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    pankaj udhas: the journey of a ghazal maestro

    Pankaj Udhas: Renowned Ghazal Maestro and Padma Shri Awardee

    Renowned , known for timeless classics like “Chitthi Aayi Hai” and “Chandi Jaisa Rang Hai Tera,” has breathed his last at the age of 73. The Padma Shri awardee succumbed to a prolonged illness, leaving behind a legacy of soulful melodies that have resonated with audiences for decades.

    Early Life in Jetpur, Gujarat

    Born on May 17, 1951, in Jetpur, Gujarat, Pankaj Udhas was the youngest among three brothers. His family, residing in Charkhaadi near Rajkot, had a musical inclination. His father, Keshubhai Udhas, a government employee, had a passion for playing the sitar, while his mother, Jeetuben Udhas, was fond of singing. This musical environment influenced Pankaj and his brothers towards a life immersed in music.

    A Musical Journey Sparked by War

    Pankaj Udhas, initially uncertain about a singing career, received a turning point during the India-China war. Lata Mangeshkar’s patriotic song ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’ inspired him. His impromptu rendition of the song caught attention during a cultural program, where he received 51 rupees as a reward. This marked the beginning of his musical journey.

    Education at the Rajkot Music Academy

    Recognizing Pankaj’s talent, his parents enrolled him at the Music Academy in Rajkot. Both his brothers, Manhar and Nirmal Udhas, being notable figures in the music industry, paved the way for Pankaj to pursue a formal education in music.

    Struggles and Overseas Recognition

    After completing his course, Pankaj faced challenges in Bollywood. Despite giving his voice for a song in the film “Kamna,” success eluded him. Disheartened by the lack of opportunities, he decided to move abroad. It was on foreign shores that he gained recognition, especially through his ghazal ‘Chitthi Aayi Hai.’

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