Melody Queen Noor Jehan — Part XV

About the former song Bazmi Sahab had once observed that this song got its inspiration from its situation in the film. The lover, a Muslim boy, had lost his memory. His father brought the heroine, to see him. She was a Hindu girl whom this boy fell for. Now he asks, “Who is she?” Just when he read this, he thought they could not have been married anyway, so these words came to his mind: “Chalo achha hua tum bhool gaye” and he composed the song with these dummy words. Later, the poet decided to keep the same words. Bazmi’s own favourite, however goes with my choice and he liked “Halat badal nahin saktay” better. About the technicalities of this composition, he observed that it was the contrast between classical and light classical. The athai is very classical and the antra so light that they went together in perfect harmony. Another song, “Sun sajna” was typical of Bazmi because it was rendered at an extremely high-pitch as Bazmi Saheb is famous for using high pitches in the climax of his songs/films. Before singing such songs, Madam was not used to singing in high pitch but that was just the beginning till her skills were put to the test by Bazmi Sahab in ‘Naag Munni’.
In 1969, almost all the songs of the Fareed Ahmad directed memorable film ‘Andaleeb’, had super hits like “Nanhi munni guriya rani”, “Meray dil ki mehfil” and “Gaysuon kay anchal mein”. Bazmi’s own favourite remains the sad version of “Kuchh log rooth kar” by Noor Jehan. He prefers it over the lighter version sung by Rushdi because the lighter version did not have that powerful situation as the sad one had. Interestingly, Bazmi had composed a song by Jan Nisar Akhtar during his early in India. That tune was also based on ‘Bilawal Thath’. The beginning of the song, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, was strikingly similar to “Kuchh log”. The line is, “Yeh raat yeh jaltay tarray/Yoonhi jaltay nah rehain gay/Badlain gay yeh nazaray/Yeh raat”. I like another one by Noor Jehan better “Payar kar kei hum buhut pachtaei”.
The year 1970 was a busy year for Bazmi. His main success was the music of the film ‘Anjuman’. This film is a tragedy based on the story of a tawaif (courtesan). The title role was played by Rani, who flirts with the emotions of a wealthy Santosh and later falls in love with his younger brother, played by Waheed Murad. In order to save his older brother’s marriage Waheed decides to visit Anjuman’s ‘kotha’ frequently in an exchange demanded by Anjuman, although being in love with another girl, a role played by Deeba. Sabiha plays the role of the wife of the older brother in the film, and eventually implores Anjuman to forsake her own love so that Waheed’s Character can live happily. At the end, Anjuman has to face a fate worse than death, where she is invited to sing at the wedding of her love, a typical situation in such movies. Lovelorn and disappointed Anjuman offers a woeful song, as she has swallowed poison, and dies at the feet of her love. The climax song does the trick, Noor Jehan’s “Izhar bhi mushkil hei”. It was an Urdu, colour film released on July 31, 1970. The film was released during the heydays of Waheed Murad and became a milestone in Waheed’s career. The film was produced by Safdar Masud under the banner Ideal Movies and directed by Hassan Tariq, a well-known Pakistani film director. The film was released at a terrible political time in Pakistan. Despite this impediment, the film ran for continuously 81 weeks on cinemas and 32 weeks on main cinemas in Karachi. The film earned a platinum jubilee and became a huge success for the year. 
Despite the East Pakistan debacle in 1971, it was another successful year for Bazmi wherein he composed music for the film ‘Tehzeeb’ and in 1972 for the films ‘Naag Munni’, ‘Mohabbat Meri Zindgi Hay’, ‘Naghma’ ‘Sabaq’ and ‘Umrao Jan Ada’. The latter movie was based on the novel of Mirza Muhammad Hadi Ruswa (1857 – October 21, 1931) who was an Urdu poet and writer of fiction, plays, and treatises (mainly on religion, philosophy and astronomy). His famous Urdu novel, Umrao Jan Ada, published in 1905, is considered by many as the first Urdu novel. It became the basis for ‘Umrao Jan Ada’ (1972) in Pakistan and for two Indian films, ‘Umrao Jaan’ (1981) directed by Muzaffar and with music by Khayyam and a re-make ‘Umrao Jaan’ (2006) with Ashwariya in the lead. I wonder why this was made, as the 1981 move had made its outstanding mark already due to its music and singing by Asha and Rekha’s absorbing performance.


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