Pt Birju Maharaj Bids Adieu to the World

Story Highlights
  • Pt. Birju Maharaj was a legendary Kathak guru in the Bollywood world.
  • His demise was confirmed by his granddaughter while she interacted with the media.
  • He suffered a heart attack late night on Sunday.

New Delhi: Legendary Kathak dancer Pandit Birju breathed his last late on Sunday evening at his residence. The Kathak maestro was 83 and suffered a heart attack, said his granddaughter Ragini Maharaj confirming his demise. It is also reported that Pt Birju was diagnosed with kidney disease and was put on dialysis since then.

Speaking to the media, Ragini said,” “he had sudden breathlessness at around 12:15-12:30 am last night; we brought him to the hospital within 10 mins, but he passed away”. His grandson, Swaransh Mishra, also took to his Instagram handle and shared a post, expressing his grief and praying for the departed soul.

A recipient of the Padma Vibushan, peers in the industry fondly called him Pandit-Ji or Maharaj-Ji. A descendant of the Maharaj family of Kathak dancers, Birjuwas cajoled into the Bollywood industry by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, a die-hard fan. Waking up to the news of his demise on Monday morning, Bansali said, “ “I have two idols. You can call them the guiding light of my career. Lataji (Mangeshkar) is in hospital. Panditji is gone. I can’t believe it. For me, his  dancing manifests the most beautiful emotions of life.”

Madhuri Dixit Nene who learnt her skills from the maestro also expressed grief of the loss. Maharaj had stepped in last with his influence and grace in Kalank, where Alia Bhatt a not so confident dance, as she proclaimed flabbergasted the audience with the kathak moves.

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