My husband, who loves all things Indian, and I were looking forward to attending the Ravi Shankar show on Saturday. We were all set to sit in the eighth row to get an up close and personal view of him playing his swirling sitar. This would have been the second time that we have attended one of his concerts. The first was back in 2006 when I was three months pregnant with Judd. Of course, the nausea of the first-trimester hit me right as the concert started, and after I threw up, we had to go. So, obviously, a repeat performance was in order.
Darn! Yesterday, my friend Val called to let me know that she had read in the Arizona Republic that the show had been cancelled. Ravi is feeling a bit under the weather. No, this isn’t like when prima donna rock stars cancel because they’re drugged out or could care less about their fans. Nope! Ravi Shankar is 90 years old! When he says he’s under the weather, I take it as face value.
My grandmother passed away last year at the age that Ravi is right now. She lived a long life, and was able to get around quite well until her last months. But, I certainly couldn’t have envisioned her touring around the country and performing to crowds of fans. Grandma retired from the City of San Francisco in the late 1970s and spent her days enjoying the assisted living facility that she called home.
As I have said countless times on this blog, success comes from doing something you love. In the case of Ravi Shankar, this reality is communicated as loud and clear as a sitar. Imagine what it must be like to be able to tour at 90 years old. When your peers have long retired or died, you’re still on the road living your dream.
Obviously, if he only played sitar for the money or because his parents told him to, he would have dumped this gig a long, long time ago. But, because he loves what he does, he probably never considers alternatives to his life of performing for others.
I know it’s a cliché but it’s the absolute truth that when you are able to make money doing something you love, it ceases to be work. There is no longer any reason to count down the days to retirement. And, instead, you look at your passion as what keeps you going, and something you’ll continue to perfect until the end of your life.
For me, I love to write. For Ravi Shankar, it’s the sitar. How blessed we are to be able to do what we love. And, how important it is for everyone to find that one thing that they can envision being passionate about even when they’re 90.
So, I’m a little sad that our concert has been postponed this weekend. We’ll probably go out for Indian food as a poor alternative to seeing the world’s virtuoso of sitar. And, we’ll toast to Ravi. I hope he feels better soon.