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Mohd Rafi never apologised to Lataji

Mohd Rafi never apologised to Lataji | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Mohd Rafi never apologised to Lataji

The late singer’s son Shahid Rafi lashes out at Mangeshkar alleging she maligned his dad’s name

Shubha Shetty

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Posted On Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 02:46:10 AM

A day after Lata Mangeshkar's interview to this newspaper titled "I am far from perfect - I have a fierce temper" dated September 25, 2012, where the songstress recalled her fight with (late) Mohd Rafi over royalty rights and said she later got a written apology from him, Rafi's son Shahid Rafi has come out in strong protest, alleging she is lying and maligning his father's name, especially now when neither Rafi nor composer Jaikishen are alive to defend themselves.

Lataji had told Mirror: "At a meeting attended by prominent singers and musicians, Rafi Saab stood up and said, 'Main aaj se Lata ke saath nahin gaoonga'. I retorted, 'Rafi Saab, ek minute. Aap nahin gaayenge mere saath yeh galat baat hai. Main aapke saath nahin gaoongee'. I stormed out and called my composers there and then and informed them to rope in another singer if it was a duet with Rafi Saab." Asked about their patch-up, she had said, "Composer Jaikishen took the initiative. I asked him to get a written apology from Rafi Saab. I got the letter and ended the cold war. But whenever I'd see him, the hurt would return."

Shahid Rafi, explaining their side of the story, says "The controversy went on for a while. Lataji and some other singers were looking for royalty, saying they should get a cut from the producer, director etc. My dad wasn't very keen on that. He was this humble, soft spoken, amazingly generous person. His stand was, 'Our job is to sing and we get money for that. There is no point in getting greedy'. Hence, they had a fight and he decided to stop singing any duet with her."

Questioning Lataji's claim that his dad had given her a written apology, he adds, "If that is the case, let her show the letter. My father passed away about 25 years ago, and now she is talking about this letter? People keep valuable documents for even fifty years. Why hasn't she retained the paper which would give her dignity?"

Shahid's version of the patch-up is rather different. He says after his dad stopped singing with Lataji, he continued getting offers for duets and opted to sing with another brilliant singer, Suman Kalyanpur. At this point, Lataji started feeling insecure and approached composer Jaikishan to make peace between them. "When Jaikishan approached my father and requested him to make amends with Lataji, he immediately agreed because he wasn't the kind to hold on to grudges. But there is no way he would have apologised to her because he always stood by his principles. Why didn't she bring up this issue when he was alive?" Shahid says, adding, "I don't have to give any further justification about my dad's reputation. Even today, my dad has more followers than Lataji."

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Tamasha (1952)

Tamasha (1952) | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
Tamasha (1952)

SURESH KOHLI

inShare   Once in a lifetimeDev Anand, Ashok Kumar,Meena Kumari in their heyday.   Starring Dev Anand, Meena Kumari, Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar, Kaushalya, Bipin Gupta, Sunalini Devi, Randhir

One of the big hits of the year from Bombay Talkies produced by Ashok Kumar and Sarak Vacha, “Tamasha” had a narrative far ahead of its times, the action spread over 16 eventful days. On the surface, a young heir-apparent, Dilip (Dev Anand) is hopelessly in love with an aspiring film actor, Nayantara (Kaushalya) who together with her scheming mother(Sunalini Devi), a struggling director (Randhir) and assistant actually wants him to finance her launching pad. The stumbling block is Dilip's ailing grandfather, Rai Saheb (Bipin Gupta) who is dead against the alliance and constantly warning him to break away from the actress that will otherwise only bring shame to the family. Although Dilip keeps assuring him that he has severed all ties, and is, in fact, dating a homely girl from a middle class family, he is actually besotted with the actress who is simultaneously in an unholy alliance with big star Ashok Kumar (Ashok Kumar). Persuaded by Rai Sahib, Dilip hires the services of Kiran (Meena Kumari) as his new love interest.

As Kiran gets more and more comfortable as the housekeeper, Dilip gets caught in the whirlpool of his own creation, drowned in his infatuation with Nayantara and admiration for Kiran. Mummy, the director and Nayantara conspire and photograph Dilip in intimate moments with the latter, start blackmailing and threaten to take them to court. After some melodramatic scenes, actor Ashok Kumar brings in a dramatic end to the drama, teasingly telling the director and the heroine, “ Kaise raha yeh twist climax mein ? (How was this twist in the climax),” a dialogue the actor repeatedly deploys in the film.

It was unusual, and first in many ways: this is the only film in which Anand and Kishore Kumar acted together; this was both Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari's outing with Dev; the only one in the evergreen hero's long and distinguished career where he is not seen singing a solo or a duet. Also the dialogue by famous Urdu writer, Krishan Chandar: “ Samajhdar log dil se nahin dimag se mohabbat karte hai (The wise use their head not heart to be in love),” actor Ashok Kumar tells a besotted Dilip; “Mohabbat usi ka naam hai jo qurbaniyan na de (Love is that which does not give sacrifices)”.

Manna's turn

Manna Dey took over as music director after the untimely death of the original composer Khemchand Prakash. Five of the nine songs penned by Bharat Vyas and set to music by Manna Dey — Lata numbers (“Armanon ki nagri ujad gayi”, “Kyon aakhiyan bhar aayi”) or Geeta Dutt's “Raat mere meetha meetha” or Asha Bhosle's “Thi jinse pal bhar ki pehchan — nor Khemchand Prakash's compositions with Lata, “Mere chhote se dil ko tod chale” or Kishore Kumar, “Jab miyan biwin raazi” contributed to the success of the film. The highlight song was “Koi jal jal mere”. Kishore also rendered the mediocre “Khali peeli kahe ko akha”.

Directed by Phani Majumdar from his own screenplay, it had cinematography by Roque M Layton, and editing by Raghu Tipnis with choreography by Lacchu Maharaj. A young Meena Kumari with a sparkle in her eyes and an impish smile was quite the opposite of the accomplished tragedienne she became immortalised as. Dev Anand looked much more comfortable, though somewhat awkward in the romantic sequences, than in his earlier outings. Bipin Gupta was brilliant, Kaushalya just passable. Even in a side role of Rajju, Dilip's half brother gave a clear vision of his capabilities as a light, facile-footed performer, a much thinner version of his later successful star.

SURESH KOHLI

 

“Tamasha” was an unusual film in which both Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari appeared with Dev Anand.

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DNA E-Paper (Story, Photo, Infographic, Advertisement) Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Pune, Bangalore, Indore

DNA E-Paper (Story, Photo, Infographic, Advertisement) Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Pune, Bangalore, Indore | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Story from page 12 - the mag, dnaofjaipur

 

The

musician

‘Oldest’

As he readies to enjoy the melodies of a church organ at the celebrated NCPA, Manek Premchand’s thoughts go to Hindi film industry’s oldest surviving musician — Bahadur Nanaji

B

On Melody’s Wings

born on 14th December, 1920, Bahadur Nanji is the oldest surviving musician from Hindustani cinema. But before we see who this unsung Parsi hero is and what he has contributed, let’s spotlight something else that’s been making news in Mumbai these last few weeks.

 

The National Centre For The Performing Arts, Mumbai has arranged a music show based on Handel’s Messiah on 28th March, 2014. The special thing about this event is the presence of a mammoth pipe organ, gifted to the Centre in 1988 by a group of German businessmen. After a quarter century of neglect, this organ is being restored over several weeks by technicians at a cost of Rs22 lakh, which is less than a tenth of the price of a new one today. The people playing it are musicians from South West Festival Chorus, United Kingdom, in association with The Symphony Orchestra of India. So what’s so special about this instrument, you ask? Let’s plumb the depths a bit.

 

Pipe organs are also called church organs, because around the world large churches feature them to accompany hymns. This keyboard instrument has a complex architecture of pipes which make sounds when compressed air passes through them. Most pipe organs are custom-designed to factor in the acoustics of the place they will be played in. Each pipe resonates with its own sound, so that the human ear hears a chorus of sounds originating from as many points as there are pipes being played. This is also enriched by reflected sounds, each reflection having to do with the unique location of specific pipes. The results can better be imagined than described.

 

But there are other kinds of organs too. We have electronic organs, which being relatively portable and inexpensive are pretty widespread in use now, even if they sometimes sound synthetic. And then we have pump organs, which too sound natural, principally because they also, like their pipe cousins, use compressed air. In a pump organ, there are no pipes; instead, air is pumped up by foot-operated bellows. Pump organs have also been called foot-operated harmoniums, and are also used in smaller churches and chapels which cannot afford the cost or space of pipe organs.

 

Enter Bahadur Nanji

 

In many songs from Hindi cinema’s golden age, when the composer wanted to create a spiritual or elevated feeling—or wanted to dramatize the poetry—the pump organ was played. Do recall the Pankaj Mullick song, Aaj apni mehnatonka mujhko samra mil gaya, from Doctor (1941). The music was also Pankaj Mullick’s but we don’t know who played the pump organ through the song to dramatize Arzoo Lucknowi’s words.

 

What we do know though is that nine out of ten times, it was Bahadur Nanji who was called to play the instrument. We overlook the dozens of songs where this organ was used for harmonic support only, drowned by other instruments, and think of these songs, which featured the instrument audibly.

 

nAye dil na mujhse chhupa (Lata, Mukesh/Shankar-Jaikishan/Badal, 1951)

 

nBanaayi hai itni badi jisne duniya (Lata/Roshan/Sheesham, 1952)

 

nHaaye jise rakshak samjha (Manna Dey/Kanu Ghosh/Naya Zamana, 1957)

 

nHamaare baad ab mehfil mein (Lata/Madan Mohan/Baaghi, 1953)

 

nIk jhoot hai jiska duniya ne rakkha hai muhabbat naam (Rafi/Naushad/Jaadu, 1951)

 

nIs bewafa jahaan mein wafa dhoondte rahe (CH Atma/OP Nayyar/Aasmaan, 1952)

 

nKahaan ja raha hai tu aye jaane waale (Rafi/Shankar-Jaikishan/Seema, 1955)

 

nKoi naheen mera is duniya mein (Talat/Shankar-Jaikishan/Daag, 1952)

 

nKoi roke use aur ye kehde (Amirbai Karnataki/Khemchand Prakash/Sindoor, 1947)

 

nLagta naheen hai dil mera ujde dayaar mein (Rafi/SN Tripathi/Lal Qila, 1960)

 

nMehfil mein meri kaun ye deewaana aa gaya (Rafi, Lata/C. Ramchandra/Albela, 1951)

 

nNa manzil hai na manzil ka nishaan hai (Talat, Asha, Mubarak Begum/Khayyam/Tatar Ka Chor, 1955)

 

nTeri ada par nisaar karne main dil ko laaya (Talat/Hansraj Behl/Darbaar, 1955)

 

nTeri yaad ka deepak jalta hai (Talat/Ram Ganguly/Gawaiya, 1954)

 

nTu pyaar ka saagar hai (Manna Dey/Shankar-Jaikishan/Seema, 1955)

 

n Yaad na jaaye beete dinon ki (Rafi/Shankar-Jaikishan/Dil Ek Mandir, 1963)

 

That was Bahadur Nanji’s organ playing in our films. He did enormous work outside films too. Recall Talat’s Ro-ro beeta jeevan saara, or MS Subbulakshmi’s Meera bhajan, Main Hari charnan ki daasi. Let’s not forget CH Atma’s Preetam aan milo. These and several more had Nanji’s organ playing in accompaniment. The following songs featured his amazing harmonium too, the hand-operated one which has a different tone we are more familiar with:

 

 

 

n Chalat musafir moh liya re pinjre waali muniya (Manna Dey/Shankar-Jaikishan/Teesri Kasam, 1966)

 

n Humen bhi dedo sahaara ke besahaare hain (Rafi/Shankar-Jaikishan/Seema, 1955)

 

 

 

Did Bahadur Nanji stop there? Nah! He also sang, and here are a few of his songs:

 

 

 

n Badal rahi hai zindagi (GD Kapoor/Sahir/Azaadi Ki Raah Par, 1948)

 

n Dekhoji baat suno (with Mubarak Begum/MA Raoof/Sardar Ilham/Basera, 1950)

 

n Kya sitam hai zulm hai (with Amirbai Karnataki/Rafiq Ghaznavi or Gobindram/Tanvir Naqvi/Laila Majnu, 1945)

 

n Tu ne zindagi mein agar ek baar pee (V. Balsara/Madhukar Rajasthani/Madmast, 1953)

 

n Tumne pyaar sikhaaya mujhko (with Amirbai Karnataki/Husnlal-Bhagatram/Qamar Jalalabadi/Bambi, 1948)

 

n Ye raat suhaani hai muhabbat ki karo baat (with Dhun Indorewala/V. Balsara/Madhukar Rajasthani/Madmast, 1953)

 

This amazing musician assisted Roshan and arranged music for him in Malhar, Naubahaar, Sheesham, Anhoni, Hum Log — in fact in 17 films, no less. To add to that, he was a busy copyist, which means he would take an essential tune from say Naushad, and then make maybe 50 copies of the notations (one for each musician’s part in a song): in the western staff method for those that read western music, and the Hindustani sargam for those that followed the Indian system. He did this because he understood both the systems, because photocopying did not exist yet, and also because he was obsessed with music.

 

At 93 plus, he is still obsessed with music. He lives in central Mumbai, all by himself, but he is never lonely. Find him listening to Bach or Beethoven every day, or playing a mandolin to himself. Unfortunately he is not very mobile these days. So, on 28th March at NCPA, when I sit with a ringside view of the organist, I will miss Bahadur Nanji. And when everyone offers a standing ovation before the curtain comes down, I will also be mentally raising a glass to this extraordinary musician.

 

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Ghulam Haider: Punjab Pioneering Musician

Ghulam Haider: Punjab Pioneering Musician | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Ghulam Haider: Punjab Pioneering Musician

By Harjap Singh Aujla

 

South Asia Post Issue 35 Vol II, March 15, 2007

Master Ghulam Haider was one of the all time greats amongst the pioneering music directors of India. His life story is extremely fascinating. His meteoric rise can be compared to that of a foot soldier, rising to the rank of a general. I was perplexed to know that every write up about him starts from the age of 25 or even later and ends up at his demise.

No one has cared to research about his roots, his illustrious parentage and his initial grooming that blossomed into a genius. Even there are two stories about his date and place of birth. I think we the Punjabis need to do thorough research on his impressionist childhood that laid the foundation of a trend setting maestro.

There are two conflicting accounts about Ghulam Haider’s date and place of birth. The so far recorded history shows his birth in Sind. Another document says that he was born in Hyderabad Sind. But there is also a story, narrated to me by none other than Bhai Partap Singh of Amritsar. Bhai Partap Singh’s elders knew Ghulam Haider’s family intimately. He told me that Ghulam Haider was born in the walled city of Amritsar near the Golden Temple and all his upbringing took place in Amritsar. I think, in the interest of fair play, more research is needed to clear this confusion about a great genius. I was also told by S. Mohinder Music Director that Ghulam Haider’s father was a Muslim by faith but was held in high esteem by the Sikh community, because he used to perform Sikh religious classical and semi-classical music in Sikh places of worship and the homes of Guru Nanak’s followers. In Sikh circles Ghulam Haider’s father was called Bhai Mehar. He hailed from a respected Gharana of Rababi musicians dating back to the times of Guru Nanak’s fifteenth century disciple, a musician, Bhai Mardana.

According to Bhai Partap Singh, Bhai Mehar was bestowed with a melodious voice. He had a good knowledge of most of the thirty one Ragas mentioned in holy Guru Granth Sahib as well as most of the “Taals” used by Sikh classical musicians. Bhai Mehar and his ancestors had a mastery over ancient string musical instruments like “Saranda”, “Taus” and “Rabab” in addition to the popular contemporary instrument “Harmonium” he could play “Tabla”, “Dholak”, “Ghara”, and “Pakhawaj” quite proficiently. All this knowledge was passed on by Bhai Mehar to his son Ghulam Haider. Bhai Mehar’s desire was to see his son as an important part of his own group of musicians called “”Jatha”. But young Ghulam Haider perhaps had other intentions and he succeeded in what ever he did.

My (writer’s) father was born on December 22, 1905, and he did his B.A. and M.A. from Government College Lahore during mid nineteen twenties. He said that Ghulam Haider was of his age. That means Ghulam Haider could have been born in 1926 or 1927 also. The exact date of birth of such a great person needs to be confirmed through proper research.

Both Amritsar and neighbouring Lahore had decent dental colleges, but there is hardly any authentic information about Ghulam Haider’s enrolment into a dental college. This also requires more research, because by age twenty, there are conclusive proofs that he was already composing music for live performances in Lahore. He was the first music composer in Punjab, who’s innovations introduced Western instruments in North Indian music.

Ghulam Haider might have visited Calcutta, because that great Eastern Indian Metropolis, during the nineteen thirties and forties, used to be the fountainhead of musical talent in the Indian Sub-continent. Being an expensive city, it was difficult to make both ends meet in Calcutta without engaging in some kind of profession. Another music director Shiv Dayal Batish agreed that Ghulam Haider might have served for brief periods in “Alfred Theatre Company Calcutta” and “Alexandra Theatrical Company Calcutta”. But must have returned to base soon afterwards.

I think the inspiration for becoming the music director in a theatre in Lahore came from his experience of such musical theatre companies that were mushrooming in Calcutta. All the big and small music composers need to go back to the basics in order to refresh their knowledge of the finer points of classical music. Since for quite sometime he was out of the shadow of his father, he perhaps thought it appropriate to straighten the kinks under the expert guidance of Pandit Babu Ganesh Lal in Lahore. Dalip Chandra Vedi was another great teacher in Lahore.

During his pre-talkie years in Lahore, he came in contact with some of the theatre companies of the city. There were two types of theatre companies in that city. The first category included the Norah Richards inspired drama companies. Parsis owned some of such theatres. The second, less serious and more entertaining category, consisted of musical theatres, which featured dance and song events and just “Geet” and “Ghazal” mehfils. Ghulam Haider got in touch with the song and dance theatres, The concept of dance and music theatres came from the nineteenth century London, which was the role model for early twentieth century Calcutta, Bombay and Lahore. The music and dance theatres of Lahore were the work stations where Ghulam Haider thought his talents could be best utilized. He took upon himself the responsibility of composing the tunes from his vast treasure of inherited “Ragas” and “Taals”. The people of Lahore fell in love with his newly coined tunes, ever changing “Taals” and his wizardry with harmonium.

The years from 1930 to 1934 were the years of evolution of what we know about Ghulam Haider. Some of the female singers, who used to sing in the theatres and Mehfils of Lahore, included Amir Bano, Nawab Bai, Zohra Bai of Kapurthala and Mukhtar Begum. Zohra used to commute from Kapurthala to Lahore to perform. Umra-o-Zia Begum was the youngest to enter this field in 1933. As the films crossed over from silent to talkies, a new breed of talent was needed. Script writing, elocution and speech making skills were in demand. My late father saw Ghulam Haider in person in Lahore. My father used to tell me that Ghulam Haider as a music composer introduced the concept of “Prelude” and “Interlude” in instrumentation even during the pre-talkie era. This capability made his style unique. After hearing his compositions, his preludes and interludes, you can not make a mistake in identifying his special style. There were two other Punjabi music directors, who preceded him. They were Ustad Jhande Khan and Rafique Ghaznavi B.A., but they both flourished in Bombay, while Ghulam Haider held the fort in Lahore for a long time before making it big in Bombay in 1944.

My father told me that Ghulam Haider was a highly romantic person in nature. He found one captivating beauty in actress singer Umra-o-Zia Begum (some people spell her as Umrazia Begum). Ghulam Haider instantly got romantically involved  with this talented character. After a brief period of courtship, mostly during tune making opportunities, rehearsals and recording sessions, they decided to tie the knot and from the day of “Nikkah” they never looked back until death put them apart in 1953. Their romantic association gave several soulful “Ghazals” and “Geets” to the World of music. Some of them have survived to date.

Ghulam Haider was a great discoverer of latent musical abilities. Umra-o-Zia Begum was his first such find. But after marriage she bade farewell to acting and soon thereafter she stopped singing also and settled down into performing the daily chores of an Indian household lady.

Ghulam Haider’s innings as a film music director started in 1934 and ended in 1953. Sometimes it appears that the nature is acting very cruelly. Ghulam Haider died when he was needed most as an elder statesman of music and a guide to the budding music directors in the newly born nation of Pakistan. 

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Who was the first playback singer in Indian cinema? - The Times of India

Who was the first playback singer in Indian cinema? - The Times of India | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
Who was the first playback singer in Indian cinema?

Jul 2, 2005, 09.37 PM IST 

  It's WM Khan. The first Indian talkie 'Alam Ara' was made by Ardeshir M Irani, on March 14, 1931. It was a Parsi theatre piece adaptation retaining the play's songs. This gave Indian cinema its first singer WM Khan and achieved success in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. For the song recordings, only a harmonium and tabla were used out of the camera range and the singer sang into a hidden microphone. The fakir song by WM Khan -- 'De De Khuda ke Naam Par Pyaare' -- became extremely popular. 

Kapil Hukkeri, Noida
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The Djinn Of Aiman

The Djinn Of Aiman | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
ArtsThe Djinn Of AimanFarida Khanum returns to sing in CalcuttaBy Ali Sethi | 1 April 2014COURTESY FARIDA KHANUM  1800 837Print|E-Mail|Multiple Page

IT WAS A DIM JANUARY AFTERNOON IN LAHORE, there was a power outage on Zahoor Elahi Road, and Farida Khanum had finally woken up.

We were sitting among shadows on the floor of her living room: I on the carpet and she on a cushion that was at once a mark of her prestige (she is “The Queen of Ghazal,” the last of her generation’s iconic classically trained singers) and advanced age (she can no longer sit as she used to, like a mermaid, with her legs folded beguilingly beneath her). I had come to prepare Khanum for a concert she was to give in a week’s time in Calcutta, and was trying to engage her, in this fragile early phase of her day, with innocuous-sounding questions: which ghazals was she planning on singing there, and in what order?

“Do-tin cheezaan Agha Sahab diyan” (Two-three items of Agha Sahib’s), she said in Punjabi, her voice cracking. She was referring to the pre-Independence poet and playwright Agha Hashar Kashmiri.

“Daagh vi gaana jay” (You must sing Daagh too), I said. “Othay sab Daagh de deewane ne” (Everyone there is crazy about Daagh)—Daagh Dehlvi, the nineteenth-century poet.

“Aa!” she said, and stared at me in appalled agreement, as if I had recognised an old vice of Calcutta’s citizens.

“Te do-tin cheezaan Faiz Sahabdiyan vi gaadena” (And you can also sing two-three pieces from Faiz Ahmad Faiz).

“Buss,” she said, meaning it not as a termination (in the sense of “That’s enough”) but as a melancholy deferral, something between “Alas” and “We’ll have to wait and see.”

I knew she was nervous about the trip—the distance, the many flights, the high standards of Bengalis—and to distract her I removed the lid of my harmonium and held down the Sa, Ga and Pa of Bhairavi. I was chhero-ing the thumri ‘Baju band khul khul jaye.’

“Farida ji, ai kistaran ai?” (How does it go, Farida ji?) I asked, all goading and familiar.

“Gaao na,” she said.

I screwed up my face and started the aalaap.

“Aaaaaa…” Her mouth was a cave, her palm was held out like a mendicant’s.

“Subhanallah,” I said, and pumped the bellows.

Her singing filled up the room: she climbed atop the chords, spread out on them, did somersaults.

“Wah wah, Farida ji! Mein kehnavaan kamal ho jayega! Calcutta valey deewane ho jaangey” (Bravo, Farida ji! It will be extraordinary! The people of Calcutta will go crazy), I said.

“Haan,” she said, looking away and making a sideways moue that managed to convey deliberation, disinterest and derision all at once.

THE CONCERT WAS THE BRAINCHILD of Malavika Banerjee, who organises the annual Kolkata Literary Meet. I met Banerjee—“Mala”—at last year’s KaLaM, and told her I was making a documentary film about Farida Khanum. Our conversation took place one night in a car; we were weaving past rotten old buildings somewhere near the Victoria Memorial and I was telling Mala about Khanum’s Calcutta connection. Her older sister, Mukhtar Begum, was a Punjabi gaanewaliwho had come to the city in the 1920s to work for a Parsi-owned theatrical company. Within a few years she had become a star of the Calcutta stage—she was advertised on flyers as the “Bulbul-e-Punjab” (the Punjabi bulbul)-—and had moved into a house on Rippon Street. Khanum herself was born, sometime in the 1930s, somewhere in these now-decrepit parts.

Mala was held: she asked if I could bring Khanum to next year’s festival. She also asked, in a sort of polite murmur, “She’s still singing and all?”

“Of course!” I said, mainly to serve my own interests: I had been looking for a reason—a ruse, really—to bring Khanum to Calcutta and film her in the locations where she had passed her childhood.

“Theek hai,” Mala said. “Let me work on this.”

One year later, I was headed to Calcutta with Khanum and her two daughters, her fifteen-year-old granddaughter, and the film’s archivist. There had been crises. Some weeks before we left I was told that Khanum’s passport had expired; strings had to be pulled, and a new passport procured within a week. Then there was panic about our visas—I had to meet the Indian High Commissioner in Lahore and urge him to release them on time. And we did, despite Khanum’s protests, have to take a wheelchair with us from Pakistan: she would not be able to cross the Wagah border and navigate India’s airports entirely on foot.

“Karlaangi” (I’ll do it), she said on the day her new passport arrived.

To which her daughter Fehmeda, an endocrinologist, said in a tone of practiced refusal: “Ami aap hargiz nahin karsaktin” (Ami, there’s no way you can do it).

As Fehmeda had explained to me, a trauma to the sciatic nerve had led to a loss of sensation in Khanum’s left foot. She could travel only if it didn’t involve the use of her feet.

“But she will go,” Fehmeda had said. “She must. The doctor has said she should stay active. We shouldn’t let her sit at home all the time.”

Fehmeda was referring to Khanum’s debility of the last three years, which has been accompanied by hospital visits, physiotherapy and rounds of medication. (Khanum herself had described it to me in terms of demonic sensations: her foot going numb, a tube entering her throat, being forced to swallow strange pills and feeling a subsequent whirling in her head.) But worse, I had sensed, was the gloom accompanying this illness—an awareness of the body’s vulnerability that led constantly to thoughts of mortality, wistful ones not unlike those expressed in Khanum’s most famous song, ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo’:

Waqt ki qaid mein zindagi hai magar
Chand ghariyan yehi hein jo azaad hain

(In time’s cage is life, but
Some moments now are free)

A few days before we left for Amritsar she said to me, in the middle of a frivolous conversation, in a detached and mildly quizzing tone, “Main karlaangi?” (Will I be able to do it?)

And I was sly and cavalier with my response: “Araam naal, Farida ji. Tuaanu pataa vi nahin chalna” (With ease, Farida ji. You won’t feel a thing).

I CAME TO FARIDA KHANUM, like most people, after hearing her rendition of Fayyaz Hashmi’s ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo.’ But it feels lame putting it like that—saying “rendition” and ceremoniously attaching the song’s title to the writer’s name, as if he were some major poet and this a lofty kalaam. The truth is that ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo’ started out as an ordinary film song, a geet—so many people in their enchanted ignorance have called it a ghazal—that was commissioned for the 1974 Pakistani film Badal Aur Bijli. A Memon from Karachi by the name of Habib Wali Mohammed had sung the original; it was sullen, randy and liltingly hummable—a young man’s plea for gratification.

What it has become in Khanum’s rendition—a widely circulated recording from a mehfil in the 1980s—is a bewitchingly layered song, one with a cajoling, comforting, almost foetal ebb and flow to it, but also with the plunges, scrapes and gasps of a ravenous consummation. It has bliss, strife, love, sex.

Of course, Khanum will never say any of this. She only ever speaks about her music in sweet nullities: the song was “fast” and she made it “slow”; the song was “light” and she gave it “soz” (pain); the original was sung in the “filmi style,” and to make it her own she decided to sing it in a “somewhat altered style.”

A formal analysis of the rendition shows something of a trail or path. The song is set in Aiman Kalyan, also called Yaman Kalyan, the evening raag prescribed for creating a mood of romance. Khanum leans on the raag for results: her “yunhi pehlu mein baithay raho” (just stay like this beside me) is so persuasive because she is literally holding the note, in this case the Gandhar or Ga of the raag, which happens to be its vaadi sur, or dominant note. Then there is the song’s beat-cycle—here the Deepchandi taal of 14 beats. Khanum is notorious for singing in a hazardous aarha style—she remains slightly off the beat, creating an additional tension between her voice and the tabla that is resolved occasionally when the two meet at the samm, or first bol, of the cycle. Her ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo’ is delivered in this semi-free vein: her wilful, uneven pacing of the lyrics creates the illusion of a chase, a constant fleeing of the words from the entrapments of beat. (This technique, which has the mark of her teacher—the erratic and perennially intoxicated Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan—bears its sweetest fruit in Khanum’s ghazals, where strategic lags and compressions in the singing can enhance the pleasures of a deferred rhyme.)

But what after these outlines have been described? How to account for the slightly torn texture, the husky tone, the maddening rass of the voice? And what to do about Khanum’s devastating deployment of the word “haye” in the phrase “haye marr jayeingey”? I once heard the Bollywood playback singer Rekha Bhardwaj say, “Yeh gaana hai hee ‘haye’ pey” (This song is all about the ‘haye’). I think she is right, in that Khanum’s transformation of that word—from a jerky exclamation in the original to a dizzying upward glide, a veritable swoon, in her own version—has made of it a mini-mauzu, or thematic locus, of the lyric.

Can such phenomena be broken down? Not on the keys of a harmonium. I once placed my baja before Khanum and asked her to show me the note-by-note progression of her “haye.” But she could only produce it with her voice, and then too with a mysterious effort that marshaled her whole being: she would close her eyes, put on a smile, tilt her head, throw up a hand in the air and let the “haye” out.

NOT EVERYONE HAS BEEN WOWED by Khanum’s musical abilities.

Mehdi Hassan, the Pakistani ghazal singer who was her great peer and rival, and who passed away in 2012, used to complain that she was given to too much “mixing”—taking a passage from one raag and joining it arbitrarily with another for an easy resolution of the melody. This is essentially an accusation of cheating—contrast it with Hassan’s own showy detailing of raags, often with tiresome commentaries about the rules of classical music delivered in the middle of his performances. But the same observation—that Khanum is given to mixing—can also be taken as a compliment, an appreciation of her knack for improvisation.

There are those who think of Khanum as an over-complicating singer, one who is incapable of singing a “straight” tune. This view, contained in the mocking-pitying remark “Seedha nahin ga saktin”, was common among Pakistani music directors, and cost Khanum a lucrative career in playback singing. She was incensed by their critique—“It reached my ears,” she told me cryptically—and became determined to disprove it. She got the chance in 1976, when she was asked to sing Athar Nafees’s ghazal ‘Woh ishq jo humse rootthh gaya’ for the Pakistan Television programme Sukhanwar. Though Khanum sang the ghazal with uncharacteristic simplicity, she used all her reserves of sinuousness to secure the assignment: she had heard the song, composed in Bhairavi by Master Manzoor, and sensed its potential for popularity. Then, to make sure the PTV officials who were in charge of the programme didn’t give it to another singer, she did an elaborate nakhra: she pretended not to want to sing it, insisting that it was “not her style.” This spurred the officials, who were now sufficiently antagonised, into assigning her the song as a punishment.

And finally there are those who consider Khanum an undereducated singer, one who doesn’t abide by the rules because she doesn’t know them. Such people—I know a few “experts” in Pakistan’s radio and television bureaucracy who hold this view—see in Khanum’s tussles with beat and melody the proof of an unfinished taaleem. (Comparisons are drawn, inevitably, with Mehdi Hassan, the “natural” Noor Jehan and the studious but unadventurous Iqbal Bano.)

There is, to be sure, an element of truncation in Khanum’s musical trajectory: she has said many times that Partition, which resulted in the loss of her Amritsar home, signalled the end of her training and forced her to make compromises—personal as well as musical. For a few years, while living in the alien city of Rawalpindi, Khanum travelled regularly to Lahore to sing for radio and act in films. But she failed to make an impact. Soon she was consumed by marriage, and gave up singing at the insistence of the industrialist who offered her the securities of a “settled life.” Later, when she returned to music, she took up not khayal or thumri but the accessible and mercifully “semi-classical” Urdu ghazal.

But here too we have an artful complication, contained in a remark she once made before me—when asked to explain her peculiar style, or ang—about the way she was trained as a child. “Saanu sikhhaya hee aistarhansi” (This is how I was taught [to sing]), she said. Her ustad, it is true, was a musical maverick, a man who emphasised ingenuity and dynamism over fidelity to rules. (His own voice was coarse and reedy, and his reputation—like that of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in our time—rested on sensational gimmicks and gambles with the beat rather than on mellifluousness or emotional taseer.) There was, at the same time, Khanum’s childhood exposure to the liberal attitudes of north India’s courtesans, the bibi-jis and bai-jis who looked upon music as a device—one of many workable wiles—and were not bound by obligations of form and lineage. (Khanum was particularly influenced by the anarchic charms of the ghazal singer Begum Akhtar, who was a friend of her sister's and a regular visitor to their house.) They valued adaayigi, or presentation, more than qanundari, or lawfulness, and placed a premium on heart-stopping quirks. Their music was distinct in crucial ways from that of the khansahibs or gavaiyyas, whose prowess was measured to a much larger extent by their ability to showcase the laws and structures of raags and taals. This difference can be discerned even in the “light” art of ghazal-singing: the cultural commentator Ally Adnan is beautifully precise when he says that Mehdi Hassan and Ghulam Ali, eager to show their grasp of taal, race towards the samm and explode it like a “climax,” whereas Farida Khanum renders it a surprising and more interesting “anti-climax.”

Finally there is the tricky business of pleasure, which dislikes explanations and resists the isolation of technicalities. Farida Khanum is the purveyor of a holistic agreeableness, an overall sensory delight that doesn’t require division into cynical categories. What a pleasure she is—to hear, watch, experience. (In the realm of Hindustani music, at least, the last is a vital mode of analysis—and a real alternative to the ravages of “pure” theory.)

The best description of Khanum’s gifts is perhaps this remark from a PTV producer: “Mehfil lootna koi unn se seekhhay!” (She sure knows how to bring the house down!) That ability—to revel in solutions, to make do or make work, even if it requires bending the rules—is the hallmark of a born performer. It is also interpersonal—it requires an intuitive appraisal of the whole of a situation—and can really only be experienced during a live performance.

IN OCTOBER, three months before the concert in Calcutta, Farida Khanum moved an audience in Lahore to tears.

This happened at the Khayal Literature Festival. I was interviewing Khanum, in a session called “The Love Song of Pakistan,” about her life in music. Adding star power to our panel was the ghazal singer Ghulam Ali. I had spotted Ali—urbane in black kurta and rimless glasses—in the audience at the start of the show and asked him to join us with a spontaneous announcement. The people in the hall were mostly bourgeois Lahoris, though a relatively diverse set from within that limited lot. (There were students and teachers, parents and grandparents, women and children.) The atmosphere, even before Khanum appeared on the stage, was one of uncritical veneration, and it was suffused with a weighty melancholy when she emerged from behind a curtain, held by her daughter and stumbling and tarrying on her way to a chair.

“Farida ji,” I said, switching on the shruti box I had placed before her. “Could you please, for just a little bit, sing for us the bandish in Aiman that you learned as a child? Just a little sample, please.”

This part was rehearsed. I had suggested to Khanum earlier in the week that she present on stage a “thread” of Aiman: she could start with a classical piece, then proceed to ghazals and geets—including the crowd-pleasing ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo’—all in her favorite raag. This would give our session a musical coherence, I had said, and make it easy to follow.

“Achcha?” she had replied. “Sirf Aiman karna ai?” (Really? You want to dwell only on Aiman?) She pressed her lips together, in her inscrutable way. Then, with a mildly warning look, she said, “Theekai. Ay achcha sochya ai.” (Okay. This sounds like a good plan.)

Now, onstage, she ceded to my request for the bandish with an indulging smile. What happened next surpassed everyone’s expectations. Khanum’s voice, in contrast to her ailing frame, was robust, full-throated, steady, flexible. Everything she sang glowed with energy: she unfolded an aalaap, a bandish in teentaal, Faiz’s ghazal ‘Shaam-e-firaaq ab na poochch,’ Sufi Tabassum’s ghazal ‘Woh mujhse huway humkalam’ and her signature ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo.’ She was bringing out the raag in different forms, showing its familiar movements, making it reveal its secrets. But she was also compressing a century of cultural evolution: interspersing the singing with anecdotes about her childhood in Calcutta, the riaz with her ustad in Amritsar, her post-Partition collaborations with poets and music directors at Lahore’s radio station, and the fortuitous way in which she had come to sing ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo’ (someone had asked her to sing it at a mehfil). For the lay Lahore audience, the overall experience—one of observing a constant or eternal thing (the raag) endure in ephemeral or perishable forms—was eye-opening, cathartic and extra-musical.

THE YOUNG WRITER BILAL TANWEER, who was in the weeping, clapping audience that day, later described what he had witnessed as a kind of shamanism. “Unhon ne Aiman ka djinn kharaa karr diya” (She brought out the djinn of Aiman), he said to me. I thought that was profound. A djinn—a spirit or presence—has to be channelled or conjured up. Summoning such djinns is the function of all great musicians. (Their existence is confirmed, in Hindustani music, by the special terms upaj and aamad—spontaneity and inspiration.) Within music, it is singing, more than any other art, that draws attention to the artiste as a medium for conjuring these spirits. Don’t so many singers look frazzled or bewildered after an especially good concert or recording? The better the performance, the greater the musician’s feeling of emptiness, of having been possessed and vacated.

In the case of a singer like Farida Khanum, her role as a transmitter of djinns is magnified by social and historical contexts. When she sings ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo,’ she is passing on the cumulus of centuries—the laws of Aiman, according to one legend, were fixed by Amir Khusro in the thirteenth century—in an accessible, contemporary form. And the process is made poignant and ironic by our ignorance: how many of the amateurs who upload videos of themselves singing ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo’ on YouTube and Facebook know what they are really channelling? The enduring appeal of a singer like Khanum is nostalgic, yes. But it is also heightened by our condition, which is one of rootlessness and over-mediation, and by our corresponding thirst for what is true, rare, original and sublime.

As for Khanum herself, I don’t think she knew how popular she was with young people until I sat her down one day and placed a computer on her lap.

“YouTube,” I said.

“Oho,” she said, affecting curiosity but looking nonplussed. 

“Ai kee ay?” (What is this?) I asked, pointing to the video links on the screen.

Khanum peered at the screen. Then she gave a start. “Ai te mein aan” (That’s me), she said.

I played for her several covers of ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo,’ and read out some of the comments under her (now erroneously-deemed-original) version: “Soulful!”; “What a beautiful voice!”; “133 dislikes—for what??”; and “My all-time favorite ghazal.”

“Ae hunay hee aya ai?” (Did this one come just now?) Khanum asked, tentatively pressing her finger to the screen.  

No, I told her, the comments had been accumulating for years, and would continue to gather for as long as people listened to the song.

“Mein hairat mein hun” (I am amazed), Khanum said. “Ai magic ho rya ai, magic” (This is magic, this is magic).

WE WENT TO INDIA, then, for old time’s sake.
It required the artful breaking-up of our itinerary: we crossed Wagah, spent a night in Amritsar, flew to Delhi in the morning and took a connecting flight in the afternoon to Calcutta—or Kolkata, as it is now known. (We adjusted our tongues on the plane, softening the K and elongating the O.) A wheelchair was involved at several stages, but Khanum’s aversion to it was diminished by our calling it the “chair”—glossing over the existence of the wheels transformed the dreaded device into a luxury, a privilege, something befitting a legendary person.

It also required shielding Khanum from unwanted attention. When the media called for interviews—“We would re-ally like to talk to her for just five minutes”—we said in the most conciliatory tones, “She is resting, she is resting, please.” Whereas actually she was preparing: taking mysterious medicines and guzzling a ginger-and-honey drink and being told constantly to talk less and preserve her voice.

“Haye,” she said on occasions when her foot hurt, feeling real pain. Whereupon I improvised frantically, telling her how good she looked, how much everyone loved her, how wonderful the concert would be. “Saara Calcutta afra-tafri vich ay” (All of Calcutta is in a frenzy), I kept insisting, though I had no proof of this. And: “Saaray ticket vikgaye nay” (All the tickets have been sold).

On the night of the concert, a final hurdle appeared. I had gone to the GD Birla Mandir, the venue of the show, for a sound check. There I was told, an hour before the concert, that Khanum would have to go down several flights of stairs in order to reach the auditorium.

“What are we going to do?” I asked one of the organisers, a woman in a sari who looked back at me uncomprehendingly.

Then she said, “Wait.”

Approximately twenty minutes later, a little before 7 pm, a white car carrying Khanum pulled up to the GD Birla Mandir. The legendary singer emerged in a pink-and-gold sari, and was led by helpers and admirers into the foyer. Then the Mandir’s doors closed, and the foyer emptied. Khanum, who had only just sat down in a chair, spent the next few minutes in a state of airborne transport, gripping the chair’s arms and muttering the lord’s name under her breath, until she found herself seated in her usual, regal way on a stage decorated with flowers. “Ya Ali Madad” (Help me, Ali), she said, invoking the prophet’s heir and fourth caliph of Islam, before the curtain went up.

“Ek muddat ho gayi hai” (It has been an age), Khanum said, shivering a little but looking serene before her Calcutta audience, which was comprised of young and old alike. “Innhon ne kaha aap chalein, buss thhora sa safar hai” (They said I should go, the journey is not long).

She stuck to the rules: she sang two ghazals from Daagh, two from Faiz, the thumri in Bhairavi and ‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo.’ I had the privilege of sitting next to her on the stage and holding open the book that contained the words to the songs. I marvelled at her composure—and, yes, at the soundness of her training—when I saw how she conducted the audience, the accompanying musicians and the sound technicians behind the curtain with just her hand-movements and facial expressions. And I saw—a novice observing a master, a mortal observing a living legend—how she managed her voice: the expansions in the middle octave, the careful narrowing at the higher notes, the strategic truncation of words and notes when she was running out of breath. Occasionally, when I feared she was going to skip a beat, I found myself clenching the book in my hands and glancing at the audience for signs of a crisis.

But there were none, because even the odd anti-climax, when it did occur, was a pleasure.  

Ali Sethi is a musician, and the author of the novel The Wish Maker. He lives in Lahore.

- See more at: http://www.caravanmagazine.in/arts/djinn-aiman?page=0,1#sthash.uHnsFkuo.dpuf

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Urdu added lyricism to Hindi songs - Tanveer Ahmed - The Sunday Indian

Urdu added lyricism to Hindi songs - Tanveer Ahmed - The Sunday Indian | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
Celebrating 100 years of Indian cinemaUrdu added lyricism to Hindi songs TANVEER AHMED | New Delhi, June 25, 2012 15:15 
Tags : Hindi songs | Urdu in cinema | Sahir Ludhianvi | 

Urdu has played a crucial role to the growth and development of Indian cinema, especially adding rhyme and lyricism to its musical numbers. The scenario, however seems to have changed after lyrics started playing second fiddle to musical beats and compositions. Appalled by the absence of lyrics from today's numbers, the great lyricist  Shaharyar, who composed immortal songs like ‘Dil cheez kya hai’ and ‘In aankhon ki masti ke’ of Umrao Jaan once said, “I can not write the kind of poetry that is being written today”.
 
There was a time when actor or actress used to convey their feelings not through dialogues but through subtle lyrics of Urdu poetry. It was through songs that actors conveyed their various moods, feelings, situations and emotions like “O duniya ke rakhwale sun dard bhare mere nale’, or the actress conveyed her inner feelings “pankh hote to ur aati mein” or “acha ji mein hari chalo man jao na”. The lyrics of these songs have left everlasting impressions on the minds of people and were also the reason for their commercial success.

Senior journalist Sheikh Fasihuddin says, “It is a fast food culture these days. Audience do not hear or enjoy songs but they watch ‘dirty’ songs. There was a time when people used to watch movies to hear songs. But the situation has now changed altogether as no good songs are being composed”.

“There is no doubt that if we look back at 100 years of success of the Indian cinema, Urdu played a dominating role,” says Fasihuddin. There is a long list of urdu poets from Sahir Ludhianvi, Hasrat jaipuri, Majrooh sultanpuri, Shakeel Badaiuni, jigar Moradabadi, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Kaifi Azmi, Nida Fazli, Qamar Jalalabadi, Shaharyar to Rahat Indori of recent times.

The Urdu poets have given some beautiful songs to the Indian cinema between 1940 to 1990. It will not be wrong to term this phase as a ‘golden period’ of Indian cinema. It was during this period that some great poets were at the peak of their careers like Shakeel Badaiuni (1916-1970), Sahir Ludhianvi (1921-1980), Majrooh Sultanpuri (1919-2000), Hasrat Jaipuri (1922-1999).

Talking to The Sunday Indian, senior compere of Vividh Bharti, Patna, Aftab Ahmed Nasir says, “Be it Sahir, Hasrat or Majrooh, they all were great poets and the element of poetry in their songs made these songs popular. It was because of this element that viewers even today hum these popular numbers.

Famous Hindi satirist Ashok Chakrdhar says, “The lyricist who left their imprints on the Indian cinema were those who used the language of common people in their poetry. This is the reason the lyrics written by Neeraj, Shailender and Indeever were so popular.”

These old songs have played an important role as they touched the heart of people. Editor of Bazme Sahara, Haqqani al Qasmi says, “Indian cinema and Urdu are made for each other. Urdu is a rich language and has contributed immensely to the development of lyrics of Indian cinema.”

Today's songs don't have the lyrics of yesteryear. The taste of the listeners and the priorities of film makers have also changed over the period of time. As a result, today's songs are more beat and rhythm-based rather than lyrics-based.

Some popular lyrics and their composers

Shakil Badaiuni: Chaudhvi ka chand ho ya aftab ho (chaudhi Ka chand ), Aey door ke Musafir hum ko bhi saath lel le (Uran Khatola ) Suhani Raat dhal gayee (Dulari)
Sahir Ludhianvi: Jo wada kiya who nibhana parega (Taj Mahal) Aurat ne janam diya mardon ko (Sadhna) Choo lene do nazuk hoton ko (Kajal)
Majrooh Sultanpuri: Ab to tum se har Khushi apni (Abhiman) Rat Kali ek Khwab mein aayee (Budha Mil Gaya), Teri aankhon ke siwa dunya mein rakha kya hai (Chiragh)
Kaifi azmi: chalte chalte yunhi koi mil gaya tha (Pakeezah), waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam (Kaghaz Ke Phool), Yeh dunya yeh mehfil mere kaam ki nahi (Heer Ranjha)
Hasrat Jaipuri: Tum mujhe yun bhula na paoge (Pagla Kaheen Ka), Baharon phool barsao mera mehboob aaya hai (Suraj).

 
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Remembering Gangubai Hangal, 1913-2009

Remembering Gangubai Hangal, 1913-2009 | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
Remembering Gangubai Hangal, 1913-2009July 14, 2013 | by Suresh Chandvankar | Category: Music | 1 Comment

Four years ago, on Tuesday July 21, 2009, Dr. (Smt.) Gangubai Hangal passed away at the ripe age of 96 years. Her fans and music lovers were shocked, since they thought that she would complete the century of her life.

She was quite energetic in her advancing age and had recently visited Mahalaxmi Temple at Kolhapur. After the Darshan of the Mahalaxmi Devi, she had rendered her musical service to the deity by singing in the Sabhamandap for a short while. She was the ‘Grand Mother’, not only to her family but to the entire state of Karnataka. A State mourning was declared, educational institutes were closed for two days and last rites were performed with state honor. In recent times, she was probably the only artist to receive such honor posthumously.

Dr. Gangubai Hangal was the most senior living vocalist of the Ustad Abdul Karim Khan branch of‘Kairana (Kirana)’ Gharana. She was singing for over eighty years and taught music to several disciples, including her daughter Krishna Hangal. Gangubai was a great performer and a very witty person. On her eightieth birthday, as she talked to a group of her fans, family friends and journalists, one young journalist asked her about the secret of her enthusiasm and love for such a forceful music at such an advanced age. She laughed and asked him what he would do when he is very hungry. He replied that he would eat lot of delicious food to satisfy his hunger. She then said, ‘I am also hungry at this age, not for food but for my music. Then I sing a lot, since that is my real food’. True, ‘Music was her life’.

Another young man asked a question about her famous ‘singing pose’ in which she puts her palm of the left hand on ear and stretches her right hand out. She said, ‘This is the pose of the policeman who controls the traffic on the road. I listen to and check the notes (Swaras) in the Raga that I am rendering. I permit the appropriate ones and ward off the inappropriate notes to maintain the purity and discipline of my music. My voice became broad after a minor throat surgery. Due to such a man like voice, I am often called ‘Ganguboa’ so this pose suits to me very well’.

Yet another gentleman asked why she sings only pure classical Ragas and no other form of light music. To this, she remarked, ‘My mother taught me all forms of light classical music including lessons in Kathak style dance. I have recorded Gazal, Thumri, Marathi Bhavgeete and devotional songs on gramophone discs in early thirties. Nowadays, I don’t find sufficient time even for classical Ragas and hence do not sing light classical music’. Gangubai has left behind a large number of recordings, photographs and a small book of her memoirs. Originally in Kannada, this book now has been translated and is available in English. Gangubai’s father Mr. Chikkurao Nadgir was a lawyer and belonged to a high caste ‘Brahmin’ community. Her mother’s name was Ambabai alias ‘Ambakka’. Her grandmother’s name was ‘Gangavaa’. Ambakka adopted this name for her daughter and thus she became ‘Gangu’.

Hangal was their native place and they used it as their surname. Ambabai was an expert vocalist inCarnatic style music and the first Guru of young Gangu. Ustad Abdul Karim Khan used to visit their house to listen to her ‘Sargam’, to learn notations and to hear the renderings of ‘Javali’ and ‘Pallavi’ styles. Sometimes, he would listen to young Gangu and bless her with the words, ‘Beta, Gala Achha Hai Tera. Khoob Gana Aur Khoob Khana’ (Dear Child, your voice is very sweet. Sing a lot and eat a lot). Gangubai followed former part of his advice and sang a lot throughout her life.

Ustad Abdul Karim Khan had established ‘Arya Sangeet Vidyalaya’ (music schools) in Miraj, Pune, Dharwad, Belgaum and several other towns. As a result, Hindustani classical music became very much popular in that area. Due to such an atmosphere, young Gangu was attracted to Hindustani music even though her mother was singing Carnatic music. Her mother made every effort to teach her music within the available means. She gave up her own singing to avoid any influence that young Gangu may have of Carnatic music on her singing. She was not very keen on her formal school education. Hence, Gangu left school after the fifth class and continued her music tuitions and ‘taalim’ for rest of her life. Initially, she had some basic training in vocal music from local teachers. Prof. V. N. Bhatkhande’s series of books on music contributed towards her singing practice.

Bhupali Ninadiya Jage, c. 1940

Until about 1930/32, Gangubai had not moved out of Dharwad and Hubli. Later on she often visited Mumbai for concerts, radio programs and for cutting gramophone discs. She travelled a lot for participating in all India music conferences. She also toured Europe, Canada and America in the later part of her career. She mesmerized her audiences through her soul-touching music. Gangubai witnessed and adopted herself to various phases of sound recording technology. Beginning with three-minute 78-rpm shellac discs to longer duration CD’s and DVD’s she has recorded prolifically and made her music permanent.

Gangubai was a great exponent of her Gharana but she was a great human being too. She was always supporting young artists and was used to mix with young children learning music. Several years ago, Smt. Vijaya Mulay interviewed her on Doordarshan. They were discussing about the status and dignity of the female artists. Gangubai expressed, “Whenever any male artist becomes famous and popular, he is rewarded with titles like ‘Ustad’, ‘Khansaheb’, ‘Bua’,‘Acharya’, ‘Pandit’ etc. However, a female artist of that status is always addressed as Bai, Begum, and Jan and so on. Why this partial honorific? This sharp question remained unanswered. However, her point was noted. Later on, print and electronic media began to address female artists with titles ‘Pandita’ or ‘Vidushi’ while announcing their programs. Credit for such a welcome change goes to Gangubai only.

In her long interview recorded on her 75th birthday, she advised youth, “I do not find depth and improvisation of musical ideas among the younger lot. This may be due to the fact that this generation does not want to stick to one Guru and to get complete training for longer period. You spend over twenty years to get one degree in any discipline, but want to get mastery in music by just attending a few classes and changing teachers. How would it be possible?” How true! Commercialization of music around us is a real proof of what she meant and suggested.

It is rare that we get to honor an artist who devoted eighty years of her life to a single discipline. May her soul rest in peace and her music give peace to listeners’ souls.

5Tagged: Gangubai Hangal, Kirana Gharana, Suresh Chandvankar, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan
July 14, 2013 | by Suresh Chandvankar | Category: Music | 1 Comment
Four years ago, on Tuesday July 21, 2009, Dr. (Smt.) Gangubai Hangal passed away at the ripe age of 96 years. Her fans and music lovers were shocked, since they thought that she would complete the century of her life.


She was quite energetic in her advancing age and had recently visited Mahalaxmi Temple at Kolhapur. After the Darshan of the Mahalaxmi Devi, she had rendered her musical service to the deity by singing in the Sabhamandap for a short while. She was the ‘Grand Mother’, not only to her family but to the entire state of Karnataka. A State mourning was declared, educational institutes were closed for two days and last rites were performed with state honor. In recent times, she was probably the only artist to receive such honor posthumously.
Dr. Gangubai Hangal was the most senior living vocalist of the Ustad Abdul Karim Khan branch of ‘Kairana (Kirana)’ Gharana. She was singing for over eighty years and taught music to several disciples, including her daughter Krishna Hangal. Gangubai was a great performer and a very witty person. On her eightieth birthday, as she talked to a group of her fans, family friends and journalists, one young journalist asked her about the secret of her enthusiasm and love for such a forceful music at such an advanced age. She laughed and asked him what he would do when he is very hungry. He replied that he would eat lot of delicious food to satisfy his hunger. She then said, ‘I am also hungry at this age, not for food but for my music. Then I sing a lot, since that is my real food’. True, ‘Music was her life’.
Another young man asked a question about her famous ‘singing pose’ in which she puts her palm of the left hand on ear and stretches her right hand out. She said, ‘This is the pose of the policeman who controls the traffic on the road. I listen to and check the notes (Swaras) in the Raga that I am rendering. I permit the appropriate ones and ward off the inappropriate notes to maintain the purity and discipline of my music. My voice became broad after a minor throat surgery. Due to such a man like voice, I am often called ‘Ganguboa’ so this pose suits to me very well’.

Yet another gentleman asked why she sings only pure classical Ragas and no other form of light music. To this, she remarked, ‘My mother taught me all forms of light classical music including lessons in Kathak style dance. I have recorded Gazal, Thumri, Marathi Bhavgeete and devotional songs on gramophone discs in early thirties. Nowadays, I don’t find sufficient time even for classical Ragas and hence do not sing light classical music’. Gangubai has left behind a large number of recordings, photographs and a small book of her memoirs. Originally in Kannada, this book now has been translated and is available in English. Gangubai’s father Mr. Chikkurao Nadgir was a lawyer and belonged to a high caste ‘Brahmin’ community. Her mother’s name was Ambabai alias ‘Ambakka’. Her grandmother’s name was ‘Gangavaa’. Ambakka adopted this name for her daughter and thus she became ‘Gangu’.
Hangal was their native place and they used it as their surname. Ambabai was an expert vocalist in Carnatic style music and the first Guru of young Gangu. Ustad Abdul Karim Khan used to visit their house to listen to her ‘Sargam’, to learn notations and to hear the renderings of ‘Javali’ and ‘Pallavi’ styles. Sometimes, he would listen to young Gangu and bless her with the words, ‘Beta, Gala Achha Hai Tera. Khoob Gana Aur Khoob Khana’ (Dear Child, your voice is very sweet. Sing a lot and eat a lot). Gangubai followed former part of his advice and sang a lot throughout her life.
Ustad Abdul Karim Khan had established ‘Arya Sangeet Vidyalaya’ (music schools) in Miraj, Pune, Dharwad, Belgaum and several other towns. As a result, Hindustani classical music became very much popular in that area. Due to such an atmosphere, young Gangu was attracted to Hindustani music even though her mother was singing Carnatic music. Her mother made every effort to teach her music within the available means. She gave up her own singing to avoid any influence that young Gangu may have of Carnatic music on her singing. She was not very keen on her formal school education. Hence, Gangu left school after the fifth class and continued her music tuitions and ‘taalim’ for rest of her life. Initially, she had some basic training in vocal music from local teachers. Prof. V. N. Bhatkhande’s series of books on music contributed towards her singing practice.
Bhupali Ninadiya Jage, c. 1940

Until about 1930/32, Gangubai had not moved out of Dharwad and Hubli. Later on she often visited Mumbai for concerts, radio programs and for cutting gramophone discs. She travelled a lot for participating in all India music conferences. She also toured Europe, Canada and America in the later part of her career. She mesmerized her audiences through her soul-touching music. Gangubai witnessed and adopted herself to various phases of sound recording technology. Beginning with three-minute 78-rpm shellac discs to longer duration CD’s and DVD’s she has recorded prolifically and made her music permanent.
Gangubai was a great exponent of her Gharana but she was a great human being too. She was always supporting young artists and was used to mix with young children learning music. Several years ago, Smt. Vijaya Mulay interviewed her on Doordarshan. They were discussing about the status and dignity of the female artists. Gangubai expressed, “Whenever any male artist becomes famous and popular, he is rewarded with titles like ‘Ustad’, ‘Khansaheb’, ‘Bua’,‘Acharya’, ‘Pandit’ etc. However, a female artist of that status is always addressed as Bai, Begum, and Jan and so on. Why this partial honorific? This sharp question remained unanswered. However, her point was noted. Later on, print and electronic media began to address female artists with titles ‘Pandita’ or ‘Vidushi’ while announcing their programs. Credit for such a welcome change goes to Gangubai only.
In her long interview recorded on her 75th birthday, she advised youth, “I do not find depth and improvisation of musical ideas among the younger lot. This may be due to the fact that this generation does not want to stick to one Guru and to get complete training for longer period. You spend over twenty years to get one degree in any discipline, but want to get mastery in music by just attending a few classes and changing teachers. How would it be possible?” How true! Commercialization of music around us is a real proof of what she meant and suggested.
It is rare that we get to honor an artist who devoted eighty years of her life to a single discipline. May her soul rest in peace and her music give peace to listeners’ souls.

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Tagged: Gangubai Hangal, Kirana Gharana, Suresh Chandvankar, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan
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Star under a shadow

Star under a shadow | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

DEEPAK MAHAAN :

REMEMBER  
A word weaver, a master of his craft, lyricist Naqsh Lyallpuri has been largely ignored by Bollywood bigwigs.

Decades ago one night, I caught my father crying over a Punjabi song floating across the airwaves. Engulfed in the blackout enforced by the Indo-Pak war, he was overwhelmed by Rafi sahab’s emotional rendering of Naqsh Lyallpuri’s poignant anguish, “Jee Karda Hai Is Duniya Nu, Main Has Ke Thokar Maar Deiyaan” (I wish to discard this world with a smile). My father was not known to be given to display of grief and yet, Naqsh’s poetry opened terrible wounds of Partition in him. Same as Sahir Ludhianvi’s equally philosophical “Ye Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hai” in Rafi’s mesmeric voice did to him.

Years later, I learnt that my father and Naqsh were not only born in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) and went to the same school but also lost their mothers while they were toddlers. Their common legacies of loneliness brought them together briefly but they were torn apart by circumstances and it took 55 years before the two friends met again and “wept more than they talked”. Though I had arranged that 1995 meeting, it was only when I met Naqsh sahab recently that I understood why Raj Kapoor regretted not having this “gentleman of gentle verses” in his team before “Henna”.

There are few in Bollywood who comprehend nuances of Hindi and Urdu grammar, poetry and metre better than Naqsh and while he has been prolific in recent times on television, the lyricist was ignored for decades by big banners and directors presumably because he wasn’t in any ‘camp’. The bard has high admiration for “outstanding geniuses like Sahir Ludhianvi, Kaifi Azmi and Shailendra who wove magic with simplest of lines,” but feels, “a vast majority of popular lyricists gained work through connections rather than craft and ability.” Despite having worked with as many as 145 music directors, from Husnlal Bhagatram, Shankar Jaikishen, Jaidev, Khayyam and Madan Mohan to Ravindra Jain and Rajesh Roshan, Naqsh was largely relegated to B and C grade movies though he always crafted first-rate songs.

Listen to just a few of his creations, say, “Teri Awaaz Ki Jaadugiri Se” (“Teri Talash Mein”), “Pyar Kaa Dard Hai” (“Dil-e-Nadan”), “Chitthiye Ni” (“Henna”), “Ye Wahi Geet Hai Jisko Maine” (“Man Jaiye”), “Har Janam Mein Hamara Milan (“Kagaz Ki Naao”), “Tumhein Dekhti Hoon” (“Tumhare Liye”), “Yeh Mulaqat Ik Bahana Hai” (“Khandaan”), “Na Jaane Kya Hua Jo Toone Chhoo Liya” (“Dard”), “Ulfat Mein Zamane Ki” (“Call Girl”), “Apni Aankhon Mein Basaa Kar” (“Thokar”), “Tumhein Ho Na Ho” (“Gharonda”) or “Teri Talash Mein” (“Teri Talash Mein”) and you realise how each verse has a profound thought behind its delicate fabric. Irrespective of limelight and adulation, the poet has indulged in his pursuit with sincerity so as to delight and satiate the heart and mind at the same time. Quite a misfortune that Raj Kapoor and Naqsh collaborated only at the end of their careers as it was an unadulterated truth that his refusal to conform to the dictates of producers or use indecent language harmed him in more ways than one.

In fact, perseverance has been the hallmark of Jaswant Rai Sharma alias Naqsh Lyallpuri since childhood when he read literature to overcome his loneliness. Scribbling an odd line or phrase to express his feelings turned into a full time vocation after an Urdu teacher came across a few stray verses in his notebook and encouraged him to be a word weaver. The subsequent transfer of his father to Lahore meant a separation from his mentor but the urge to wield a pen took strong roots when he received praise from many admirers and gained considerable popularity as an Urdu poet. However, Naqsh’s decision to discard science for literature was viewed as a rebellion by his engineer father, with whom he had a difficult relationship, especially after the entry of his stepmother. His father’s censures and the subsequent mayhem of India’s Partition impacted Naqsh so strongly that it took him years to come out of his melancholia.

Partition drove Naqsh to Lucknow, and then to Mumbai, to earn his bread and butter but it also converted him into a sensitive writer. A play for a group of theatre enthusiasts brought him in touch with noted producer Jagdish Sethi, leading to a break as a lyricist in “Jaggu”. The uphill journey was fraught with difficulties and insecurities but he faced everything with equanimity as he had little desire for riches and comforts. Thankfully, his marriage to Kamlesh, a friend’s sister, gave him a steadfast partner who ran the house within his frugal earnings. “Her motivational and housekeeping skills were the reasons for my survival as a poet,” admits Naqsh, also conceding that she gave him and his three sons an anchor to spread their wings.

Though overlooked by Bollywood bigwigs, Naqsh was a synonym for hit Punjabi songs for over three decades and many even refused to believe that those were his creations as he wrote impeccable and chaste Urdu! But the triumph of “Chetna” catapulted him into the top bracket and television soaps only helped enhance his glow forever. However, learning from his experiences, Naqsh became not just the pillar of the Film Writers’ Association (FWA) but also a founder member of the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS), helping writers and composers get their due from unscrupulous producers and exhibitors. Clearly, like his songs, his work at FWA and IPRS has brought smiles to many.

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Ghulam Muhammad .music director #composer # part 1

Ghulam Muhammad .music director #composer # part 1 | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Ghulam Muhammad – music composer worthy of more acclaim (part 1)

By Dr Amjad Parvez

Probably because of economic considerations, a melodious music composer namely Ghulam Muhammad was forced to assist and play percussion instrument all his life for the established music composers Anil Biswas initially and then for Naushad Ali. It has been reported that even some of the tunes for Naushad Sahab used to be based on Ghulam Muhammad's ideas. It was in mid-1940 that he had met Naushad Ali who was already composing music for films when he undertook Ghulam Muhammad as his assistant. I woke up to his expertise when I heard Talat Mahmood sing a lovely melody "Zindigi Dainey Waley Sun Teri Duniya Sei Ji Bhar Gaya" from the movie 'Dil-e-Nadaan'. Famous songs of this movie were "Zindigi Dainey Waley Sun", "Jo Khushi Sei Chot Khaye Mein Woh Dil Kahan Seo Laun", and "Yei Raat Suhani Raat Nahin" by Talat Mahmud, "Khamosh Zindigi Ko Ik Afsana Mil Gaya" by Jagjit Kaur, and "Muhabbat Ki Dhun Beqararon Sei Poocho" by Jagjit Kaur, Sudha Malhotra and Talat Mahmood. The actors of this movie were Agha Miraz, AL Ramesh, Dewan Sharar, Shyam Kumar, SN Banerjee and Talat Mahmood. Actresses were Firoza, Peace Kanwel and Shyama. This was AR Kardar's 1953 movie. Composing for this movie established the fact that Ghulam Muhammad did get a break in the early days of his career. 

Ghulam Muhammed was born in Bikaner, Rajasthan in a family of musicians. His father, Nabi Baksh, was an accomplished Tabla player. His initial efforts refer back to 1924. He struggled for eight years before he got a break for Tabla playing in Saroj Movietone's Productions' 'Raja Bharthari'. In his days of struggle, Ghulam Muhammad was a stage actor where he used to play female roles as in those days women were not allowed to intermingle with the male gender in villages. 

While carrying out research on the works of melodious music composers, I came across comments of music critics who highlighted the presence of dirty politics in Indian film industry. Ghulam Muhammad too is reported to be a victim of such politics. Apart from assisting stalwarts as mentioned above, he gave music in 35 movies independently. The names of some of these movies were 'Baanke Sipahi', 'Mera Khwab', 'Doli', 'Tiger Queen', 'Grihasthi', 'Kaajal', 'Pagri', 'Parayee Aag', 'Dil Ki Basti', 'Paaras', 'Sha'air', 'Rasheed Dulhan', 'Hanste Aansoo', 'Maang' and 'Pardes'. The latter movie was made in 1950 with Rehman and Madhubala as lead pair and Shakuntala as side heroine. Karan Diwan and Jayant also appeared in this movie. Madhubala's role as a playful girl in love with her younger brother's tutor Rehman was very much appreciated. Lata's song, "O! Ji! Dheerey Dheerey Sapnon Mein" pictured on innocent Madhubala was lilting. The movie 'Bikhre Moti' was made in 1951 by SM Yousaf who later migrated to Pakistan. Its leading cast comprised Nigar Sultana, Jeevan, Jayant and Kamini Kaushal. Movie 'Nazneen' also appeared in 1951. Lata's song "Parwane O Parwane" and Talat Mahmud's song "Chandeni Raaton Mein" became popular in no time. This movie was again a Madhubala starrer movie. The ensuing movies were 'Ajeeb Larki' and 'Ambar'.

A very rhythmic song by Lata and Rafi was played on radio many times. It was "Hum Tum Yei Bahar" pictured on Raj Kapoor and Nargis, the popular pair of that time. The movie was 'Ambar', directed by Jayant Desai, starring Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Agha, Bipin Gupta and Cuckoo. With story written by Munshi Sagar Hussain and backed by the title role, Nargis portrayed as Amber, a princess born from a secret marriage between a prince and a village belle from the mountains. After the death of her parents under suspicious circumstances, Amber grew up among the village folks unaware of her origin. When she came to know of the suspicious circumstances of her parents' death, she vowed to avenge the death of her parents. On the way to attain this goal, Amber finds solace in the arms of a hero, Raj (Raj Kapoor) who joins her efforts along with his sidekick Veenu (Agha). How the three together finally achieve their goal making for an adventurous-musical viewing became both entertaining and nostalgic.

The peak of Ghulam Muhammad's musical journey was Kamal Amrohvi's 1972 film 'Pakeeza'. Kamal was known for his perfection in filmmaking. It took 14 years for the movie 'Pakeeza' before it was completed, the reason being estrangement between the pair Meena Kumari and director Kamal Amrohvi, husband and wife in real life. Ashok Kumar wanted to play the part of Salim, Pakeeza's beloved but the part was later given to Raj Kumar and also its character was changed from a businessman to a forest ranger in wake of Raaj Kumar's muscular physique. Waiting for this legendry film to complete music have been a strain for both the film's composer Ghulam Mohammed and cinematographer Josef Wirsching as they did not live up to the day of its completion and success.

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yahooooo :pryaagraj

yahooooo :pryaagraj | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
From Amitabh to Rajinikanth, I directed them all - Prayag Raj-Check out the latest Hindi Movie features on Bollywood Hungama, India's premier bollywood portal.
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artists who migrated to pakistan(Train to Pakistan - heroes)

artists who migrated to pakistan(Train to Pakistan - heroes) | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
In this article "Train To Paksitan", those film related personalities are mentioned who were associated with Indian Film Industry prepartition or before migrating to Pakistan from India. 
Those personalities are distributed under different segments like Heroes, Heroines, Actors, Directors, Musicians and Relatives. 
In Relative segment you will read about those who were associated with Indian cinema before Partition and had a name and fame there, but after migrating to Pakistan they did not take part in Pakistani films but their kith & kin made their place in Paksitan film industry and got fame and name in showbiz. 
We will describe briefly on those renowned film personalities who have already been printed in details in this magazine, and can be viewed in their related links. 
We are not claiming that 100 % "Filmi log" are included/covered in this article, many might be missed especially from technical side film people like photographer, dance directors, peots and art directors etc. .

By Mohammed Ayub Qureshi, Saudi Arabia

Film Music bogie

» Musician's
» Lyricist's
» Singer's

Film Musician'sKHURSHEED ANWAR (Producer/Director/musician)
Khursheed Anwar, well educated person and a big name in Pakistan film music and one of the legend musicians.
Before partition he scored music of some films like Kurmai (1941), Ishara (1943), Parakh (1944), Yateem (1945), Silver queen (1946) and Aaaj aur kal, Pagdandi and Parwana (1947).

After migrating to Pakistan, he produced and directed some films also (Ghoonghat, Chingari and Hamraaz), al though he was not busy in a lot of films but all his songs which he composed can be categorized as master pieces. His films in Pakistan were Intizar, Koel, Jhoomer, Ayaz, Ghoonghat, Chingari, Havaili, Sarhad, Hamraaz, Heer Ranjha, Guddo, Parai aag, Shirin Farhad and Mirza Jatt . He died in 1984.RASHID ATRAY (Musician/Producer)
In India he made music of Shirin Farhad (1945), Nateeja and Paro (1947). In Pakistan he worked a lot and most of his songs became very popular. From 1950's to mid 1960's Rasheed Atray was very busy in films, some of his films were Bailee, Shahree babu, Roohi, Khatoon, Laila majnoon, Waada, Baap ka gunah, Shohrat, Saat laakh, Paasbaan, Chingaiz Khan, Jan-e-bahar, Anar kali (one of musicians), Rukhsana, Mukhra, Neend, Gulshan, Salma, Sahil, Dakoo kee larki, Sham dhaley, Farishta, Gulfam, Shaheed, Qaidi, Mousiqar and many more.
He produced film Mousiqar (1962), he died in 1967 and his son Wajahat Atray is busy in Pakistan films as musician and his grand son is also ready to enter in this music world.

MASTER INAYAT HUSSAIN
Master Inayat Hussain is also a big name of Pakistan film music. Pre-partition he cmposed music of film Kamlee (46) and then moved to Pakistan.

In Pakistan from late 1940's to mid 1980's, compost almost 65 films music. Most of his films music was very popular, songs were evergreen and unforgettable. Some of his best films were Mehbooba, Shammi, Gumnam, Aghosh, Qatil, Intiqam, Masoom, Anar kali (one of musicians), Azra, Dosheeza, Ik tera sahara, Seema, Ishq par zor naheen, Lailagg, Rawaj, Naela, Jaan-e-arzoor, Dil-e-baitab, Maa Beta, Pakdaman and many more. Died in 1993.

Related links:
» More on Master Inayat Hussain 

RAFIQ GHAZNAVI (Actor/musician)
From 1930's to 1940's, he was very busy in Indian films as hero, character actor and musician. He married with Anwari (Salma Agha is their grand daughter). Some of his films as actor and musicians were Laila majnoon (1931), Roshan ara (1932), Heer ranjha (1933), Intaqam (1933) Jawani deevani (1934), Bahen ka preaim (1935), Prem pujari, Ghulam dakoo (1935), Lail-o-nahar (1936), Mairey laal, Do aourtain, Us ney kia socha (1937), Kis liay (1938), Actressk kyun bani, Apni nagarya (1939), Bahoo raani and Chalti dunya (1940), Sawami (1941), Kis kee beevi (1942), Mazaq and Prthavi vallubh (1943), Chal chal rey noujawan (1944), Laila majnoon (1945) and Manjhdar (1947)

In Pakistan, he was not very busy; we see only two films on his credit as musician, Parvaaz (1954) and Mandi (1956). 


BABA G.A. CHISHTI 
Baba GA Chishti, Deeno dunya (1936), Sohni Mahiwal (1937), Pap ki nagri (1939), Chambay di kali, Perdaisi, Dhola and Mubarak (1941), Khamoshi (1942), Manchali (1943), Kalian, Shukriya (1944), Albaili and Zid (1945) and Yeh hay zindagi (1947).
Pre-partition he been an Ustad of Khayyam (Indian film music director). In Pakistan, a lot of best film songs are on his credit and he wrote lyrics in some films also. Details of his work and about himself, his web page can be viewed in this magazine.

Related links:
» More on Baba G.A. Chishti 

MASTER GHULAM HAIDER
He was one of great music directors who brought Punjabi folk based music in sub continent films in pre-partition. Very few people know that before entering in the music world he was a Dentist. Some of his films are Khanzanchi (1941), Poonji (1943), Bhai (1944), Chal chal rey noujawan and Humayun (1945), Bairam khan, Jag beeti and Shama (1946), Manjhdar and Mahdi (1947) 

In Pakistan, from late 40's to mid 50's his films were Shahida, Bheegi Palkain , Akaili, Baiqarar,Ghulam and Gulnar. Died in 1954.

FEROZE NIZAMI
Feroze Nizami another big name of film music, he was also a classic singer of sub-continent. He composed music in films Vishwas (1943), Umang, Us paar and Bari baat (1944), Sharbati aankhain and Pia Milan (1945) Amar raaj, Ali baba and Naik perveen (1946), Rangeen kahani, Pati saiva and Jugnoo (1947).

From 1949 to 1974, in Pakistan some of his films were Hamari Basti, Chan way, Dopatta, Sharary, Sohni, Intikhab, Qismat, Sola aaney, Raaz, Zanjeer, Manzil, Mangol, Soukat and Zar zar tey zameen.

Related links:
» More on Feroz Nizami 

NISAR BAZMI
Nisar Bazmi started his career from All India Delhi radio as a composer of songs. From 1946-61 he composed music in 24 films in India. 
Migrated to Pakistan in 1962 and Fazal Ahmed Karim Fazli (Chiragh Jalta raha fame) gave him a chance in his second film Aisa bhi hota hay but his first released film in Pakistan was Head Constable (64).

He was a very nice person, great musician and composer of many hit songs in Pakistan, died in March 2007.

Related links:
» More on Nisar Bazmi

NASHAD
There is very interesting story about his name Nashad. It is said that Nakhshab Charjavi wanted to take Noushad as musician in his film but due to some reason, Noushad Sahib refused and then Nakhshab gave a chance to a new person with name of Nashad (much similarity with Noushad). However Nashad proved him self a great musician also. In India Nashad's films as musician were Bara Dari (Geeta Bali-Ajeet), Zindagi aur toofan (Noutan-Pardeeb kumar), Raftar, Naghma and some other.

Nashad migrated to Pakistan in early 60's and his first film was Maikhana (Directed by Nakhshab in 1964 and this film's publicity program was broadcasted from Radio Cylon, first ever any Pakistan films promo). A lot of films in Pakistan are on Nashad credit, he died in 1981 and now a days his son Wajid Ali Nashad musician and Ameer Ali, singer in show biz.


TUFAIL FAROOQI
He was composer of film music Dekhjee (1947) and then moved to Pakistan.

In Pakistan, some of his films were Barkha (1953), Nazrana (1954), Wehshi (1956), Mazloom, Khul ja sim sim and Boodi shah (1959), Behroopia (1960), Muftbar (1961), Choudheri and Oonchey Mahal (1962), Main ney kia jurm kia and Choorian (1963), Man moujee (1965) and Manjhey dee jatti, Soorma and many more films.

Related links:
» More on Tufail Frooqi 

FATEH ALI KHAN
In India he composed films Aina (1944), Director (1947). In Pakistan from 50's to early 60's his films were Do Kinarey, Harjai, Shola, Baidari, Saathi and Tum na mano etc.

TIMIR BARAN
Timir Baran was 30's musician and he gave Devdas (Sehgal-Jamuna 1935) music that was very popular on that time.
His other films were Pujari (1936), Adheekar (1938), Kum kum the dancer and Lakshmi (1940).

In Paksitan he was musician of Anokhi and Fankar (56) and Jago howa savaira (1959).

Related links:
» Pakistan Film Musician's



Film Lyricist's 

TANVEER NAQVI (Poet)
“Awaz day kahan hay, dunya mairi jawan hay...” this evergreen and most popular song of 1940's sung by Noor Jehan and Surender for film Anmol ghari (1946) was penned by Tanveer Naqvi.
Tanveer Naqvi was a busy song writer in Indian films before partition. He always maintained a standard in film songs in India and Pakistan.
He got married with Eidan (Noor Jehan's sister). In Pakistan, he wrote popular songs for films like Qaidi, Elan, Azra and many more.

FAYYAZ HASHMI (Poet/Director)
“Tasveer Banata hoon tasveer naheen banti”, this popular ghazal sung by Talat Mahmood for film Bara Dari (Geeta Bali-Ajeet) was penned by Fayyaz Hashmi. He wrote many songs for Indian films.
In Pakistan he directed one film Ham aik hain in 1961 produced by Sultana (Baigum Razaaq) mother of Jameela Razzaq. Fayyaz Hashmi also wrote many songs for films and most of them were very popular.


 

Film Singer's

Iqbal Bano
Iqbal Bano, who died on April 21, 2009, was a great ghazal singer, started her career in 1945 when she participated in an All India Radio Music Conference Dehli. In films she sang a chorus with Zeenat Baigum and Qadir Faridi for film Reehana (Aey qafley maira paigham layja) writted by Tufail Houshiar puri and three songs for film Chupkey Chupkey (1948). 
After migration to Pakistan, though her recognition has been a great classic/light ghazal singer but she also rendered her voice for the following films in Pakistan from 1949 thru 1964. 
Ghalatfahmi, Meena (unreleased film, two song written by Qateel Shifai music by Talib Jafery), Mundri (6 songs), Gumnam (Too lakh chaley ree gori tham tham key), Qatil (Ulfat kee nai manzil ko chala), Ankh ka nasha, Kachian kaliyan (Punjabi), Dil main too, Hasrat, Wah rey zamany, Aakhri daoo, Tairey baghair, Boodi shah (Punjabi), Jaedad (Punjabi), Shaira, Ishq-e-laila, Sarfarosh, Nagin, Bahroopia, Gul bakaolee. Jugni, Chiragh jalta raha, Aik manzil do rahain, Ooonchey mahal and Teer andaz. Beside of these, a lot of ghazals written by renowned poets are on her credit. 

 
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Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Music maestro Feroze Nizami (part 2)

By Dr Amjad Parvez

The other songs 'Terey Long Da Lashkara, Jadu Koi Pa Gaya, Terey Mukhrey Tey Kala Kala Til Wey (Feroze Nizami's musical work is the essence of the creative spirit, and vital force of the human heart) and Changa Banayai Sanu Khidona' were also evergreen hits. Songwriter, Ustaad Daman wrote the tragic lyrics of 'Chan Way.' Theatrical release was in Jubilee cinema, Karachi and Regent cinema, Lahore. It seems that Feroze Nizami's music and Noor Jehan's voice were made for each other. Nurjehan was not to stop there. She also acted and sang for the movie 'Dopatta' in 1952. Her natural choice of music director was Feroza Nizami. This movie got acclaim in the subcontinent and the reason was its music. This Sibtain Fazli's theatrical release was in Eroze Cinema, Karachi. Noor Jehan and Ajay Kumar played the lead roles, while Sudhir was smartly dubbed as a loving, devoted doctor. All the songs such as 'Baat Hi Baat Mein Ji Chandni Raat Mein', 'Main Ban Patang Urh Jaon Re', 'Chandni Raaten, Sab Jag Soye Hum Jagein Taron Sei Karein Baatein', 'Tum Zindgi Ko Gham Ka Fasana Bana Gaey', 'Mere Mann Ke Raja Aja Suratiya Dikha Ja', 'Jigar Ki Aag Se Is Dil Ko Jalta Dekhte Jao' and 'Sanwaria, Tohe Koi Pukare' were super hits especially 'Chandani Raatein'. All the Pakistani female singers in the making even today sing this song at PTV and Stage to prove their worth. Feroze Nizami combined his unique style while composing songs. Especially his music for this romantic number of 'Dopatta', 'Mein Bun Patang Ur Jaaoon Gee' can be quoted to support this observation. Feroze Nizami's other films for which he composed music were Shararey, Sohni, Intikhab (1955), Qismet (1956), and Sola Aaney. For the latter, Zubeda Khanum's song 'Kaya Hua Dil Peh Sitam Tum Na Samjho Gey Balam' was an instant hit. It was a romantic cum sad song. The other in a happy tone was 'Chori Ho Gaya Dil Matwala' by Zubaida Khanum and 'Rotay Hain Chham Chham Nain' again by Zubeda Khanum in sad tune. The movie that bagged him Nigar Film Award in 1959 was 'Raaz', a suspense thriller. It was in this movie that he invited Indian singer Mubarak Begum to sing for him. Her duet with Ahmad Rushdi 'Maan Maan Zamana', a Western rock and roll inspired song, can be quoted in this regard. However Zubeda Khanum's song 'Meethi Meethi Bation Sei Jia Na Jala, Ja Re Balam Tujhey Daikh Liya' won her kudos. Romance oozed out in his Rushdi-Zubeda's song 'Chalak Rahi Hein Mastian, Nashey Mein Jhoom Utha Jahan'. Feroze Nizami composed music for 'Gulshan' (with Rashid Attre) in 1959, 'Zanjeer' (1960), 'Manzil' (1960), 'Mangol' (1961) and 'Soukan' (1964, Punjabi). 'Zan, Zar Te Zamin' (1974, Punjabi). His last movie's song was 'Zan, Zar te Zamin Da Jhagra, Duniya Te Einje Hi Rehna A...' by Masood Rana. I would like especially to mention the soft melodies Feroze Nizami gave for the movie 'Manzil'. The song 'Din Dhalte Dhalte Shaam Hui, Tum Aaei Na' by Nurjehan and then 'Soi Soi Chandni Hei Mora Man Jagey, Tu Hi Bata Dey Chanda'' with African beat used in those days like Bongo drums, stood out. Another song 'Aa Tu Mera Hei Mein Teri/ Chandni Ho Ya Raat Andheri' by Madam Nurjehan is a cry from her heart. It feels so because of clarinet and Hawaiian guitar effects used by the composer. All the songs for this movie were written by Mushir Kazmi, an established poet of his time. 'Mangol' was a movie Feroze Nizami composed for in 1961. Its happy song 'Yeh Dil Hei Mera' oozes out cheerfulness in tune and orchestral support. The problem is that most of very good songs like those mentioned in this Para go unnoticed when the movie does not do well at Box Office. Only 'Kall Nahin Paaoon Mein' got noticed at the time of release of the film 'Manzil'. Feroze Nizami was one of the first people who wrote on music in Pakistan. His book 'Asraar-e-Mausiqui' is considered as a masterpiece in the field of music. He also published a booklet giving the details of all Thaaths, Raags, their timings, 'Arohis' (ascending notes), 'Amrohis' (descending notes), 'Wadi' (King) note and 'Samwadi' (Minister) note of each Raag. As he was a very competent classical vocalist and a brilliant composer, he must have felt the need with the initiation of the music classes at Alhamra in the sixties, which he was in charge of. I met him in 1963 where my audition for some music competition as arranged by University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore. I sang Dagh's 'Ghazab Kiya Terey Wa'edey Ka Aitbaar Kiya', Muhammad Rafi-Khayyam version. Nizami approved me saying that the boy is in tune and in rhythm. What else one needs for approval! His comments are an asset for me. As far as style of Feroze Nizami is concerned, in my humble opinion, it parallels that of Khwaja Khurshid Anwer. Though from pathos and pain to the use of his classical base in his melodies, he never forgot the fun that is sometimes imparted in the situations in the movies His songs 'Bachh Ja Mundiya Maur Taun Mein Sadqay Teri Tore Taun' from the film 'Chan Way' and 'Changa Banayai Sanu Khidona Aapay Banana Tay Aapay Mitauna' vouch for this fact. Feroze Nizami used to sing classical music at Radio Pakistan, Lahore. He also sang for movies. One of his songs I could get hold of was 'Aaei Saajan Tu Nei Pi Hi Nahin' sung by Naseem Akhtar and Feroze Nizami. The lines rendered by the latter were 'Tum Hi Kaho Yeh Angoor Kis Nei Paida Kiya'. Feroze Nizami hailed from Huzro family residing at Red Lght Area. His brother Nazar Muhammad and nephew Mudasar Nazar became international cricketers. Feroze Nizami died in 1975 at the age of 59, but shall be remembered for his gentle behaviour and music.

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Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Music maestro Feroze Nizami (part 1)

By Dr Amjad Parvez

Music maestro Feroze Nizami was introduced to the world of subcontinent's music through his music compositions for the famous director Shaukat Hussain Rizvi's movie 'Jugnoo' in 1947 (though it was not Feroze Nizami's first movie). This movie was a great success for Nurjehan, Dilip Kumar, the lead pair and of course for Feroze Nizami as well. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the success of the movie lay in its music. This movie was released when Pakistan came into being and Nurjehan migrated to Pakistan with her husband Shaukat Hussain Rizvi. Muhammad Rafi and Nurjehan's duet 'Yahan Badla Wafa Ka Bewafai Kei Siwa Kaya Hei' pictured on Dilip Kumar and Nurjehan remains imprinted in the minds of music lovers, despite the fact that it was composed 64 years ago. It is a highly affective composition, full of pain and pathos, an effect that is generally produced by the sound of flute creating ripples in the waves. However I fell in love with Faiz's lyrics 'Aaj Ki Raat Saaz-e-Dil-e-Pur Dard Na Chair' more. At the time of the release of the movie, the powerful lyrics and brilliant music kept thousands of music lovers and critics glued to their seats while watching the movie. The transporting power of love and gentility were successfully captured by Feroze Nizami in 'Khatam Hoti Hai Yahan Per Do Diloan Ki Dastaan'. The other hit songs of the movie were 'Tum Bhi Bhula Do', 'Umangein Dil Ki Machlien' both by Nurjehan and penned by Saghar Sarhadi. The most tuneful song with pathos however was 'Hamein To Sham-e-Gham Mein Katni Hei Zindigi Apni' again by Nurjehan. With Jugnu's success singer Mohammad Rafi was on record by saying that he got his major break after singing the duet 'Yehan Badla' with Noor Jehan. The other two hits of Noorjehan 'Umangen Dil Ki Machlin, Muskurayee Zindagi Apni' and 'Tum Bhi Bhula Do, Main Bhi Bhula Dun' defined the very soul of the songs and thus of the movie. These songs belong to vintage now. Besides Muhammad Rafi and Noor Jehan, Shamshad and Roshan Ara Begum also sang the songs of 'Jugnu'. Roshan Ara Begum was an established classical singer and had been given the title of Malika-e-Mausiqui. Convincing her to sing for a movie was an uphill task. It is on record that Shaukat Hussain Rizvi paid a very high amount to her to sing as a playback singer for this movie. Hence the song 'Des Kai Pur Kaif Rangeen Si Fizaoun Mein Kahin' was born. It was pictured on Shashikala. Feroze Nizami was born in Lahore in 1916. He belonged to a family well versed in the art of music. Love for music was his passion since his childhood and as he grew, so did his love for music grow. He had learnt art of classical music from Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan, who is a big name in classical singing in the subcontinent. Because of this reason, he can safely be stated to hail from Kirana Gharana of classical music tradition. Feroze Nizami was a graduate of Islamia College, Lahore. He opted to make music as his profession and joined All India Radio and served in Lahore, Delhi and Lukhnow Stations of All India Radio before partition of India. Then he moved to Bombay, the hub of Indian Cinema where he got his first break in Indian movies, in 1943. The movie he composed music for was Vishwas. It was released under the banner of Wadia Modi Tone. Another musician, by the name of 'Chailal', also coordinated with Feroze Nizami to compose songs of 'Vishwas'. The movie was directed by Homi Wadia; songwriters were Safdar and Pandit Indira. Cast included Surendar and Himaliya Wala. In 1944, music lovers' souls were treated to Feroze Nizami's music that enlightened as well as entertained them when he composed songs for the film 'Bari Baat', directed by Mazhar Khan, who was also a famous actor and producer during those days. Soon after, Feroze Nizami made his mark in the film 'Umang', directed by KM Multani the songs of which were written by Ratan Piya - Rasheed. As a result of his focused concentration, Feroze Nizami soon became a huge success in the entertainment world. His pre-partition movies were Us Paar (Director CM Lohar, songwriter, Pandit Madhur). In this movie, Feroze's efforts took on new greatness and he continued to prove his worth in the music world, Aankhein - 1945 and Neik Parveen in 1946. Ulhas, Ahoo Chasham Ragini, Yaqub, Kumar, WM Khan and Yashodhra Katju acted in the latter movie. This movie was directed by SM Yousuf who later migrated to Pakistan and produced hit movies such as 'Tauba'. Feroze Nizami's fellow musicians did seem to fall under the spell of his musical talents in this 1946 movie. It was released under the banner of DRD Productions. Songwriter of this movie was Waheed Qureshi. Feroze Nizami's music was so full of skilful touches that as an accomplished music composer, his many contributions to the movie industry had embedded themselves in the Indo Pakistani psyche. In 1945, Feroze Nizami composed songs with affecting sincerity for the film 'Piya Milan,' directed again by SM Yousaf and released under the banner of Wadia Modi Tone. Songwriters for this movie were Tanvir Naqvi, SK Deepak, Mohammad Naseem and Munshi Shayam. Nirmala and Moti Lal played the lead roles. In 1946 Feroze Nizami composed music for the movie Ali Baba. Feroze Nizami was a natural artist who applied himself earnestly to his work, because he considered it his professional duty. He composed songs in the 1946 film 'Amar Raj.' It was released under the banner of Wadia Modi Tone. Songwriter was Pandit Fani and the movie was directed Homi Wadia. When one listens to the songs of 'Rangeen Kahani' one feels as if a wave of emotion rises up from one's core as one listens to Feroze Nizami's music. One feels nostalgic as one encompasses all those great memories about him. S Irshad, Surekha, Dulari, Agha, Mirza, Bibijan, Khurshid and Parvez acted in this movie. It was produced by NR Art Pictures and directed by Anjum Hisseani with songwriter, Waheed Qureshi. Feroze Nizami composed songs for the film 'Sharbati Aankhein', in 1945. It was released under the banner of Wadia Modi Tone; songwriters were Tanvir Naqvi, and Pandit Indira. This movie was directed by RC Thakur. In 1947, Feroze Nizami composed songs in the film 'Pati Saiwa', directed by SM Yousaf. Feroze Nizami had enormous capacity for giving variety and range in his music compositions; classical based and semi-classical ones, thumri based and those influenced by the Western music. He gave the variety depending upon the requirement of the situation of the song in the movie. I shall just quote two examples here, one 'Chan Deya Toteya Wei Dilan Deya Khoteya' by Nurjehan for the movie 'Chan Wey' and the other again by Nurjehan 'Kall Nahin Paoon Mein Hayeye Kith Jaoon Mein' for 1960 movie 'Manzil' penned by Mushir Kazmi, the former thumri based and the latter, with use of Western instruments though on a sad note. After the partition, like numerous other artists, Feroze Nizami also moved to Lahore in support of an emerging Pakistani film Industry. His first film 'Hamri Basti' (1949) as a music director flopped in Pakistan. His music however became the defining voice for quality music in films. It was in 1951 that Nurjehan, now in Pakistan decided to produce, act and sing for her movie 'Chan Wey'. It was released under the banner of Shah Noor productions. The songs composed by Feroze Nizami were hit both in India and Pakistan. The song 'Chan Deya Toteya' established Nurjehan's mastery in rendering sharp Zamazams. Even today any female singer if could copy this song successfully is rated very high in her talent but nobody has been able to accomplish that mastery of Feroza Nizami-Nurjehan team.

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Star under a shadow

Star under a shadow | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
Tunes to rememberNaqsh Lyallpuri, and in his younger days (clockwise from top) with Lata Mangeshkar, Runa Laila and Sanjeev Kumar.CINEMA A word weaver, a master of his craft, lyricist Naqsh Lyallpuri has been largely ignored by Bollywood bigwigs. Deepak Mahaan

Decades ago one night, I caught my father crying over a Punjabi song floating across the airwaves. Engulfed in the blackout enforced by the Indo-Pak war, he was overwhelmed by Rafi sahab’s emotional rendering of Naqsh Lyallpuri’s poignant anguish, “Jee Karda Hai Is Duniya Nu, Main Has Ke Thokar Maar Deiyaan” (I wish to discard this world with a smile). My father was not known to be given to display of grief and yet, Naqsh’s poetry opened terrible wounds of Partition in him. Same as Sahir Ludhianvi’s equally philosophical “Ye Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya Hai” in Rafi’s mesmeric voice did to him.

Years later, I learnt that my father and Naqsh were not only born in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad) and went to the same school but also lost their mothers while they were toddlers. Their common legacies of loneliness brought them together briefly but they were torn apart by circumstances and it took 55 years before the two friends met again and “wept more than they talked”. Though I had arranged that 1995 meeting, it was only when I met Naqsh sahab recently that I understood why Raj Kapoor regretted not having this “gentleman of gentle verses” in his team before “Henna”.

There are few in Bollywood who comprehend nuances of Hindi and Urdu grammar, poetry and metre better than Naqsh and while he has been prolific in recent times on television, the lyricist was ignored for decades by big banners and directors presumably because he wasn’t in any ‘camp’. The bard has high admiration for “outstanding geniuses like Sahir Ludhianvi, Kaifi Azmi and Shailendra who wove magic with simplest of lines,” but feels, “a vast majority of popular lyricists gained work through connections rather than craft and ability.” Despite having worked with as many as 145 music directors, from Husnlal Bhagatram, Shankar Jaikishen, Jaidev, Khayyam and Madan Mohan to Ravindra Jain and Rajesh Roshan, Naqsh was largely relegated to B and C grade movies though he always crafted first-rate songs.

Listen to just a few of his creations, say, “Teri Awaaz Ki Jaadugiri Se” (“Teri Talash Mein”), “Pyar Kaa Dard Hai” (“Dil-e-Nadan”), “Chitthiye Ni” (“Henna”), “Ye Wahi Geet Hai Jisko Maine” (“Man Jaiye”), “Har Janam Mein Hamara Milan (“Kagaz Ki Naao”), “Tumhein Dekhti Hoon” (“Tumhare Liye”), “Yeh Mulaqat Ik Bahana Hai” (“Khandaan”), “Na Jaane Kya Hua Jo Toone Chhoo Liya” (“Dard”), “Ulfat Mein Zamane Ki” (“Call Girl”), “Apni Aankhon Mein Basaa Kar” (“Thokar”), “Tumhein Ho Na Ho” (“Gharonda”) or “Teri Talash Mein” (“Teri Talash Mein”) and you realise how each verse has a profound thought behind its delicate fabric. Irrespective of limelight and adulation, the poet has indulged in his pursuit with sincerity so as to delight and satiate the heart and mind at the same time. Quite a misfortune that Raj Kapoor and Naqsh collaborated only at the end of their careers as it was an unadulterated truth that his refusal to conform to the dictates of producers or use indecent language harmed him in more ways than one.

In fact, perseverance has been the hallmark of Jaswant Rai Sharma alias Naqsh Lyallpuri since childhood when he read literature to overcome his loneliness. Scribbling an odd line or phrase to express his feelings turned into a full time vocation after an Urdu teacher came across a few stray verses in his notebook and encouraged him to be a word weaver. The subsequent transfer of his father to Lahore meant a separation from his mentor but the urge to wield a pen took strong roots when he received praise from many admirers and gained considerable popularity as an Urdu poet. However, Naqsh’s decision to discard science for literature was viewed as a rebellion by his engineer father, with whom he had a difficult relationship, especially after the entry of his stepmother. His father’s censures and the subsequent mayhem of India’s Partition impacted Naqsh so strongly that it took him years to come out of his melancholia.

Partition drove Naqsh to Lucknow, and then to Mumbai, to earn his bread and butter but it also converted him into a sensitive writer. A play for a group of theatre enthusiasts brought him in touch with noted producer Jagdish Sethi, leading to a break as a lyricist in “Jaggu”. The uphill journey was fraught with difficulties and insecurities but he faced everything with equanimity as he had little desire for riches and comforts. Thankfully, his marriage to Kamlesh, a friend’s sister, gave him a steadfast partner who ran the house within his frugal earnings. “Her motivational and housekeeping skills were the reasons for my survival as a poet,” admits Naqsh, also conceding that she gave him and his three sons an anchor to spread their wings.

Though overlooked by Bollywood bigwigs, Naqsh was a synonym for hit Punjabi songs for over three decades and many even refused to believe that those were his creations as he wrote impeccable and chaste Urdu! But the triumph of “Chetna” catapulted him into the top bracket and television soaps only helped enhance his glow forever. However, learning from his experiences, Naqsh became not just the pillar of the Film Writers’ Association (FWA) but also a founder member of the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS), helping writers and composers get their due from unscrupulous producers and exhibitors. Clearly, like his songs, his work at FWA and IPRS has brought smiles to many.

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Ghulam Haider: Punjab Pioneering Musician

Ghulam Haider: Punjab Pioneering Musician | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Ghulam Haider: Punjab Pioneering Musician

By Harjap Singh Aujla

 

South Asia Post Issue 36 Vol II, March 31, 2007

PRIOR to his first film job, Ghulam Haider was a freelance music director for live music concerts for a few years. Janki Nath Kumar and brothers were a music oriented business family in Lahore. They opened the first electrical music recording studio in the city and a records selling store in historic Anarkali Bazaar. In the company of my father, I have seen this store, when it was renamed His Master’s Voice Shop by its new Muslim owners after migration of the founding family to India. Janki Nath Kumar and brothers were recording music on three minute a side 78 RPM discs under the brand name “Jenophone”.

They employed Ghulam Haider as their music director. This company produced a lot of Punjabi and Urdu music, both film and non film. The records of film “Swarag Ki Seerhi” (1935) and “Majnu” (1935) under the music direction of Ghulam Haider were produced and sold as “Jenophone Records”. Umra-o-Zia Begum was the female singer of Swarag Ki Seerhi”. This film did not do too well at the box office and Ghulam Haider’s effort went by and large unnoticed. This was the time when Calcutta’s “New Theatres” was churning out hit movies and Rai Chandra Boral was the most famous music director. Legendry singer K. L. Saigal was the most celebrated male singer. Others included Pankaj Mullick and K.C. Dey. Pankaj Mullick was a big tag music director too, who composed tunes for K.L. Saigal too.

Lahore was not a big film production center and the next three years went without any film music contract for Ghulam Haider. But he did cut some hotly selling private discs in both Punjabi and Urdu. Although the first ever Punjabi film was made in 1934, but somehow even its print is not available.

All India Radio started its fifth radio station in Lahore in 1936. The studios were built in 1937, when broadcasts of live music started. Shamshad Begum started as a casual singer at the new radio station in 1939, but most of her tunes were composed by Master Inayat Hussain and Budh Singh Taan. Ghulam Haider heard Shamshad Begum’s voice over the radio and liked it for Punjabi music.

Ghulam Haider’s first big break came in 1939. The famous Pancholi family headed by Roshan Lal Shori made a Punjabi film. This family at that time owned a film studio also in Lahore. The film was “Gul – e - Bakavli”. It was a low budget film and could be released only in Punjab. But this film recovered all its costs from Lahore and Amritsar only. It was in this film that famous actress singer Noorjehan was discovered by Master Ghulam Haider as Baby Noorjehan. It had a couple of very popular songs. One of them was “Shava Jawanian Maaane, Akha Na Morhin Peele, Shala Jawannian Maane” sung in the voice of Noorjehan. The other song was “Pinjre de vich quaid Jawaji”. Connoisseurs of good musical voices all over India took notice of these songs and the singer’s voice. Around that very time Ghulam Haider decided to give chance to Shamshad Begum for playback singing. Some people attribute the discovery of versatile Punjabi singer Zeenat Begum to Ghulam Haider, but music director S. Mohinder firmly believes that Zeenat Begum was discovered by Pandit Amar Nath, the elder brother of the famous duo of music directors Pandit Husna Lal Bhagat Ram. Zeenat’s earliest records bear testimony to S. Mohinder’s contension.

During the thirties and forties, the big name music directors kept their exclusive orchestras on their payrolls. Ghulam Haider won’t share his orchestra with Pandit Amarnath and Pandit Amarnath will not share his orchestra with Pandit Gobind Ram. As a result identification of music directors became possible from the sound of the orchestra. In addition to the ancient Indian string instruments, Ghulam Haider introduced Piano, clarionet and Violin into his orchestra.

From 1039 to 1944, Ghulam Haider composed music for five Punjabi films including Gul – e – Bakawali (1939), Yamla Jatt (1940), Sassi Punnoon (1940), Chaudhry (1941), Sehti Murad (1042) and Gul Baloch with partial music (1943). All these Punjabi films made good money. Yamla Jatt was the most successful film. Its hero was Kapurthala born famous villain of Bollywood Pran (full name Pran Nath Sikand). Noorjehan was one of the lady actresses. Its two songs a solo “Kankan diyan faslan pakkiyan ne” and a duet “Aa dukhre phol laiye” based on famous folk Punjabi tune “Mahiya” were very popular. Film “Chaudhry” was also a great musical. Its songs “Bus bus veh dholna, ki tere naal bolna”, “Chhum chhum ohdi kaisi sohni chaal”, “Ik duniya navin vasa laiye” and “Sajna tere bina jee nahiyon lagda” were all musical masterpieces. By this time Ghulam Haider had established himself as the master of prelude and interlude in music. If you listen carefully to the prelude of film “Yamla Jatt” song “Aa Dukhre Fol Laye”, the orchestration appears very vibrant with the domination of piano. Without a good mastery over classical music, it is not possible to keep all the instruments of the orchestra in perfect “Sur”. Ghulam Haider’s orchestra was perfectly in “Sur”.

During the first half of the twentieth century, Bhai Santa Singh of Amritsar was the leading musician at the Golden Temple. He and Ghulam Haider were buddies from childhood. Bhai Santa Singh was famous for singing at very high notes and in very slow beat a unique combination , he used to sing Sikh religious music at All India Radio Lahore. Ghulam Haider persuaded Bhai Santa Singh to get some of his favourite Sikh Musicals numbers recorded for posterity. Bhai Santa Singh was initially opposed to this, but eventually he agreed to record. The tunes were Bhai Santa Singh’s own, or traditional handed down from generation to generation. Ghulam Haider did not make any alteration, but only provided orchestration, which included preludes and interludes. The recordings came out so good that, even after more than six decades of recordings, the eight numbers featured on four 78 rpm records are to date considered the top musicians choice in Sikh circles. The Sikhs will always be indebted to Bhai Santa Singh and Ghulam Haider for giving them this invaluable gift of divine music in finest form.

Late Master Madan was a musician par excellence and the pride of Punjab. He died an untimely death at the tender age of twelve. But before his death, he gave the gift of eight recordings, which included two evergreen “Ghazals”, two “Thumris”, two “Sikh Religious Numbers” and two “Punjabi Songs”. If you listen to his Punjabi folk numbers, you will notice that the accompanying orchestra bears the distinct stamp of Ghulam Haider’s music. The same can be said about the religious numbers too. All this happened while Ghulam Haider was in Lahore.

While in Lahore, Ghulam Haider composed the music for a few more Hindi/Urdu films. These included “Khazanchi” (1941), “Zameendar” (1942), “Khandaan” (1942”) and “Poonji” (1943). That was the era of the domination of the Indian film scene by the music directors from Bengal. The Bengali big wigs included Rai Chandra Boral, Timir Baran and Anil Biswas. The Bengali music was considered highly melodious. The “Taal” identifying drum instruments like “Tabla” and “Dholak” were not accorded prominence, such instruments used to be kept in the background. India was exposed to this kind of music only. But when Ghulam Haider’s “Khandaan” was released all over india, it featured drums far more prominently and the people all over the nation fell in love with the “Taal” or the beat. Ghulam Haider’s instrumentation was also, in accordance with the Punjabi character, very vibrant and vigorous. His next two films in a row ”Zameendar” and “Poonji” went on to prove that prominence of “Taal” is the latest craze amongst the music buffs of not only the Punjab but also of the rest of India.

Most of the contemporary crops of music directors in India and Pakistan for their music compositions normally prefer mostly two common “Taals” i.e. “Dadra” and “Kehrwa” or at the most “Teentaal”, but Ghulam Haider introduced a number of uncommon “Talls” also. This would not have been possible without a thorough knowledge of the classical music of India and the exotic “Talls” used by the tradition bound Sikh religious musicians. The revolutionary step of giving prominence to a variety of uncommon “Taals” gave Ghulam Haider’s name a household recognition in India.

K. L Saigal, during those days, was the leading most male film singer in India. He hailed from Jullundur in Punjab, but it is a pity that Ghulam Haider could not have the opportunity to compose tunes for him. A second generation music director from Punjab Khurshid Anwar, was however luckier, he composed the music for a Saigal –Suraiya starrer “Parvana”, which became a very popular hit.

Rather than insistence on heavy classical compositions attempted by most of the other music directors, Ghulam Haider’s lighter style of applied classical music was better received by the cinema going public. This got him fame and a spate of invitations from Bombay, which by mid forties had replaced Calcutta as the leading film city of India.

Another brilliant Punjabi music director Shyam Sunder, with his unique style of compositions, arrived in Bombay in 1943. One of his earliest movies “Gaon Ki Gori” featuring Noorjehan’s voice became a musical hit. In 1944, Ghulam Haider also moved to Bombay lock stock and barrel, leaving behind all the glorious memories of his youth in Lahore and childhood in Amritsar.

Before settling down to the rough and tumble of film music in Bombay, he invited a fellow Lahori actress - singer Suraiya, who was racing fast towards the top, to record a couple of “Naats” in Punjabi. I (the writer) am in proud possession of this music. These perhaps are the only Punjabi numbers ever sung by Suraiya.

Ghulam Haider did music for two films in 1944. These were “Chal Chal Re Naujawan”, a big ticket film and “Phool”. “Bhai” was the next venture. Then came Mehboob Khan’s famous film “Humayun” in 1945. “Shama” (1946) was a great musical. Just like the USA, where all diverse nationalities get into the grand melting pot and become Americans, Bombay creates a unique amalgam of film and music makers that make it Bollywood. If Ghulam Haider gave a new style to Bombay, he in turn gained a lot from the grand melting pot experience of the city. As music director S. Mohinder puts it, “Every music director hailing from any part of India and arriving in Bombay, gains immensely from the music directors representing other cultures and participates in the creation of a new amalgam called the composite music of India”. Ghulam Haider’s style also underwent a see change, it happened especially after most of the members of his orchestra went back to Lahore after an explosion in Bombay.

In 1947, Ghulam Haider did the music for “Mehndi” and composed some music for film “Majboor”. Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947. Surinder Kaur and her elder sister Parkash Kaur had to leave Lahore virtually penniless. Parkash Kaur quickly moved from Amritsar to New Delhi, but Surinder Kaur stayed put in Ferozepore. Ghulam Haider had heard both sisters, while they were still in Lahore. From Bombay he sent a message to Surinder Kaur to come to the film city. By early 1948, Surinder Kaur arrived in Bombay.

Ghulam Haider had the intention to make Surinder Kaur a playback singer for film “Shaheed”. Surinder Kaur did sing a few very popular songs for “Shaheed”, but before that Husna Lal Bhagat Ram got her voice recorded for a Suraiya starrer film “Pyaar Ki Jeet”. Surinder Kaur’s first song became a hit. Soon music director Showqat Dehlavi used Surinder Kaur’s voice for a solo and a duet with Mukesh. Surinder Kaur sang five songs for Khurshid Anwar too in Madhubala starrer film “Shingaar”. But the credit for unearthing the singing stars and making playback singers out of Noorjehan, Shamshad Begum, Mohammad Rafi, Surinder Kaur and Lata Mangeshkar goes legitimately to Ghulam Haider only.

India’s independence in 1947 came with the painful partition of the country. The most disturbing communal rioting was witnessed by Ghulam Haider’s own province Punjab. Other worst hit areas included North West Frontier Province, Balochistan, the Presidency of Bengal and Delhi. Surprisingly the Presidency of Bombay, where Ghulam Haider lived experienced complete communal harmony. Some of the Hindu and Sikh instrument players, who left Bombay for Lahore in 1945, rejoined Ghulam Haider’s Orchestra in late 1947 and early 1948. Once again it was a happy family and Ghulam Haider got his soul back.  

A very ominous incident happened on a local electric train in Bombay in 1947. Just like most Bombayites, Ghulam Haider was also traveling from one recording studio to another in a local train. The trains were not crowded during those days. Ghulam Haider noticed an anaemic looking small framed girl in her teens singing something. Her voice appeared very shrill and sweet. Ghulam Haider asked her to come close to his seat. He asked “Would you sing if I make a tune right now”. He used a plate and a stick to create the “”Taal” and improvised a tune. Ghulam Haider sang the song and the girl followed him. Ghulam Haider was impressed. He asked her to come on a certain date to a studio for audition in front of a mike and orchestra. The girl agreed and reached the studio well before the appointed time. Ghulam Haider conducted the audition. Her voice was feeble, but closer to the mike it sounded very impressive. She passed the audition. The girl was none other than today’s superstar Lata Mangeshkar, Ghulam Haider’s latest find.

Ghulam Haider at that time was composing the music for film “Majboor”. The song “Dil Mera Torha, Ho Mujhe Kisika Na Chhorha, Tere Pyar Ne, Haye Tere Pyaar Ne” became Lata Mangeshkar’s first ever solo. It was recorded in 1947, but the film was released in 1948. After that Ghulam Haider recorded Lata Mangeshkar’s voice in film “Aabshaar” also in 1948. Her “Aabshaar” numbers became very popular and Lata became an established singer. About that very time Noorjehan left for Lahore and later on became “Malika-e-Tarannum of Pakistan”. Lata, however, kept copying the style of Noorjehan for a long time.

Ghulam Haider was so much excited about his new find Lata Mangeshkar that he boasted about it to the other contemporary biggies like Anil Biswas and Khem Chand Prakash. But it was Shyam Sunder, another Punjabi music director, who recorded Lata’s earliest super hits in film “Bazaar” (1948). Shyam Sunder used Raga Pahari to compose Lata’s first ever super hit song “Sawan Ki Galiyan Chhod Chale, Dil Roya Ansoo Beh Na Sake”. Lata herself admits that her one song “Baharen Phir Bhi Aayengi, Maghar Hum Tum Juda Honge” recorded for film “Lahore” in 1949, in the music direction of Shyam Sunder is one of her life’s finest songs. Lata takes pride in giving full credit to Ghulam Haider for making her a film playback singer. She says Ghulam Haider taught her as to which word deserved more stress and which one needed a soft touch for optimum impact. Lata regrets that she could not sing for another great Punjabi music director Khushid Anwar, who left for Lahore soon after composing music of “Shingaar”.

One day in a recording studio Lata was rehearsing a Ghulam Haider tune. Being raw she was making one crucial mistake again and again. The perfectionist in Ghulam Haider got so much infuriated that he planted a slap on her face. Every member of the orchestra was stunned. One of Ghulam Haider’s most trusted harmonium players was Kartar Singh. Ghulam Haider used to make the tunes using a piano and Kartar Singh used to replicate those tunes on harmonium. Kartar Singh remarked ”Khan Sahib, why did you slap this frail little girl?, look at her face, she can’t even cry, she is totally dumb folded”. Ghulam Haider retorted back “Look Kartar Singh, I used to slap Noorjehan and see how high a pedestal she has reached, she is on top in her profession. This slap is going to catapult Lata Mangeshkar into a great singer, who will rule the World of music”. Ghulam Haider’s prophecy proved right and today Lata Mangeshkar is World’s most celebrated female playback singer and her name is encrypted in the “Guinness Book of World Records” as the most recorded female voice in the World.

Between 1947 and 1949, Ghulam Haider composed music for films “Majboor”, “Padmini”, “Barsaat Ki Ek Raat”, “Aabshaar”, “Patjhar”, “Shaheed” and “Kaneez”. Film “Kaneez” had songs sung by inimitable Zeenat Begum too and Ghulam Haider gave a chance to O.P. Nayyar to compose its background music.

Ghulam Haider left Bombay for good and arrived back in Lahore towards the end of 1949. Although staying in Bombay could have been professionally a lot more satisfying, but out of sheer patriotism for the newly created nation of Pakistan, he left a very promising career as a music director in India’s leading film production center. Others who returned to Lahore included music directors Firoze Nizami, Khurshid Anwar and Rashid Atre. But Ghulam Haider had the satisfaction of leaving Bombay’s film land’s music direction in the hands of a brilliant duo of fellow Punjabi music directors Pandit Husna lal Bhagat Ram, who had ten film contracts in 1949 and nine in 1950. Even the field of lyric writing was dominated by Punjabi poets including Rajinder Krishan, Naqsh Lyallpuri, Qamar Jalalabadi, Balraj Madhok and Sahir Ludhianvi to name a few. After the death of the doyen among male film singers K.L. Saigal in 1947, the crown of being the number one male playback singer was inherited by another Punjabi singer Mohammad Rafi. Prior to Rafi’s meteoric rise another Punjabi G.M. Durrani was briefly on top, but he was seriously challenged by Mukesh of Delhi and Talat Mahmood of Lucknow.

On arrival in Lahore, Ghulam Haider in association with director S. Nazeer Ajmeri founded “Filmsaz”, a music dominated company. While in Lahore, Ghulam Haider composed the music for films “Beqarar”, “Akeli”, “Bheegi Palkein”, “Ghulam” and “Gulnar”. Somehow the music of these films, with the exception of “Gulnar” did not do too well and the market in Pakistan was too small. The Noorjehan number for Film “Gulnar”, with starting lyrics “Lo Chal Diye Voh Hamko Tassalli Diye Baghair, Ik Chand Chhup Gaya Hai Ujala Kiye Baghair” became a hit. This song was played again and again by different stations of Radio Pakistan as an “Obituary on the death of Master Ghulam Haider”.

Ghulam Haider’s life long inspiration was his beautiful, talented and intelligent wife Umro-O-Zia Begum. It is a pity that Ghulam Haider left this World for his heavenly abode in November 1953, a few months before his youngest child, another great classical, semi-classical and Sufiana singer Abida Praveen came into this World. As long as the music of the Indian Sub-continent is alive in this World, Ghulam Haider’s name will stay alive. Among other things that he did, he will be remembered for discovering a number of playback singing sensations including Umra-O-Zia Begum, Noorjehan, Shamshad Begum, Ali Bakhash Zahoor,  Mohammad Rafi, Surinder Kaur and Lata Mangeshkar.

In his life time Ghulam Haider composed the music for about two dozen movies, a quarter of them being Punjabi films. Many others have composed music for a lot more movies. But it is not sheer numbers that matter in this World, it is the quality of work that matters the most. In terms of quality of music Ghulam Haider never made any shortcuts or compromises. That is why he went to the extent of slapping Noorjehan and Lata Mangeshkar when they were both debutant singers. For an example master composer Sajjad Hussain created music for only a dozen movies, but all his music became hit and top notch musicians like Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mahmood and Suraiya acclaimed his tunes as some of the finest ever made in the twentieth century.

Music directors, like other competing professionals, are generally quite jealous of each other. But contrary to that, on hearing about the demise of Master Ghulam Haider, one of his contemporaries and a highly acclaimed music director C. Ramchandra started crying. When asked about the reason C. Ramchandra said “Ghulam Haider used to compose the tunes, I used to steal those and after making minor alterations and after changing the “Taal”, I used to create hit music under my own banner. Now that fountainhead of tunes has gone dry. I have been deprived of my source of ideas. I am the person who has been hit the hardest”. Such honest admissions from a fellow music director can be the finest tribute to the departed genius. This fact was narrated to me by another music director Sardul Singh Kwatra, who admitted that Ghulam Haider and Hans Raj Behl were his (Sardul’s) sources of inspiration too.     

 

 [ The author Harjap Singh Aujla lives at 16 Junction Pond Lane, Monmouth Junction, New Jersey 08852 USA ]

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Begum Akhtar: the centennial queen - Livemint

Begum Akhtar: the centennial queen Begum Akhtar would have been 100 on 7 October. We revisit her legacy Narendra Kusnur

Begum Akhtar was born in Faizabad, UP.
Photo: Vinayak/Hindustan Times

A hundred years ago, in the Bhadarsa town of Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad district, a legend was born. She was exposed to music at the age of 7, and the beauty of ghazal and technique of thumri caught her attention. She began performing at 15, and eventually came to be known as “Mallika-e-Ghazal” or the queen of ghazals. Akhtari Bai Faizabadi aka Begum Akhtar, whose birth centenary is being observed on 7 October, has played a stellar role in the history of Indian music. Besides singing numerous ghazals and a string of successful thumris till she died on 30 October 1974, she has been a huge influence on singers, younger than her, from the subcontinent. Her voice had an unmatched pathos, and her perfect enunciation of chaste Urdu poetry made her a role model. In fact, even Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj says he decided to become a singer as a six-year-old only after hearing her sing “Deewana banana hai toh” on a gramophone at a tea shop. To mark the year, Doordarshan initiated a national reality show on ghazal singing in June. Aptly titled Jashn-e-Begum Akhtar, it was meant for contestants aged between 18 and 40, with an ability to sing ghazals by her. One only wishes there had been many tribute concerts to remember the occasion. Despite her following among the older generation, Begum Akhtar’s music has only a limited exposure among youngsters, and many haven’t even heard of her. The audience for ghazals, a craze in the 1980s, has shrunk. A few singers continue to sing Begum Akhtar’s famous songs, especially ghazals such as “Aye mohabbat tere anjaam pe rona aaya”, “Mere humnafas mere humnawa”, “Woh jo hum mein tum mein qaraar tha” and “Kuchh toh duniya ki inaayaat ne dil tod diya”, and dadras such as “Hamri atariya” and “Koyaliya mat kar pukaar”. “Hamri atariya”, in fact, staged a recent revival after Rekha Bhardwaj sang an adaptation in the film Dedh Ishqiya earlier this year. Four years ago, Begum Akhtar’s thumri “Ab ke saawan ghar aaja”, set in raga Tilak Kamod, was used in Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat. How does one preserve her music? New Delhi-based singer Radhika Chopra, who has studied under the doyenne’s disciple Shanti Hiranand, believes that exposure to young audiences is the key. “While everything changes with time, one can revive the music of older artistes through reality shows on television, and if younger singers continue to present her repertoire. Of course, it requires a lot of dedication to sing her kind of ghazals and thumris, and perfection also comes with age and experience.” Pooja Charan, a young singer from Mumbai who includes Begum Akhtar songs in her set lists, says today’s youngsters are more attracted towards the music than the poetry. “If some modern touch is given to Akhtari Sahiba’s ghazals without disturbing the original composition, it would appeal to younger audiences,” she says. Urdu forms like ghazals and nazms are dependent on the quality of the poetry. And for her part, Begum Akhtar chose some of the greatest writers of the region, whether they were from the older classical generation or the modern era of the 20th century, including 19th century Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib, extensively—her repertoire included gems like “Dil hi to hai na sang-o-khisht”, “Aah ko chahiye ek umr asar hone tak”, “Yeh na thi hamari kismat”, “Ibn-e-mariyam hua kare koi”, “Koi umeed bar nahin aati” and “Daayam pada hua”. Other classical poets included Mir Taqi Mir (“Ulti ho gayi sab tadbeerein” and “Dil ki baat kahi nahin jaati”), Daagh Dehlvi (“Rasm-e-ulfat sikha gaya koi” and “Uzr aane mein bhi hai”) Momin Khan Momin (“Woh jo hum mein tum mein qaraar tha”) and Shakeel Badayuni (“Aye mohabbat tere anjaam pe rona aaya”, “Mere humnafas mere humnawa” and “Door hai manzil raahe mushkil”). Over the years, the Saregama India label has released her best ghazals, thumris and light classical fare. Begum Akhtar led a colourful life. While she was gregarious and fun-loving, she survived much personal turmoil. She had a weakness for Capstan cigarettes and alcohol. Her life has been captured in various books, including Begum Akhtar: The Queen Of Ghazal by Sutapa Mukherjee, Begum Akhtar: The Story Of My Ammi by Shanti Hiranand and Ae Mohabbat... Reminiscing Begum Akhtar by Jyoti Sabharwal and Rita Ganguly. Though ghazal lovers are a dwindling tribe, Begum Akhtar has a special place in their hearts. It will soon be 40 years since she left us, but her voice lives on. Narendra Kusnur is a Mumbai-based music critic.

Read more at: http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/H2qi2uHyBHDqCnj8JetN4K/Begum-Akhtar-the-centennial-queen.html?utm_source=copy

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Bollywood's dholak gharana - Mumbai Mirror -

Bollywood's dholak gharana - Mumbai Mirror - | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
Bollywood's dholak gharana By RISHI MAJUMDER | Aug 17, 2008, 03.23 AMA son was born to Ustad Nobi Bukhsh, music director of musicals, in 1903 in a village called Naal, near Bikaner, Rajasthan. His first tabla performance was at the age of six, after which he continued to work as a child artist with the Jodhpur-Bikaner Theatre Company (J B Theatre Co.) and the Albert Theatre Company in Lahore. The Nawab of Junagadh presented him with a golden sword when he was 13, for the singing portrayal of a prince, prophesying he would grow up to be one of India's great artists. 



He went on to specialise in the field of percussion, commanding the highest pay any musician did during the '20s and the early '30s (he was paid one rupee and 50 paise per recording when the staple was 50 paise) for recordings that were played as a backdrop to silent movies. He continued his work in theatre alongside this to become the Chief Dance Director and Chief Director of Musicals. It was with the talkies, however, that Ghulam Mohammed fulfilled the Nawab's prophecy.

 Playing a part in this fulfillment is his fast-paced composition of Ghalib's somber 'Dil-e-Nadaan' for Sohrab Modi's Mirza Ghalib (1954) and his presenting of 'La De Mohe Balma Aaasmani Churiya' in a format akin to rap, long before rap became popular in the West, in Rail Ka Dibba (1943). 

But his being the original music composed for Pakeezah (1972) (Naushad took over towards the end when he passed away during the making of the film), has placed him securely in the Indian music directors' hall of fame. He is credited with introducing to Hindi film music instruments like the duff, matka, chimta, kharkaal, manjeere and lota.

His family's claim to him introducing the dholak to Hindi film music with Sharda (1942) is contested by the Sen family (descendants of percussionist Jamal Sen). But there is no contesting him being the first ever person to have recorded the dholak in a recording of Begum Inaayati Dera Waali's in 1934. His six sons (each a musician in his own right) have grown adept at the instrument too, prompting Pyarelal Sharma of Laxmikant-Pyarelal to call their family the dholak gharana.

"Begum Inayaati rejected many tabalchis because they couldn't give her the rhythm she wanted for her recording," recounts Mumtaz Ahmed, the eldest of his sons. "She was skeptical about my father playing the dholak, an instrument used only in mujras, instead of the tabla." 

Ghulam Mohammed had been invited to a wedding in Jammu by Uma Dutt (Shiv Kumar Sharma's father) where he had seen many women playing dholaks to perfection as one woman kept rhythm by tapping a small stone to the ground. To discipline the dholak in similarly to match the precision of a tabla, he thought, one should use the chhalla (the metal ring seen on every tabalchi's fore-finger). "But the dholak was a different kind of drum altogether," Mumtaz explains. "So he decided that the chhalla should be placed on the dholak player's little finger. Where it has remained ever since…"

The idea of using the matka, in Sharda (1942), stemmed similarly, from Ghulam Mohammed's wanderings through festival celebrations in Punjab and Multan. "He suggested to Naushad that a soft rounded sound would match Suraiya's 14-year-old voice," says Aziz Mohammed, the second eldest brother and an acclaimed percussionist in the industry. "And he knew exactly where to find it." 

Ghulam Mohammed's unabashed use of rough un-engineered musical instruments in carefully crafted compositions took a new turn when he was music director himself. "He introduced the khanjari, chimta, kharkaal, manjeere and lota (a small brass pot) all at once in Doli (1943), for which he composed the music," remembers Mumtaz. "It was a riot." Literally and figuratively!

Mumtaz, while experimenting with acting, directing and production work, has remained faithful to music, his dedication culminating in his work as instructor at the Indian Music School in Dubai. Having produced a musical called Tamanna, his dream now "is to produce a film some day, where all of us brothers compose the music together". 

Aziz, a talented tabalchi from a young age, was egged on into the field by both his father and his uncle Abdul Kareem, another tabla legend (his solo recital makes 'Madhuban Mein Radhika Naache Re' in Kohinoor come alive even today). His hands have hammered away since at both the tabla and the dholak to sculpt famous melodies for famous films like Aaina (1977), where he's done a solo, Leader, Sangharsh and many more. Mohammed Iqbal, whose heart lies with the congo and the tumba, has served as an essential aide to popular Qawwal voices Aziz Nazan ('Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom Sharaabi') and Altaf Raja ('Tum to Thehre Pardesi'). 

He and brother Masood Mohammad have jointly released an album Paigaam and are currently working on their second release.

Yusuf Mohammed, like Aziz, is an industry favourite, and his expertise with the dholak and tabla has led him to work with popular music directors Laxmikant-Pyarelal, and more recently, Anu Malik and Aadesh Shrivastav. 

Khalique Ahmed, on the other hand, has taken his percussion skills live with shows for banners like Percept and Sahara. He's currently touring Europe with an Indian music show called Bharti, and his dholak and tabla as hand baggage. The brothers are particularly proud of Javed, Mumtaz's son, "whose left hand on the tabla is exactly like that of our chachajaan (Abdul Kareem)". But some of their sons have taken to other fields – in business and service.

Their discontent at this runs parallel to their discontent at the way Hindi film music is created today. "I don't want to sound pessimistic, because we have excellent music directors even today," says Aziz. "And I'm not against westernisation of music either. But the method has gone awry." 

His brothers join in to lay down their contentions. Synthesised sound is in, they say, so even string, wind and percussion instrument sounds are strummed out on the keyboard, which can never have the same effect. "At earlier recordings, musicians were required to play an entire song together," recounts Mumtaz. "There was live interaction among the musicians, through their sounds, which made magic that resonated in the recording." 

With recording studios being too expensive today, each musician is recorded separately, and their sounds are assembled technologically. "This often results in a musician not knowing what he's playing for," says Iqbal. "We are told about the general mood of the composition, but the complexities a musician used to work with earlier ceases to exist. Is our piece a sawaal (question), a jawaab (answer) or a paradox? Where do we fit in?" 

As if to better voice this, in a language only they understand, the brothers settle down for our photo shoot, with musical instruments that their father presented to them as he did to the world and play out their sawaals, their jawaabs and their paradoxes. 



•   Begum Inayaati was skeptical about my father playing the dholak, an instrument used only in Mujras – Mumtaz Ahmed, son of Ghulam Mohammed


I’m not against westernisation of music in Bollywood, but the method has gone awry 
– Aziz Mohammed,  son of GhulamMohammed
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Urdu Shayari in film songs didn’t last beyond golden era

Urdu Shayari in film songs didn’t last beyond golden era | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
Home» Opinion» Entertainment» Urdu shayari in film songs didnt last beyond golden eraURDU SHAYARI IN FILM SONGS DIDN’T LAST BEYOND GOLDEN ERARaju Korti | March 30, 2013, 07:50 PM IST

 

Mumbai :

 

The 1940s marked the slow but sure beginning of the Hindi film music’s golden era. Husnlal and Bhagatram, the two brothers were the first to work as the music director duo. Husnlal, an accomplished violinist and classical singer and Bhagatram, an ace harmonium player, were the sons of Pandit Amarnath, a famous composer of the time. They worked as father’s assistants before stepping into his shoes. And they perhaps outshone their father as their contribution to film music shows.  

Husnlal-Bhagaram duo made a mark on the film music right on their entry in 1944 with the film “Chand” that came with a hit song “Do Dilon Ko Yeh Duniya” sung by Manju. However, it was with Mohammad Rafi that they rose to the top in no time. Their compositions “Ek Dil Ke Tukde Hazar Huye” (Pyar Ki Jeet) and “Suno Suno Ai Duniya Walo,Bapu Ki Yeh Amar Kahani (Amar Kahani) sung with his characteristic soulful involvement became runaway hits. Incidentally, the song “Ek Dil Ke Tukde” ushered in the era of sad songs ironically though Husnlal-Bhagatram were known for their songs based on Punjabi folk music that generated happier mood.

The two brothers were equally partial to Lata Mangeshkar though they did deploy Suraiya and other singers too. Who can forget the Husnlal-Bhagatram gems sung by Lata “Chale Jana Nahi Nain Mila Ke” (Badi Bahen-1949) and “Abhi To Mai Jawan Hun-Khushiyo Ke Din Manaye Ja” (Afsana-1951)?


The rise of the talented music director duo Husnlal-Bhagatram virtually marked the beginning of Hindi film music’s golden era in the early 1940s. Despite their classical music background, they chose to lean on Punjabi folk music for its lilt and rhythm to offer one popular hit after another by roping in celebrated Urdu lyricists. 


Rafi-Lata sung numerous hit duets under Husnlal-Bhagatram baton. One could even dare say that the two composer brothers were first to realize that the film music was blessed with these two peerless voices.

The two gifted singers sang songs of all hues and made a memorable combination. Aware of each other’s strengths, they always had a raging competition going. However, when otherwise most amiable person Rafi refused to join hands with Lata for her campaign for royalty for singers, she felt so hurt that she stopped singing with him almost four years.  The point here is not about who stole a march over the other but how each one excelled in their respective craft. If Rafi was ahead in the songs that began with a couplet, his female compatriot wasn’t far behind.


Remember the angst of lovelorn Dilip Kumar pouring his utter sadness in Rafi’s voice in film “Deedar” (1951) with a memorable Urdu couplet “aaseer-e-panjaa-e-ahad-e-shabaab kar ke mujhe kahaan gaya mera bachapan, kharaab kar ke mujhe” that precedes the famous song “Huye ham jhinke liye barbaad, woh hamko chaahe karen na yaad, jeevan bhar” ? That was the great wonder penned by inimitable Shakeel Badayuni and composed by doyan Naushad.

Naushad is always considered as a Rafi protagonist but he never hid his admiration for Lata and was also vocal about the fact that she was preferred over other female singers including Asha Bhosale.

So in Mere Mehboob (1963), if Rafi began with a flourish in Tumse izhaare haal kar baithe, Naushad also had a Lata at her resonant best in a beautifully composed Tere pyaar mein dildaar jo hai mera haal-e-zaar. It had a couplet that launched a perfect platform for Lata to take off from:

Paas rehte huwe bhi  khud se bahot door hai hum
Kissa-e dard sunaate hain ke majboor hain hum.

As a staunch votary of Hindusthani classical music, Naushad had earlier also used the services of Lata in the 1960 blockbuster Mughal-e-Azam. It had two Lata semi-classical solos that have couplets at the outset. The song Bekas pe karam kijiye had a distinctly Naushadian touch and its ethos came through in the couplet:

Ae mere mushkilekusha, fariyad hai fariyad hai
Aapke hote huye duniya meri barbaad hai

The other became a benchmark in Indian film music. Lata ‘s Pyaar kiya to darna kya had everything a thirsty audience could ask for. But the challenge that Madhubala throws at King Akbar comes through the melodious strains of:

Insaan kisise duniya mein ek baar muhabbat karta hai
Is dard ko lekar jeeta hai, is dard ko lekar marta hai.

The Shakeel Badayuni, Naushad and Lata combo could always guarantee you the best.  In 1954, they teamed up to prop up Amar whose songs had a refined touch. Particularly catchy was the philosophical “Na milta gham to barbaadi ke afsaane kahaan jaate”. The meaningful lyrics come as an offshoot of a couplet:

O tamanna lut gayi phir bhi tere dam se muhannat hai
Mubarak gair ko khushiyaan mujhe gham se muhabbat hai.

If Naushad was the torch-bearer of such compositions, could Madan Mohan, whom Lata fondly addressed as Bhaiyya (elder brother) be far behind? No one remembers the movie “Dekh Kabira Roya” (1958) or its cast but its songs ring a bell because of Madan Mohan’s memorable music. Even in a light romantic like “Tu pyar kare ya thukraaye” (Dekh Kabira Roya 1958), he had Lata evocating:

Na gila hoga na shikwaa, na shikayat hogi
Arz hai chhotisi sun lo to inayat hogi.

Among the most ethereal of compositions that Lata sang for Raj Kapoor’s hit film Shree 420, it had this pearl in which a distraught Nargis sings to her simpleton beau gone astray “O jaane waale mudke zara dekhte jaana”Even in that 1.5 minute clip the song leaves a devastating impact primarily for the couplet that Lata presents in her dulcet  voice:

Tumhe kasam hai mere dil ko yun na tadpao
Yeh iltejaa hai ke mud mud ke dkhte jaao

It was only a Shankar-Jaikishen who could weave a soft ditty and a pacy song with similar set of words. Recall, Asha’s zany Mud mud ke na dekh mud mud ke – a measure of the composer duo’s supreme command over their enterprise.

Even a composer like SD Burman, whose knowledge of Urdu or Hindi was not much to rave about could compose for couplets with great élan sheerly on the strength of understanding the song. The 1964 film Ziddi showed that and how!. Please do not forget that Raat ka samaa zoome chandrama was a dance song. Yet Lata erupts into the song with that couplet:

Aaaya na  aise yahaan chham ke koi
Jo kaam kiya hai hamne wo rustam se na hoga.
 

One cannot think of Naushad without his vocal soul Mohammad Rafi. However, he was equally partial to melody queen Lata when it came to convey the right feeling behind a song. And Naushad joined hands with Shakeel  Badayuni the outcome was always memorable 

It would of course be a topic of research but I think while Rafi and Lata grabbed the cream of all the most memorable and hit songs, they left a little more than crumbs for other lesser mortals in the singing arena.  The 70s signaled end for sher, shayri, couplets and/or any such literary flourish in songs. Movie making became more commercial, less passionate and devoid of decent themes. With it, went most of the composers of that era.


Couplets became the wealth of the archives as Urdu vanished from Hindi film songs.

(Concluded)

Home» Opinion» Entertainment» Urdu shayari in film songs didnt last beyond golden era
URDU SHAYARI IN FILM SONGS DIDN’T LAST BEYOND GOLDEN ERA
Raju Korti | March 30, 2013, 07:50 PM IST
Mumbai :
 
The 1940s marked the slow but sure beginning of the Hindi film music’s golden era. Husnlal and Bhagatram, the two brothers were the first to work as the music director duo. Husnlal, an accomplished violinist and classical singer and Bhagatram, an ace harmonium player, were the sons of Pandit Amarnath, a famous composer of the time. They worked as father’s assistants before stepping into his shoes. And they perhaps outshone their father as their contribution to film music shows.  

Husnlal-Bhagaram duo made a mark on the film music right on their entry in 1944 with the film “Chand” that came with a hit song “Do Dilon Ko Yeh Duniya” sung by Manju. However, it was with Mohammad Rafi that they rose to the top in no time. Their compositions “Ek Dil Ke Tukde Hazar Huye” (Pyar Ki Jeet) and “Suno Suno Ai Duniya Walo,Bapu Ki Yeh Amar Kahani (Amar Kahani) sung with his characteristic soulful involvement became runaway hits. Incidentally, the song “Ek Dil Ke Tukde” ushered in the era of sad songs ironically though Husnlal-Bhagatram were known for their songs based on Punjabi folk music that generated happier mood.

The two brothers were equally partial to Lata Mangeshkar though they did deploy Suraiya and other singers too. Who can forget the Husnlal-Bhagatram gems sung by Lata “Chale Jana Nahi Nain Mila Ke” (Badi Bahen-1949) and “Abhi To Mai Jawan Hun-Khushiyo Ke Din Manaye Ja” (Afsana-1951)?

The rise of the talented music director duo Husnlal-Bhagatram virtually marked the beginning of Hindi film music’s golden era in the early 1940s. Despite their classical music background, they chose to lean on Punjabi folk music for its lilt and rhythm to offer one popular hit after another by roping in celebrated Urdu lyricists. 

Rafi-Lata sung numerous hit duets under Husnlal-Bhagatram baton. One could even dare say that the two composer brothers were first to realize that the film music was blessed with these two peerless voices.

The two gifted singers sang songs of all hues and made a memorable combination. Aware of each other’s strengths, they always had a raging competition going. However, when otherwise most amiable person Rafi refused to join hands with Lata for her campaign for royalty for singers, she felt so hurt that she stopped singing with him almost four years.  The point here is not about who stole a march over the other but how each one excelled in their respective craft. If Rafi was ahead in the songs that began with a couplet, his female compatriot wasn’t far behind.

Remember the angst of lovelorn Dilip Kumar pouring his utter sadness in Rafi’s voice in film “Deedar” (1951) with a memorable Urdu couplet “aaseer-e-panjaa-e-ahad-e-shabaab kar ke mujhe kahaan gaya mera bachapan, kharaab kar ke mujhe” that precedes the famous song “Huye ham jhinke liye barbaad, woh hamko chaahe karen na yaad, jeevan bhar” ? That was the great wonder penned by inimitable Shakeel Badayuni and composed by doyan Naushad.

Naushad is always considered as a Rafi protagonist but he never hid his admiration for Lata and was also vocal about the fact that she was preferred over other female singers including Asha Bhosale.

So in Mere Mehboob (1963), if Rafi began with a flourish in Tumse izhaare haal kar baithe, Naushad also had a Lata at her resonant best in a beautifully composed Tere pyaar mein dildaar jo hai mera haal-e-zaar. It had a couplet that launched a perfect platform for Lata to take off from:

Paas rehte huwe bhi  khud se bahot door hai hum
Kissa-e dard sunaate hain ke majboor hain hum.

As a staunch votary of Hindusthani classical music, Naushad had earlier also used the services of Lata in the 1960 blockbuster Mughal-e-Azam. It had two Lata semi-classical solos that have couplets at the outset. The song Bekas pe karam kijiye had a distinctly Naushadian touch and its ethos came through in the couplet:

Ae mere mushkilekusha, fariyad hai fariyad hai
Aapke hote huye duniya meri barbaad hai

The other became a benchmark in Indian film music. Lata ‘s Pyaar kiya to darna kya had everything a thirsty audience could ask for. But the challenge that Madhubala throws at King Akbar comes through the melodious strains of:

Insaan kisise duniya mein ek baar muhabbat karta hai
Is dard ko lekar jeeta hai, is dard ko lekar marta hai.

The Shakeel Badayuni, Naushad and Lata combo could always guarantee you the best.  In 1954, they teamed up to prop up Amar whose songs had a refined touch. Particularly catchy was the philosophical “Na milta gham to barbaadi ke afsaane kahaan jaate”. The meaningful lyrics come as an offshoot of a couplet:

O tamanna lut gayi phir bhi tere dam se muhannat hai
Mubarak gair ko khushiyaan mujhe gham se muhabbat hai.

If Naushad was the torch-bearer of such compositions, could Madan Mohan, whom Lata fondly addressed as Bhaiyya (elder brother) be far behind? No one remembers the movie “Dekh Kabira Roya” (1958) or its cast but its songs ring a bell because of Madan Mohan’s memorable music. Even in a light romantic like “Tu pyar kare ya thukraaye” (Dekh Kabira Roya 1958), he had Lata evocating:

Na gila hoga na shikwaa, na shikayat hogi
Arz hai chhotisi sun lo to inayat hogi.

Among the most ethereal of compositions that Lata sang for Raj Kapoor’s hit film Shree 420, it had this pearl in which a distraught Nargis sings to her simpleton beau gone astray “O jaane waale mudke zara dekhte jaana” Even in that 1.5 minute clip the song leaves a devastating impact primarily for the couplet that Lata presents in her dulcet  voice:

Tumhe kasam hai mere dil ko yun na tadpao
Yeh iltejaa hai ke mud mud ke dkhte jaao

It was only a Shankar-Jaikishen who could weave a soft ditty and a pacy song with similar set of words. Recall, Asha’s zany Mud mud ke na dekh mud mud ke – a measure of the composer duo’s supreme command over their enterprise.

Even a composer like SD Burman, whose knowledge of Urdu or Hindi was not much to rave about could compose for couplets with great élan sheerly on the strength of understanding the song. The 1964 film Ziddi showed that and how!. Please do not forget that Raat ka samaa zoome chandrama was a dance song. Yet Lata erupts into the song with that couplet:

Aaaya na  aise yahaan chham ke koi
Jo kaam kiya hai hamne wo rustam se na hoga.
 
One cannot think of Naushad without his vocal soul Mohammad Rafi. However, he was equally partial to melody queen Lata when it came to convey the right feeling behind a song. And Naushad joined hands with Shakeel  Badayuni the outcome was always memorable 
It would of course be a topic of research but I think while Rafi and Lata grabbed the cream of all the most memorable and hit songs, they left a little more than crumbs for other lesser mortals in the singing arena.  The 70s signaled end for sher, shayri, couplets and/or any such literary flourish in songs. Movie making became more commercial, less passionate and devoid of decent themes. With it, went most of the composers of that era.

Couplets became the wealth of the archives as Urdu vanished from Hindi film songs.

(Concluded)
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Dama Dam Mast Qalandar: The man behind the melody

Dama Dam Mast Qalandar: The man behind the melody | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it
Dama Dam Mast Qalandar: The man behind the melodyBy Suhail Yusuf | Muhammad UmarUpdated Apr 18, 2014 04:26pm 81 Comments Email PrintEven on a sunny day, his room has a very gloomy feel to it. Countless moments are spent staring at the walls; an ordinary quiet shrouds the space, as if words too, have lost all motivation here.

‘Master’ Ashiq Hussain, who composed a myriad of unforgettable melodies for the Pakistani cinema for almost five decades, now, prefers a songless silence.

Few are aware that Hussain is also the man who composed what can safely be called the world’s most famous dhamaal: Lal meri pat for Pakistan cinema. The sufi masterpiece has propelled numerous artists from the subcontinent to international fame.

Amazingly, Hussain composed this dhamaal in just a few minutes at the request of Saghar Siddiqui – an eminent poet, also known as the ‘Poet of Pain’ – who wrote it.

Once a top notch music director in Pakistan, Hussain now lives in a slum at the Bazar-e-Hakiman near the Bhatti gate in old Lahore.

Electricity is too much of a luxury to demand, while food is a godsend at the ‘Master's’ home.

This dire financial situation forced Hussain’s son Asif Ali, a talented keyboard player, to start selling pakoras at the roadside to feed the family. Ali, a heart patient, passed away a few days subsequent to this interview, after a hard life of toil.

Hussain’s contribution to Pakistan’s silver screen cannot be eclipsed but he gained very little appreciation in contrast to his contemporaries, like Nisar Bazmi and Rasheed Atray or Robin Ghosh.

But it is not just the music world that forgot Hussain, the government and even his friends turned a blind eye to Pakistani’s finest melody maestro.

True to his self, Hussain, now in his 90s, has never sought help from people “who do not care about artists.”

Echoed gloriously across the world in the voices of Noor Jehan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Runa Laila, Jagjit Singh and Abida Parveen, Dama Dam Mast Qalandar is Hussain’s masterpiece.

Lollywood owes him gratitude for composing evergreen music for movies like, Jabroo, Aakhri Dao, Billo jee, Azmat-e-Islam, Shaam Savera, Aadmi, Kaale log, Jaib Katra and Waris Shah.

Listen to various versions of Lal meri pat:Noor JehanAbida ParveenInayat Hussain Bhatti and Masood RanaJunoonRekha BharadwajAkhtar Chanal Zahri and Komal Rizvi [Coke Studio]Mika Singh Ft. Yo Yo Honey

Clarification: Lal Meri Pat was not written by Ashiq Hussain, but his compositions of the famous song featured in Pakistani cinema. The origins of the first composition lie in the history of the Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh.

 
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Khayyam – the unyielding music maestro music with a purpose

Khayyam – the unyielding music maestro music with a purpose | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Khayyam – the unyielding music maestro music with a purpose
Dr Amjad ParvezFebruary 16, 2011

Though Internet is full of information on, name any issue, including great music personalities, what makes my impressions on these personalities different is my personal likeness for their life and works and how I have grown in my life with their melodies. Whenever various melodies are played even now, it takes me back to the people, places and emotional attachments linked with these songs. Music Composer Khayyam is among the top few whom I respect because of his style of music melodies and despite that he gave many songs fitting the movies' situations, he refused to budge in to the musical jarring. Besides the fact that he is the elder brother of my lifelong friend Mushtaq Hashimi, his works had a unique impact on my psyche, mainly because his music has been soothing not only to mine but everybody else's ears, the only condition is that the music lover has to be real music lover strictly fitting its definition. In a recent interview with Rachna Dubey for the Hindustan Times, eighty four-years-old Khayyam prayed to God for mercy when asked about the music being produced in Bollywood; "Allah Rahem Kare! Today's composers are making a mockery of music. It's only dham dham dham. A few years from now, you will realise the adverse impact of such music on the youth. They will lose their cool. Music is meant to soothe a tired mind. Music today makes you more tired."

Already his analysis is proving true and any mediocre melody that appears out of nowhere gets a positive response as compared to commercial jarring. Even Lata and Asha in their recent interviews said that the standard of Hindi music had declined very much today. That is the reason I write on the stalwarts of the past.

All I know is that Khayyam was a Shagird of Baba Chishti and had run off to Delhi to learn and practice music. He did learn different rhythms (Thekas) from music composers Husn Laal-Bhagat Raam. He told me so when I had gone to record a private album in his music to Bombay in 1992.

He told me so when I had gone to Bombay in 1992 to record a private album which had his music. Before the creation of Pakistan, he had worked for some movies as a duo, namely Verma Ji Sharma Ji, Sherma being Khayyam and Verma being Rehman Verma. Music lovers must be remembering Khayyam's composition of Muhammad Rafi's song 'Akele Mein Woh Ghabrate To Honge' from the movie Biwi. This was actually Khayyam's third movie, the earlier ones being 'Heer Ranjha – 1948' and 'Parda – 1949'. Khayyam used Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhonsle, Muhammad Rafi and Zohrabai Ambalewali for these movies. This song from 'Beewi' by Khayyam gave a breakthrough to him. Due to the popularity of this song, he got introduced in the film industry as a quality music composer. About this song, Khayyam recently spoke to the media, a day after he

received the prestigious SD Burman International Award for creative music and sound at the Pune International Film Festival. He said that this song led to lots of 'shayirs' (poets) in the country becoming his fans. This song would be played again and again on All India Radio back then. The effort gave him another breakthrough and he was asked to compose music for the hit movie 'Footpath'. I shall never forget the song 'Shaam-e-Gham Ki Qasam' by Talat Mahmud pictured on Dilip Kumar. Khayyam told me that those days were his 'Karki' days. All that he used to have were four annas in his pocket for a cup of tea. He would commute in double decker buses and he composed this song giving beat on a match box with his fingers while commuting never realising that he would be remembered after five decades due to this song.

The next movie 'Gul-e-Sanober – 1953' went unnoticed but songs by Asha for 'Dhobi Doctor - 1954' were noticed. Then came 'Gul-e-Bahar – 1954' but I started humming songs of producer Ismat Chughtai's 'Lala Rukh' the moment this movie was released in 1958. Asha's 'Le Ja Meri Duaein' and Asha-Talat's 'Pyas Kutch Aur Bhi Bharka Dee Jhalak Dikhla Ke' were outstanding melodies. About the latter melody Khayyam was especially proud that it was composed with very few instruments. He was of the opinion that if the basic melody is strong then it is not dependent on use of heavy orchestration, not that he didn't use rich orchestra in his subsequent songs. Kaifi Aazmi wrote lyrics for this movie.

Asha Bhonsle in one of her write-ups on Khayyam says that with the use of a few instruments, Khayyam achieved completeness, a total entity through this song. It was then in 1956 again that director Ramesh Saigol approached Khayyam to compose for the hit movie 'Phir Subha Ho Gi'. It was Raj Kapoor and Mala Sinha starrer with theme of poverty and the rich-poor gap, the socialist theme. The apathy and helplessness of the characters were very pertinently depicted by Khayyam by using Asha and Mukesh for the songs 'Woh Subha Kabhi To Aaei Gi', and 'Cheen-o-Arab Hamara' but the song that captivated me was Asha's 'Do Boondein Saawan Ki' and again a song that used very few instruments, as a matter of fact only Sitar and Tabla, was Asha-Mukesh's 'Phir Na Kijiye Meri Gustakh Nigahi Ka Gila'. The latter melody also set the trend for making Ghazals for Hindi screen. Now after the movie 'Bambai Ki Billi – 1960', the movie that used Lata for the song 'Rang Rangeela Saanwara Mohe Mil Gayo Jamuna Paar' and 'Teri Duniya Mein Nahin Koi Hamara Apna' in happy and sad moods respectively for the Apsi Irani's movie 'Barood – 1960' gave a very sweet touch to Lata's voice.

 ---------------------------------x----------------------
part 2: http://archives.dailytimes.com.pk/infotainment/18-Feb-2011/khayyam-the-unyielding-music-maestro-music-with-a-purpose-part-2

Khayyam never believed in creating average music. He wanted to educate the common man and when a common man began asking questions about his music and its lyrics, Khayyam felt that his objective had been achieved. His life was full of struggles as he was very choosy as far as the script of the movie he was asked to compose for was concerned. In 1961 Khayyam introduced his wife Jagjit Kaur for two folk songs 'Phir Wohi Sawan Aaya Saajan Aaeye Na' and 'Laree Re Laree Losey Aankh Jo Lari'. The former was taken from the tunes by Niaz Hussain Shaami's 'Ni Saiyo Koonj Vicher Gai DaronTey Labdi Sajna Nun' that used to be crooned by most of the singers of Radio Pakistan, Lahore. These songs were composed for Ramesh Saigol's 'Shaula Aur Shabnam – 1961' but the songs that created ripples in the Indian film music scene were Kaifi Aazmi's lyrics in Rafi-Lata's voice 'Jeet Hi Lenge Baazi Hum Tum' and Rafi's 'Janey Kya Dhoondeti Rehti Hein Ye Ankhain Mujh Mein'. The latter song used Rafi's wide range of voice amicably well, especially at the climax.

When I was in the Government College, Lahore, in 1964, I visited Bombay with Mushtaq Hashimi and stayed at Khayyam's house. In those days all I wanted to do was to see movies, one of them being 'Shagoon'. It was a Waheeda Rehman and Kanwaljeet starrer. The pair later went on to get married. Khayyam's relations must have become estranged with Lata as he used Suman Kalyanpur for the songs 'Parbaton Kei Pairon Par' (with Rafi) and 'Zindigi Zulm Sahi' and 'Bujha Diye Hein' (solos). By now, Sahir Ludhianvi-Khayyam team had been established as all the songs for the movie were written by Sahir. I remember bringing a 78 speed record for the Lahore Radio where these songs were repeated in 'Farmaishi Programme'. I lived in Shahalmi Gate. Lahore. It used to be all quite at night and the songs playing on Radio could be listened and appreciated by the dwellers. In 1966 Chetan Anand experimented with a small crawling baby looking for his mother in the movie 'Akhri Khat' and Khayyam composed outstanding melody 'Baharo Mera Jeevan Bhi Sanwaro' in Raag Pahari, one of his favourite Raags. But before this movie, another movie 'Muhabbat Isko Kehtey Hein' gave 'Theheriye Hosh Mein Aa Loon To Chaley Jaiye Ga', a Rafi-Suman duet and Suman's 'Jo Hum Peh Guzarti Hei', both emitting pathos.

With the release of 'Kabhie Kabhie' it seemed that the days of struggle of Khayyam were over. In 1976 the movie's commercial success and the popularity of music broke records. As told to me by Khayyam it was a challenge thrown by Sahir Ludhianci that his ghazals 'Mein Pal Do Pal Ka Shair Hun' and 'Kabhi Kabhi Merey Dil Mein Khayal Aata Hei' would not be done justice by any composer. The challenge was met successfully by Khayyam, especially due to the rhythmic treatment and the poetic musical composition and Mukesh relished singing these ghazals astoundingly well. This Yash Chopra film had many other hit songs like Lata's 'Mere Ghar Aai Aik Nanhi Pari', Kishore's 'Pyar Kar Liya To Kaya'. Though Khayyam has been very choosy right from the beginning but after 'Kabhi Kabhi' he got many films to compose for, one after the other. It was for 'Shankar Hussain' in 1977 that he gave two amazing songs, one was Kaif Bhopali's 'Apne Aap Raaton Mein Chilmanein Sarakti Hein' and 'Aap Yun Faasilon Sey Guzatre Rahe' both by Lata. This was Kamal Amrohvi's son Tajdar's movie as a producer. The tunes depicted the inscrutability of night. I don't know whether the movie flopped or clicked but the songs are immortal. Then came the box office hit movie 'Trishul' again by Yash Chopra in 1978. It was the revenge of Amitabh born out of illicit relation between Waheeda Rehman and Sanjeev Kumar (who leaves her for a rich woman), a well-acted movie with Lata crying for revenge in the song 'Tu Mere Saath Rahe Ga Munney', well written by Sahir Ludhianvi. The movie contained duets by Kishore and Lata as well; 'O Kabhi Qamein Na Torian' based on Punjab's folk and 'Kehte Darti Ho' pictured on Hema Malini and Shashi Kapoor. Another song 'Muhabbat Bare Kaam Ki Cheez Hei' by Lata-Kishore-Yesudas trio made the movie a musical hit, pictured on Amitabh-Hema and Shashi and last but not the least the younger pair Poonam Dhilon and Sachin were treated with 'Gapoo Ji Gapoo Ji Gam Gam' by Lata and Nitin Mukesh. Then came a beautiful song 'Simti Hui Yeh Gharian' by Lata and Rafi in 'Chambal Ki Qasam' in this Raj Kumar, Satrughan Sinha and Maushmi Chaterjee starrer movie.

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part 3: http://archives.dailytimes.com.pk/infotainment/19-Feb-2011/khayyam-the-unyielding-music-maestro-part-3

Khayyam also utilised actress Sulakhshna Pandit's talents as a singer and composed one of her career's best songs for the movie 'Khandaan' in 1979, however, the movie's best song remained Lata's 'Ye Mulaqaat Ik Bahana Hei/Pyar Ka Silsila Purana Hei'.

Not only Pandit, but Khayyam also employed Meena Kumari's poetry and singing in her album and documentary titled 'Meena Kumari Ki Amar Kahani' (1979), Shabana Azmi in 'Anjuman' (1986), Rekha in 'Ek Naya Rishta' (1988) and Jaya Pradha in 'Muhabbaton Ka Safar' (1995), bringing to the front their singing abilities and making them successful as singers.

Here I would like to quote Khayyam's response to a tricky question posed by Dr Mandar Bichchu in the article titled 'Khayyam and Lata - in perfect harmony' about his experience of working with Lata ji for the first time. Khayyam responded "To be frank, I was quite apprehensive about working with her. Our 'Heer Ranjha' episode was fresh and then again, I had a bitter experience when she cancelled her recording for another film of mine at the last moment for some reason. As a result, I lost a contract for the film...Lata was called by Apsi Irani's company to sing for 'Bombai Ki Billi' and 'Barood' and not by me. After singing songs for 'Barood' as referred above and for the movie 'Hum Hei Raahi Pyar Ke', an unreleased movie, she seemed visibly moved...Whenever she liked any tune, there would almost never be any verbal praise but her eyes would speak, her face lit up with a glowing smile and she would blush a little."

Thus, the harmony developed between a great singer and a great composer produced dozens of outstanding melodies, some of the examples being the movie 'Dard's' 'Na Janey Kaya Hua' (1981) and Razia Sultan's 'Aei Dil-e-Nadaan' and 'Jalta Hei Badan' (1983).

I still remember Khayyam's visit to Lahore in 1986, when he was invited by Madam Noor Jehan for a dinner party; songs from Razia Sultan were played again and again and appreciated umpteen times by the guests. Madam seemed to be a great fan of Khayyam's.

Khayyam also produced a movie in collaboration with Yash Chopra, a low budget movie named 'Noorie' with Poonam and Farooq Sheikh in the lead roles. The movie was based on the poverty of Kashmiris, filled with songs such as Lata's 'Chori Chori Koi Aaye' and Lata-Nitin's 'Noori'. It made this movie a colossal hit. Unfortunately, Khayyam and Chopra had a dispute over the issue of sharing the profits earned through the movie. Disagreements over this issue gave an end to this beautiful team. Chopra opted for Khayyam's musicians Shiv-Hari for his subsequent movie 'Silsila'. I wish that Yash-Khayyam team could have continued.

Eighties was then a grand era for Khayyam with the success of Shabana Azmi-Rajesh Khanna starrer 'Thori Si Bewafai'. If he gave a lilting melody 'Barse Phoohar' to Asha, he gave 'Hazaar Raahein' and 'Aankhon Mein Hum Nei Aap Kei Sapney Sajaei Hein' to Lata-Kishore duo. Khayyam who had used singer Bhupinder earlier for 'Rut Jawan' in 'Akhri Khat', now used him for 'Aaj Bichrey Hein' in this movie. Bhupinder Singh was an instrumentalist. He was quoted as saying, "Khayyam was never satisfied with one take. No matter how carefully the musicians played, somewhere, somehow he would find a fault and since musicians knew in their heart of hearts that they had made a mistake, the end take was usually a perfect one, all thanks to Khayyam."

In his musical journey, the movie 'Ahista Ahista' in 1981 gave Asha's ability to render ghazals another boost through Nida Fazli's song 'Kabhi Kisi Ko Mukamal Jahan Nahin Milta/Kahin Zameen To Kahin Aasman Nahin Milta'. The theme of the song that nobody gets everything in life fitted the theme of the movie as well.

Having said that, if we do not mention another hallmark in Sulakhna Pandit's career as a singer for song 'Maana Teri Nazar Mein Tera Pyar Hum Nahin', it would be doing injustice to both of them.

The peak of Khayyam's career was Muzaffar Ali's 'Umrao Jaan' wherein Rekha gave her best performance in the leading role. This movie broke all records of popularity and Asha Bhonsle states in the article titled 'He shaped my voice' that people entered the theatres, and were entranced by the songs, Muzaffar's film craft and Rekha's sensitive performance. The national awards arrived after two to three months, where 'Umrao Jaan' bagged four awards, which included awards that were given to Khayyam, Rekha, Asha and Bansi/Mansoor for art direction. It also proved Asha's prediction that Rekha would achieve Meena Kumari's status of 'Pakeeza'. The best part of this movie's music was the use of instruments like Sitar and Sarangi (by Sultan Khan) and tunes made with pathos and some of them in Mujra Ang of that time.

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(Part 4) http://archives.dailytimes.com.pk/infotainment/20-Feb-2011/khayyam-the-unyielding-music-maestro

Another reason for Asha's success with musical melodies was Khayyam's technique of keeping her singing a key lower to what she otherwise used while singing. This was also revealed to me by Khayyam when I met him last, "Mein ney us ka aadha sur neechey kar diya tha," the composer told me.

In 1982 Khayyam composed music for the movies 'Bawari' and 'Bazaar'. I can never forget Mir Taqi Mir's 'Dikhai Diye Yun Ke Bekhud Kiya' by Lata pictured on Supriya Pathak. This low budget movie was very realistic in its theme. This touching tragedy also had a beautiful ghazal of Makhdoom Mohiuddin, 'Phir Chiri Raat Baat Phoolon Ki' by Lata and Talat Aziz. Jagjit Kaur excelled in the tragic melody 'Daikh Lo Aaj Hum Ko Ji Bhar Kei'. After another movie 'Mehndi' came the big banner movie 'Razia Sultana' in 1983. This Kamal Amrohvi's movie was a huge success music-wise. One of Lata's songs 'Choom Kar Raat Sulaye Gi To Neend Aaeye Gi' apart from the ones mentioned elsewhere was a fantastic song. Uptil 2006, Khayyam did twelve other movies, namely 'Lorie', 'Anjuman' (directed by Muzaffar Ali), 'Dever Bhabi', 'Terey Sheher Mein', 'Ek Naya Rishta', 'Parbat Kei Us Paar', 'Jaan-e-Wafa', 'Muhabaton Ka Safar', 'Ek Hi Manzil', 'Banaras 1918 – A Love Story' and, finally, 'Yaatra'.

During a span of six decades Khayyam gave music for 54 movies that were released. Seventeen movies remained unreleased. This is indeed a great loss for music lovers. Recording companies should release their CDs. I remember having been treated to Rajesh Khanna's unreleased movie titled 'Majnoon' (1986) when at Khayyam's residence. The song was a lovely breeze in the air. It was 'Dheeme Dheeme Yeh Ujaley' by Yesudas and Lata.

Generally, Khayyam's career has been titled from 1953 to 1990 in most of his profiles available elsewhere. I disagree with this span of time. To supplement this observation I shall quote his disappointment when four of his songs were removed by Bengali musician cum producer Gautum Ghose from the movie 'Yatra'. Visibly upset, he told Subhash K Jha that this was his first and hopefully last such experience in the film industry. He said, "God knows what madness hit Gautam" The contract stated Ghose would compose the background score while Khayyam would compose the songs. "But for reasons best known to him he decided to do away with my songs and keep all of his music," laments Khayyam and added, "The interesting part of this whole unjust exercise is the situations for my songs existed in the script." Khayyam also rues the fact that the film's leading lady was criticised for getting excited about the music. "Rekha Ji took keen interest in the songs. Gautam Ghose took offence to her interest. But a film is the result of teamwork. Everyone has to take keen interest in a work of art for it to blossom". However, Khayyam is gracious enough to acknowledge Ghose's talents. "I admit Gautam Ghose must be very adept at musical styles. In Bengal music is a way of life. But things are different in Hindi cinema. Not too many people know him here. To remove the name of Khayyam from a film where he has composed music, I'd say this is Gautam Ghose's bad luck. It makes no difference to me. Even if my music went missing from the film people heard my music on the CD of Yatra".

My contention that Khayyam is still alive and kicking as far as Hindi music scene is concerned is seconded by Subhash K Jha, who states that currently Khayyam is composing for a cinematic adaptation of Munshi Premchand's Bazaar-e-Husn. It's titled 'Brothers 1980-A Love Story'. It's a simple love story, and he has composed the tunes. He has also composed the songs for politician Abhishek Singvi's wife Anita Singhvi's Ghazal album. He is also doing the music for Lekh Tandon's serial on Doordarshan. Khayyam is also composing music for a film called 'Main Phir Aaoonga'. That title says a lot about him. Khayyam has worked with great poets. His selection of poetry and then their tunes come from divine help. At his advance age, Khayyam is proud to state the fact that he gave Asha Bhonsle her big break in the film industry. "I gave Ashaji her first cabaret song 'Aa Ra Ra Rum' in the movie 'Footpath'. After this song Asha came to be known for her vocal versatility and began rendering songs for leading ladies in films".

After winning several prestigious awards, Khayyam took a break from film music and concentrated on albums featuring a range of devotional songs, ghazals' and bhajans which, too, went to garner equal admiration. It was none other than Hindustani classical vocalist Begam Akhtar, who insisted Khayyam composed compositions for her.

Khayyam gave music for eight TV serials and composed 194 non-film songs. As a matter of fact his first ever song was a private song by Talat Mahmud 'Aa Gaein Phir Sey Baharein Aa Gaeen'. Mushtaq Hasimi and I used to sing this geet as well as Talat Mahmud's 'Ro Ro Beeta Jeevan Saara' in our college days. We sing these songs even now and will probably keep on humming Khayyam's melodies until we live! g

 

 

 

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Ghulam Muhammad .music director #composer # part 2

Ghulam Muhammad .music director #composer # part 2 | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Ghulam Muhammad – music composer worthy of more acclaim (last part)



By Dr Amjad Parvez

Suman Kalyanpur's voice was also used beautifully by Ghulam Muhammad for the songs 'Ik Jurm Kar Kei Hum Nei Chaha Tha Muskarana' and 'Merey Mehboob Tujhey Pyar Karoon Ya Na Karoon'. Suman joined hands with Shamshad Begum to sing 'Dil Gaya To Gaya' in a Qawwali beat. The cast of the movie was Kumar, Tarun Bose, Vijay Dutt, Kammo, Leela Mishra, Mumtaz Begum, Nimmi, Suraiya and Tun Tun. The famous lyricist Kaifi Azami wrote the songs for this movie. 
The 1954 movie 'Mirza Ghalib' was a huge success and its music is even popular today. The film represents the life of one-time wealthy and noble poet Mirza Ghalib. The film revolves around his trials, successes and failures and his ultimate descent to financial paucity. Ghalib falls in love with a beautiful courtesan named Chaudvin. Tragedy is however their fate. The movie was directed by Sohrab Modi and its stars were Bharat Bhushan portraying as Ghalib and Suraiya as his courtesan lover. The film won the Golden Lotus Award for National Film Award for Best Feature Film in 1955. The other cast comprised Nigar Sultana, Durga Khote, Murad, Mukri, Ulhas, Kum Kum and Iftikhar. National Film Awards for this movie were National Film Award for Best Feature Film: Sohrab Modi, National Film Award for Best Music Direction: Ghulam Mohammed and Filmfare Best Art Direction (B&W): Rusi K Banker. This movie had popular Ghalib's ghazals sung by Talat Mahmud, Suraiya and Muhammad Rafi. Talat rendered 'Ishq Mujh Ko Nahin Wehshat Hi Sahi' and 'Phir Mujhaey Deeda-e-Tar Yaad Aaya' admirably well in his blue mood. These compositions still haunt music lovers. A duet form in filmi geet style in medium four-beat rhythm was reserved for Ghalib's famous ghazal 'Dil-e-Nadaan Tujhey Hua Kaya Hei' sung by Suraiya and Talat Mahmud. Orchestra support in the beginning and climax was amazingly effective in violin pieces. Suraiya's solos were 'Aah Ko Chahiye Ik Umr Asar Honey Tak' in a geet style composition, 'Jahan Koi Na Ho' and 'Nukta Cheen Hei Gham-e-Dil Us Ko Sunaye Na Baney'. Singing of 'Hei Bas Kei Har Ik Un Kei Isharey' fell in Rafi's lap. There were situational deviations also and Shakeel Badayuni wrote songs 'Ganga Ki Ret Peh Bangla' (singer: Sudha Malhotra), 'Sakhi Sarkar Hei' (singers: Muhammad Rafi, Bande Sarkar and Party) and 'Chali Pee Kei Nagar' (singer: Shamshad Begum). A recitation penned by Harsh was also rendered by Suraiya. This movie was both a musical and commercial success by Sohrab Modi.
Ghulam Muhammad died on 17 March 1968, much before his magnum opus movie, 'Pakeeza' was released. In 1997, he was honoured, in the 'Keep Alive' music show series in Mumbai that honours all-time film music composers of India. An extensive audio - visual programme on Ghulam Mohammed was presented by Mumbai based music troupe MUSICOLOR in 2010 where music lovers cherished the composers' gems. According to available information, eminent film journalist and musicologist Rajesh Subramanian elucidated that Ghulam Mohammed was an unsung genius who never saw the success of his work. I could not agree more with his comments. Ghulam Muhammad deserved much more acclaim than what he received. 
Singer Geeta Dutt has sung relatively few songs for Ghulam Muhammad. Majority of the songs were from the film 'Dil Ki Basti' (1949) starring Masood, Lalita Pawar and Nigar Sultana. In this movie, Geeta Dutt sang a fast paced duet with the veteran singer Zohrabai and two romantic duets with G. M. Durrani (including the title song of the film). She has sung three more solos, but the best one is her romantic duet 'Naazuk Dil Hain Tore Na Daina' with G. M. Durrani. The same year she sang 'Koi Pukare Piya Piya Oh Sajan Teri Yaad Mein'. Lata rendered a beautiful melody 'Shikayat Kaya Karun' for the movie 'Kundan'. For the Madhubala and Kamini Kaushal starrer film 'Paras', Geeta also rendered a sweet melodious number. 
In the movie 'Maang' (1950), Geeta sang a tandem song 'Aaya Achaanak Aisa Jhonka' once with Hamida Bano and again with Rajkumari. Five years later Geeta Dutt and Mohd. Rafi teamed up for another teasing song 'Meri Jaan Ghair Ko Tum Paan Khilaaya Na Karo', a teasing number, for Ghulam Mohammed's film 'Kundan' (1955). The last song Geeta sang for him was for the film 'Paak Daman' (1957). To my mind, he shall live for Talat's 'Zindigi Dainey Waley Sun' and his other melodies.

 

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Why Deven Varma retired from the movies

Vikas Zutshi's insight:

Why Deven Varma retired from the movies  
 At 76, Deven Varma looks very fit and active sitting in his quaint bungalow in the posh Kalyani Nagar neighbourhood in Pune. For an 11 am interview, he is set and ready by 10:15.  Varma has worked in 149 films, with some of the biggest names in the business, like Gol Maal, Angoor, Khatta Meetha, Naastik, Rang Birangi, Dil and Judaai.  In the first of a two-part interview, Deven Varma speaks to Patcy N about his life and times, why he retired from the movies, and the new generation of actors  Early year  My father Baldev Singh Varma was in the silver business. Then he got into film distribution with a friend. My mother was a housewife. I have four sister  We shifted to Pune because of my eldest sister. She was studying in GN Khalsa College, in Matunga. In those days, there were lots of riots in Mumbai. She wanted to become a doctor, so we chose to shift to Pune. She joined the Nowrosjee Wadia College for Arts and Science in Pune. I studied in a school in Panchgani and joined the same college. In my college days, I would participate in dramas and youth festivals  After my graduation, I joined the Law College in Mumbai but got fed up after six months  My eldest sister became the principal of a government school in Pune, my second sister was a doctor practising in Mumbai, the third sister is a school principal and the youngest is settled in Houston; she is in charge of foreign students at Texas University. ( First break  I was doing stage shows and was part of a drama group. (Actor) Johnny Whiskey and I started mimicking film artistes on stage before anybody else did  I was performing a one-act show at a function of the North India Punjabi Association and B R Chopra was in the audience. He picked me for Dharmaputra (1961). I was paid Rs 600 a month  After Dharamputra, I went abroad to do stage shows. Dharamputra flopped. I was in Mauritius where Shashi (Kapoor) sent me a letter that said, ‘Picture has flopped and nobody knows the reason why’  When I returned to Mumbai, A V Meiyappan of AVM Studios hired me on a contract for Rs 1500 a month, for three years. I had to stay in Madras where I was coached in acting  In the meanwhile, another film of mine, Gumrah (1963) released, in which I played Ashok Kumar’s servant. It was a comic role and was appreciated  Mr Meiyappan asked me to choose between Madras and Mumbai and I chose to come back to Mumbai after a year. After Gumrah, I did Qawwali Ki Raat (1964) opposite Mumtaaz. It was her first film  Next, I signed Devar (1966), Anupama (1966) and a Bhojpuri film Nahihar Chutal Jaiye opposite Kumkum. I did about two films a year. I was in no hurry .Shooting on the set  We would never shoot on location. We would shoot on the sets in a studio and we all shot for 15 days at a stretch on one set only. And then we came back after a few days  It was a friendly atmosphere; people liked to be together. Nowadays there is no camaraderie. People shoot on different days  Affairs were common in those days too but nobody tom-tommed it. Nowadays, the only news about actors is who is dating whom  When we watched a film, we discussed the remarkable performances of Raj Kapoor or Dilip Kumar. We would discuss acting. Today’s generation discusses dance and stunts -- this is what it has come down to .First hi  My career really took off in 1975 after Chori Mera Kaam, which gave me my first Filmfare Award. It was a big hit and I was flooded with offers  I have a record of working in 16 movies at one time. There was a time when I was shooting for Esmayeel Shroff’s Ahista Ahista through the night in Mumbai, then early in the morning I would go to Hyderabad to shoot for Jeetendra’s Pyaasa Sawaan and at four in the evening I would leave Hyderabad for Delhi to shoot for Yash Chopra’s Silsila, then back to Mumbai for Esmayeel Shroff  The reason I was doing so many films at a time was that I couldn’t say no. I was in the industry for so long and had made so many friends, so I couldn’t say no and disappoint anyone  In this industry, you can last for 10 years on your talent but on good behaviour you will last forever. I have worked in the film industry for 47 years. I retired after my father-in-law (Ashok Kumar) died  My last film was Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi but Calcutta Mail released last. Till the time I was working I had lots of films on hand. There was never a period when I had no work  I received three Filmfare Awards, for Chori Mera Kaam, Chor Ke Ghar Chor and Angoor. I lost all three trophies when I briefly moved house. My wife was operated for lung collapse in Mumbai and the doctor advised a pollution free place for her so I shifted to Chennai. When we moved back to Mumbai after two years, I lost my two bags in transit  My first film as producer was Yakeen in 1969. I produced eight films. In 1971, I directed and produced Naadan, starring Asha Parekh and Navin Nischol. Then there was Bada Kabootar (1973) with Ashok Kumar, Besharam (1978) with Amitabh Bachchan, and Daana Paani (1989) with Mithun Chakraborty.

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master ghulam haider

master ghulam haider | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Believe it or not, but when melody queen Lata ,Mangeshkar was first taken to a producer to see if she might sing for the heroine in his film, she was turned down on a plea that her voice was "too soft!" but her companion warned the producer that a day would come when producers and directors would fall at her feet and beg her to sing for their films - Lata took no more than a year to prove him right. 

Lata's irate and outspoken companion on that occasion was none other than the celebrated Master Ghulam Haider, who took it upon himself to launch her in films. And Lata acknowledges her debt to him. Ghulam Haider first heard Lata when she was just 11 at a singing contest at Pune along with the showings of Pancholi's Khazanchi. When Lata approached him later requesting work in films, she sang a Noor Jahan number from Zeenat while he played on the harmonium. He asked her to come to the studio the next day but some how forgot all about it. While Lata waited nervously, Haider continued with rehearsing and recording for a song. Much later, when he emerged, the shy, young girl sang for him and Haider was, quiet simply, enchanted. 

This was not an isolated incident so far as Ghulam Haider's knack for spotting talent, grooming and molding it, is concerned. In 1943, at a concert in Ferozpur he was enthralled by a thumri and a song in raag Malkauns sung by a young girl. His own orchestra, 20-strong, was on stage when he came forward, patted the girl on her back and forecast that she would become a famous singer one day. That girl was Sudha Malhotra. To Ghulam Haider, too, must go the credit of introducing on screen such outstanding singers as Noor Jahan, Shamshad Begum, Zeenat Begum and Surinder Kaur. His own wife, Umrao Zia Begum, was also an artiste in her own right. 

Master Ghulam Haider was born in Hyderabad, Sind, in 1908 and after a few years of indifferent schooling, decided to try his hand at dentistry. Meanwhile, he started taking lessons in music from Babu Ganesh Lal. In five years, he gave up the dentist's profession and joined the Alfred Theatrical Company and then Alxendra Theatrical Company, in Calcutta as a harmonium player. In 1932, the year Haider joined Player Photophone, A, R. Kardar gave him an opportunity to compose music for his film Swarg Ki Seedhi, made in Lahore. Unfortunately, the film did not click at the box office. Then D M Pancholi asked him to write the musical score for his Punjabi venture Gul-E-Bakawali (1939) which was an instant hit. (Baby) Noor Jahan's song 'Shala Jawanian Mane' and 'Pinjran De Vich Qaid Jawani' were soon on the lips of every Punjabi film fan. But Ghulam Haider's glorious hour was still to come. 

When the 2nd world war started in Sep, 1939, the decade in which some of the most purposeful, successful, and cinematically significant films had been produced was coming to an end. Music directors of the 30's who had embellished films with their exquisite creations set in classical ragas had almost reached the end of their capabilities and their compositions were even beginning to sound common place. As the war progressed, a vast amount of black money was generated which clandestinely found its way into film production. People who had not acknowledge of film technique were drawn into the industry seeking to turn their black money into white, since any cheaply made film was assured of success at the box-office. 

In the war time, it was speed which counted and the new producers started churning out (formula) films at an incredible pace to cater to the needs of avid film fans. It became obvious that film music too needed re-orientation and the composer destined to bing this about was master Ghulam Haider. The film which literally launched him on his brilliant carrier was Pancholi's Khazanchi (1941) with such songs as (Diwali Fir Aayegi Sajni..) and (Ek Kali Naazon Ki Paali..). Film fans lapped up the tunes as they had never done before and Khazanchi broke all previous box-office records. 

Ghulam Haider's repertoire in classical and Punjabi folk music was enormous; not merely in range but in quality too, his technique was immaculate. Like a master craftsman, he would chisel and shape each piece of the song before stringing them together. In this work, he hand picked musicians from the old princess courts and rubabis, who sang bhajans and shabads in Temples and Gurudwaras. There was, for instance, Ustaad Fateh Ali Khan, a Sitarist from the Patiala gharana and then Soni Khan, the clarinetist. Perhaps the best musician in the orchestra was the tabla player who would create (bols) to match the words of the lyrics. Naushad Ali was aptly described Ghulam Haider's style thus "he completely changed the complexion of the Indian film music. His asthaias and antras had a peculiar charm because of the perfect blending and exactitude of the compositions. He was also responsible for the introduction of the dholak. Another novel feature was the importance he attached to the lyrics which were stretched and broken to enhance the beauty and weight of the rhythm." 

Ghulam Haider's association with Pancholi was to last until 1944 - a period during which he scored scintillating music for Chaudhary (1941) with the songs 'Sohne Peele Khet Nain', 'Bas Bas We Dholna' and 'Sajna Tere Bina Ji Nahion Lagda' sung by Noor Jahan; Khandan (1942) with the songs like 'Mar Gayi Re' and 'Too Kaun Si Badle Mere Chand Hai'; Zamindar (1942 - 'Jaake Sakhi Mere Pi Ko Sunade' and ' Armaan Tadapte Hain'); and Poonji (1943 - 'Jhalak Dikha Kar Chhupi' and ' Ab Koi Toote Dil Ka'). The last film also contained that immortal song; 'Ab Jaag uthe Hai Jum Kuchh Karke Dikha Denge..Aye Ma Tere Qadmon Mein Aakash Jhuka Denge.' A Masterpiece from Zamindar was the aarti 'Mohe Apne Hi Rang Mein Rang De' which was sung by Shanta Apte with unmatched lilt and sweetness. 

Ghulam Haider's mind was always at work, creating new tunes, recasting and improving them. If a musician came up with a suggestion, he never brushed it aside, but tried it out and if he found it suitable, incorporated it into the tune. In this was, he encouraged creative ability in his musicians. C Ramchandra, in an interview, described how within an hour of his having recorded on of the many hit songs of Shehnai, Ghulam Haider called on him, embraced and congratulated him upon the beauty of the melodies. That was a time, reminisced Chitalkar, when music directors were not jealous of each other's work. 

Ghulam Haider was responsible for raising the status of music directors. Film producers were dazed when he demanded Rs. 25,000 for a single contract. He amply proved - if proof were needed - that while a singer could add to the appeal of a tune, the music director as its creator, remained supreme. It was a result of his efforts that musicians too were recognized as an essential limb of the film industry and were paid wages commensurate with their labour 

A great lover of Hindustani classical music and Punjabi folk music, of which he made liberal use, he revolutionized our film music at a most critical period of its history. His tunes gained an unprecedented popularity for a period spread over nearly a decade. In the words of producer-director D M Pancholi: "Both of us started our careers - I as a film producer and he as a music director - together in 1941. A humble and sincere worker, Ghulam Haider was a loyal friend. He wrote the music in an independent style and he had a passion for folk music. He had also a taste for poetry and contributed many a line to the songs he tuned." 

According to Ghulam Haider, much of the popularity of a song would depend on its lyrics as well as the skill and style of the singer. It was also essential that the singer convey emotion enough to create the situation the scene demanded. It was opinion that the popularity of the songs generally depended on the success of the film. If a picture ran successfully for some time, many of its songs would become popular. But if the film flopped, even the best musical tunes would fall to win appreciation. Ghulam Haider was also the music director for Filmistan's Chal Chal Re Naujawan (1944), K Abdulla's Phool (1945), Standrad Picture's Bairam Khan (1946) and Minerva's Shama (1946). The song track of Shama was notable for a dexterous use of tabla in songs 'Gori Chali Piya Ke Desh', 'Hum Garibon Ka Bhi Poora Kabhi Armaan Kar De' and ' Ik Tera Sahara'. As Naushad put it, the tabla "Spoke the words." When husband in the film who can not forget his dead wife, sings "Ik Yaad Kisi Ki Yaad Rahi Aur Saari Duniya Bhool Gaye", his second wife counters "Ik Yaad Kisi Ki Yaad Rahi Kyun Saari Duniya Bhool Gaye" The simple change of 'Aur' to 'Kyun' conveyed their separate feelings.

While in Bombay, Ghulam Haider also composed music for Bombay Talkies' Majboor, featuring Lata's 'Dil Mera Toda..', Wali Saheb's Padmini, Diwan Pictures' Barsaat Ki Ek Raat, Pancholi's Patjhad and Filmistaan's Shaheed, all made in 1948. It was in the last film that he introduced Surinder Kaur ('Badnaam Na Ho Jaaye'). Shaheed also contained the unforgettable song 'Todi Bachche Re Teri Aisi ki Taisi' as the children teased the boy who is Pro-British. So far as material songs are concerned, none can match the vigor and appeal of "Watan Ki Raah Mein.." This was the song that brought Mohd. Rafi into the limelight - it was sung by him in company with Kahn Mastana.

Following the explosion of an ammunition laden ship in the Bombay docks towards the end of the 2nd world war, and the mass exodus of its citizen from the city, Ghulam Haider's musicians migrated to Lahore. In vain, did Haider plead with them to stay on: he offered them two months' salary in advance and a secure shelter. But they refused and bid them a tearful farewell. Later Ghulam Haider himself left for Lahore and floated his own concern 'Filmsaz', in partnership with Nazir Ajmeri and actor S Gul. Their maiden production Gulnar was released early in November, 1953, and a few days after, the great composer himself passed away. His funeral on November 10 was attended by prominent people from all branches of film trade. The news of his death cast a gloom over Bombay. The Cine Musicians' Association called a special meeting to mourn his death.

Ghulam Haider's advent on the film music scene and his phenomenal success encouraged other Punjabi music directors to enter films. They were Shyam Sundar, Pt. Amarnath, Husnlal Bhagatram, Khursheed Anwar, Rafique Gaznavi, Pt. Govindram and Hansraj Bhel. They too enriched our film music in their own way. But today, except for the occasional playing of his songs from Shaheed over Vividh Bharti, Ghulam Haider's name is almost forgotten now. A genius is dead - what remains are the work of others influenced by him.

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music director vinod

music director vinod | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it


Vinod never got his due

Harjap Singh Aujla on the music director from Punjab who faded into oblivion despite giving many hits

ONE of the most talented music directors that Punjab has produced was Vinod. His real name was Eric Roberts but for the film industry he chose a more familiar name Vinod.

According to Sardul Kwatra, another Lahore-born music director who knew Vinod since his days in Lahore, as a child Vinod was fascinated by the band music played during Hindu weddings. Vinod also listened carefully to the rababi musicians performing shabad kirtan at Gurdwara Dehra Sahib, Lahore. According to Sardul, Vinod became a student of Lahore’s famous music director Pandit Amar Nath and learnt from him the fundamentals of ragas and composing tunes on a violin.

By 1946, he had started composing music for a number of films, including three Hindi films and a Punjabi film Chaman. However, Chaman could not be taken up due to communal tension in Lahore. It was made in India after 1947 for which Pushpa Hans and Shamshad Begum lent their voices. Vinod gave Lata Mangeshkar three songs to sing. All three numbers became landmark songs. Those were the days of tension on both sides of the Radcliffe line. While the film did not do well in Pakistan, the music of the film did a decent business.

By 1944, most of the Lahore-based music directors like Khurshid Anwar, Shyam Sunder, Hans Raj Behl, Rashid Atre, Feroze Nizami, Ghulam Haider, Pandit Husna Lal Bhagat Ram had shifted to Bombay. Pandit Amar Nath and Pandit Gobind Ram were the only ones left in Lahore. After Pandit Amar Nath’s death in 1945, Vinod was asked to compose music for his mentor’s films Khamosh Nigahein, Paraye Bas Main and Kamini. However, none of the films did well at the box office.

Vinod got a good break when he composed music for Hindi film Ek Thi Ladki (1949). The film was a success and its song Lara lappa lara lappa layi rakhda, addi tappa addi tappa layi rakhda sung by Lata Mageshkar`A0became a hit. The number was based on a Pahari folk tune of Kangra. Following this, he composed music for another Punjabi film Bhaiya Jee in 1950. Lata sang several memorable songs for this film of which Ajj mera mahi nall tutt gaya pyar ve akhiyan na maar ve became a landmark.

According to Sardul Kwatra, Vinod had no Godfather like Shanker and Jaikishan had in producer-actor Raj Kapoor and producer Amiya Chakravarty and Naushad had in producer Mehboob Khan. Roop K. Shori, for whose films Vinod composed many songs, did not belong to the big league.

When Shori a film producer in Lahore moved to Bombay, he took his entire team with him which included music director Vinod and lyricist Aziz Kashmiri. Among some of Vinod’s best-known creations were the musical compositions of Anmol Rattan (1950), Wafaa(1950), Sabaz Bagh(1951), Aag ka Dariya(1953), Laadla(1954) and Makhi Choos(1956).

Vinod worked for a little while as a music director in Filmistan Studios too. A characteristic trait of Vinod’s music was that he inserted Hindi songs in Punjabi films and Punjabi lyrics in Hindi film songs.

According to Kelly Mistry, Vinod’s son-in-law, on an average Vinod did one or two successful films a year from 1948 to 1957, but this was not enough to ensure a decent living in a city like Bombay. Vinod, in spite of being thoroughly professional, was never financially well off. A Punjabi to the core, Vinod longed to compose music for Punjabi films but after 1951 music directors Hans Raj Behl and Sardul ended up getting all the music direction contracts. Vinod composed music for only five Punjabi films — Chaman (1948), Bhaiya Jee (1950),Mitiar (1950), Ashtalli(1954) and Nikki(1958).

Vinod died penniless at 37 on December 25, 1959. Although Vinod composed music for 32 films, but most of these films were under small banners and the music of many was let down by the film’s poor showing at the box office. His last three films were released after his death.

One of Vinod’s masterpiece creations is the music for the Punjabi film Mutiar (1951). One of its Urdu ghazalsAye dil mujhe jaane de, jis raah pe jaata hoon sung by Talat Mahmood simply stands out. Its Punjabi version was never recorded.

 
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Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan | Tere sur aur  mere geet | Scoop.it

Music maestro Feroze Nizami (part 2)

By Dr Amjad Parvez

The other songs 'Terey Long Da Lashkara, Jadu Koi Pa Gaya, Terey Mukhrey Tey Kala Kala Til Wey (Feroze Nizami's musical work is the essence of the creative spirit, and vital force of the human heart) and Changa Banayai Sanu Khidona' were also evergreen hits. Songwriter, Ustaad Daman wrote the tragic lyrics of 'Chan Way.' Theatrical release was in Jubilee cinema, Karachi and Regent cinema, Lahore. It seems that Feroze Nizami's music and Noor Jehan's voice were made for each other. Nurjehan was not to stop there. She also acted and sang for the movie 'Dopatta' in 1952. Her natural choice of music director was Feroza Nizami. This movie got acclaim in the subcontinent and the reason was its music. This Sibtain Fazli's theatrical release was in Eroze Cinema, Karachi. Noor Jehan and Ajay Kumar played the lead roles, while Sudhir was smartly dubbed as a loving, devoted doctor. All the songs such as 'Baat Hi Baat Mein Ji Chandni Raat Mein', 'Main Ban Patang Urh Jaon Re', 'Chandni Raaten, Sab Jag Soye Hum Jagein Taron Sei Karein Baatein', 'Tum Zindgi Ko Gham Ka Fasana Bana Gaey', 'Mere Mann Ke Raja Aja Suratiya Dikha Ja', 'Jigar Ki Aag Se Is Dil Ko Jalta Dekhte Jao' and 'Sanwaria, Tohe Koi Pukare' were super hits especially 'Chandani Raatein'. All the Pakistani female singers in the making even today sing this song at PTV and Stage to prove their worth. Feroze Nizami combined his unique style while composing songs. Especially his music for this romantic number of 'Dopatta', 'Mein Bun Patang Ur Jaaoon Gee' can be quoted to support this observation. Feroze Nizami's other films for which he composed music were Shararey, Sohni, Intikhab (1955), Qismet (1956), and Sola Aaney. For the latter, Zubeda Khanum's song 'Kaya Hua Dil Peh Sitam Tum Na Samjho Gey Balam' was an instant hit. It was a romantic cum sad song. The other in a happy tone was 'Chori Ho Gaya Dil Matwala' by Zubaida Khanum and 'Rotay Hain Chham Chham Nain' again by Zubeda Khanum in sad tune. The movie that bagged him Nigar Film Award in 1959 was 'Raaz', a suspense thriller. It was in this movie that he invited Indian singer Mubarak Begum to sing for him. Her duet with Ahmad Rushdi 'Maan Maan Zamana', a Western rock and roll inspired song, can be quoted in this regard. However Zubeda Khanum's song 'Meethi Meethi Bation Sei Jia Na Jala, Ja Re Balam Tujhey Daikh Liya' won her kudos. Romance oozed out in his Rushdi-Zubeda's song 'Chalak Rahi Hein Mastian, Nashey Mein Jhoom Utha Jahan'. Feroze Nizami composed music for 'Gulshan' (with Rashid Attre) in 1959, 'Zanjeer' (1960), 'Manzil' (1960), 'Mangol' (1961) and 'Soukan' (1964, Punjabi). 'Zan, Zar Te Zamin' (1974, Punjabi). His last movie's song was 'Zan, Zar te Zamin Da Jhagra, Duniya Te Einje Hi Rehna A...' by Masood Rana. I would like especially to mention the soft melodies Feroze Nizami gave for the movie 'Manzil'. The song 'Din Dhalte Dhalte Shaam Hui, Tum Aaei Na' by Nurjehan and then 'Soi Soi Chandni Hei Mora Man Jagey, Tu Hi Bata Dey Chanda'' with African beat used in those days like Bongo drums, stood out. Another song 'Aa Tu Mera Hei Mein Teri/ Chandni Ho Ya Raat Andheri' by Madam Nurjehan is a cry from her heart. It feels so because of clarinet and Hawaiian guitar effects used by the composer. All the songs for this movie were written by Mushir Kazmi, an established poet of his time. 'Mangol' was a movie Feroze Nizami composed for in 1961. Its happy song 'Yeh Dil Hei Mera' oozes out cheerfulness in tune and orchestral support. The problem is that most of very good songs like those mentioned in this Para go unnoticed when the movie does not do well at Box Office. Only 'Kall Nahin Paaoon Mein' got noticed at the time of release of the film 'Manzil'. Feroze Nizami was one of the first people who wrote on music in Pakistan. His book 'Asraar-e-Mausiqui' is considered as a masterpiece in the field of music. He also published a booklet giving the details of all Thaaths, Raags, their timings, 'Arohis' (ascending notes), 'Amrohis' (descending notes), 'Wadi' (King) note and 'Samwadi' (Minister) note of each Raag. As he was a very competent classical vocalist and a brilliant composer, he must have felt the need with the initiation of the music classes at Alhamra in the sixties, which he was in charge of. I met him in 1963 where my audition for some music competition as arranged by University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore. I sang Dagh's 'Ghazab Kiya Terey Wa'edey Ka Aitbaar Kiya', Muhammad Rafi-Khayyam version. Nizami approved me saying that the boy is in tune and in rhythm. What else one needs for approval! His comments are an asset for me. As far as style of Feroze Nizami is concerned, in my humble opinion, it parallels that of Khwaja Khurshid Anwer. Though from pathos and pain to the use of his classical base in his melodies, he never forgot the fun that is sometimes imparted in the situations in the movies His songs 'Bachh Ja Mundiya Maur Taun Mein Sadqay Teri Tore Taun' from the film 'Chan Way' and 'Changa Banayai Sanu Khidona Aapay Banana Tay Aapay Mitauna' vouch for this fact. Feroze Nizami used to sing classical music at Radio Pakistan, Lahore. He also sang for movies. One of his songs I could get hold of was 'Aaei Saajan Tu Nei Pi Hi Nahin' sung by Naseem Akhtar and Feroze Nizami. The lines rendered by the latter were 'Tum Hi Kaho Yeh Angoor Kis Nei Paida Kiya'. Feroze Nizami hailed from Huzro family residing at Red Lght Area. His brother Nazar Muhammad and nephew Mudasar Nazar became international cricketers. Feroze Nizami died in 1975 at the age of 59, but shall be remembered for his gentle behaviour and music.

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