lost a good friend this week with the passing of the legendary sitar maestro
Ravi Shankar. It's hard to believe he's gone – just last week, when the Grammy
nominations were announced, the first thing I did was read the World category
to see whether Ravi had received a nomination. He had. I consider myself very
lucky to have gotten to know Ravi and be invited into his home.
I went to help set up PETA India back in 1999, I set myself a goal to talk to Ravi
about helping animals. When we met, he asked, "You know who you look
like?" I said no, and he said, "Paul McCartney". In fact, the
last time we met, he asked the same question, and I responded, "Paul
McCartney?" He said, "Exactly".
welcoming and also agreed, to my
excitement, to do his first-ever ad for PETA to encourage the Indian
government to strengthen the country’s animal protection laws. Thinking back to
the shooting of the ad in Delhi conjures up more fond memories of Ravi: discussions
of his cats, the time he told me how he and George Harrison went to Disneyworld
in disguise in the '70s and his laughter when a goat attempted to chew on his
priceless sitar and ended up biting his daughter Anoushka’s finger! (It was a
the shooting of the video
public service announcement in Delhi, Ravi wanted to do even more, so he
invited me to his home in San Diego a few week later, where he and Anoushka
shot a print ad – on his front lawn, of all places. He was always eager to
help, whether that meant holding a news conference to highlight PETA India’s Supreme
Court of India case aimed at ending the illegal treatment of animals who end up
in slaughterhouses or speaking out about KFC's lack of animal welfare standards.
He became an honorary patron of PETA India, and just recently, he was talking
with us again about urging the government of India to pass an updated animal
so sad that Ravi has left us, but PETA continues to draw inspiration from his
life and will work to ensure that his efforts to help animals will live on.
Ravi, we miss
Posted by PETA
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