Pandit Ravi Shankar Passes Away In San Diego

The Sitar Maestro Passes Away!

Yes, you heard it right. Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away in a hospital in San Diego. Well, technically it’s still December 11 there, so he officially passed away on Tuesday evening. He was admitted to the hospital a week back, when he complained of breathing difficulties.

“Shankar had suffered from upper-respiratory and heart issues over the past year and underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last Thursday. Though the surgery was successful, recovery proved too difficult for the 92-year-old musician.” reported his official website.

Pandit Shankar was perhaps the most popular Indian classical musician. He was known for his work, not only in India, but all over the world. He had a very different style, in comparison to his contemporaries. He was influenced by Carnatic music and that could clearly be seen in his performances. Though I am not a fan of classical music, his performances were really soothing and refreshing.

He was a musician who was at ease even with a different genre of music. His association with the English musician George Harrison (a member of the Beatles) led to his performances in various music festivals abroad, like Woodstock. Not only this, he also composed music for films like Gandhi and the Apu Trilogy.

Throughout his career he received numerous awards and felicitations as well; the Bharat Ratna (1999), Padma Bhushan (1967), Padma Vibhushan (1981) and many more. He had won many Grammy awards in the past and had been nominated this year as well.

Pandit Shankar’s last performance was on November 4, in Long Beach, California, marking the tenth decade of his career. He performed with his daughter Anoushka Shankar.

Ravi Shankar has always given the credit for his career to Harrison; “When people say that George Harrison made me famous, that is true in a way,” he said in a 2009 interview.

Yes, it is a big loss for the family and the music industry. And as far as I can see, Twitter tributes for Pandit Ravi Shankar have been pouring in. I on the other hand am going to listen to his music all day. How are you paying your tribute?

Shraddha Jandial

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