“Pankaj Udhas passes away at 72: Remembering the Legacy of a Ghazal Maestro”

Pankaj Udhas

Renowned ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas, who won everyone’s hearts with his soulful renditions, passed away on Monday in Mumbai due to a prolonged illness. His age was seventy-two. Udhas’ distinctive approach captivated audiences for decades. The Udhas family confirmed his demise attributing it to a long illness.

Statement from the Udhas family

Pankaj Udhas’ daughter Nayaab shared a statement on Instagram on Monday, informing about the sad demise of Padma Shri Pankaj Udhas due to a prolonged illness on 26th February 2024.
Following Nayaab’s announcement of the singer’s passing, fans showered the comment section with feelings of sorrow and sympathy. A admirer penned, “May his soul rest in peace.” Someone else added, “I am deeply saddened to hear about your loss, stay strong, and please accept my condolences.” “Heartfelt condolences and prayers,” wrote another user.

PM Modi’s Condolences

A family source revealed that he passed away around 11 a.m. at Breach Candy Hospital. His last rites will take place on Tuesday. Pankaj is survived by his wife Farida Udhas, daughters Nayaab and Reva Udhas, and brothers Nirmal and Manhar Udhas, who are also singers.

Pankaj Udhas’ Career

Pankaj Udhas rose to fame with iconic songs like “Chitthi Aayi” from Mahesh Bhatt’s 1986 crime thriller “Naam,” “Chandi Jaisa Rang Hai” from Praveen Bhatt’s 1998 film “Ek Hi Maqsad,” and “Ae Ajnabi” from Firoz Khan’s 1988 action thriller “Dayavan.” He was known for lending his voice to unforgettable tracks like “Jeeye To Jeeye Kaise” from Lawrence D’Souza’s 1991 romantic film “Saajan” and “Chhupana Bhi Nahin Aata” from Abbas-Mustan’s 1993 revenge thriller “Baazigar.”

His ghazal career boasted of albums like “Aahat” (1980) and tracks like “Na Kajre Ki Dhaar,” “Aahista,” “Thodi Thodi Piya Karo,” among others, which became immensely popular.

Pankaj Udhas in an Interview

In an interview, Pankaj openly talked about returning to the stage after a hiatus. He said, “Before the pandemic, I used to feel very confident before any musical event. However, the pandemic phase was psychologically challenging as well. Despite maintaining my practice regularly and trying to keep it going and not losing the battle, there was a lack of interaction with the stage and the audience.

So when I returned to the stage with a musical event in Ramapur (Uttar Pradesh) after two years, I was genuinely overwhelmed. However, as I stepped onto the stage and witnessed 6,000 individuals erupting into applause for me, a wave of emotion overwhelmed me, causing tears to brim in my eyes. It was a very emotional moment because I had been deprived of the stage for so long.”

Pankaj Udhas’ Songs: 5 Memorable Melodies of the Legendary Ghazal Singer

Chitthi Aayi

When it comes to iconic melodies associated with Pankaj Udhas, none quite captures the essence like this timeless tune from the 1986 movie “Naam,” featuring the stellar performance of Sanjay Dutt. The vocalist masterfully captures the passing of time and the importance of connection with her melodic voice. The lyrics particularly remind us poignantly that whenever there’s a divine call, it cannot be ignored.

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Chandi Jaisa Rang Hai Tera

Only Pankaj Udhas’s vocals can still evoke the specific emotion of first love, filled with innocence and longing, how it fills the world with a dream-like wonder. ‘Jis Raste Se Guzre Tu Wo/ Phoolon Se Bhar Jaye’ is certainly the most appropriate line that comes to mind in this sad moment of his demise.

Na Kajre Ki Dhaar

A playful song about the innocence of love, “Na Kajre Ki Dhaar” still feels memorable and fresh upon first listen. This track may be found on the wildly popular album “Mohra,” which also included Suniel Shetty and Poonam Jhawer.

Thodi Thodi Piya Karo

A lesser-known gem in Pankaj Udhas’s repertoire, “Thodi Thodi Udasi” is a beautiful presentation on melancholy and longing. It’s a song that’s been around for decades and is all the more moving because of its eternal understanding of empathy and love. The singer’s voice is as rich and complex as ever on this song.


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