The South Asian Life & Times - SALT   
  January - March 2013          



 January - March 2013


Editor's Note


 Cover Story
 Ravi Shankar - A Life
 Truly Lived

 50 Years of Solar
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 Makli - Crumbling &

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Women on Sexual

 Kiran Bedi

 Suman Nalwa 

 Richa Anirudh 

 Pages from the Past

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‘While My ‘Sitar’ Gently Weeps’

Ravi Shankar - A Life Truly Lived

A SALT Tribute to Ravi Shankar
By Devpal Duggal

Pandit Ravi Shankar, the sitar virtuoso and composer, whose career in music spanned close to 80 years, left this world as a global icon. Generations of fans across the world loved him not just for his music, but also for the global movements he had inspired.  He was India’s unofficial ambassador for music, having generated a passion among Western audiences for classical Indian music.  Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away on December 11, 2012 at age 92 in San Diego, California. His final performance was a concert with his daughter, Anoushka Shankar, on Nov. 4 in Long Beach, California. He was also the father of the singer Norah Jones.

Pandit Ji’s music and face were known globally. Though he began touring the West as part of his brother’s dance troupe in the 30s and later for his own sitar performances, Ravi Shankar truly became global when the Beatles embraced his ‘spiritualised’ music. He shared a special and an affectionate relationship with George Harrison or “George Beatles”, as he called him.  ‘Norwegian Wood’ – a Beatles number – had a passage with George playing very elementary sitar. This song  “put the sitar on the “pop” map overnight.” By the summer of 1967, the sitar was ‘in.’ The Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Byrds and other rock groups followed suit . The first formal collaboration between Pandit Ji and George Harrison, however, was in 1971, at the Concert for Bangladesh, where he performed together with Allah Rakha and the sarod player Ali Akbar Khan, joining Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton in New York’s Madison Square Garden to raise money for refugees from what was then East Pakistan. He had earlier performed at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 and at Woodstock in 1969.


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