Hey Monk;' Cruised the tabla forum and saw this string and thought I'd report what I heard lately on Zakir Hussain. I talked to some Indians I know out in the Bay area late last month, and they tell me Zakir has very bad arthritis in both hands. Very painfull every time he performs. So, 2001 will likely be his last year in touring as a professional tablaji. That will put an end to future reunions with John McLaughlin's Shakti, and playing tabla for any of the touring greats. Bad deal there!!! I will never forget the capabilities of his father, the legendary Ustad Allah Rakka. But hopefully Zakir might still impart his knowledge to others by becoming a teacher or guru. That way, he will still be around.