‘I found out that I was the only one who could explain our music, give a comparative idea of Western and Indian music’


Pandit Ravi Shankar, world-renowned sitar maestro, grew up with Western teaching and culture before making the painful transition to the austere gurukul system of learning. In the first part of an interview with The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta on NDTV 24x7's Walk the Talk, Ravi Shankar talks about his early years and his guru, the legendary Allauddin Khan.

Hello and welcome to Walk the Talk. I am Shekhar Gupta and let me tell you that there are days in my life when I really love my job and this is one of those. My guest today is none else than Pandit Ravi Shankar. It's so wonderful to meet you. I think those who can get this close to you are blessed and I get to speak with you.

God bless you. I have been seeing your thing also. It's an interesting and new way of an interview. I appreciate it.

Thank you very much. But guruji, it is always a challenge when one is conversing with someone like you because I am a philistine. Hum log kahan jaante hain art, culture… to dar lagta hai ki aapse baat bhi kar payenge ya nahi.

Haan ye to hai. And especially you have done a few musicians also, which is very interesting.

Yes, some.

And have you done painters and different artistes?

Some, but it is always a challenge because one has to learn. Politicians, diplomats, economists, anything that is not complex. Art is simple and also complex.

Absolutely. And for artistes, I can say for myself that I can only speak through my sitar. And that is where I can express all my feelings and everything. But I am not a very good speaker as such. (laughs)

... contd.

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