Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is grieving the demise of Pandit Ravi Shankar, says he was puzzled to receive the sitar maestro's call for the first time a week before the music legend's demise. He never knew it would be his last.
"A strange feeling crawls within me. Just last week his
wife Sukanyaji had sent a message to me on my mobile, while I transited from Marrakech, Morocco to Florence in Italy. It was the first time ever that I had received a message from her," Amitabh wrote on his blog srbachchan.com.
Sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar has given Indian culture of one of the best gifts. The renowned musician even became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s after he introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over an eight-decade career. Here's the musical journey of the ultimate sitar maestro.
"She had requested a time when she could call back as Ravi Shankarji had wanted to talk to me. He was keeping unwell she had said and was to undergo a surgery on Thursday.
"Due to the time difference, I was unable to connect with her immediately and it was only the next day when I called back that she spoke most endearingly and put me on to the great maestro! I was speaking to Pandit Ravi Shankar for the very first time ever on the phone," he posted.
The 70-year-actor says Ravi Shankar spoke to him with great warmth and also appreciated his work.
Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan
"We knew each other, there were strong and long family relationships, a few casual meetings, but nothing more. Why was he wanting to speak to me now? I was puzzled. But he came on the line, spoke with great warmth, on seeing me on the television often, of my films and my fans in the house, informed me that he was going in for a surgery - I had wished him well and after the phone call was over, sat for long, wondering how what had transpired had actually happened," he added.
Amitabh says "an entire life, an era, a most incredible period in the history of classical music in India has come to an end".
Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away in the US Tuesday. He was 92.