> My dear family,
> I have very sad news to share, my mureed, the very glorious Indian
> Classical vocalist, Shanti Sharma, passed away yesterday. We
> will miss her friendship, beauty and sophistication, her beautiful
> I request that any of you who feel called, please join me in using YA
> SALAAM and/or OM NAMAH SHIVAYA in sending her peace and safety and
> support on this next part of her journey. She leaves behind her 17
> year old son, Bhanu, and husband Dinesh, and all of her friends both
> in India and in our family, to whom we also send our prayers and
> support to.
oh how sad to hear! Somehow I was able to pick her up at the
airport, and had the great pleasure of her holding her teaching
retreat at my home…. one only expected to have time with her again
and again in this lifetime…. tears are flowing….. what pain must
have caused this….
This is sad news indeed. My heart is full of emotion, sadness and
beauty mixed together, as I believe Shanti’s heart was. I am
heartbroken. She was my friend, my music teacher.
I first met her at a house concert at La Sagrita in New Delhi. I was
mesmerized by her art, her deep feeling, and her beautiful voice.
After a few years, she shared some of her deep feelings of life with me.
She allowed me to be present when she took Bayat with Shabda, the late
afternoon Indian sun angling across the Dargah of Inayat Khan- the
sound of birds mingling with the sounds of children of the basti in
She gently corrected me when I made a cultural gaff, or sang a note
wrong. She showed me her wit, her sharp insights into life and into
She trusted me when I took her into the wilderness of New Mexico, so
different from her home in Delhi! She wanted to leave the first
night, but agreed to stay at least that first night. Each day was a
challenge, but she stayed, even after finding the foot long lizard in
her small bedroom. She opened up so beautifully to our sufi family on
that visit, and also to my own family, my daughters and my wife.
One evening, she looked up at the night sky in that remote place, and
she was like a child in wonder at the millions of stars overhead.
That same innocent wonder appeared again as we watched sunset over the
Grand Canyon, and as she first bit into chocolate cake.
She invited me to sing with her during her concert in Prescott, and
who could refuse that? We sang back and forth, a musical
conversation; I, a child, she, the kind and wise teacher.
I offer all these memories in gratitude for the time and life we
shared together, all too brief, yet a priceless gift, nevertheless.
When Shanti was at the Southwest Sufi Community, she wanted to offer a
gift to her new-found sufi brothers and sisters. She rather prided
herself on English translations of Urdu, so she stayed up late at
night, with the single bulb burning in her room, silence all around,
and translated some verses of Mirza Ghalib, the Urdu Poetry Master of
late 19th century Delhi. I pass this gift along
There’s a whirlpool in each wave-
crocodiles with jaws open in each;
let us see the changes to the drop
by the time it turns into a pearl.
It takes a lifetime for a sigh to communicate,
and who lives long enough to caress the length
of the Beloved’s Locks?
Who can say how long the Beloved’s hair is?
It’s only a heart, not a stone or a brick-
Why should it not overflow with pain?
I will weep a thousand times-
Why should anyone trouble me about it?
When the Brilliant Beautiful One,
like the dazzling Sun at mid-day,
is Himself the One who sheds light,
Why should He hide His face behind a veil?
Not a Mosque, or a Temple,
Not a Shrine, nor a Holy Place
It’s the roadside I sit by-
Why would anyone drive me away?
Even without the broken-hearted Ghalib,
The work of the world, does it stop?
Why weep in torrents?
Why lament on and on?
The drop finds its bliss
being annihilated in the Ocean,
pain becomes a cure
I went to school in Shanti’s class in kendriya vidhylaya golconda in 1972. where her rendering of mere watanke logon still rings in my ear. It’s today after so many years that i sat down to do a search on Shanti, and I read that she has passed away in 2008.She does and will live in my memory forever. I know that she is still with us in spirit.
I was so shocked, speechless and writing less upon hearing the news of Shanti Sharma’s passing, that it has taken some time for me to react.
Her teachings of Raga and other sacred song added a surprise dimension to my experience of the Sufi Retreat of the 1st-2nd week of August 2007. I was then touched and am now touched by the sense of depth of community and the sense of sacredness during that event that lasts until today.
I hereby pledge to continue my support by whatever means possible of Sufi Chant, Practices and Dance/Zikr. Dedicate this appreciation of Shanti Sharma to the SSC land by Bear Creek and pray for its protection during this time of conflagration.
We were looking for a Teacher of Indian Classical Music for our 21 subject Seminar “The India Story”. A friend introduced Shanti to us stating firmly she was the best choice.
The first Seminar was for the Tatas, India’s largest and most respected business house. The participants were very senior executives. The Programme had exceptionally brilliant Faculty, leaders in their fields. Leela Samson did a 3 hour session on Indian Dance and she was out of this world. Shanti sat quietly watched and applauded shyly. Her body language right through was very withdrawn, introverted, shy, almost defeatist. My wife and me were worried. How would she control the event ? Could she hold the interest of a very intellectually discerning but musically lay audience?
The next evening she went to the stage having the same apologetic body posture. But that changed from the moment she began her Workshop with a Performance following. Here was a Tigress with Passion, Talent, Humour, Erudtion and Glamour !
Her Session was voted as the Best out of the 21 subjects covered. Participants began buying Indian Classical Music CDs after the seminar.
We became good friends thereafter.
We were humbled by her Talent, her Sweet Nature and her Smile.
We Miss Her Very Very Much. May She be in Peace.
Gautam & Sushweta
The India Foundation
If only i can bring one fractional hundredth of the beauty she brought into the world, it will be a life well lived. What a blessing to have met her, heard her sing, and taken lessons from her. What a sorrow to learn of her untimely passing. My guru says that to be a true spiritual warrior one must first become heartbroken. I begin to understand. I bow in gratitude and tears fall to my feet. What a world, what a voice, what a mystery, what a sorrow. Blessings to all. Peace, love, courage, and song.
My heart was touched, broken, and enriched by Srimati more than any words could say. From among so many memories from the brief week I spent with her in the summer of 2007, I will share this: In one of her afternoon raga classes at Southwest Sufi Camp, we witnessed her demonstration of mastery of raga as she manipulated the rain falling around the farmhouse by singing her taans, twice within the span of about one minute I will never forget. A true master does not die. ? ?????? ?????? ???????
OM Shanti, Shanti, Shantihee
I am a member of Shanti’s immediate family – her older sister. When I read all the memories of this community, I can’t stop tears rolling down my face. After all these years there is a strong aching feeling that when she needed help neither I nor any other dear one was near her.
May her spirit rest in peace for ever and forgive me for failing her.
I was looking at these messages and wanted to share a memory and also speak privately about Shanti and her sad and untimely demise. I’ve met her only once at her residence in DLF-I with one of her friends. If this message goes through to Geetha or Bhanu, please do get in touch with me.