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Vol. 20 No (2) • November (2) 2012

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GODFATHER OF

WORLD MUSIC DIES S

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Sitar maestro pandit Ravi Shankar, who brought Indian classical music to an international stage and collaborated with legends, dies at 92 in US hospital

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Biography of

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi o h a n d a s Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869in Porbandar, a coastal town which was then part of the Bombay Presidency, British India. He was born in his ancestral home, now known as Kirti M a n d i r. H i s f a t h e r , Karamchand Gandhi (1822–1885), who belonged to the Hindu Modh community, served as the diwan (a high official) of Porbander state, a small princely state in the Kathiawar Agency of British India. His grandfather was Uttamchand Gandhi, also called Utta Gandhi. His mother, Putlibai, who came from the Pranami Vaishnava c o m m u n i t y , w a s Karamchand's fourth wife, the first three wives having apparently died in childbirth. Jain ideas and practices powerfully influenced

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Gandhi, particularly through his mother, who was a devout Jain. The Indian classics, especially the stories of Shravana and king Harishchandra, had a great impact on Gandhi in his childhood. In his autobiography, he admits that they left an indelible impression on his mind. He writes: "It haunted me and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number." Gandhi's early selfidentification with truth and love as supreme values is traceable to these epic characters. In May 1883, the 13year-old Mohandas was m a r r i e d t o 14 - y e a r - o l d Kasturbai Makhanji (her first name was usually shortened to "Kasturba", and affectionately to "Ba") in an

arranged child marriage, according to the custom of the region. In the process, he lost a year at school. Recalling the day of their marriage, he once said, "As we didn't know much about marriage, for us it meant only wearing new clothes, eating sweets and playing with relatives." However, as was prevailing tradition, the adolescent bride was to spend much time at her parents' house, and away from her husband.[ In 1885, when Gandhi was 15, the

couple's first child was born, but survived only a few days. Gandhi's father, Karamchand Gandhi, had also died earlier that year. Mohandas and Kasturba had four more children, all sons: Harilal, born in 1888; Manilal, born in 1892; Ramdas, born in 1897; and Devdas, born in 1900.[18] At his middle school in Porbandar and high school in Rajkot, Gandhi remained a mediocre student. He shone neither in the classroom nor

on the playing field. One of the terminal reports rated him as "good at English, fair in Arithmetic and weak in Geography; conduct very good, bad handwriting." He passed the matriculation exam at Samaldas College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, with some difficulty. Gandhi's family wanted him to be a barrister, as it would increase the prospects of succeeding to his father's post.

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Paradise on the Earth at Ladakh A trip to Ladakh, India's cold desert is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With its spectacular natural beauty, the place is a visual treat for both your eyes and your digital cameras. Read on...

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Nestled at an altitude of 3,500 meters above the sea level, between the Kunlun Mountain Range in the north and the main Great Himalayas to the south, is a small, yet bustling town of Leh. Being the largest city of Ladakh, Leh enjoys the maximum tourism. It not links one of the sleepy hamlets and valleys of the district, but is also one of the few remaining Buddhist destinations inSouth Asia. Being a cold desert, this arid terrain experiences drastic weather changes. The temperatures are so extreme that while one in winters experiences temperatures

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range between 0 degrees to -28 degrees, in summers one gets to face temperatures like 3 degrees to 30 degrees. Since the temperatures are diverse and the altitude only gets higher, travellers are suggested to have preventive medication for altitude sickness before embarking on their journey.

The Leh Palace, which is situated behind the main market has eight stories and is similar to the Potala Palace of Lhasa and still belongs to the royal family of Ladakh. Just ahead of the palace is the famous Chamba Temple, which is aoneroomed shrine that has a huge icon of Maitreya, the Buddha to come. Since this temple cannot be found easily, it is essential to enquire about it in the second row of shops. Also in the bazaar, at the top of the street, one can see the Jama Masjid. This has been

painted in green and white colour. Another place that you must visit is the SankarGompa, which is situated within the city and is one of the oldest structures here. At one time, this monastery only welcomes maximum twenty monks and is a fairly active one. Also the monks here are extremely hospitable and always offer yak butter tea to those visiting the monastery.

Also a visit to the famous Thikse Monastery is a must. This monastery is the largest such structure in central Ladakh and is primarily known for its magnanimous statue of Maitreya (future Buddha) in its Maitreya Temple. This statue is 15 meters (49 ft) high and the largest such statue in Ladakh. The Buddha here is unusually portrayed as seated

in the lotus position rather than his usual representations as standing or in a sitting posture on a high throne. On Old Leh Road exists the Tibetan Refugee Market which is an ideal place for shopping in Leh. Tibetan markets are popular for their metal-ware. The visitors here who have an eye for artistic pieces would find sonorous bowls made of nine metals like cymbals, decorative brass and copper trumpets. Besides, cymbals that have religious themes that are used in

meditation are also found here. Also if one is fond of jewellery, it is possible to find relevant items like unpolished silver and turquoise jewellery and chunky shell bangles worn by Ladakhi women. There are also a range of excellent rugs and carpets that have traditional Persian and Kashmiri themes. Some other attractions of these markets are the native Thangka paintings, jewellery made of semiprecious stones, small prayer wheels, shawls, stoles and music bowls.

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COVER STORY

MAESTRO’S FINAL BOW 䵵獩挠 汥来湤 灡礠瑲楢畴攠 瑯 䥮摩慮 癩 瑵潳 睯牬 †† 䅭橡搠 䅬䭨慮 椠

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t is indeed surreal for me to believe that Pandit Ravi Shankar, whom I called Dada is no more. His passing away marks the end of an era that was truly magical. What he did for music was outstandingly unique in its nomenclature. My father Ustad Haafiz Ali Khan and Raviji’s guru Ustad Allaudin Khan learnt from the same guru Ustad Wazir Khan who belonged to the Senia Beenkar Gharana. In fact, Raviji once wrote me a message saying that let’s keep the Senia Beenkar flag flying high. The way in which he played the sitar had freshness and a different t o n a l q u a l i t y. H i s determination and hard work brought him a status of being an international superstar. He is one of the most fortunate and successful Indian classical musicians. I would call him a ‘miracle man’ who changed the face of the classical music in the world .I attended many of Raviji’s concerts with great tabla players like Kishan Maharaj, Ustad Allah Rakha, Chatur Lal and Kanai Dutt. I always admired his approach to raga and taal. There was always so much to learn from the way he

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Pandit Ravi Shankar (left) and daughter Anoushka pet a goat in this Feburary 25, 2002 photo AP presented his music. Our families have been very close and our meetings were always full of laughter and musical discussion. The first time Raviji came to our house was in 1977, Amaan was three months old. I will miss him no end. Amjad Ali Khan is a Sarod virtuoso

“He was like a friend, full of innocence. Once when he saw a show of mine in January in Delhi, he acclaimed it and that acknowledgement was something big for me. He was always a great source of encouragement for me, rather than a father-in-law” —Tanushree Shankar, dancer, daughter-in-law ±±±

“I met him exactly two months back in the US and spent an evening with him. He was keen to know about the Indian music scene. He was concerned classical music should continue in a big way in India” —Pt Satish Vyas, santoor player ±±± “He became a global icon of music, art and culture. His creative and versatile genius not

only left an indelible mark on the world of Indian classical but also popularised Indian classical music worldwide” —President Pranab Mukherjee ±±± Indian classical music has lost its chief ambassador and India it’s Bharat Ratna...May God bless his soul! —AR Rahman

VARANASI STRUCK HIM, SAYS ANOUSHKA In an earlier interview, sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar had expressed her desire to return to Varanasi, the birthplace of her legendary father Ravi Shankar. The prodigal daughter recollected her days in the city, and said, “I have been to Varanasi several times as a child. We stayed at my father’s home and his

music centre. I have such beautiful memories of him teaching his students. I remember being really struck by what a happy, creative atmosphere it was. I also have wonderful memories of boating on the Ganga. As cliched as it sounds, the sunsets in Varanasi are so beautiful. Even though I was a small c h i l d, I s t i l l v i v i dl y

remember it now. I would really love to come back. On asked if Ganga inspires her musically, she said, “I’ve always found the energy of water very inspiring. My father created a raga many years ago called Gangeshwari, inspired by the Ganga, and that’s something I love to play. Varanasi is called the city of music. She also

revealed that it would be a pleasure for her to perform in Varanasi. She said, “It would be a real joy to play in Varanasi, both for the magic of the city itself and for the personal significance of my father having been born there.”

AS TOLD TO MADHULIKA SINGH

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Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding INGREDIENTS

PREPARATION METHOD

Coconut Milk, 200 ml Water, 100 ml Powderedgelatin, 1/2 packet Cocoa Powder, 60 g Desiccated Coconut, 80 g Vanilla Essence, 2 tsp Icing Sugar, 2 tbsp Caster Sugar, 2 tbsp

Mix water and coconut milk in a saucepan and warm in slightly and ensure the mixture does not boil. Now mix the gelatin and keep stirring till it dissolves completely. Now add the filtered icing sugar along with cocoa powder and keep stirring forcefully till the mixture is completely blended and there are no lumps. Now add the vanilla essence and caster sugar and dried coconut powder and continue stirring. Now divide the mixture equally in six pudding cups and keep it to chill in the refrigerator.

TOOLS REQUIRED

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Saucepan Pudding cups

Serve chilled

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Indian Waves 21 Dec 2012