Huge loss to the world of ghazals: Pankaj Udhas

Updated: Jun 13, 2012, 14:36 PM IST

Huge loss to the world of ghazals: Pankaj Udhas

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: As the music fraternity of the subcontinent battles with shock and grief over the sad demise of Ghazal colossus Mehdi Hassan, singer Pankaj Udhas spoke to a news channel about his long association with the iconic singer.

“I have wonderful memories of Mehdi sahab. It’s a huge loss to the world of ghazals. He was one of a kind, was like an institution in himself,” said Pankaj.

The famous ghazal singer went on to speak about his first encounter with Hassan in 1977. Udhas said, “I’d first met him in London in 1977. Till then, he hadn’t been to India after he left the country. I’d got an opportunity to spend time with Hassan sahab for about three weeks. He was looking forward to visit India, and then he came to the country in 1978.”

When Pankaj Udhas took to singing ghazals, Mehdi Hassan was overjoyed. Says the singer, “He (Hassan) was very happy to know that I had started singing ghazals.”

Speaking about his fondest memory of Mehdi Hassan, Pankaj says, “Just before he fell ill in 1990, before a concert, Hassan sahab’s harmonium broke due to luggage mishandling. He had called me up from the airport and asked whether he could use my harmonium for the concert or not. I was only too happy to offer him my harmonium.”

For the grief-stricken singer, this day is a very, very sad one.