Ravi Shankar

 

English: Ravi Shankar performs in Delhi with h...

English: Ravi Shankar performs in Delhi with his daughter Anoushka in March 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: Master of Sitar, Ravi Shankar. Deutsc...

English: Master of Sitar, Ravi Shankar. Deutsch: Ravi Shankar, Meister der Sitar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It is with a heavy heart that I write a post today.  Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away yesterday at 4pm in La Jolla, CA.  He was 92.

 

I opened the online New York Times early  this morning, simply out of a nostalgia for the days when I would begin my day with its news, instead of say, writing or checking email.  The announcement caught me by surprise, and after reading the article and looking at The Guardian,  I posted a video of a concert of his I found on YouTube, a gentle nine-minute piece rom a raga, “Anandi Kalyan.”

 

The process of celebrating, honoring, and grieving a great or famous soul’s passing is a curious one.  When John Lennon died, I found out with a clutch to my heart as I slowly realized the radio was playing song after Beatles song.  We who listened to WNEW-FM that night listened along with –was it Vince Scelscia’s?– shock.  When Michael Jackson died, so far before his time, I heard it on the radio in the car somewhere.  I live far from a city now, so of course, I did not hear Ravi Shankar’s sitar on the radio this morning, though I tried.

 

All day, I went about the daily activities, including a visit to the dentist, but like the stricken character in Chekov’s story, “Misery,” to whom could I speak to of my grief?  Zakir Hussein said that Panditji has gone to join the gods in heaven with whom he belongs.  I suspect there are hundreds of people right now, perhaps thousands, playing his music and remembering.  I was lucky enough to see him play in Boston with his daughter Anuoshka with my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law, and I don’t think we could have clapped enough or hard.

 

Let’s keep listening, keep clapping.  He leaves us his daughters as his legacy; he leaves us his music.  He leaves us wanting more.

 

 

 

~

 

Raga Bhimpalasi (live at Monterey): http://youtu.be/LMRxDY43YtQ

 

Gat Kirwani:  http://youtu.be/ZYlPcbNAPH8

 

With Philip Glass, from Passages:  http://youtu.be/ugIbmTKrcHc

 

 

 

 

 

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