"Pankaj Udhas To Amar Ho Gaya," When Raj Kapoor Couldn't Stop Crying After Listening To Chitthi Aayee Hai - Longest 'One-Take' Song In Bollywood!
Raj Kapoor Cried After Listening To Pankaj Udhas Song Chitthi Aayee Hai. ( Photo Credit – IMDb )

The legendary Ghazal Maestro Padmashri Pankaj Udhas passed away on February 26, and the music industry is mourning his loss. Sonu Nigam wrote a heartbreaking note while others offered condolences to the bereaved family. Pankaj Ji transformed the way Ghazals were sought in this country. He modernized the Ghazal genre in this country.

However, while Pankaj ji was a popular face of the 80s, the most important song of his entire career turned out to be Chitthi Aayee Hai from the film Naam. The song, written by Anand Bakshi and composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal, tapped into the emotions of NRIs living in foreign countries.

The song was one of a king as it was beautifully shot and presented as a real concert. The film featured Sanjay Dutt, Kumar Gaurav, and Amrita Singh. Naam was directed by Mahesh Bhatt, and while the film was one of the highest-grossing films of its time, Chitthi Aayee Hai, sung by Pankaj Udhas, was on BBC’s list of 1100 songs of the millennium by BBC Radio.

Chitthi Ayee Hai was so popular that on public demand, only the song was replayed in the theaters when Naam was released. However, while this is a popular story about the song, we bring you five lesser-heard anecdotes of the most popular song of Pankaj Udhas’s career.

1. The Big No For Chitthi Aayee Hai
When the song was first offered to Pankaj Ji, he said no for it. Naam was produced by Rajendra Kumar and was written by Salim Khan. The team wanted a very popular face to feature in the song that would probably go down in history, but none of them knew it then. Pankaj Ji was approached by Rajendra Kumar, and he was told they needed a popular face to feature in the song, and Pankaj Ji refused the offer. In fact, he never called back to discuss the offer and ignored it.

2. Pankaj Udhas Ko “Koi Tameez Nahi Hai!”
When Pankaj Udhas never returned to superstar Rajendra Kumar, he called Pankaj Ji’s elder brother, who was close friends with Rajendra Kumar, and said, “Your brother has no etiquette and no courtesy. Koi tameez nahi hai.” Pankaj Udhas’s brother reprimanded him, and the singer said he had been offered the film, and he could not act. On his brother’s insistence, he called Rajendra Kumar to decline the offer, saying he cannot act. Rajendra Kumar replied, “Who asked you to act in the film?”

What happened was when Rajendra Kumar offered the song and pitched the idea of featuring on screen, he told Pankaj Udhas, “You have to appear in our film.” However, Pankaj Ji thought it was an offer to act, and he got scared. Later, when everyone cleared the air, he sang the song.

3. Laxmikant Did Not Like It
When Pankaj Ji recorded the song for the first time, no one liked it, including composer Laxmikant Ji. He told Pankaj Ji, “Kuch kami hai!” No one could figure out what was lacking in the song and why it could not generate the pathos that was required. Later, Pankaj Udhas was asked about his general schedule and style of concerts, and Laxmikant Ji cracked it!

4. The Longest Single-Take Song!
When Pankaj Udhas told Laxmikant Ji that he generally sat with his harmonium and then sang in concerts, he immediately converted the studio into a concert setup and created a stage in between the hall. He then asked Pankaj Ji to sit on it and sing. When the singer was rehearsing, everyone just kept smiling. They knew they were witnessing history. Laxmikant Ji stopped the rehearsals in between and asked Pankaj Jo to sing as it was the final take. He sang the three long stanzas at a go, just like a concert, and the longest single-take song probably in the history of Bollywood was recorded live.

5. “Pankaj Udhas To Amar Ho Gaya”
After recording the song, Pankaj Ji once met Raj Kapoor during an event. While he sought his blessings, the showman in his Ashirwad said, “Pankaj Udhas to amar ho gaya.” Pankaj Ji could not decode the meaning. He was later told that Rajendra Kumar, who is great friends with Raj Kapoor, made him listen to Chitthi Aayee Hai in his theater, and the showman could not stop crying. In fact, whoever heard the song couldn’t control their tears.

Today, while we seek prayers for the singer’s soul to rest in peace, we believe actually, “Pankaj Udhas Amar ho gaye.” His voice and his art will remain in our hearts and our playlists forever. Rest In Peace & Rest In Music, Sir.

Let us revisit Chitthi Aayee Hai together as our tribute to the Ghazal Mastro.

Om Shanti.

Must Read: Padmashri Pankaj Udhas Passes Away At 72: Music Industry Mourns The Loss Of The Ghazal Maestro, Sonu Nigam Writes, “My Heart Cries”

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