Pandit Ravi Shankar remembered in California home city

PTI Posted: Dec 21, 2012 at 1515 hrs
Los Angeles Late rockstar George Harrison\'s widow Olivia joined hundreds of fans and family members of sitar maestro Ravi Shankar to pay last homage to the Indian music legend at his adopted home in California.

Anushka Shankar and her Grammy winning step sister Norah Jones, daughters of the late musician who died last week also joined the funeral service at a palm fringed meditation centre near here.

Rich tributes from fellow musicians and artists were read out at the Open-memorial for Ravi Shankar once famously called \'The Godfather of world music\' by former beatle star George Harrison and compared to Mozart by violin legend Yehudi Menuhin.

Olivia, Harrison\'s widow made rich reference to Ravi Shankar, recalling his association with her husband on the ground-breaking concert for Bangladesh in 1971, notably the soul stirring song \'While my guitar gently weeps\'.

Local media reports quoted Olivia as saying that Harrison\'s collaboration with Shankar had changed her husband\'s musical sensibilities.

Also present at memorial service near his southern California home in Encinitas were his wife Sukanya and another Indian music legend Zubin Mehta.

\"My father loved spending time here so much and it feels so right for us to celebrate his journey in this beautiful place,\" said Anoushka.

Ravi Shankar, a multi-cultural icon, passed away last week at 92 and was named as a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, a day after his death.

... thanks to all of you for being here to celebrate the life\" of Ravi Shankar, said Anushka, 31. Anushka\'s step sister, Norah, 33, also joined the family, though she did not address the gathering at the memorial.

\"Raviji was one of the great citizens of the world,\" said Olivia Harrison, the widow of former Beatle George Harrison who shared a deep bond with the Indian legend.

\"I cannot think of a more illustrious or elegant person,\" she said remembering Ravi Shankar.

An emotional Zubin Mehta spoke of how he felt like a \"little crumb\" in the presence of the sitar maestro.

\"Because every night, whichever stage he was performing on, he was composing simultaneously (as he played),\" he said, recalling his association of 50 years.