The novel was also the basis of a Pakistani television serial, ‘Umrao Jan Ada’, which was aired in 2003. The Pakistani version was a super hit. The climax song, which was based on Rani’s lead role, was “Jo bacha tha wo” by Noor Jehan. The 1972 film ‘Naag Munni’ song “Saajna ray” by Noor Jehan is my all time favourite. Bazmi Saheb said that ‘Naag Muni’ had everything he could dream of, an out-of-this-world situation, the backdrop of an imaginary dance, music based culture, Raza Mir’s direction and Waheed Murad as hero. This combination resulted in one of the best films ever made in our industry. Noor Jehan’s “Aaj bhi sooraj” was rendered in such a high pitch; it must have made the tune look so easy compared to “Sun sajna”. To top it all off, another lilting melody “Tun toh pay waroon” was part of this potpourri. Bazmi thought that “Saajna rey” was different from the other songs as it was about straight fear, not just the fear of losing love, but also the fear of losing someone’s life. Noor Jehan also sang for Hasan Tariq’s dramatic film ‘Ik Gunah Aur Sahi’.
Music composer Wazir Afzal and Noor Jehan: “Ja aaj ton mei teri” a film song rendered by Madam Noor jehan for the film ‘Yar Mastaney’ is a classic example of Wazir Afzal’s artistry. “I heard that Music composer Naushad Ali of India sent to you a letter of commendation for this composition when Madam visited India?” I had asked Wazir Afzal during an encounter. “Madam told me that when she was singing this song before the elite of the Bombay Film industry, Naushad Saheb was so pleased with the treatment I had given to the link of the antra with ashtai that he asked Madam the name of the music composer. Upon the disclosure that the composition was mine, he immediately wrote a letter of appreciation and Madam brought it by hand to Pakistan. This letter from Naushad Saheb is a matter of pride for me” Wazir Afzal spoke of this interesting episode and the achievement made therein. Another popular song by Noor Jehan for this film was “Wey toon qarar mera pyar.”
“Was it not that the movie ‘Dil Da Jani’ brought you the maximum fame?” I had asked Wazir Afzal. “Yes, the title song ‘Dil Da Jani’ just because of Madam Noor Jehan’s rendering had became a hit song and another song which is even popular today is “Tenoo samne bhitha ke sharmaa” rendered by Madam Noor Jehan” answered Wazir Afzal.
Music composer Rasheed Attre and Noor Jehan: The masterpiece of the Rasheed Attre-Noor Jehan combination is Faiz’s poem “Mujh sei pehli si muhabbat” set in raag aimen. So many years have passed since this nazm was picturised on Shamim Ara that in each and every mehfil in the globe for music lovers who understand urdu, all artists have sung it. Another lovely melody by Madam is “Arre o bemurawat” from the 1966 film ‘Sawal’. This film was produced by Agha Ghulam Rasool and directed by the famous director Hasan Tariq. The story was written by Saif uddin Saif and Fayyaz Hashmi shared the lyrics. This song was picturised on famous heroine Sabiha Khanum. Santosh Kumar, Saloni, Ejaz, Sworenlata, Nazir and Rangeela were her co-stars.
Film ‘Mausiqar’ made in 1962 was a Sabiha-Santosh hit movie also produced by Rasheed Attre. Melody Queen Noor Jehan excelled in all her songs. Lyrics were by Tanvir Naqvi, Habib Jalib and Tufail Hoshiarpuri. The catchiest song in the film was “Ja ja re ja, jaan-e-jaan”. In a situation in the film, Sabiha accidently drinks liquor and lures Santosh. Her portrayal was most realistic. Qadeer Ghori had directed this film. In a dance cum classical number raag aimen has been established by Noor Jehan in the song “Raseele more rasia najaria”. Another song I love is a Punjabi number from the movie ‘Mirza Jutt’ with lyrics “Muteyaro ni mere haan diyo” picturised on Firdaus. Another song oozing pathos is “Sunje dil wale buhe hajje”. S. M. Ali had produced this film, directed by Masud Parvez. Famous lyricist Ahmad Rahi had penned the songs for this film. Stars were Firdaus, Ijaz, Meena, Aaliya, Asha, Asif Jah, Razia, Munawar Zarif, Ilyas Kashmiri and Mazhar Shah.
I have already mentioned the songs by Noor Jehan in which she acted like ‘Anarkali’ and ‘Neend’ etc. that do not fall under the purview of playback singing.
Music composer Salim Iqbal and Noor Jehan: The first song I remember rendered by Noor Jehan with the music of music composer Salim Iqbal was “Aa gai main kahan”, a mesmerizing, haunting and mysterious song from the film ‘Piya Milan Ki Aas’. Listening to this song reminded me of Indian melodies like “Kahin deep jale” as far as impact is concerned, not the tune. Continued
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