Musical balm for cleft-lipped kids | india | Hindustan Times
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Musical balm for cleft-lipped kids

india Updated: May 12, 2010 13:31 IST
Rashmi Gupta

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

Famous US violinist Paul Peabody was amongst them, playing some of his soulful renditions much to the enjoyment of the children.

Paul's music instantly connected him with the kids who did not understand English.

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

The 54-year-old violinist has played for the likes of Madonna and Michael Jackson beside composing music in over 60 Hollywood movies, including Titanic and pop albums.

He played Irish Fiddle to the orchestra in the blockbuster Titanic. He has also played violin in Hollywood animation movies Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.

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 also said that he believed music was a powerful tool in suppressing the pain of a person and making them happy.

He has been in Varanasi for the last one week. He said that he was also 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.

He now 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," Peabody said.

CAPTION: American violinist Paul Peabody plays a tune at GS Memorial Plastic Surgery Hospital in Mahmoorganj area of Varanasi on Monday.
Sanjay Kupta/HT Photo