Duniya mein Sikander koi nahi… Haan, Waqt Sikander hota hai… reads legendary singer Sardool Sikander’s bio on Instagram. He breathed his last on February 24 at Mohali. His demise sent artistes, politicians cutting across the parties and his fans in mourning. Sikander suffered from diabetes, kidney and other complications, and was recently treated for Covid-19. He had been undergoing treatment at a hospital for the past few weeks.
Coming from a humble background, Sikander, who was born at Kheri Naudh Singh, Fatehgarh Sahib, rose to a professional high with ‘Roadways Di Laari’. He had a good command of classical, folk, religious and playback singing. Sikander enjoyed success on radio, television and live shows. ‘Ek Charkha Gali De Vich, Maula, Nanak Naam Chardi Kalah’ are some of his famous songs. One of his bestselling albums is ‘Husna De Malko’ (1991) that has sold 5.1 million copies worldwide and counting. He also acted in Punjabi films like ‘Police in Pollywood’ and ‘Jagga Daku’.
A melodious singer, Sikander was a humble soul. He revered his guru Charanjit Ahuja. “Happiest Birthday to the Maker of Sardool Sikander Mere Ustad — Janaab Charanjit Ahuja sahab (your birth day is the biggest blessing of my entire life)” was one of his last social media posts.
Famous folk singer Pammi Bai, who also got trained under Ahuja, calls Sikander’s demise unfortunate and untimely. “He was a multitalented singer; his loss leaves a big void in the music world.” Bai shares how Sikander and his two brothers would go to do kirtan on one bicycle. “Sardool would ride the bike, one brother would sit on the cross bar, another behind him and between them they would carry harmonium and tabla – all on one cycle. And that he was to be such a hit, speaks volumes about his ability.” Bai recalls Sikander as a jovial man with characteristic ‘meethe mazak’, “Once we were sitting at Jalandhar Doordarshan studio and a singer sang out of tune, when I exclaimed, ‘what was it’, he goes, “Inha de suran naal matbhed ne’, he was kind, compassionate and outright funny.”
Sikander was married to actor-singer Amar Noorie. He is survived by his wife and sons – Sarang Sikander and Alaap Sikander – both of them are carrying forward their musical lineage. His musical legacy would survive in music lovers across generations.