Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Because of You

Ravi Shankar passed away today at the age of 92.

Have you heard of him? I would probably be more surprised if you have heard of him than if you haven't.
From CNN

He was a famous Indian sitarist (sitar player) who helped bring Indian music to the West. He partnered with The Beatles. He's also the father of singer Norah Jones. More than that, he has been pretty much a life long inspiration to my dad.

My dad's early 20s were a struggle for him.  He was married and divorced with a son by the time he was he 23. Randomly one day my dad saw a sitar, and Indian instrument, in the window of a pawn shop and decided to buy it.  He taught himself and immersed himself into Indian music, finding Ravi Shankar as an inspiration. It gave him peace and motivation moving forward in life.

His love of music found him new friends and took has taken him on several journeys, including taking me (and mom and sister) to India in 2007 when family friends (met through music; originally from Calcutta) were going back to their home country. Here are a few pictures from our beautiful country and unforgettable trip.
Taj Mahal

Pilgramage at the Ganges River

Street Vendor
My Fam

Now, over 35 years later, my dad has taught several students, during his free time, how to play the sitar and shared his love of music. It's always entertaining to see people's reaction seeing a middle-aged white guy playing an Indian instrument so beautifully

This morning when my dad and I talked about the news he said "I am sad to hear of Ravi's passing.  He was a great musician and cultural ambassador. He touched many lives and certainly impacted mine profoundly. His music lives on!" I may be biased, but my dad has a way with words.

RIP dear Ravi. Thank you for inspiring my dad, who inspires me.

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