5 interesting facts about late musical ace Pandit Shivkumar Sharma
Indian music composer and santoor player Pandit Shivkumar Sharma has passed away at 84. Reports said that for the last six months, he was suffering from kidney-related ailments and was on dialysis. The icon is survived by his two sons and wife Manorama. Sharma is credited to make santoor a mainstream instrument from a folk one. Let us know more about the genius artist.
Sharma was the son of noted singer Pandit Umadutt Sharma, who introduced him to the world of Hindustani Classical music at a very young age of five. Being born in such a family, he was always inclined to musical instruments. But more than santoor, considered an unusual folk instrument in the 1950s, Sharma was more keen on tabla. Thankfully, his father convinced him otherwise.
Apart from establishing himself as a musical artist, Sharma was also nudged by his father to excel in academics. Paying heed, he studied English Literature and Economics in college along with performing in concerts. After Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, an impressed V. Shantaram offered him his next, Toofan aur Diya. But, Sharma refused because he "wanted to complete my education like my father wanted."
In 1967, Sharma and classical flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia formed the famed duo of Shiv-Hari. They gave music for eight films including Silsila (1980), Faasle (1985), Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991), and Darr (1993) and of them, seven were backed by Yash Chopra. They stopped composing for movies since their thoughts weren't in sync with most producers, but they could have returned for one person: Chopra.
In 2016, when asked why they stopped taking film assignments, Sharma had curtly said, "Today's filmmakers are only interested in making a killing at the box office. Earlier, songs used to tell stories. Now, they are like item numbers." "Give us filmmakers like Yash Chopra and we'll still do films. Do you remember Yeh Kahaan Aa Gaye Hum? The interludes had poetry, not music."
The injustice done to Kashmiri Pandits has gained momentum in recent times, thanks to The Kashmir Files. But, in 2012, when the Padma Shri awardee was asked about his brethren, he had said, "Nobody is interested in doing anything for the Kashmiri Pandits, who've left their property, their identity and lives behind. The reason behind this political apathy is that they aren't vote banks!"