Ravi Shankar

Remembering Ravi Shankar

Reginald Masssey
Reginald Massey

Reginald was born in Lahore before Partition. He writes books on various subjects pertaining to South Asia. A former London journalist, he now lives in Mid Wales with his actor wife Jamila. His latest book is Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the Forgotten Indian Martyrs, Abhinav Publications, New Delhi. A member of the Society of Authors, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Many years ago, in the 1950s, when I was student in Simla, Ravi Shankar visited the town and gave a concert at the local Kali Bari temple.

y friend Ajay Varma and I went to hear him, and we were enchanted. That ignited my interest in Indian classical music.

Over the years, I never missed recitals, whether vocal or instrumental. I read books on Music and Dance, attended seminars and sat with scholars to learn the finer points of these arts. I even took lessons in vocal music and tried to learn the tabla.

In the 1960s, it was Ravi Shankar who brought Indian music to the West in a big way. I was living in London at that time. I persuaded The Times of London to publish reviews of Indian classical music and dance. After that, my reviews were regularly published in that prestigious newspaper. They somehow 'caught on' and helped to promote these art forms in the United Kingdom.

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