It’s not an easy task to be the daughter of a legendary figure like Pt Ravi Shankar, and yet not have a million eyes tracing your career. Sitarist Anoushka Shankar’s life too was no different. Ask her if the pressure to excel chased her since her childhood, and the 32-year-old, who was at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2013, says, “My debut concert was when I was 13, and the next day every newspaper carried that picture. So that might seem like a lovely thing, but even as a kid I was always acutely aware of these eyes on me. So that is a lot of pressure to go through. “
Anoushka Shankar, sitarist and composer and Khushbu Political leader and actor (L) speak at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. (HT Photo/Mohd Zakir)
Talking about dad, Anoushka, who started taking music lessons from him almost as a toddler, says, “Dad was strict as a musician and pampering as a father. We had some delineations within our relationship. But ya, as a guru he was very strict. But that wasn’t about him wanting to prove myself. In fact for both my parents, it was about playing for myself… if it made me happy, then they wanted to help support me.”
A multi-tasking mum to a two-and-a-half-year-old son, ask Anoushka, who’s currently touring India with her Traces of You concert, if she would ever want to relocate here, and she takes you by surprise. “India’s always been a second home for me. It’s always been somewhere, where I have come every year, my parents always had a house here. I went to school for several years as a kid. In between due to my hectic schedules, I couldn’t come as often but now, having a child, who’s half English, half Indian, it’s very important for me to continue to keep India be a central part of his life so it’s likely that we’ll relocate here at some point in my life,” signs off the the youngest ever Grammy nominee.