Anoushka Shankar I REMEMBER…
Reader's Digest UK|June 2021
Anoushka Shankar (39) is a seven-time Grammy Award-nominated British-Indian sitarist, composer and producer who has worked with everyone from Lenny Kravitz to Herbie Hancock. She is the daughter of the legendary sitar virtuoso, Ravi Shankar
Eva Mackevic

A CHILDHOOD SPENT BETWEEN LONDON AND DELHI. Before I was seven, I lived in Willesden Green with my mum and I went to a state school around the corner from our home. I have a lot of memories of spending time in the bank where my mum worked. They were really lovely with her. She used to be able to bring me with her, and they’d all sort of watch me in the back and let me play until she finished work. My parents got married when I was seven, and that’s when my dad moved in with us, and we simultaneously moved in with him in Delhi.

MY GRANDMOTHER PASSED AWAY WHEN I WAS 16. I was really close to her as a kid but then didn’t get an adulthood with her. She was a really wise and wonderful woman who was an amazing singer. She would visit us in London and I have lots of memories of singing with her in the mornings before I’d go to school. It was just beautiful Tamil Indian songs from the South Indian classical tradition. She was really knowledgeable about music.

I HAD A BIT OF AN OCD TENDENCY WITH NUMBERS. I was obsessed with numbers that I later realised were part of the binary code. I just loved even numbers like two, and then four, and then if four was great, eight would be better, and then if eight was good, sixteen would be better. I used to walk around saying these numbers up to the thousands. But the problem was that I used to then start walking and chewing in those numbers, so it got pretty mental. I had to wean myself off it because you couldn’t walk in 16-beat cycles without being really weird. A lot of it I still do subconsciously, to be honest. I still prefer to chew or walk in even numbers, but it’s not something that takes up space in my brain anymore.

THE MOMENT MY FIRST SITAR CAME HOME I was about seven. Kids’ sitars are not so common; you have to ask for them to get made. So, my dad had asked for one to be made for me at about half the size of a normal sitar. I remember seeing it for the first time and feeling excited and nervous because suddenly the concept that I might start to play was a bit more real. It was like, “Oh, here it is. Now we start.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM READER'S DIGEST UKView All

‘CONTROL FREAK'

‘Control Freak’ is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon.co.uk, paperback available from Waterstones, W.H. Smith, Foyles.co.uk, Brownsbfs.co.uk or directly from Pegasuspublishers.com from £8.99.

1 min read
Reader's Digest UK
June 2021

Where The World Is Your Oyster

Prince Edward Island serves up rural charm and a seafood feast that doesn’t end

10 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
June 2021

Sigourney Weaver - “It's One Of The Greatest Times To Be In The World”

Sigourney Weaver - “It’s One Of The Greatest Times To Be In The World”

7 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
June 2021

My Britain: Glasgow

“Glasgow is a wonderful city — warm and funny and full of kindness” - Author Gail Honeyman

5 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
June 2021

Falling In Love, By The Book

Where do bibliophiles exchange sweet nothings?

5 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
June 2021

Character Studies

In lockdown, Mum and I were able to move past our clashing personalities and connect

6 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
June 2021

SEXUAL BEREAVEMENT: THE GRIEF WE DON'T TALK ABOUT

We’re getting better at acknowledging that sex in later life is important, but grieving physical intimacy when a partner dies is rarely discussed

6 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
June 2021

BEATING BLADDER CANCER

The key is early detection— and that’s up to you

7 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
June 2021

Mid-Life-What?

As he approaches middle age, Olly Mann ponders the randomness of life, ageing and sports cars

4 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
June 2021

Anoushka Shankar I REMEMBER…

Anoushka Shankar (39) is a seven-time Grammy Award-nominated British-Indian sitarist, composer and producer who has worked with everyone from Lenny Kravitz to Herbie Hancock. She is the daughter of the legendary sitar virtuoso, Ravi Shankar

7 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
June 2021
RELATED STORIES

New York City Made the Office

And the office, in turn, made modern New York.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
April 26 - May 9, 2021

Brawl Games

Kingpins and wannabes barrel through the London underworld.

5 mins read
New York magazine
April 12-25, 2021

Back on the Road

We all know travel can be a pain, but when it hits below the belt you need to know there’s something you can do about it

3 mins read
Business Traveler
April/May 2021

GET YOUR FRONT ROW SEAT TO VIRTUAL FASHION SHOWS

It’s hard to remember now, but it was during the fall ready-to-wear shows last February that the fashion world first became aware of the coronavirus, even before it had been declared a global pandemic.

5 mins read
MODEL WORLD MAGAZINE
March - April 2021

AMAZON OPENS FIRST UK CHECKOUT-FREE GROCERY STORE IN LONDON

Amazon has opened a cashier-free supermarket in London, its first bricks and mortar expansion outside the U.S. as the company bets on strong demand for its contactless shops.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #488

Extremely Online and Wildly Out of Control

Patricia Lockwood’s debut novel explores the mind, and heart, of an internet-addled protagonist.

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
March 2021

The Birds of Kanha

RAJESH MENON is a photographer from Delhi, who specializes in images from nature. Here he shares some of the beautiful birds of Kanha Shanti Vanam, the 1300 acre property outside Hyderabad, India, that is the international headquarters of the Heartfulness Institute. It is also a green sanctuary.

2 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
February 2021

LONDON TEA PARTY

HOW JOE BONAMASSA DECAMPED TO ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS WITH BERNIE MARSDEN AND FORMER CREAM LYRICIST PETE BROWN TO WRITE AND RECORD ROYAL TEA, AN ALBUM THAT’S BURSTING WITH THAT BRITISH BLUES BOOM

7 mins read
Guitar World
January 2021

UBER GETS 18-MONTH LONDON LICENSE AFTER WINNING COURT APPEAL

Uber can keep operating in London for another year and a half after winning its appeal of a decision by the British capital’s transit regulator not to renew its license.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #466

DEPP'S NEW FLICK ANOTHER DUD!

He’s no longer a sure thing at the box office, sources dished

1 min read
National Enquirer
September 07, 2020