Indian Ocean vocalist suffers heart attacks in Doha, recovering now | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Indian Ocean vocalist suffers heart attacks in Doha, recovering now

Asheem Chakravarty of Indian Ocean, one of the leading Indian bands, suffered two massive heart attacks in Doha, Qatar last week.

delhi Updated: Oct 23, 2009 23:31 IST
Malvika Nanda

Asheem Chakravarty of Indian Ocean, one of the leading Indian bands, suffered two massive heart attacks in Doha, Qatar last week. The fifty-year-old vocalist- tabla player was in transit from US where the band was touring recently.

The band’s old friend and manager Dhruv Jagasia confirmed the news. “He’s out of the coma but still not out of the woods,” he said.

“Before the flight he was looking around for something when he suffered two attacks and fell. The fall led to what’s called the small brain bleed. So, he had to be shocked back to life and then he then slipped in to coma. He’s now out of the coma and showing vital signs of recovery but is still very disoriented.”

Chakravarty’s wife Suneeta has reached Qatar and now is by his side. All efforts are being made to bring him back to India.

Jagasia says help and support poured in from every corner of the music fraternity and Asheem da (as he’s fondly called) will be back in Delhi in the next 10 days.

“Although we are self-sufficient to take care of Asheem, we’re touched by everyone’s gestures. Everyone from the industry is very forthcoming and Parikrama’s Subir Malik like always is leading from the front. When Asheem’s wife travelled to Doha, everything from her stay to transport were immediately taken care of.”

Says Malik, “The news unnerved me like he was a member of my own band. I’ve been in touch with them since the day it happened and praying for his recovery like, I’m sure, all their fans are. I’m very relieved to hear that he’s recovering.”

Despite being upset about one of the most jovial and loved members of the band Asheem da, band members are ensuring that the shows go on.

They played in Singapore last night and will be honouring all their future commitments.

“It’s impossible to replace Asheem, but we’ve got not one but two musicians — a vocalist and a tabla player — to substitute him for now. None of us knew of one person like Asheem who does both. It may sound clichéd but Asheem lives to entertain, so we sort of gave directives to each other about going on and honouring all our commitments.”

The music of Indian Ocean — a jazz-rock-meets-Indian-folk band — has won favours from the critics and also paved the way for independent music in a market dominated by Bollywood music.