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Pandit Jasraj’s ‘antim darshan’ held in Mumbai

by Raju Vernekar
0 comment 2 minutes read

IT Correspondent
Mumbai, Aug 20:

Late classical singer Pandit Jasraj’s ‘antim darshan’ (final homage) was held on Thursday in Mumbai, in the presence of close family. His body was repatriated from New Jersey on Wednesday. The maestro died on Monday, at the age of 90. 
The preparations for the final rites with full state hours, were underway at a crematorium at Vile Parle West in North Mumbai at the time of filing this report on Thursday. He will be cremated with state honours and be given a 21-gun salute, Pritam Sharma, media coordinator for the family, said. 
He breathed his last on at 5.15 EST on Monday, due to a cardiac arrest at his home in New Jersey, USA. He is survived by his wife Madhura, son Shaarang Dev Pandit and daughter Durga Jasraj, who are both musicians as well. Pandit Jasraj’s career spanned over 80 years, during which he received several accolades including the prestigious Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan. 
He brought harmony, peace, melody and solace into the lives of music lovers, who were engrossed and enchanted to his renditions of khayalsm thumris and bhajans, each of them endowed with his unique musical genius and his ability to communicate to his audience his own understanding of the divine and eternal truths. He belonged to the Mewati Gharana. 
Jasraj was born on 28 January 1930 in Pili Mandori, a village in the Hisar district of Haryana, in a middle class Brahmin family to Pandit Motiram, a classical singer. Motiram died in 1934 when Jasraj was four years old. On that day Motiram was to be appointed as the state musician in the court of Mir Osman Ali Khan. Jasraj’s elder brother, Pandit Pratap Narayan, was also an accomplished musician and was the father of music composer duo Jatin-Lalit,  singer-actress Sulakshana Pandit and actress Vijeta Pandit. His eldest brother was vocalist Pandit Maniram. 
Jasraj spent his youth in Hyderabad and travelled often to Sanand in Gujarat to study music with musicians of the Mewati gharana. He performed for Maharaja Jaywant Singh Waghela, the Thakur of Sanand, who was deeply dedicated to classical music and received training from him. Jasraj moved to Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1946, where he began singing classical music for radio. In 1962, Jasraj married Madhura Shantaram, the daughter of veteran film director V Shantaram. They initially lived in Calcutta, moving to Bombay in 1963. 
His death was condoled by many personalities including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi. “ The unfortunate demise of Pandit Jasraj Ji leaves a deep void in the Indian cultural sphere. Not only were his renditions outstanding, he also made a mark as an exceptional mentor to several other vocalists. Condolences to his family and admirers worldwide. Om Shanti” Modi had tweeted.

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