Pandit Birju Maharaj left for his heavenly abode in the early hours of January 17. Unfortunately, he would have been 84 years next month.
He breathed his last in the merry company of his family and disciples. He was playing “antakshari” when he became ill.
Birju Maharaj belongs from the Kalka-Bindadin Gharana in Lucknow. He had a severe kidney ailment and was under regular dialysis. It is believed he died as a result of cardiac arrest. His breathing was erratic and was also a heart patient.
“He died before arriving in the hospital. The incident happened past 12 o clock. Unfortunately, we were unable to save him”, said Ragini Maharaj.
Ragini along with his younger sister Yasyashawini was present at his final moments.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described it as an “irreparable loss to the art world as a whole”. Nirmala Sitharaman referred to him “as a legend of the performing arts”.
Maharaj strongly believed that the future generations are the torch bearers of the society and will carry the art form Kathak to greater heights.
Birju Maharaj received his training from his father Acchan Maharaj and is a descendant of Kathak Dancers. His daughter tweeted for his rhythmic peace in his soul.
Hema Malini tweeted, “His ghungroos were on his ankle until he died. My huge respect to the giant of the Kathak Medium”.
Alia Bhatt was into tears. She remorsefully thanked his contribution in the Indian Cinema.
Adnan Sami, a composer regrets the loss of a unique institution in the field of performing arts. The brilliancy of his has influenced many generations.
The Vice President tweeted “Pandit Birju Maharaja was an inspiration to people all over the world. My heartfelt sympathies go to the bereft families”. The death of a rich exponent is a huge loss to the performing arts world.
Pandit Birju Maharaja has an honorary doctorate from Banaras Hindu University. He was also a talented singer, drummer, and poet. He composed Dance Sequences in Ray’s films.
He was more than a sensation than a dancer. He entailed choreographies, conveyed stories through his movements. He didn’t believe in gender differences and removed stereotypes.
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