The lingering voice, the melting melody, and the soulful approach – the ghazal is but a journey of words that takes you deep inside the alleys of your mind. It knocks upon your heart and leaves you in the familiar embrace of memories. Time and again, he has taken us down this trail of thoughts where poetry turns the pages of the mind – a hidden away moment that was once cherished, incomplete dreams that had once been and broken promises that still linger in the heart. Silent summers, winter hues – they have all witnessed the brilliance of Pankaj Udhas and his love for music and poetry.

Born in Persia, as an ode to the beloved – the ghazal, has been a silent witness to the change of tunes. She stands alone in a crowd of frivolous songs and raunchy numbers. Her worth undermined by the youth of today. Yet she remains poised and pure. Her strength lies in weaving pictures with words, teasing hearts with soulful verse. Pankaj has been her custodian – he hopes the youth will take forward the gift of this music genre and welcomes the listeners to receive it with pride.

A man of simple words with a velvet voice – his is a story that personifies the romance of the ghazal and the beauty of fate. He earned a degree in science but chose music to earn his bread. He sang Mukesh’s songs at bars in the initial years of his struggle. His first public performance fetched him only 51 rupees in payment! No matter how difficult things were he kept at it until he got his big break with Mahesh Bhatt’s Naam.

Pankaj loves to listen to Begum Akhtar and Mehdi Hassan. He also enjoys music by the Beatles. He is a big fan of the American singer Diana Ross whose song Endless Love is his favourite.

He has tried to make best use of this window of opportunity – reviving classic poetry of old poets in his upcoming albums. Perhaps this is a genre that has little scope for innovation but he would like to believe otherwise and he moves on with the promise that there is more to come.

A maestro of melody with a heart that is pure. Pankaj works extensively for eradication of leprosy, thalassemia, and cancer and for the cause of the mentally retarded. He has been felicitated and honoured for his contribution to music and society – not just in India but also across different parts of the world.


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