Karachi/New Delhi, June 13 (IBNS) Mellifluous and soulful, Mehdi Hassan would be remembered for giving Ghazal singing a new meaning with his rendition. So an era came to an end with the passing away of the undisputed king of Ghazal on Wednesday in Karachi.
He was 84 when his death came.
He had been suffering from lung, chest and urinary tract diseases for several years.
“My father has been ill for the last 12 years but this year, his condition deteriorated significantly and in the last one month, he was released from hospital for just one day before being admitted again,” Hassan’s son Arif Hassan was quoted as saying to Pakistan’s Geo News.
The Pakistani singer had transcended the barrier of nations and was loved and revered on both sides of the border in India and Pakistan.
In fact, he was born in Rajasthan in India before the Partition.
The man, who had years of struggle as a youth and had begun to work in a bicycle shop, got his first break with Radio Pakistan in 1957 and there was no looking back.
Before Pakistan was formed, Hassan had shifted to Chichawatni in Pakistan in 1946.
But his popularity was so much in India that the Rajasthan government too recently had offered to help him when it was known that he was very sick.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had told his Arif Hassan that his medical expenses could be borne by India.
Hassan had last visited Rajasthan in 2000 when he was among the invitees in a convention of non-resident Rajasthanis.
During the visit, he had visited the graveyard of his late grandfather, Imamuddin, in Luna, where he was born.
It was his third and last visit to Rajasthan and India too.
In his long career, Hassan sang several evergreen ghazals that include ‘Patta patta, boota boota’, ‘Kab ke Bichhare’, ‘Shola Tha Jal Bujha Hoon’, ‘Ye Mojazaa Bhii Muhabbat Kabhii Dikhaaye Mujhe’, ‘Main Hosh Mein Tha’ and ‘Toote Hue Khwabon Ke Liye’.
He was honoured with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance and Hilal-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan, and Gorkha Dakshina Bahu by the Government of Nepal.
Hassan’s death shocked his innumerable fans who will always remember the legend through his heart-touching songs.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday expressed ‘deep grief’ over the passing away of Hassan.
Singh said Hassan brought the sub-continental Sufi sensibilities to life through his songs.
“The influence of his passion for Urdu poetry and initial grooming in Dhrupad tradition earned for him a special place in the world of music,” said statement issued on behalf of the PM.
“The Prime Minister extends his condolences to the bereaved members of Shri Mehdi Hassan’s family,” said the statement.
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressed his condolences over Hassan’s death.
Sufi singer Zila Khan told a news channel: “Mehdi Hassan was a legend. His aesthetic were superior. In his field of work he was a king. He was one of my heroes.”
Celebrities mourned Mehdi Hassan’s death on micro-blogging site Twitter:
Actor-social commentator Suhel Seth: “RIP Mehdii Hassan…another fine voice shall now be heard in heaven…why are the Gods so selfish?”
Anchor Mini Mathur: “Every evening, your voice would softly waft thru our home. Too many happy childhood memories strung together by your music. RIP Mehdi Hassan.”
Actor Sanjay Suri: “Saddened to hear about the death of Legend Mehdi Hassan.”
Writer Taslima Nasreen : “I grew up listening to your music. Good Bye,Mehdi Hasan!”
Actor Dia Mirza: “RIP Mehdi Hasan Saab… Your songs are eternal…”
Singer Shreya Ghoshal : “Mehdi Hassan sa’ab is no more. The voice, who made mny music lovers n lovers to find an expression of their heart’s stories, is gone. R.I.P.. Saddened beyond comprehension. Jagjit ji, now Mehdi Sa’ab. The voices who kept the legacy of ghazals alive and how, are gone.. This void can never be filled ever again.”
Actor Anupam Kher: “Very saddened to hear about my fav Gazal Singer Mehdi Hassan’s demise. As a student had gate crashed into Pak Embassy to listen to him. RIP.”
Singing legend Lata Mangeshkar: “aaj bohot bade ghazal gayak kalaakar mehedi hassan sahab hamare bich nahi rahe,mujhe is baat bohot dukh hai,gazal gaayki ke kshetra mein unhone bohot bada parivartan laaya,aaj gazal unke jaane se ghazal ki bohot nadi haani hui hai, ab un jaisa kalakar phir se aana mushkil hai,wo bohot bade shastriya sangeet ke gayak bhi the,aur unke gaane me rajasthan ke sangeet ki khushboo bhi thi,unhone mere liye kuch gaane banaaye the, unme se hi ek ghazal maine jo unhone mujhe gaake bheji thi, uska maine duet karke record kiya tha,un ke saath mera ye ek hi gaana hai, main ishwar se prarthana karti hun, ki mehedi sahab ki aatma ko woh shaanti pradan karein,”
Rekha Bhardwaj: “R.I.P. Mehdi Hasan Saheb!!!!!!”