Eminent santoor player Pandit Shivkumar Sharma was cremated with full state honors in the presence of family and friends on Wednesday. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma died of a heart attack on Tuesday at the age of 83 at his Pali Hill residence.

Sharma is credited with the worldwide recognition of the Santoor, a popular instrument from Jammu and Kashmir. His body was kept in Juhu by the public to pay homage. There he was awarded an “Honor Guard”. After this, he was cremated at the Pawan Hans de Vile Parle burial site. Pandit Shivkumar Sharma’s wife Manorama and her sons Rahul and Rohit, friends, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia and tabla player Zakir Hussain were present for the occasion. The mortal remains of the late musician were lit by his sons followed by a gun salute.

Earlier today, Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shabana Azmi, lyricist Javed Akhtar, Jatin-Lalit, and singer Ila Arun, among others, paid tribute to Sharma at the Abhijeet Cooperative Society.

Javed Akhtar told reporters that Santoor’s name will always be synonymous with Sharma’s name. He said, “Every time a great personality dies, some things are said like ‘There will be no one like him,’ ‘Now there is a void that no one can fill.’ But in the case of Shiva ji, this is not just a saying but it is true. When a musician learns to play an instrument and plays it in a way that no one else can play, he becomes a master, but when Shiva ji played the santoor, that instrument earned the respect of the whole world.

Akhtar said, “In the future, whenever Santoor’s name is taken after 100 years or a thousand years, it will be incomplete without Shivkumar Sharma. Shivakumar’s relationship to Santoor is the same as Einstein’s relationship to modern science.

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