She kept custody of the three children from their marriage. News of several affairs followed, including one with cricketer Nazar Muhammad. In 1959, she married another actor, Ejaz Durrani, nine years her junior.
In 1959, it was time for Noor Jehan to get introduced to the great music composer Khwaja Khurshid Anwar. The goddess of music Noor Jehan when sang for the Masud Parvez-directed movie ‘Intizar’, Khwaja Sahab appeared as a music god for her. The virtues of both opened on each other. Then the story revolved around a singer also. Soon Noor Jehan forgot the failure of ‘Lakht-e-Jiger’ when Intizar’s songs became colossal hits. It was an all time great musical Urdu film. This movie had hit songs such as “Jis din se piya dil le gayey” (‘Raag Mian Ki Todi’), “Aa gaye balam pardesi”, “Chand hanse duniya base”, (‘Raag Malti’), “O! Jaaney waley re thehro zara ruk jaao, lot aao”, “Ghazab kiya terey wa’adey peh aitibar kiya”, “Sawan ki ghanghore ghatao” and “Chun chun naachun gi gun gun gaaoun gi”; all hits of their times. This movie was released on May 12, 1956. The dialogues were written by Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj and the movie had Noor Jehan and Santosh Kumar in the lead. Asha Posley appeared as vamp. This movie proved Khwaja Sahab’s mastery over the use of classical raags in film songs.
Producer JC Anand for so impressed with the success of ‘Intizar’ that he announced production of a Punjabi movie ‘Nooran’. Sudhir acted as hero. This movie was again in competition with director MA Khan’s film ‘Sehti’ starring Musarrat Nazir and Akmal. So the movie that was released first had to win. Despite completed before its competitor’s film it did not do well at box office. I am very fond of songs of ‘Nooran’ with music by Safdar Hussain. In my book Melody makers, while writing on Safdar Hussain’s use of Noor Jehan’s intricacies of tonal variations I said “One of the most talked about songs by Safdar Hussain is sung by Noor Jehan and Munir Hussain picturised on Noor Jehan herself and on Lala Sudhir. Its lyrics “Panchi tei pardesi” were written by Hazeen Qadri. Another duet “Ik cheez guwachi dil kolon” needs special mention because of the pain of separation it depicts. Emotions in rendering have been extracted by the composer from the singers. Those were the days when Noor Jehan could render the most intricate ‘murkis’ with ease like she did in this song. Her voice was small. She did not have to make an effort to sing. Singing the most difficult tunes with ease was but natural for her. The listeners thought the same tunes to be most simple ones when they listened to them. However these were difficult to emulate. Noor Jehan sang another song ‘Tere bolne tey’ for herself in a very lively manner on-screen. This movie was directed by JC Anand and directed by MA Khan. Rakhshi, Ajmal and Rangeela were Noor Jehan’s co-stars in this movie. Another duet by Munir Hussain and Noor Jehan “Phirnian mei labdi” is also folk based (Mahiya) melody from this movie. A lesser known solo by Munir Hussain ‘Ik Pardesi Ik Mutiar’ is picturised on Noor Jehan swimming in the canal and Sudhir in Jogi’s attire; a bold picturing in the ‘50s. The song I like most from this musical extravaganza is “Weikhaya howe ni kisei takya howe”, a solo by Madam. It is my all time favourite of Noor Jehan’s not only because it is beautifully rendered but also because of its lyrics reflecting the gait of her beloved and the manly attractiveness with regards to his physique and attire. Safdar Hussain was a very hard working composer. He used to pay attention to the details of each and every song of the movie rather than just concentrating on one or two songs and leaving the rest to routine work. This is the reason that one witnesses so many hit songs in each of his movies. Hazeen Qadri is the lyricist who penned a real beauty both due to playback of Noor Jehan and the dazzling beauty of Madam Noor Jehan on-screen’.
The same year, the capital exchange owner decided to produce a movie ‘Kafiristan’ with Noor Jehan. The shooting was to take place in the mountains of Pakistan along with the director Fazli Sahab. Master Inayat Hussain composed three songs for this movie. I do not know what went on between the producer and the director that the movie was shelved even before the shooting started. Meanwhile Mian Mushtaq started filming the movie ‘Choo Mantar’ and Anwar Kamal pasha’s ‘Anarkali’ with Sudhir as Prince Saleem. For the former, Mian Mushtaq gave break to master Rafiq Ali, basically a violin player. For the latter Rasheed Attre composed four songs and the three by Master Inayat Hussain were sold to Anwar Kamal Pasha for ‘Anarkali’. Continued
Did you ever face negativity from your peers in Lollywood when you hit Bollywood in India? Was it ...