Ravi Shankar's family in Kolkata mourns his death

Indo Asian News Service

Kolkata, Dec 12 (IANS) Describing Pandit Ravi Shankar as "full of life", his family members here Wednesday said it was very difficult to believe that that the sitar maestro was no more.

"Ravi was like my friend, my brother. We spent together a lot of memorable days in childhood. I cannot believe that he is no more," said Amala Shankar, wife of Ravi Shankar's late elder brother and legendary dancer Uday Shankar.

Reminiscing times spent with Ravi Shankar, Amala said: "I remember a western dance performance at Monte Carlo. I was 12 years old then and Ravi was 11. It was so wonderful."

Danseuse Tanushree Shankar, the maestro's niece and widow of Ananda Shankar, Uday Shankar's son, said: "At home he was not a musician but a family member who always indulged in mischief and made others laugh with his wit and humour. Even at that age he was so full of life. We had so much to learn from him."

"He was more than a family member to us. He was like a friend, a guru who always guided us to the right path," said Mamata Shankar, Ravi Shankar's niece.

Pandit Ravi Shankar, 92, had been admitted to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, San Diego, US, last Thursday after he complained of breathing difficulties. He passed away at 4.30 p.m. Pacific Time Tuesday.