Salim Merchant mourns the loss of the late Pankaj Udhas says ‘lost a great artist and an even greater human being’


The world of music has lost one of its finest maestros, Pankaj Udhas, a name synonymous with ghazals and heart-touching melodies, who passed away at the age of 72 due to a lengthy illness. His legacy permeates through generations who found solace in his profound lyrics and soul-stirring voice.

Photograph courtesy of IMDb captures the essence of the esteemed artist whose voice transcended the boundaries of mere entertainment, touching the core of listeners’ hearts worldwide. Salim Merchant, an acclaimed singer-composer, was among the scores of admirers and colleagues who were quick to express their deep sorrow over the ghazal virtuoso’s death.

Reflecting on Udhas’s illustrious career and the impact he made, Salim Merchant praised the late singer for his enduring contributions to the music industry. “He entertained us for many years and boosted and enriched our industry through his evergreen ghazals and other songs. He spread the message of love and oneness through his songs,” Merchant stated, conveying the collective grief of the community to ANI on Monday.

The shock of Udhas’s departure resonated personally with Merchant, who professed to being in disbelief upon hearing the disturbing news. “I still can’t believe he is no more. The word of his passing made me speechless. He has left a massive void in the music industry. We have lost a great artiste and an even greater human being,” Merchant lamented, underscoring the monumental loss felt across the nation.

Pankaj Udhas’s influence on Indian music is profound, with a career adorned by accolades including the prestigious Padma Shri, the country’s fourth-highest civilian honor. His daughter, Nayaab Udhas, took to Instagram to share the heart-wrenching announcement of her father’s demise, leaving a discernible imprint on his multitude of fans who flooded the post with messages of condolences and emotional tributes.

Born on May 17, 1951, in Jetpur, Gujarat, Udhas’s journey in music spanned decades, producing ghazal albums that became landmarks in Indian music history. Albums like ‘Aahat’ in 1980 garnered him wide acclaim and set a precedent for subsequent works such as ‘Mukarar’ in 1981, ‘Tarrannum’ in 1982, and ‘Mehfil’ in 1983, each etching its mark as a timeless classic.

Pankaj Udhas will eternally be remembered for his iconic ghazals such as ‘Chitthi Aayi Hai’, ‘Na Kajre Ki Dhaar’, and ‘Aur Ahista Kijiye Baatein’, songs that have enchanted generations and have become part of the cultural fabric. His illustrious vocals were not confined solely to albums, as he also lent his voice to hauntingly beautiful tracks used in motion pictures, further broadening the reach of his musical genius.

The loss of such a towering figure in the domain of ghazals and Indian music has left his fans and contemporaries in shock. The music industry collectively mourns, recognizing that his voice and the emotional resonance of his songs will continue to live on through the legacy he leaves behind.

As the music fraternity comes to terms with Pankaj Udhas’s demise, it becomes evident that while his physical presence has been extinguished, the melodies he crafted, which have become anthems of love and longing, will resonate perpetually. The maestro may have taken his final bow, but his songs shall serenade the winds, and his spirit will continue to captivate the hearts and souls of music lovers for eras to come.

(With heartfelt contributions from ANI)

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