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Bhajan Sopori Passes Away: Bhajan Sopori, ‘Saint of Santoor’, soaked the world with his Sufiana tunes, breathed his last at the age of 73


New DelhiSantoor Ustad Pandit Bhajan Sopori (Bhajan Sopori Passed Away) said goodbye to everyone after soaking the world with his Sufi songs. He brought the tunes settled in the valleys of Kashmir in his santoor and gave that music which touches everyone inside. Bhajan Sopori, the ‘Saint of Santoor’, used to say about his case that Santoor should not be called a folk issue, but it should be called Sufism. Bhajan Sopori did a great job to establish the Sufi Kalam of Kashmir in the world. He believed that thousands of melodious tunes reside in Kashmir and make it number one.

Bhajan Sopori was battling colon cancer
Padmashree Pandit Bhajan Sopori took his last breath on Thursday at a hospital in Gurgaon. Sopori, 73, was battling colon cancer, stage 4. He gave a big dimension to the musical legacy he inherited from Kashmir and his family. His son and santoor player Abhay Sopori said, his passing is a great loss to the music world. As we celebrate his 74th anniversary on 22nd June, his legacy is huge, it is hard to replace him. We have lost a truly great musician and human being and I have also lost my father. It is hard to imagine life without him and his music.

It’s hard for me to believe – Satish Vyas
Remembering Pandit Sopori, Santoor player Satish Vyas says, I am finding it difficult to believe that he is no more. Just in May my Guru Pandit Shivkumar Sharma said farewell to the world and now Bhajan Sopori ji. This is a very sad year for the world of Santoor. I remember the day when I first met him in Srinagar in 1987. I had to perform and my tabla player’s arrival got canceled at the last minute. I did not know him but found his address and reached home. He and his wife received respect. And when I told my helplessness, he smiled and said that my tabla player will reach you. And they have arrived. I always miss such a renowned artist and his humility, smile, simplicity.

According to Satish Vyas, Pandit Sopori carried on the legacy of his grandfather and father and gave a new dimension to the Sufiana Mausiqi of Santoor. There are very few santoor players in the world and Bhajan ji has prepared not only his son but also many disciples to carry forward this legacy. He was also a wonderful person, his passing has brought emptiness to the world but I am sure he will enchant everyone with his music in another world.

Music used to flow in his veins – Geeta Chandran
Bharatnatyam dancer Geeta Chandran says, her passing is a personal sorrow for me. we were friends. He was a wonderful artist, music used to flow in his veins. I remember many years ago he composed a poem by poet Nirala for my performance ‘Sakhi Basant Aaya’, which was fantastic. He always encouraged other artists. Pandit Sopori was not only a master of santoor but also of sitar. He was honored with many honors including Padma Shri, Sangeet Natak Akademi.

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