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Musical balm for cleft-lipped kids

Monday was a special day for cleft-lipped kids at GS Memorial Plastic Surgery Hospital located in Mahmoorganj area of Varanasi.

india Updated: May 11, 2010 16:52 IST

Monday was a special day for cleft-lipped kids at GS Memorial Plastic Surgery Hospital located in Mahmoorganj area of Varanasi.

For, famous US violinist Paul Peabody was amid them, playing some of his soulful renditions much to the enjoyment of these children.

It was Paul's music that instantly connected him with the kids who otherwise did not understand his language.

"I am really moved playing violin for these innocent cleft children. I hope my music will help them overcome their pain," said Paul while talking to HT.

The 54-year-old violinist has played for the likes of Madonnas and Michael Jacksons besides composing music in over sixty Hollywood movies, including Titanic, and pop albums.

In Titanic, he played Irish Fiddle to the orchestra, which produced music while the ship was sinking.

Inspired by Oscar winning documentary Smile Pinki, he decided to visit the hospital and meet these cleft-lipped children who are treated as part of global initiative 'The Smile Train Project'.

Paul has been raising funds for the surgery of at least one cleft-lipped child every year under the project for the last five years.

"This was the first time I was playing for the cleft-lipped children, though I have been raising funds for them for the last five years," he said.

He believes music is a powerful tool to suppress pain of a person and making them happy.

He has been in the city for the last one week. He was also very much touched by its rich cultural heritage and ghats namely Manikarnika and Harishchandra of the city.

"It was just a never-forgetting experience for me visiting the ghats. It was deeply spiritual," he said.

He added that though he had toured around the world, he had never been to such a place, which had a rich history and culture.

During his stay for another week here, he intends to meet a few renowned musicians of the city.

"Though I have never got an opportunity to perform in India, I will really love to perform in this cultural and musical-rich country," he said.

Paul is perhaps the only violinist in the world who can also produce sounds by his vocal chord along with the strings of a violin. He has played violin in Hollywood animation movies 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Aladdin'.