Young Ravi Shankar
The following article by N. PATTABHI RAMAN is interspersed with excerpts from statements and observations made by Pandit Ravi Shankar daring a series of interview sittings with the author. Tape recordings of the interview were transcribed by V.S. Kumar, who was formerly a Sruti staffer. Ravi Shankar has been acknow ledged as a genius. Perhaps his genes had something to do with it; but surely the environment in which he grew up also contributed to its flowering and to shaping his personality. Genes may go back many generations, but in this case ocumented history starts with the father, Shyam Shankar. A descendant of a Bengali brahmin family, Shankar was a learned man. He had studied Sanskrit and philosophy in Benares and also acquired credentials in the field of law. He had also learnt to recite Vedic hymns in the traditional manner, by repeating them after the masters and memorising the texts as well as their prosody. He had a deep love of music and learnt to sing dhrupad-s in the old style from the famous beenkar Mithailal.