Sister-in-law to Ravi Shankar
, mother-in-law to L. Subramaniam
, Lakshmi Shankar
is a remarkable singer. As a young girl she fell under the spell of dance and, encouraged by her forward-thinking mother, she studied Bharat Natyam dancing. She married the scriptwriter Rajendra Shankar, an elder brother of Ravi Shankar
, and joined Uday Shankar's artistic circle during the early '40s. Ill-health forced her to give up dancing but, for us, this had the joyful effect of catalyzing her singing career. Around 1946-47 she worked on the historic adaptation of Pandit Nehru's Discovery of India, a work that prompted Nehru to say, "The ballet's better than my book." In the 1960s she recorded an album called The Voice of Lakshmi Shankar for World Pacific. Since then she has recorded widely in varying capacities and styles including Tamil folk songs, Hindu devotional songs of all sorts, film work (including the soundtrack to Gandhi
) and for television documentaries. Her work appears on many labels including EMI India and RCA.