Make this your homepage
Home > Entertainment
Pankaj Udhas was beyond a ghazal singer merely 'intoxicating' the world
Pankaj Udhas was beyond a ghazal singer merely 'intoxicating' the world

New Delhi, Feb 26 : His career is a testament to the pervasive appeal of ghazal, for Pankaj Udhas, among the foremost who brought the perceived elitist genre of music into the popular sphere, hailed well beyond its prime catchment area, but mastered the form with dedication and performed it with panache.

Pankaj Udhas, who passed away on Monday aged 72, is usually - and erroneously - seen as a purveyor of the ghazal's "maikhana" tradition. 

This is chiefly due to his famous renditions of "Mujhko yaaron muaaf karna, main nashe mein hoon", "Thodi thodi piya karo","Sharab cheez hi aisi", "Ek taraf us ka ghai ek taraf maikada", "Sabko maloom hai main sharabi nahi" and several other vintage melodies, but there was more range to his velvet-rounded voice.  Recall the ebullient "Chandi jaisa rang hain tera", the pensive "Kabhi saaya hai kabhi dhoop" or "Aap jinke kareeb hote hai", the lightly mournful "Deewaron se milkar rona acha lagta hai", "Niklo na benaqaab", and "Aaiye baarishon ka mausam hain". 

And there is the especially heart-tugging "Chitthi aai hai" from Mahesh Bhatt's "Naam" (1986) where he appeared onscreen himself - and made himself one of the most identifiable ghazal singers.  Born in Gujarat's Jetpur (Rajkot) in May 1951 in a landed family as the youngest of three brothers, Pankaj Udhas was no stranger to music. 

Not only had his eldest brother Manhar Udhas become a moderately successful Hindi film playback singer, the second, Nirmal Udhas, was also a well-known ghazal singer, and in fact, was the first of them to start singing in the family.

In fact, their father Keshubhai Udhas, a government servant, had once met renowned veena player Abdul Karim Khan, who taught him to play the dilruba.  Seeing his father play the dilruba/esraj - which incidentally was the instrument on which famed Hindi music composer Roshan (the grandfather of Hrithik) had prowess - kindled the interest of Pankaj Udhas in music and it grew so ingrained in all the siblings that the father enrolled them at the Sangeet Academy in Rajkot, in addition to their usual studies.

Add your Comment
Comments (0)

Special Articles

Sanjay Majumder Sanjay Majumder
Anirban Mitra Anirban Mitra