t see it, but I guess I’m getting used to it.
So, what do you think? Check out the video below and tell me! Maybe I can get a job being his double when he’s too tired to go to another party or autograph session!