Santoor exponent Rahul Sharma: ‘My father’s music lives on through me’
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Says Rahul Sharma ahead of his Barkha Ritu concert in the city

September 30, 2022 04:35 pm | Updated 05:13 pm IST

Rahul Sharma

Rahul Sharma | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Musician Rahul Sharma heralds October with a Barkha Ritu concert in Hyderabad. Ahead of his show with Mukundraj Deo on tabla, he recollects his association with the the city. “I have been coming to Hyderabad for the last 20 years; the audience here is nice and warm. Although I am a vegetarian, I enjoy the biryani,” shares Rahul over the phone.

It has been a busy month for him with live concerts. He is back from the US after a Hindustani concert with Rakesh Chaurasia and Pt. Abhijit Banerjee at Irvine Barclay Theatre in Los Angeles. “Ours was the first concert that Barclay Theatre had after two years. It feels nice to see things go back to normal all over the world. In India we've been giving live concerts for the past six months,” he says.

Difficult year

Rahul Sharma

Rahul Sharma | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Although it is exciting that live concerts are back, this has been a difficult year for the musician on a personal level, as his father Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, passed away in May. It took a month for him to get over the shock and he realised the only way to heal was to go back on stage. Each time he plays on stage is special now, as he connects with his father on a spiritual level. “He’s not there physically, but I can feel his presence around the santoor and my music room while I am going to perform. It's difficult, but it is only times like these that teach you to become tough, take responsibility and move on. His music lives on through me.”

While there are fan clubs of Rahul on Instagram and Facebook, he is not a big fan of social media. Terming it a big distraction, he says, “I personally do not enjoy being on it as it’s more like public space, where anybody can say anything just because they have the freedom to write whatever they want to. After a while, it puts pressure on your mind and your entire being on how to handle that aspect.” He continues, “There is life beyond a career and aspirations to fulfil ambitions,” he says and clarifies, “I am fine with people putting up stuff on my music or reaching out to me; I don’t like to be on it (social media) every day.”

Rahul Sharma

Rahul Sharma | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

But with social networks getting the maximum attention among Gen Z, does he miss out on not connecting with them? “My music is available on digital media and it is quite easy to follow a person’s music these days. Besides, I believe there should be a certain element of mystery about the person; one can't completely disclose everything.”

He leads a disciplined life with exercise, travels and is also a caricature artist. A family man, he spends time with his wife Barkha and eight-year-old son Abhinav who is learning to play the santoor from him. Is Abhinav a good student? Rahul laughs, “He learnt initially from his grandfather, but let’s see where the future lies. These days kids have academic pressure as the education system in India is a bit harsh. I wish they could just pursue their dreams but that is not kind of oriented yet. Having said that, he is interested in music and also learns.”

Banyan Tree presents Barkha Ritu featuring santoor concert by Rahul Sharma. followed by a Hindustani concert by Manjusha Patil at Taramati Baradari on October 1, 7 pm; Tickets: ₹300; bookmyshow.com

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