Renowned Ghazal Singer Pankaj Udhas Passes Away at 72
Renowned Ghazal Singer Pankaj Udhas Passes Away at 72

Renowned ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas passed away today at the age of 72. His daughter Nayab confirmed the news on social media. Udhas had been unwell for several days. He gained immense popularity with his rendition of the famous ghazal "Chitthi Aayi Hai."

Pankaj Udhas was born on May 17, 1951, in Jetpur, Gujarat. He was the youngest of three brothers in his family, who hailed from Charkhadia, a town near Rajkot. His family had a background in music, with his father being a government employee who had a keen interest in playing the israj, and his mother having a deep love for songs. This familial influence steered Pankaj Udhas and his brothers towards the world of music from an early age.

Udhas never imagined pursuing a career in singing. However, during the India-China war, Lata Mangeshkar's song "Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon" was released, which deeply moved him. He learned the song on his own and impressed his school principal, eventually becoming the head of the school prayer team.

His journey into the world of music continued as he received formal training from the Sangeet Academy in Rajkot. Despite facing challenges and setbacks, including a failed attempt at Bollywood, Udhas persisted in his pursuit of a musical career. His perseverance paid off when he gained popularity abroad for his ghazal performances.

Notably, his rendition of "Chitthi Aayi Hai" became a milestone in his career. The song, edited by Dev Anand, touched the hearts of many, including actor Raj Kapoor, who was moved to tears upon hearing it.

Udhas's love for ghazals grew over time, leading him to learn Urdu. Once, during a performance, he faced a threatening situation when an audience member demanded he sing a particular ghazal. Despite the coercion, Udhas refused until the situation was diffused.

In his personal life, Udhas faced challenges when he chose to marry Farida, a Muslim woman. Though initially hesitant, his family eventually accepted the marriage, and the couple went on to have two daughters, Nayab and Reva.

Pankaj Udhas's legacy as a ghazal maestro will continue to resonate with music lovers around the world.

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