Anoushka Shankar, the 29-year-old sitarist, who gave birth to a baby boy on February 22 in California, near her parents’ home, reveals that she and filmmaker husband Joe Wright named him Zubin after the acclaimed music conductor, Zubin Mehta.
“We both love the name. It has several meanings in various languages, and one of them, in Hebrew, is to honour. Zubin uncle is one of my father’s dearest friends. He is a great musician and an Indian whom I have great love and respect for. So, I think it’s a great name for our son to take on,” she says. Ask her how the 74-year-old Western music maestro reacted when he came to know of this, and Anoushka says, “Zubin uncle was thrilled and called to wish us!” Currently on maternity break, the musician is planning a trip to India in December to promote her as-yet untitled solo album.
Meanwhile, her husband, Joe, whose film Hanna is slated to release in April, has also reduced his working hours. “Joe is working less, and is therefore able to be with Zubin and me a lot right now. But he is developing his next film, so, slowly he will be working more. I worked right through the pregnancy. And I don’t want to miss a moment of this time now,” says Anoushka. She admits that it’s still not sunk in that she’s had a baby. “I look at Zubin’s face and can’t believe he was inside me. Feeding him is when I feel most connected to him. It’s the most wonderful and surreal experience I’ve ever had,” she says. And whom does Zubin resemble more between Joe and her? “He seems to be a mix of both of us, and our parents. It’s still hard to tell, his features are changing so much everyday,” Anoushka exults, adding that one of the rooms at the couple’s London home will be turned into the newborn’s bedroom. “But, we have everything he needs, in our room right now. We can’t dream of putting him in another room.”
For now, both families are overjoyed. Pandit Ravi Shankar, in particular, spends a lot of time with his grandson. Anoushka says, “Dad plays with him every evening. I’ve never seen him so happy!”