Pankaj Udhas, the ghazal maestro who brought a revolution in ghazal in Bollywood with ‘Chitthi Aayi Hai Aayi Hai Chitthi Aayi Hai’ from Mahesh Bhatt directed movie NAAM, turns 63 today. Glamsham.Com wishes him birthday greetings and discovers how the famous ghazal happened.
Few may be aware that Pankaj Udhas made his debut in Bollywood in the early 70’s under famous lady music director Usha Khanna, who gave him a break in the movie KAMNA (1972), but unfortunately the movie was shelved and Pankaj Udhas’s dream to become a singer in Bollywood was thwarted.
In an interview Pankaj Udhas had lamented, ”I did struggle for over four years to become a singer but probably due to exit of great music directors like Naushad, S.D.Burman, Madan Mohan younger singers like me had a tough time to make their presence felt. Hence after facing utter disappointment I decided to go abroad.”
So how did he get the movie NAAM? Pankaj Udhas informed, ”Actually the film’s producer eminent actor Rajendra Kumar was overwhelmed by my popularity in foreign countries and was quite impressed by my ghazals. Hence he wished to incorporate one of my ghazal in the movie. Hence he instructed his assistant to call me and arrange a meeting.”
He continues, ”However, the assistant told me that Rajendra Kumar wished to have my special appearance in the movie. The idea of a cameo role in the movie did not excite me and I ignored. However, after few days Rajendra Kumar called my elder brother and complaint that I was ignoring him. When Manharbhai sahib told me about this I felt embarrassed and immediately gave my dates to Rajendra Kumar.”
Today Pankaj Udhas feels proud of the ghazal because it made him a star overnight and has immortalized him in the annals of Indian film music.