When Pankaj Udhas said the pandemic was ‘tough’ on him - Hindustan Times

When Pankaj Udhas said the pandemic was ‘tough’ on him, confessed getting back on stage made him nervous

Feb 26, 2024 06:41 PM IST

Pankaj Udhas, globally renowned ghazal maestro and Padma Shri awardee, died on Monday at the age of 72. He breathed his last after a prolonged illness.

Pankaj Udhas, Padma Shri recipient, ghazal maestro and Bollywood playback singer, died at 72 on Monday. His family issued a statement confirming that Pankaj breathed his last after a prolonged illness. (Also Read: Pankaj Udhas death reactions: PM Modi, Anu Malik, Kajol remember the musical maestro)

Pankaj Udhas died at 72(HT Photo)
Pankaj Udhas died at 72(HT Photo)

When Pankaj said pandemic was ‘tough’

In an interview with Hindustan Times in May 2022, Pankaj said the COVID-19 pandemic had quite an impact on him, psychologically. “Before the pandemic, there used to be a lot of confidence in me before any concert. But the pandemic phase was tough, even psychologically. Though I did my riyaaz (rehearsals) regularly and tried to keep up and not get rusted, there was a lack of exposure to the stage and audience,” Pankaj had said. “Safety is of prime importance to me. I make sure that nobody comes close to me without a mask,” he added.

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Getting back on stage wasn't easy

“So, when I got back on stage after two years with a concert in Rampur (Uttar Pradesh), I was really nervous. But when I went up on stage and saw 6,000 people cheering for me, I had tears in my eyes. It was a very emotional moment, as I was deprived of the stage for so long. I am like a fish without water when I’m not on stage. I’ve been a performing artiste all my life and the last two years have been the toughest,” the singer further said in the interview.

Pankaj Udhas' death

Taking to Instagram, Pankaj Udhas' daughter Nayaab shared a statement on Instagram which 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.”

Among the evergreen ghazals that Pankaj Udhas lent his vocals to were Chitthi Aayi Hai, Chandani Raat Mein, Na Kajre Ki Dhaar, Aur Ahista Kijiye Baatein, Ek Taraf Uska Ghar and Thodi Thodi Piya Karo.

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