Musical fraternity on Wednesday condoled the passing away of Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar, and lauded the sitar maestro for making the Indian music go global.
The king of Kathak Dance, Pandit Birju Maharaj, recalled his earlier days when Pandit Ravi Shankar encouraged him for his hard work and commitment.
"I used to call him 'bhaiya. He has given me so many blessings from my childhood. He used to be very happy with my work and always told me to work harder. He was the one who introduced 'sitar' to the whole country. He was always delighted while playing the sitar. There were expressions on his face of every tone that he played," said Pandit Birju Maharaj.
Pandit Birju Maharaj, who is currently the leading exponent of the Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Kathak dance in India, further said 'sitar and Panditji were one', and added that he was extremely sad to hear of the demise.
Noted vocalist duo of Rajan and Sajan Mishra also echoed similar sentiments, saying 'it is a very sad day for the music industry'.
"It is very shocking for us that king of sitar Pandit Ravi Shankar is no more. We are walking on the path shown by him. Artists such as him are born in centuries. It is a very sad day and we pray to god to give peace to his soul and that his followers carry forward his traditions. I pray to god that his daughter carries forward his name," said Sajan Mishra.
"A very big celebrity Pandit Ravi Shankarji is no more. He was not only India's artist, but also the artist of the entire world. He was known across the globe. Sitar and Pandit Ravi Shankarji were synonymous," added Rajan Mishra.
Meanwhile, Tanusree Shankar, who is one of the leading dancers and choreographers of contemporary dance in India, said Pandit Ravi Shankar's demise is not only a personal or a family loss, but it is also a huge loss for all the artists' family.
"It is a huge loss for the classical musicians. It is a huge loss for the young generation, who I am afraid are going to be further deprived of listening to a stalwart. He was like a god of music," she said.
Tanushree, who also happens to be Pandit Uday Shankar's (Pandit Ravi Shankar's brother) daughter-in-law, further said the sitar maestro is alive within our family and work.
"And I was very very fortunate that early this year in January, he and Sukanyaji had come to see our performance in Delhi, blessed us and I think that was a great blessings not for me but for our group, our work," she added.
Pandit Ravi Shankar, who was admitted in the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla for breathing difficulties, passed away in San Diego on Tuesday at the age of 92.
The sitar maestro had been admitted at the Scripps Memorial Hospital on December 6.
The sitar exponent was responsible for making Indian classical music popular in the West and was also India's musical ambassador.
He was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1999, and received three Grammy Awards. (ANI)