OBIT: Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma was a warm & encouraging person
Santoor and Indian classical music will never be the same again. I am shocked and pained to know the demise of Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma. Every musician who attains a height leaves behind a legacy for his or her torchbearers to take forward; in his case it shall be not only his son but also many disciples who learnt from him his style and the art. Pandit ji was a man of many facets and a flag bearer and a pioneer with whom I have had several intimate interactions. He was a wonderfully warm personality. We discussed music and how Santoor could be made popular – we always believed that Santoor can be a popular instrument.
I met him at Bhopal a few years ago for the last time and what a lovely conversation we had. I was humbled by his praises for me to the assembled media and the music connoisseurs. The many hours we spent in recording studios were perhaps the best time when we bonded over music and specifically Santoor. He always appreciated my style and form and my innovations and always encouraged me. We also discussed intricacies of ragas and many aspects of music besides life in general.
Another feather in his cap was his association with films. Despite being a hard core classical maestro, his music in films in association with another maestro Hari Prasad Chaurasia ji is legendary and unparalleled. Perhaps the music connected with the masses is symbolised by popularity of the music in Silsila, Lamhe, Darr, Chandni; it made us all want more. It was overwhelming that he could compose such wonderful songs that came to be loved by masses; it exemplified his diversity and richness and of course complete mastery over music.
Tarun Bhattacharya is a Santoor maestro from the Maihar Gharana