Sardool Sikander (1961-2021): ‘Roadways Di Laari’ comes to a grinding halt

Published on Feb 25, 2021 12:53 AM IST

Sikander, who had undergone a renal transplant in 2016, passed away at Fortis Hospital in Mohali on Wednesday

Sardoo Sikander and Gurdas Maan during a performance.
Sardoo Sikander and Gurdas Maan during a performance.

Noted Punjabi singer and actor Sardool Sikander died on Wednesday at a Mohali hospital where was undergoing treatment for Covid-19. He was 60.

Sikander, who had undergone a renal transplant in 2016, passed away at 11.55 am, sources at Fortis Hospital said. In a statement, the hospital later said Sikander was admitted on January 19 in “a very serious condition with complaints of low oxygen levels”.

“Mr Sikander, who was diabetic, was recently treated for Covid-19. He had undergone renal transplant in 2016 and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty in 2003,” the statement said.

“In spite of the best efforts of doctors and other caregivers at Fortis Mohali, his condition improved only marginally over the next 3-4 weeks. Due to his severely compromised state of health, his condition deteriorated again and had to be put on life support. Unfortunately, the patient breathed his last with his family at the bedside,” it further said.

Sikander, regarded an icon in the Punjabi music industry, is survived by his singer-wife Amar Noorie, and music composer sons Sarang and Alaap Sikander.

The untimely death of the singer led to condolences from various quarters, including fellow musicians, actors and politicians. The Punjab cabinet also condoled Sikander’s demise, with chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh announcing that his government will clear the singer’s hospital dues of 10 lakh. Amarinder announced the decision after cabinet minister Charanjit Singh Channi informed him that the deceased’s family had no money to pay the bills, a Punjab government statement said.

In a condolence resolution, the cabinet noted that with the demise of the legendary singer, the nation had lost one of its best-known Punjabi singers and the void left behind by him will be impossible to fill.

Earlier, Amarinder took to Twitter and described him as a legendary singer and said he was “extremely saddened”.

“He was recently diagnosed with #Covid19 and was undergoing treatment for the same. The world of Punjabi music is poorer today. My heartfelt condolences to his family and fans,” he said on Twitter.

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal also expressed his shock. “Saddened to learn about the demise of legendary Punjabi playback singer Sardool Sikander. A huge loss to Punjabi movie & music industry. Prayers for his family, friends & fans. May his soul rest in peace!” Sukhbir said in a tweet.

Sikander, who acted in several Punjabi films, including “Jagga Daku”, initially came into the limelight with appearances on radio and TV during the early 1980s.

His album ‘Roadways di Laari’ was an instant hit.

Born at Kheri Naudh Singh in Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab, Sikander belonged to the Patiala Gharana of music and his album “Husna de Malko” in 1991 sold over five million copies.

He had several hit songs to his credit. These included “Sanu ishq brandi char gayi” and “Ek charkha gali de wich dha laya”. He also sang the track “Mari Koyal Ne Aisi Cook” in the 2003 Bollywood film “The Hero: Love Story of a Spy”.

Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan remembered the singer as a melodious voice, life of the party and a friend like no other.

Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana shared Mann’s post on his Instagram story and wrote “Rest in Peace Sardool sahab.” Singer-composer Daler Mehendi said Sikander’s death was a “big loss to our family and music industry”.

Actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh called the late singer the “pride of Punjabi music”.

According to Bollywood music composer Vishal Dadlani, Sikander’s loss is “far too personal”. “A true pioneer, he was the soul of humility & a wellspring of music. My condolences to the family, esp. to my brothers @AlaapSikander & @SarangSikander1,” Dadlani said.

Actor-comedian Kapil Sharma said Sikander had such a powerful voice that even a layman would sound melodious while singing his songs. Sharma said he was fortunate that Sikander visited his residence on the occasion of his daughter’s first Lohri. “All of us were happy, but we didn’t know it would be our last meeting. You’ll be missed a lot paaji. May God keep you close,” he added.

List rites to be performed today

The mortal remains of the Punjab singer were brought to his house in Bulepur as people from all walks of life, especially from the world of music and Punjabi cinema, kept converging at the house to pay their last respects. Sardool Sikander last rites will be performed at his native village in Kheri Naudh Singh in district Fatehgarh sahib on Thursday afternoon.

Prominent among those who visited the house were singer and politician Mohd Sadique, Master Saleem, Daljit Kaur and Lehmber Hussainpuri.

The family had recently shifted to a new house at Bulepur Road in Khanna.

The couple, Sikander and his wife Amar Noori were last spotted together while attending a wedding in Khanna a few months ago. On January 30, the couple had celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary.

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