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Shankar Mahadevan, Zakir Hussain salute Pankaj Udhas: 'Took ghazal to masses'

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Mumbai, Feb 27 (IANS) Grammy-winning singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan expressed his condolences and remembered the late singer Pankaj Udhas, sharing how he took the ghazal singing to the masses, and said how during any important decision of the musical fraternity, he used to be always present.

Shankar was present at the residence -- 6A, Hill Side, here, on Tuesday to pay last respects to the Padma Shri awardee.

Talking to media persons, Shankar, who had teamed up with Pankaj for the album 'Woh Ladki Yaad Aati Hai' said: "Pankaj Udhas took ghazal singing to the masses. He used to always encourage us and give us blessings. He always had a positive approach towards everything. Whenever the musical fraternity had to take any important decision, Pankaj ji used to be always there with us. We will all miss him a lot."

"His children, Nayaab and Ojas, are such fabulous children. May God give them the strength to bear this big loss. We are all in a state of shock till now and I pray that May God give strength to his wife, his children to bear this loss," added the 'Breathless' fame singer.

Tabla maestro and percussionist Zakir Hussain, who was also present at Pankaj's residence, paid a heartfelt tribute to the departed soul.

"You all know why we have come here. Pankaj bhaiya is not only a diamond of our country, but a renowned artist. But above all, he was a great human being. The love he has given to all of you, and the happiness he has given to the entire country through his music, there is no parallel to it. We love Pankaj bhaiya and his family so much," he said.

"I feel very lucky that I have spent some moments with him in which we have enjoyed his music and his personality. I will pray to God to give his family strength to bear this irreparable loss. We are present at their service, if they need any help. I pray that his music remains alive in our hearts forever," added Zakir.

His elder brother, Nirmal Udhas, was seen crying as he arrived to pay his last respect to his brother.

Nirmal is also a well-known ghazal singer and was the first of the three brothers to start singing in the family.

Pankaj passed away at the age of 72 in Mumbai on Monday, after a prolonged illness. He was suffering from cancer and was undergoing treatment at a private hospital for some time.

The funeral will take place in the afternoon, around 3 to 5 p.m. in Worli.

--IANS

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