Pankaj Udhas: The Man Who Eulogised A Glass Of Wine

Pankaj Udhas: The Man Who Eulogised A Glass Of Wine

Pankaj was unhappy that he was being labelled as someone who promoted alcoholism

S RamachandranUpdated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 12:31 PM IST
article-image
Pankaj Udhas: The Man Who Eulogised A Glass Of Wine | x

He was the man who romanticised the spirits In 1985 the inflation rate in India was 5.56 % but it shot to 8.73% in 1986 and that is when Pankaj Udhas, who had been singing paeans about alcohol, decided to sing 'Hui Mehengi Bahut Hi Sharab Ke Thodi Thodi Piya Karo'. This was his own Murphy’s Law after he got flak for romanticising alcohol in his mellifluous voice.

The 80s and early 90s were always witness to packed halls with premium seat holders sipping away their scotch while watching a show where Udhas sang songs like Sabko Maloom Hai, Sharab Cheez Aisi Hai, La Pila De SakiaorEk Taraf Uska Ghar. UB 40's Red Red Wine or Tom Wait's’ The Piano Has Been Drinking or George Jone's Just One More did not result in as much as Udhas songs, because they kept pouring.

But Pankaj was unhappy that he was being labelled as someone who promoted alcoholism. It is unfortunate that I am being branded as someone who promotes maikhanas (winehouses) because of love, longing and broken hearts, he sighed back then. Referring to the Persian polymath Omar Khayyam he said that the poet had used Maikhana as a simile for the world andPaimana (glass) as a glass brimming with life. But then those ghazals for the guzzlers did stereotype him.

However, the 1986 film Naam changed perceptions when the film had him appear on screen singing Chitthi Aayi Hai. Pankaj had initially refused Rajendra Kumar's offer to appear in the film and sing. But he did speak to Jubilee Kumar at the insistence of his elder brother Manhar Udhas and gave the NRIs an anthem they still play at every reunion. BBC Radio Worldwide also chose the song among the top 100 songs of the millennium.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan owes his first pay cheque of Rs 50 to the Ghazal giant. His first ever income was for being an usher at a Pankaj Udhas concert in the Indian capital. It has to be said that Udhas did inspire many to pick up ghazal singing as well as a profession.

While there were seniors like Jagjit Singh and contemporaries like Talat Aziz who did well for himself and Anup Jalota who found a niche in bhajans, Udhas did thrive on his shows as well. Jagjit Singh who was Talat's mentor did not have a great opinion about Udhas quality of singing. Critics and cynics apart, Udhas has eponymously made thousands of his fans sad with his demise. The Anand Bakshi penned number Chithi Aayi Hai has a line O Pardes Ko Jaane Waale, Laut ke phir ne aane waale....Thank you for the entertainment, Pankaj Udhas! Cheers!

RECENT STORIES

Maharashtra Cyber Police Files FIR In Ranveer Singh Deepfake Video Case

Maharashtra Cyber Police Files FIR In Ranveer Singh Deepfake Video Case

Yuvika Chaudhary Is NOT Pregnant, Confirms Prince Narula: 'We Started Laughing When Heard The News'

Yuvika Chaudhary Is NOT Pregnant, Confirms Prince Narula: 'We Started Laughing When Heard The News'

PHOTO: Kiara Advani Sips On Coffee In A White Maxi Dress, Shahid Kapoor's Comment Grabs Attention

PHOTO: Kiara Advani Sips On Coffee In A White Maxi Dress, Shahid Kapoor's Comment Grabs Attention

Deliver Me OTT Release Date: Know About Plot, Platform & Cast

Deliver Me OTT Release Date: Know About Plot, Platform & Cast

Radhika Madan: 'It Would Be A Dream To Work With Shah Rukh Khan'

Radhika Madan: 'It Would Be A Dream To Work With Shah Rukh Khan'