Pankaj Udhas Death: Ghazal maestro’s last rites to be held today at Hindu Crematorium in Worli


The world of Indian music experienced a profound loss with the passing of Pankaj Udhas, the renowned ghazal singer who died on February 26 after a prolonged illness at the age of 72. Pankaj Udhas’ legacy will be honored with his last rites to take place today at the Hindu Crematorium in Worli, Mumbai, as shared by his daughter Nayaab on Instagram. The ceremony will be held between 3 pm and 5 pm, allowing friends, family, and admirers to bid their final farewell.

Udhas, an icon in the world of ghazals, touched countless hearts with his soulful voice and evocative lyrics. His music transcended boundaries and resonated with people of all ages. His talent garnered praise at the highest national levels, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing deep sorrow over his passing. Modi remembered Udhas Ji for his profound contribution to Indian music and the deep emotions his singing evoked. Through his social media, Modi reflected on his interactions with the late singer and conveyed condolences to the family.

Born into a family with rich musical traditions on May 17, 1951, in Jetpur, Gujarat, Pankaj Udhas was the youngest among his brothers. His passion for music followed the path of his elder brother Manhar Udhas, a Bollywood playback singer, while his second brother Nirmal Udhas also earned acclaim as a ghazal singer. Pankaj Udhas’ journey into the world of music saw him inadvertently become an ambassador of the ghazal genre to a global audience.

His first major breakthrough came with the release of his solo ghazal album ‘Aahat’ in 1980, which won him critical acclaim. Subsequent hits would follow, including ‘Mukarar’ in 1981, ‘Tarrannum’ in 1982, and ‘Mehfil’ in 1983, establishing him as a maestro in the field. However, it was the film ‘Naam’ in 1986 that catapulted his fame to new heights as his track ‘Chitthi Aayee Hai’ became an international success and was later recognized as one of the 100 songs of the millennium by BBC Radio.

Udhas’s silky voice was not confined to ghazals alone; he lent his vocals to numerous film scores. Memorable works include songs from ‘Saath Saath’, ‘Utsav’, and ‘Prem Pratigyaa’. His collaborations spanned celebrated artists like Jagjit Singh, Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, and Anup Jalota. His notable duet with Lata Mangeshkar, ‘Mahiya Teri Kasam’ in the film ‘Ghayal,’ and the solo track ‘Chandi Jaisa Rang hai tera, sone jaise bal’ remain evergreen favorites.

The 1994 song ‘Na Kajre Ki Dhar’ from ‘Mohra’, sung alongside Sadhana Sargam, is another testament to his ever-lasting impact on Indian cinema. His voice continued to grace films like ‘Saajan’, ‘Yeh Dillagi’, and ‘Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad Aayee’, thus leaving an indelible mark on the film industry. The hallmark of his illustrious career was his receipt of the Padma Shri in 2006, one of India’s highest civilian honors.

Pankaj Udhas’s journey as an artist was characterized by continual innovation and the ability to strike a chord with the audience through his music. His demise creates an irreplaceable void in the Indian music scene, but his legacy will continue to live on through his songs, which will be admired by generations to come.

The music industry and fans across the globe mourn the loss of such a legendary figure, whose voice and artistry brought serenity and joy to many. As hundreds will gather at Worli to pay their respects, the echoes of Pankaj Udhas’s melodies will linger in the air as a fitting tribute to the ghazal legend.

(With inputs from ANI)

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