Jackie Shroff was conspicuous by his absence at the Ambanis’ celebrations at Jamnagar.

When I reached out to the most casual superstar of the country he let out that there was reason for his absence from the biggest bash of the year.

“I would have loved to go. But it clashed with Pankaj Udhas’ prayer meet. I had to be at the smriti sammellan. But my son Tiger flew to Jamnagar to represent the family,” said Jackie who described himself as Udhas’ “biggest fan”.

“I grew up listening to his breezy Ghazals.Pankaj Udhasji and Jagjit Singhji popularized the Ghazal made i accessible to the aam junta, like us,” says Jackie. “I had to pay him my last respects.”

Jackie is known in the entire entertainment industry as one of the kindest and most largehearted souls.

When I mentioned how Jackie preferred Udhas’ prayer meeting to the Ambanis’ bash,a colleague of his responded, “That is so in character. While the entire film industry headed to the celebrations,Jackie stayed back to grieve with Pankaj Udhas’ family.”