Indian Ocean, fusion music, loses sound of percussion

Asheem Chakravarty, 50, the percussionist and vocalist and among the founding members of popular contemporary fusion music band Indian Ocean died after a cardiac arrest on Friday afternoon.

He was declared dead on arrival in Karol Bagh's Jeewan Hospital.

The last rites were held at the Lodhi crematorium. Chakravarty is survived by wife Sunita and son Ekansh, 13.

Chakravarty had taken ill on October 14, when he reportedly suffered multiple cardiac arrests at Doha airport the band members were returning from their 15-city tour in the United States. He had reportedly gone into a coma.

Following treatment at Hamad Medical Centre in Doha, he had returned home, in the Capital, a few days ago.

A "shocked" Indian Ocean band manager Dhruv Jagasia said, "He was not fine but he was recovering. He was back in the city but was always in and out of the hospital because of multiple artery blockages. We will carry on his legacy through our music."

Amit Kilam, the band's drummer, said, "He was recovering slowly and we seemed to have a ray of hope... It's a really emotional and shocking moment for us right now."

A talented musician, Chakravarty sang and played tabla, tarang and other percussion instruments for the band simultaneously without any formal training. His rhythm structures were unique, and he was known to contribute a large part to Indian Ocean's signature sound.

Subir Malik, close friend and lead keyboardist of popular band Parikrama, was on his way to Shillong for a vacation when he got the news. He returned to the Capital. "Asheem was a buddy; we have known each other for ages," Malik said. "He will be missed once I go up there, we are going to have a band of our own."

Singer Kailash Kher said, "My condolences are with the family. I hope God gives strength to the band members to deal with such a huge loss. Asheem wasn't just a great musician, he was also a wonderful human being. Working with him was an enriching experience our band Kailasa will always love him."

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