ABOUT THE BOOK:
Santoor maestro Shiv Kumar Sharma is one of India’s living musical legends. Born and raised in Jammu, in a house where, from dawn till dust, someone of another was singing or playing an instrument’. Shiv Kumar Sharma began his musical life as a tabla player under the tutelage of his Benares trained father. One day when hews fourteen, hisfdather returned from Srinagar with a santoor and announced that he had found his son’s true calling. The bemused boy took the instrument- traditionally used only in Kashmiri Sufiana songs- and, over the next few years, performed surgery to adapt it for Hindustani ragas. The results are musical history.
In this lucid memoir, the artist recalls his youth in tranquil Jau and Kashmir, his lean yers as an aspiring young professional in Bombay, his long, not always happy association with All India Radio, his work in the film industry, his most blissful moments onstage, his tours around the world and, most compellingly, his struggle to establish the santoor as a classical Indian instrument in the face of skeptical, sometimes dismissive critics.Along the way, he illuminates a remarkable series of relationships and encounters :guru-shishya bonds, life-long friendships, dazzling jugalbandis and, of course, musical rivalries, good-natured and otherwise. Here are Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pandit Ravi Shakar, Ustad Allah Raka Khan, Zakir Hussain, Brij Bhushan Kabra, and George Harrison. Yash Chopra, Lata Manageshkar and a host of household names – doing riyaaz, recording LPs, discussing style and technique, gathering at All India Festivals and cooking for each other at the end of a long day.
The life chronicled here is rich in professional achievement, personal companionship and pure, solitary artistry. ‘I am here’, says Shiv Kumar Sharma. ‘With a mission: to reach out and touch the hearts of people with my music. And I shall do my duty as best I Can.’