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Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan passes away

By Shaheryar Popalzai
June 13th 2012



KARACHI: Legendary ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan passed away at a private hospital in Karachi on Wednesday.

Hassan had been under treatment at hospitals in Pakistan for a while, and there had also been reports of shifting him to India. He was admitted at a hospital in Karachi for the past couple of weeks after he had developed a chest infection and breathing problems.

He passed away after he was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital.

Speaking to the media outside Aga Khan Hospital, Hassan’s son Asif Mehdi said that his father had a number of complications and had been admitted for treatment for a month.

He said that his father had grown old and he was getting weak, and a number of issues had developed, including with the lungs and chest.

Asif said that his brothers will be arriving in Karachi shortly and funeral details will be finalised by evening.

Indian legend Lata Mangeshkar, while talking to Express News, said that she was deeply saddened to hear the news of Mehdi Hassan’s demise.

She said that it was unfortunate that such a wonderful person had to suffer so much. “He had come to India and we had met. Everyone had started crying when they saw him.”

Yeh hee manzoor thaa Allah ko,” she said.

Mangeshkar praised Mehdi Hassan and said that it was because of him many people had started singing.

“A voice like his may never be heard again.”

She said she had all records Hassan had released and liked every single ghazal of his.

Actor Nadeem Baig said that Hassan’s demise was a big loss, adding that a voice like his might never be heard again.

“I had been humming one of Hassan’s songs in the morning today and it was later that I had found out about his demise,” said the actor. He added that he was “blessed” to have had the opportunity to picturise his songs.

Nadeem also recalled that the maestro had encouraged him to sing and had said that he would teach him. He also said that he had thoroughly enjoyed hearing him live.

Ghazal singer Tina Sani said that Hassan had blessed the world with his work and that he was a legend even when he was alive.

“I have no words except for God bless him,” said Sani. She said that Hassan had given the world the legacy of ghazals and he was a “passport” for people like her when they went out to perform in the world.

Indian poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar, while speaking to an Indian news channel, was all praise for the ghazal maestro, stating that Hassan’s voice gave one solace and peace.

Hassan was born into a family of traditional musicians at Luna village, India, in 1927. His family migrated to Pakistan after 1947.

He had been awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance and Hilal-e-Imtiaz by the Pakistani government.

Originally published by Tribune Pakistan

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