I always considered him my guru, and his school of music has inspired so many of us. Right from the 1970s, he was instrumental in popularising the Ghazal genre. I was very closely associated with him and his demise has saddened me to a great extent. He was a wonderful person.
He came to Delhi in 2005 for his treatment. That time I had a word with his son and I invited both of them for my birthday celebrations in Mumbai. He was so spirited that even though he was not completely well that time, he visited me on my birthday and stayed in Mumbai for 10 days. He was an amazing human being.
Everyone knows of his talent. He was an inspiration. Such brilliant and legendary singers are not born everyday. It was not only a pleasure listening to his music but he was someone who contributed so much to the industry. I was supposed to meet him last year, when I went to Karachi for a concert. But because of a few security hassles, I couldn’t meet him. We will all miss him.