Leaders, artistes remember sitar legend Pandit Ravi Shankar

Ravi shankar

Kathak exponent Pt Birju Maharaj said, "He was the king of tunes and rhythms. I am in Los Angeles and wanted to meet him, he said few days back that he was not well. I'm really sad after hearing this. We have lost a big star. There are a lot of memories attached to him. I used to play tabla with him at his Feroze Shah house. His blessings were always with me."

Filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh tweeted, "This morning had an unearthly kind of beauty to it, perhaps a morning raga to celebrate the passing of Ravi Shankar. RIP."

"Pt Ravi Shankar Synonym of music is no more, he has made Sitar (Indian Instrument) international with dignity and Pride, God bless his soul," said Sufi singer Kailash Kher.

"RIP Pandit Ravi Shankar. Grateful for the music maestro," said actress Lisa Ray.

"Pt Ravi Shankar's Sitar played for our souls. His music helped us sooth our nerves. His smile was like his music-DIVINE. RIP," Anupam Kher posted on the micro-blogging site.

The sitar icon's health had been fragile for the past several years and on Thursday he underwent a surgery at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California where he breathed his last.

Paying tributes, Lord Swraj Paul today described Ravi Shankar as a "great ambassador of Indian art, culture and music."

The NRI industrialist said Shankar had played to admiring audiences for so long. "His death creates a void which is not possible to fill," Paul said.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee offered her condolences to the family members of Panditji and said the sitar maestro's deep-rooted bond with the state would always be treasured.

"His passing away will create an irreparable void in music and performing arts. His deep-rooted bond with Bengal will be treasured forever in our hearts," she said, adding that the Bharat Ratna awardee had taken Indian classical music to a position of "rare aura" in the world.

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