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Anoushka Shankar looks back at how diverse experiences shaped her / moneycontrol

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Music icon Anoushka Shankar looks back at her incredible journey, her relationship with her parents, and how her diverse experiences shaped her as a person.

She is one of global music's biggest names, and an icon for other reasons too. From spreading joy with her music, to successfully battling substance abuse and opening up about sexual abuse, hysterectomy and depression, Anoushka Shankar is an inspiration for women the world over.

And then there is, of course, her legacy. It is no mean feat carrying the burden of being musical legend and Bharat Ratna awardee L's daughter. But over time, Anoushka has done more: The London-based mother of two has come out of the long shadow of her late father to earn widespread respect for her music and her strong views on life and career.

Which is why when she calls music a cathartic and healing experience, her words reflect the intense passion of a woman who is fiercely independent, and one who has been through intense personal struggle to reach this point.

Shankar's latest EP Love Letters further establishes Anoushka as her own woman. It highlights female friendships and is a collection of songs that Anoushka wrote in collaboration with various female artists on a raft of topics: Heartbreak, relationships, marriage and motherhood. "I wanted to include women on the technical side as well, and worked with female engineers and a mastering engineer," she notes.

It is, in a way, her contribution to the industry. "Women sadly do not have an equal playing field in life overall, so the music industry is no different," she says, adding that for systematic change across all levels of the industry, we need to have more women in positions of power to make decisions that trickle down to all areas. "I don't think gender equality is ‘sweeping in' anywhere. I think it's being fought for, by tooth and nail."