Anoushka Shankar: I am desperate to come back to India
The live music scene has opened up in many parts of the world, and even sitarist Anoushka Shankar has started her live gigs in UK, London. But, things continue to look grim in India with no clarity about when things would return to normalcy.
Talking about how the pandemic has affected the music industry in India and what’s the way forward, Shankar says, “We were fully locked down in the UK when shows and festivals were happening in India last winter. And now, as we take slow steps towards cultural events reopening, it’s still grim in India. I don’t have solutions to offer but I know artistes and smaller organisations need support to survive the catastrophic effects of the pandemic.”
The sitarist further adds, “Here, in the UK, the government simply doesn’t value the arts and the support has been woefully lacking and disproportionate, and it’s the artistes and artistic communities that suffer. The impact is going to be felt for generations.”
The 40-year-old recently released a new track titled Opening, Flowering and Drinking’ featuring her half sister, Norah Jones on the vocals. It’s part of her extended EP Love letters P.S.
Asked if she have plans to tour India with the new EP, and Shankar says, “Not at present. I can wait until travelling and touring is a viable and safe option again. And I’m desperate to come back to India.”
Other than making music, the musician shares that “kids and their home school” kept her busy. She also emphasises on the challenges she faced while explaining the situation to her sons — Zubin, 10 and Mohan, 6.
“They’re old enough to understand, but it’s certainly been quite an experience going through this with them. There have been difficult moments but they’re resilient and incredibly adaptable. When things get tough, we’re quick to discuss how fortunate we are and how badly others have been suffering,” she ends.