John Abraham Sameera Reddy – actors who began their careers with Pankaj Udhas songs

Pankaj Udhas, the legendary ghazal singer whose mellifluous voice charmed the hearts of millions, has passed away. In a poignant reminder of his far-reaching influence, actors John Abraham and Sameera Reddy, stars from the world of Bollywood, begin a journey down memory lane to honor the icon who played a pivotal role in their early careers through his hit music videos ‘Chupke Chupke’ and ‘Aur Ahista’.

The two videos, featuring the aspiring actors before their cinematic fame, now stand as a testament to Udhas’s impact on the entertainment industry. Abraham, who has become a household name in Indian cinema, fondly recalled the opportunity to appear in ‘Chupke Chupke’, the song that introduced him to the glitz and glamour of acting. The video portrayed him as a dashing biker captivated by a woman’s charm, with Udhas himself also making an appearance, immersing viewers in the essence of his soul-stirring ghazal.

“I look up to him as a mentor,” expressed Abraham at an event where he had the fortune to share the stage with Udhas. The concert, which saw the late singer perform ghazals by celebrated Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, reinforced Abraham’s reverence for the maestro. He continued to praise Udhas, “With ‘Chupke Chupke’, he is the one man who is more than responsible for my success.” Indeed, it was this very platform that shone the spotlight on John Abraham, setting him on the path to becoming a beloved action star.

On the other side, actress Sameera Reddy’s entrée into the spotlight was through the enchanting music video ‘Aur Ahista’, which showed her as a shy Indian girl in the midst of a bittersweet romance. The video’s backdrop, the stunning locales of Australia, added a layer of visual poetry to the heartbreaking narrative. The enchanting ghazal played a vital role in Sameera’s life, marking her transition from a marketing manager at Omega to an actress in demand.

In a heartfelt interview with HT Brunch years prior, Sameera reflected on her decision to act in the music video – a choice purely motivated by her desire to travel to Australia. Unbeknownst to her, it was a career-defining move that led her to earn significant recognition in the Indian film industry. “After coming back, I was flooded with movie offers,” she disclosed.

In the aftermath of Pankaj Udhas’s death, the Indian music and film fraternities find themselves reminiscing about the magical era when ghazals reigned supreme in the realm of Indi-pop. It was a time when Udhas, with his silken voice and heartfelt renditions, brought the traditional South Asian music genre into the mainstream, securing an everlasting place in the pantheon of Indian musical greats.

It’s hard to forget hits like ‘Chandi Jaisa Rang’ and ‘Aur Ahista’, which not only reverberated across the airwaves but also sowed the seeds for future stardom for talents like Abraham and Sameera. On Monday, as tributes began pouring in, Sameera shared a clip from ‘Aur Ahista’ online, a small but profound gesture commemorating the man whose music once served as the soundtrack to her life’s turning point.

The stories of John Abraham and Sameera Reddy are but two among the many that Pankaj Udhas’s enchanting ghazals have shaped. Yet, they stand as strong reminders of the maestro’s enduring legacy—a legacy of timeless melodies that will continue to resonate for generations, an ode to heartfelt expression in music, and the nurturing of young talent destined for greatness. As these stars continue to shine brightly in the firmament of Bollywood, they will always hold a note of gratitude for the ghazal singer who cast them in his lyrical dreams, paving their way to the stars.

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