‘Success didn’t change Pankaj Udhas when he was a ghazal superstar’, says Kavita Krishnamurti | Exclusive 

26 February,2024 07:05 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  Oshin Fernandes

Singer Kavita Krishnamurti, who collaborated with Pankaj Udhas recalled her memories with the renowned ghazal superstar.

Kavita Krishnamurti, Pankaj Udhas Pic/Instagram

Pankaj Udhas, the melodious voice behind the iconic song ‘Chitthi Aayee Hai' breathed his last on Monday after prolonged illness. He was 72. Over the years, he collaborated with several artists, one of them being singer Kavita Krishnamurti. The two have sung duets such as 'Aankh Mere Yaar Ki Dukhe' (Ek Hi Raasta), the title song of 'Mohabbaton Kaa Safar Hai', and 'Bareyada Mounada Kavite' (Sparsha).

In an exclusive interaction with mid-day.com, Kavita shared, "Pankaj Udhasji was the sweetest and the nicest person in the music industry. One of the finest singers, his song ‘Chitthi Aayee Hai', makes every Indian emotional. He had a very beautiful voice. I have known him from my St Xaviers Sangeet Mandal days. I will miss his smiling face and courteous ways. Success didn't change him, especially when he was a superstar in the ghazal field, and he met all his old friends the same way."

Pankaj's daughter Nayaab shared the heartbreaking news on Instagram. The statement read, "With a very heavy heart, we are saddened to inform you of the sad demise of Padmashri Pankaj Udhas on 26th February 2024 due to a prolonged illness."

Ghazal singer Talat Aziz who bid farewell to his friend Pankaj in an emotional post on Instagram said, "I knew he was unwell for the past couple of days. He was very serious. I am not aware of the exact cause. However, it is the end of an era with Pankaj passing away. Lots of memories. We started our career together, did a lot of concerts, and spent a lot of time being friends. I couldn't meet him recently due to his ill health. I pray that his soul rest in peace. It has been shocking for us, especially me and Anup (Jalota). I am at a loss of words."

Singer Hariharan added, "Very shocking news. A great loss for his family, and the music fraternity. He's been a friend, a brother all these years. We've known each other for about 40-45 years. We knew that he was not well. Pankaj bhai was gentle, and a good person, he had a great sense of humour, enjoyed life, was very well-spoken, and very courteous. God bless his soul."

Pankaj rose to fame with his solo ghazal album 'Aahat' in 1980. He went on to record scores of hits like Mukarar in 1981, Tarrannum in 1982, and Mehfil in 1983. On the Bollywood front, he has delivered evergreen tracks like 'Chitthi Aayi Hai' (Naam), 'Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata' (Baazigar), 'Mahiya Teri Kasam' (Ghayal), and 'Na Kajre Ki Dhar' (Mohra) among others.

While he won several accolades throughout his career, in 2006, Pankaj Udhas was awarded with the Padma Shri.

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