Pankaj Udhas: A film or series based on ghazals should be made on OTT
I feel today’s generation is very motivated and talented. But as a senior ghazal singer, I feel they need to focus on getting the pronunciation, diction and understanding of poetry right,” says veteran ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas, who recently organised a virtual charitable ghazal festival, Khazana, which featured several young ghazal artistes.
While ghazals have been an integral part of Bollywood music in the yesteryear films, Udhas feels that OTT should also explore the genre now. “We saw a series like Bandish Bandits(2020) that was laden with Indian classical music. I feel that OTT is a huge platform that comes up with original ideas. So, ghazals have a tremendous scope there. There can definitely be a series or film based on ghazals and I am sure it will do well. In fact, it would be great to have a musical reality show dedicated solely to ghazals on OTT,” says the Padma Shri recipient.
The singer goes on to say that genres like ghazal or nazm have evolved to stay relevant to the current generation. “I feel that sentimental poetry and musicality can never go out of fashion. For instance, a nazm like Aur Ahista Kijiye Baatein that was sung by me in 1998 is relevant and enjoyed even in 2021. And if something like that is recorded today, it will stay relevant for another 20 years,” says Udhas.
Meanwhile, sharing why ghazals don’t make it to Bollywood soundtracks anymore, the Chitthi Aayi Hai singer says, “I think cinema has played a major part in popularising ghazals. What has happened today is that the entire filmmaking has changed. Cinema is no more about fantasy; it’s very realistic and practical. So, most filmmakers don’t find a space for imaginative poetry or slow-paced numbers like ghazals. Most of the songs used in films these days are either dance tracks or background numbers.”