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Anu Malik on Pankaj Udhas: He said ‘kya farak padhta hai?’ when I told someone else will sing his Baazigar song Kitaaben

Anu Malik on Pankaj Udhas: He said ‘kya farak padhta hai?’ when I told someone else will sing his Baazigar song Kitaaben

Anu Malik’s first hit song, Kitaabein Bauhaut Si for the film Baazigar (1993) was sung originally by Pankaj Udhas, and the composer maintains that he will always remain his first choice for it. The song was later recorded in Vinod Rathod’s voice for the Shah Rukh Khan starrer. Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata met the same fate as well.

Late ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas (L), composer Anu Malik (R)

“I had chosen Pankaj ji for Kitaabein. I asked him ‘sir aap gaaoge?’, and he very sweetly agreed, he first wanted to listen to the composition. When I played it, he loved it and said ‘the lyrics are by Zafar Gorakhpuri, how come you turned a ghazal into a commercial song?’ I was taken aback by the compliment. He gave me a hug and said I will go places. For him to give me a compliment was huge, he was a star then with his ghazals. He was a star even when he died,” remembers the 63-year-old.

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Calling Udhas ‘soft spoken like late Mohammed Rafi sahab’, Malik adds that he was open to singing any kind of song, “I think he was the only ghazal singer who never threw a tantrum ki yeh gaana gaaun ki nahi, a lot say they won’t sing songs if they don’t fit their format. Pankaj ji could sing any song well. He enjoyed life, made a beautiful house. I am anguished like everyone else. 72 is too early an age to go.”


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