Renowned Odia Lyricist Nizam passes away

Bhubaneswar: Noted Odia lyricist Nizam today passed away at a private hospital here after a prolonged illness, his family sources said.

He was 62 and is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

Nizam’s body was taken to his residence at Sutahata in Cuttack where eminent cine artists, musicians, singers and relatives paid their last respects to him.

Nizam was later laid to rest at Daragha Bazar, the family sources said.

Earlier, the private hospital where he was undergoing treatment refused to hand over his body over payment of bills, state Tourism and Culture minister Ashok Panda said.

However, the issue was resolved on the intervention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, said the minister, who was among the dignitaries to pay his respects to the lyricist.

The lyricist, who had started his career in 1977, had suffered chronic renal failure in 2009 and underwent kidney transplant in the same year in Hyderabad. His wife Gulshan had donated the kidney to him.

Odia film industry and Nizam’s fans expressed shock over his death. “It is a big loss for Odisha,” said eminent singer Prafulla Kar.

“Though Nizam was born in a Muslim family, he used to write devotional songs for Lord Jagannath. We call him present day Sala Beg,” said noted film director Sanjay Nayak.

‘Mu je eka pagala bhanara’ and ‘Hrudaya ra ahe sunyata’ are some of the popular Odia songs written by Nizam.