Ravi Shankar: A graphic salute to the maestro!

By HT

New Delhi, April 10 -- An autobiography of sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar in the form of a graphic novel may seem like trivialising a rather serious topic, but Yours in Music, which has text written by the iconic musician himself, is a great mix of fun and facts.

The 100-page book has exquisite graphics by well-known cartoonist Neelabh, and is interspersed with some rare photographs from Shankar's life. The story starts in 1928 in Benaras where a young Shankar is growing up with his siblings. Through the pages, Shankar reveals several lesser-known facts from his growing up years, like the instance of his father leaving them even before he was born, among other things. In a easy-to-read way, the book traces the journey of the maestro from being a dancer in his brother Uday Shankar's troupe, to his strict training under his guru Ustad Allauddin Khan, and his journey as a sitar player. In the book, he also talks about the negative publicity he got in the western press for being a 'Beatle' sitarist and moving away from original Indian classical music, and the mental agony he underwent because of this.

The only negative in this book, if any, is that it ends rather abruptly with Shankar's hugely successful performance in Bangladesh with George Harrison in 1971, and it leaves the reader wanting more. Yours in Music - A Graphic Autobiography Text: Pandit Ravi Shankar Graphic: Neelabh Published by: Wisdom Tree Price: R495.

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