Ustad Zakir Hussain’s Moving Farewell To Santoor Maestro Shivkumar Sharma


Ustad Zakir Hussain at Pandit Shivkumar Sharma’s funeral in Mumbai on May 11. (PTI Photo)

Santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma’s death has left a huge void in the world of music. The 84-year-old died of a heart attack on May 10 and was cremated the next day.

Tributes poured in from across the world, but one image which has captured the attention of internet users is table maestro Zakir Hussain being the pallbearer, carrying the body of his friend.

Another photo gaining traction on social media shows the table maestro standing alone near Pandit Sharma’s funeral pyre. His final goodbye has been termed a “poignant” moment by the Twitterati.ย 

Zakir Hussain and Pandit Shivkumar Sharma collaborated for various stage shows across the nation. There are videos from many concerts, of the two maestros teaming up to mesmerise the audience.

While Pandit Sharma was credited with elevating Santoor from the confines of Jammu and Kashmir to the world stage, Ustad Zakir Hussain is one of the greatest Tabla players in the world.

He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1988 and the Padma Bhushan in 2002.

Celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, lyricist Javed Akhtar, music composer duo Jatin-Lalit and singer Ila Arun also paid their last respects to Pandit Sharma ahead of his cremation.

Pandit Sharma received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986, followed by the Padma Shri in 1991, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.

The pioneer of Santoor had reportedly been suffering from kidney ailments for six months and suffered a cardiac arrest.

Also known for his jugalbandi with Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, and together known as the Shiv-Hari music duo, he also composed music for several Hindi films including ‘Silsila‘, ‘Lamhe‘ย and ‘Chandni‘ย along with the flute legend.

Pandit Sharma was accorded a state funeral, by an order of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. His funeral was held at Vile Parle’s Pawan Hans Crematorium in Mumbai.

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