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RIP Pankaj Udhas: Man Who Gave Indian Diaspora Their Anthem

Veteran singer Pankaj Udhas

Renowned ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas passed away on Monday, February 26, after a prolonged illness at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. Udhas was celebrated for his soulful renditions of ghazals, leaving behind a legacy of melodious music. Pankaj Udhas, the man behind the iconic song 'Chitthi Aayi Hai', among many others from the film, has left a profound impact on Indian music.

Chitti Aayi Hai Aayi Hai Chitti Aayi Hai
Chitti Aayi Hai Vatan Se Chitti Aayi Hai

Upar Mera Naam Likha Hai Andar Ye Paigham Likha Hai
Oh Pardes Ko Jaanewale Laut Ke Phir Na Aanewale

Saat Samundar Paar Gaya Tu Humko Zinda Maar Gaya Tu
Khoon Ke Rishte Todd Gaya Tu Aankh Mein Aansoo Chod Gaya Tu
Kam Khaate Hain Kam Sote Hain Bahut Zyaada Hum Rote Hain

His rise to fame with Mahesh Bhatt's 1986 romantic drama 'Naam' marked the beginning of a legendary career. In an interview, Udhas shared his initial anticipation upon encountering the song's lyrics, expressing a sense of being part of something special. Composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, 'Chitthi Aayi Hai' resonates deeply with migrants, portraying the joy of receiving a letter from home that evokes a strong longing for one's motherland. The song's global success, including its selection as one of the 100 songs of the millennium by BBC Radio, underscores its enduring popularity.


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While Pankaj Udhas is no longer with us, his soulful voice and timeless melodies continue to resonate with music lovers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tribute to the legendary ghazal maestro, recalling his emotive singing that touched the soul and transcended generations.

Udhas' legacy includes numerous hits and collaborations with music icons like Lata Mangeshkar and Jagjit Singh, earning him accolades such as the Padma Shri in 2006.

Born in Jetpur, Gujarat, on May 17, 1951, Udhas embarked on his musical journey with the tabla before honing his vocal skills in Hindustani classical music. His elder brother, Manhar Udhas, also a stage performer, played a pivotal role in his musical career. Udhas' contributions to Indian music, including his playback singing in popular films like 'Mohra' and 'Ghayal,' cemented his status as a musical icon.

Udhas' passing leaves a void in the music world, but his songs, including the unforgettable 'Chitthi Aayi Hai,' will continue to inspire and resonate with audiences for generations to come.



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