My Music, My Life

by Ravi Shankar. Simon & Schuster, $6.95. Aware of the difficulty of explaining Indian music to those trained to think in totally different musical terms, Ravi Shankar has nevertheless made a gallant attempt to translate East to West. The attempt will not be universally successful, but even the dullest reader will begin to understand why he fails to understand. The autobiographical half of the book tells a great deal about Indian education and incidentally reveals that the author, lately a flower god, takes an unflattering view of the children. “India,” he observes, “now is overrun by unwashed, rebellious young people” who take up with dubious types that “live in huts where they burn dead bodies and practice a variety of filthy rites.” Positively cubical.