- Pt Shivkumar Sharma is credited for taking santoor to the global stage
- Pt Shivkumar’s last rites were performed by his sons, followed by a gun salute
- Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, lyricist Javed Akhtar attended the funeral
Santoor maestro Pt Shivkumar Sharma was on Wednesday cremated with full state honours in the presence of family and close friends. The 83-year-old musician died on Tuesday morning following a heart attack at his Pali Hill residence here.
Sharma, one of India’s most well known classical musicians, was credited for taking santoor, the folk instrument from Jammu and Kashmir, to the global stage. He also straddled the world of Indian cinema as one half of the famous ‘Shiv-Hari’ composer duo along with flautist Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia.
They composed music for films like “Silsila”, “Lamhe”, “Chandni” and “Darr”.
After a guard of honour in Juhu, where his mortal remains were kept for people to pay their respects, Sharma’s funeral was held at Vile Parle’s Pawan Hans Crematorium.
The musician’s family, including wife Manorama and sons Rahul and Rohit, his friends from the fraternity, including long-time collaborator Chaurasia and tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, were present.
Sharma’s last rites were performed by his sons, followed by a gun salute.
Earlier in the day, celebrities like megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, lyricist Javed Akhtar, music composer duo Jatin-Lalit and singer Ila Arun, among others paid their last respects at Abhijit Cooperative Housing Society.
Talking to reporters, Akhtar said Sharma’s name will always be synonymous with santoor.
“There are a few phrases which are said whenever a big personality passes away, ‘There will be no like him. There is now a void which can never be filled’. But in Shiv ji’s case, they are not cliches but absolute truth. When a musician learns to play an instrument like no one else, he becomes a maestro. But when Shiv ji picked up the santoor, the instrument got respect across the world.
“In the future, 100 or 1,000 years later, whenever santoor is mentioned, it will remain incomplete without Shiv Kumar Sharma. Santoor se Shiv Kumar ka woh rishta hai jo modern science se Einstein ka hai,” Akhtar, who penned songs for “Silsila”, said.
Sharma received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986, followed by the Padma Shri in 1991, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.