Radhika Backliwal Narain the daughter and disciple of the legendary ‘Queen of Sarod’ Sharan Rani and Sultan Singh Backliwal recently commemorated the 90th Birth Anniversary of her mother and guru at IIC, New Delhi with a musical evening that recalled her mother’s genius. For those that came several generations after Sharan Rani’s time—she was bestowed with the title “Cultural Ambassador of India” by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru along with the likes of Shambhu Maharaj, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Rukmani Devi Arundale, Prithviraj Kapoor, Ustad Allauddin Khan Yehudi Menuhim among those who admired her musical genius.
The evening was an emotional one with a live performance by Grammy award winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt who was also presented the 7th Annual Sharan Rani Samman for Lifetime Achievement in music by the Sharan Rani Foundation. A short film, ‘Sharan Rani The Divine Sarod Player’ scripted and directed by Radhika was also screened.
Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt’s scintillating recital on Mohan Veena accompanied by Salil Bhatt on Satvik Veena had everyone including Chief Guest Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant delighted. It was indeed a fitting tribute to a musical genius by a daughter who shares a common passion and love for music. The discerning audience included Sufi kathak exponent Manjari Chaturvedi, art collector and philanthropist Sultan Singh Bakliwal, dancer Sharon Lowen, Dr Cyrus Shroff, art curator Alka Raghuvanshi and economist Ashok Desai.
As Radhika puts it, “This was an evening to acknowledge Guru Sharan Rani’s pioneering achievements and her timeless musical legacy. It is a small gesture to remember her as she would have wished to be remembered. I am blessed to be her daughter. She was an iconic trailblazer who was among the few most distinguished musicians of the 20th century, besides being the first and foremost woman instrumentalist of India.”