Why Pankaj Udhas was concerned about the future of ghazals in pop culture - Hindustan Times

Why Pankaj Udhas was concerned about the future of ghazals in pop culture: Cinema is very realistic and practical today

Feb 26, 2024 07:47 PM IST

Pankaj Udhas died at 72 after a prolonged illness on Monday. He left a legacy behind him that will always be there with his admirers and fans.

Pankaj Udhas' name is synonymous with ghazals. The Padma Shri recipient and playback singer breathed his last at 72 on Monday. His family said the singer died after a prolonged illness. (Also Read: Pankaj Udhas songs: 5 most memorable melodies of the celebrated ghazal singer)

Pankaj Udhas died at the age of 72
Pankaj Udhas died at the age of 72

Pankaj on state of ghazals today

In an interview with Hindustan Times in October 2021, Pankaj Udhas lamented the state of ghazals in pop culture today. “I think cinema has played a major part in popularising ghazals. What has happened today is that the entire filmmaking has changed. Cinema is no more about fantasy; it’s very realistic and practical. So, most filmmakers don’t find a space for imaginative poetry or slow-paced numbers like ghazals. Most of the songs used in films these days are either dance tracks or background numbers,” he said.

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His wish to see ghazals on OTT

Pankaj lauded Anand Tiwari's 2020 musical show Bandish Bandits, which streamed on Prime Video India, and starred Ritwik Bhowmik, Shreya Chaudhary, and Naseeruddin Shah. Based on Indian classical music, the fiction show has been renewed for another season.

“I feel that OTT is a huge platform that comes up with original ideas. So, ghazals have a tremendous scope there. There can definitely be a series or film based on ghazals and I am sure it will do well. In fact, it would be great to have a musical reality show dedicated solely to ghazals on OTT,” said Pankaj.

Pankaj Udhas was born in Jetpur in Gujarat on May 17, 1951. He was the youngest of three brothers. His parents are Keshubhai Udhas and Jituben Udhas. His eldest brother Manhar Udhas used to sing in Bollywood movies and his second brother Nirmal Udhas is also a well-known ghazal singer. Apart from ghazals, he was also known for his works in movies. His first solo ghazal album Aahat in 1980 gave him much recognition. Later, he went on to record several hits such as Mukarar in 1981, Tarrannum in 1982, Mehfil in 1983 and many others.

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