What’s the difference between the sitar and the surbahar? Aside from size, the sitar is coming to Martha’s Vineyard on July 30, along with someone to play it. Abhik Mukherjee plays both traditional Indian stringed instruments, but only the sitar makes the traveling team for this trip. Which is good news for Mr. Mukherjee, since by all accounts traveling with even one of the instruments adds a few degrees of difficulty to any trip.

The sitar, as George Harrison fans will know, is shaped like a guitar but with a more bulbous body and a heftier neck. It looks like one of those toy birds that bob up and down in water, if you had cut off its head, removed the legs and enlarged the remainder to the size of a second grader. On airplane trips the sitar must go in the cargo hold, where it apparently arouses the suspicion of the TSA, INS, DEA, and like-minded agencies the world over.

Mr. Mukherjee says that more often than not that when he retrieves his instrument at the baggage claim the case is ajar and the contents damaged. There was the trip to give a concert in India where his sitar was broken beyond repair, and he had to play with a new and thus foreign instrument. And the time in North Carolina when he did emergency repairs to frets and strings McGyver-style, with nail polish.

But fear not, when Mr. Mukherjee performs on the Vineyard in a duet with Ehren Hanson, who will play the tabla, the TSA will play no role as he will drive from his Brighton Beach, Brooklyn apartment to the Island.

The concert takes place at the Chilmark Community Center on Saturday, July 30 beginning at 7 p.m.

Mr. Mukherjee’s path to the home of the Cyclone, boardwalk caviar emporiums and Totonno’s pizza was relatively direct, for a musician. Born in Kolkata, India to a sitar-playing father, he took up the instrument at an early age. But his first love was cricket. It wasn’t until he was 18 and he had hurt his sitar hand in a semi-pro cricket match that he realized a choice had to be made. Mr. Mukherjee hung up his bat.

After Kolkata there were stops in Dehradun, Mumbai and Delhi, where he honed his craft and earned extra money as a math teacher. In this last stop he met his Wisconsin-born wife Erica at the school where they both taught. In 2010 they decided to move to NYC where Erica could pursue a PhD at NYU, and they chose off, off, off campus housing in the Rockaway Beach section of Queens.

They loved the ocean vibe, though that came at a cost. In 2012, as Sandy lumbered up the coast, officials called for the evacuation of their low-lying beachside community. Given that Irene the year before was a false alarm, Abhik and Erica saw no harm in waiting it out at home. A few hours in to the 24-hour storm, Erica opened the front door only to have three feet of water rush in to their first floor apartment. Erica grabbed a laptop, passports and other essentials, and Abhik scooped up his sitar, holding it over his head to keep it dry as they waded across the living room.

The couple found refuge, along with four other neighbors and a dog, in an upstairs friend’s apartment. They all stayed there for the night, with no electricity or heat, or music, apparently, as Mr. Mukherjee thought the close quarters might have jangled nerves such that even the soothing sounds of the sitar would only serve to inflame them.

After the deluge the Mukherjees decamped to Brighton Beach, literally and figuratively still interested in life on the edge. An edge that will work in your favor when Mr. Mukherjee and his sitar arrive on Martha’s Vineyard.

Abhik Mukherjee on the sitar and Ehren Hanson on the tabla perform on Saturday, July 30, at the Chilmark Community Center. Show starts at 7 p.m.