Who Was That Person In The WhatsApp Fwd?

By Roamer

Recently I received a video ‘fwd’ on the most common of all social media,  the WhatsApp messenger service. It was of a bearded old man playing the sitar. A girl on another sitar accompanied.  As usual there was no caption. It was perhaps another case of “forwarded as received”.  I wrote months back on the trend of forwarding  ‘as received’, always unchecked for veracity, sometimes without even being fully read.

It is like a huge burden on one’s  head being dumped on another. It is done either to get relieved of the burden or due to liking it so much that after the cursory first look the need was felt to share it.  In the case of home remedies or medical matters the unverified ‘fwd’ may even be dangerous.

On the Coronavirus pandemic all were freely putting out social media posts. Everyone had an opinion or knew a remedy or  when it would end — except the  doctors. Not one  day passed without us getting several such posts.
There are two reasons why they are sent without a captions. One the sender himself/herself does not know. Two (s)he is too lazy to type on the phone,  which  is  very laborious. Autocorrect knew exactly what a word should NOT be and changed to the wrong word at once, without waiting for you to accept it. So writing on phone  took hours. What no one has today is time.

So, reacting to the vdeo of the sitar players I asked who they were. The reply was another forward which said it was the great Ravi Shankar himself with Anushka. The ‘fwd’ also said it was just a day before he passed away and drew attention to the oxygen tube in his nose, which could be seen only if shown. Ravi Shankar, the sitar maestro was an iconic figure.   My group (Kalanjali) held a performance by him once decades ago, but I could not recognise him in the picture I received .  That he was accompanied by  his daughter Anushka was also not clear.

Decades later I recalled him as a short unimpressive figure who grew sky-high as he played, till he alone occupied the whole stage, nay the whole world. Few know that he started as a dancer.

Ravi Shankar was born on 7 April 1920 at  Varanasi. Brother of dancer Uday Sankar he too started as a dancer. Once he had a leg fracture and was told he could never dance again. The boy wanted to commit suicide. Uday then took him to Ustaad Allauddin Khan (Baba), a worshipper of Maa Sarawati, to be saved. The Ustaad not only taught him classical music but also got him married to  his own daughter Annapurna.
Born on 7 April 1920 at Varanasi,  Ravi Shankar died: at 92,  on  11 December 2012 in California. USA, .  where he had settled down. He was awarded Bharat Ratna., the highest Indian civilian award, and Padma Bhushan    He also  received  the  Grammy  Award for lifetime achievement .

 A sitar world renowned maestro. Ravi Shankar had divorced Annapurna Devi. 
He had an illegitimate daughter in the USA and one in India born at Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, three  days before he married his second wife (so technically legitimate). I reported the event exclusively for a news agency.

It is said Annapurna was  better sitar player than him and that jealousy led to the divorce. 
Annapurna was the daughter of  Baba, who refused to be a court artist of a neighbouring king, because he could not leave the Saraswati temple.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here