Bollywood is killing our Pakistani film industry says one of our actors; our film industry has been hijacked more appropriately. Many of the cinemas have been closed and Lahore only produces 20 films a year which are of extremely low budget where as Mumbai (Bollywood) produces about 1000 of the fraction with 1.3 billion dollar budget each year.
Our great and famous Pakistani actor Ghulam Mohiudin who has done about 400 hundred Lollywood films says that our films have been replaced by Indian high budget films because our public would not like to go for low budget when they have got a far better option to follow. The legendary Pakistani actors mark 1960’s as the golden era of lollyword when the streets of Lahore were filled with art deco cinemas and packed houses. In the 1980’s we were producing about hundred films each year which were reduced to 20 a few years ago. Although now I see the Pakistani cinema rising up with the release of one of the greatest Pakistani movie Khuda Key Liye directed by Shoaib Mansoor a story of a man who was imprisoned for being a suspect of the 9/11 incident and how his brother claims to be the right Muslim. Though some of our Pakistani directors like Syed Noor and Shoaib Mansoor have tried to build up something that can catch the attention of the public but more effort is required. Today the movie land is found dead with most of them have been made car parks and other shopping malls. In such circumstances no one in the producer’s group dares to bring up money to invest on a film which wouldn’t be watched.
Let’s just imagine if you are given a choice and you have to choose only one i.e. Hollywood greatest movie Avatar and Pakistani film Mein Eik Din Laut Key Ayoonga you will definitely like to go for Avatar just because it is more technical and doesn’t have typical movie idea at least different.
With the release of Pakistani movie Bol we have seen a lot of audience moving around in the cinemas, and the ideas that have been portrayed in the film are quite different far from being certain. With the upcoming cinestar cinemas all around Pakistan there is a vast range of audience seeing entering and spending money. Now with the advancing in the theatres our producers and directors are more likely to take notice on making movies that would captivate the audience. Pakistani movie Love Mein Ghum produced by Reema Khan, one of our finest Pakistani movie actress, this movie is considered to be of the highest budget this year or over the decade. The movie has been shot in Malaysia.
We have also seen our stars migrating to Bollywood and making films there rather then Lollywood just because they are not provided with the good casting team and good choice and budget. Ali Zafar has worked on a lot of projects abroad like Tere Bin Laden and Mere Brother ki Dulhan. However the Pakistani small screen cinema has made a worth applaud progress over the years by introducing many channels. These channels hav entertained the Pakistani audience here in Pakistan and abroad with extremely good dramas like Alpha Bravo Charlie, Waris, Meri zaat zara e benishan have got the highest audience.
Pakistani Cinema has surely got a lot of potential and talent and it can be taken somewhere else like on the top but in a long time like 2 to 3 decades. However we can see the all the progress with the release of good films this year.
Asif Iqbal is a former Pakistani cricketer. Soft spoken, gentle yet compelling, graceful and elegant are some phrases which describe his personality and his batting style.
A great batsman, Asif saved the blushes of Pakistan many a times with his aggressive yet sensible batting. He often came at moments when half of Pakistan’s team was back in the dressing room with a poor score on the scoreboard. Asif batted with tactic and saved the team from a humiliating innings defeat. Although he scored many centuries in his career, his score of 146 not out in the ninth wicket paternership with Intikhab Alam remains the highlight of his career. Playing against England, Pakistan was 68 for 8 and needed 159 runs. The pair scored 190 runs; a world record for ninth wicket partnership.
Asif was a useful bowler too; he was a right armed medium pacer who took wickets at crucial moments. His career best bowling remains 5 wickets for 48 runs. Asif Iqbal played first class cricket for the English county; Kent where he made useful contributions with both bat and ball. Asif Iqbal was a dedicated player who always kept his team above his personal records. Asif Iqbal played 58 test matches and made 3575 runs (11 centuries included) with an average of 38.85 runs.
Charming and polite, Asif Iqbal belonged to the rare breed of “gentlemen cricketers” who have now become extinct. Asif was named the “Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1968” and was the recipient of the Pride of Performance award from the government of Pakistan.
Mehdi Hassan the legendary ghazal singer is the pride of Pakistan. Mehdi Hassan was born in Luna Rajasthan, India in 1927. He belonged to a family with rich musical roots, the Kalawant clan of musicians. Both his father and paternal uncle were dhrupad singers. Mehdi Hassan’s family migrated to Pakistan after partition.
Life was not easy and for some time Mehdi Hassan had to work as an auto mechanic to support his family. Mehdi Hassan got his first break on Radio Pakistan Karachi in 1952. Slowly he made a name for himself and in 1962 fame finally came to him when his ghazal “Gullon mein rung bharay” became immensely popular. From then onwards there was no turning back for the maestro; he was to rule the music industry for decades to come.
Mehdi Hassan was passionate about music and poetry. His command over the various raags and his deep understanding of the poetry made his ghazals so outstanding. He added a new dimension in ghazal singing. He composed the ghazal in the raag which best suited the mood of the ghazal. Even today no singer in the sub continent can match his low notes. Mehdi Hassan was the main playback singer from the 60s to the 80s. He also performed on television and in private functions. Mehdi Hassan has won a great number of awards both nationally and internationally. Lata Mangeshkar the iconic Indian singer paying glowing tributes to the Shahenshah-e- Ghazal Mehdi Hassan compared his voice to that of Bhagwan (God).
Mehdi Hassan’s popularity can be judged from this anecdote. While singing in the court of King Birendra of Nepal, Mehdi Hassan forgot a line of his song, “Zindagi mein to sub he piyar kiya karte hain”; the King got up and sang the line; a great honor for the singer indeed.
Failing health made him give up singing but Mehdi Hassan has carved a name for himself which will not be erased by time or tide.
Munni Begum was born as Nadira in Murshidabad, West Bengal in India. She studied music under Ustad Khawaja Ghulam Mustafa Warsi and later joined a college of Music in Dhaka where her singing skills were further polished. Her family migrated to Pakistan after the war of 1971 which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. Munni Begum’s journey towards success was full of hardships but she never gave up. With her father’s blessings and encouragement, she inched forward towards success and today she is known all over the world where good music is heard and appreciated.
Initially she recorded songs for radio and television. Munni Begum adopted a very simple style from the very beginning. She simplified ghazal singing; and ghazal was no more a genre of music understood and enjoyed by the intellectuals but even common masses could now relate to it. Munni Begun also played the harmonium while singing and some of her famous songs are her own compositions. Her song “Ek bar muskurado” is still fresh in the listeners’ minds. Munni Begum was well liked by the people because of her clear voice vibrant voice and distinct style of singing but the ghazal “mareez e mohabat unhe ka fasana took her to new heights of glory. Munni Begum has produced 40 cassettes in her entire career. Munni Begum is now settled in Chicago USA.
Abida Parveen was born in Larkana, Sindh Pakistan. She inherited the love of music from her father Ustad Ghulam Haider who ran a music school. She received her early music training from her father and formal training of classical music from Ustad Salamat Ali Khan.
Abida Parveen has a command over several genre of music like ghazal, kafi and qawwali. Her training in classical music has given her complete control over the notes and her powerful voice resonant voice spellbinds the listeners.
Sindh is the land of Sufi saints; people are deeply devoted to them and often visit their shrines. Abida’s family was also devoted to the Sufis and so mysticism has a deep impact on her music. She sings the kalam (poetry) of the Sufis with such ease and communicates their message of divinity, love and peace to the listeners. She creates a trance with her singing that even those who do not understand her words, are deeply moved and impressed. From the shrines of the Sufis to the concert halls the world over; Abida has performed everywhere and has left a trail of fans behind her. Abida can sing in Persian, Urdu, Punjabi, Seraiki and Urdu.
Abida has also sung ghazals; her rendition of Fayez Ahmed Fayez has won accolades from many. Humble and humane the Queen of Mysticism has won many awards including the Pride of Performance award from the government of Pakistan.
Noor Jehan was born in Kasur Punjab as Allah Wasai to Madad Ali and Fateh Bibi. She was the youngest of her siblings. Her parents were musicians and her sisters were actresses in the local theatre. From an early age, Noor Jehan’s parents wanted her to sing but she was more interested in acting. Noticing her keen interest in music and her natural talent for singing, her parents sent her to Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan for training in classical music.
Noor Jehan appeared as a child star in few films. In 1939, Noor Jehan sang her first song composed by Ghulam Haider. The song was well received by the masses. Her first song as a playback singer was for a film Gul Bakavli. In 1942, Noor Jehan came as a leading actress in the film Khandan. Khandan’s success brought her more films and she played the leading role in Naukar, Nadan, Dost, Duhai and Bari Maa. Her last film in India was Jugnu against Dilip Kumar.
After partition, she migrated to Pakistan along with her husband Syed Shaukat Hussain Rizvi. Pakistani film industry was in a bad shape as many experienced workers had opted for India. In 1951, Noor Jehan and her husband directed a Punjabi film Chan way. The film was a hit and Noor Jehan also became the first female director of Pakistan. She acted and sang for films till 1963. From 1963 onwards she sang as a playback singer as her new husband; a nine years younger Ejaz Durrani was not keen on her acting.
Noor Jehan’s career as a playback singer was extremely successful. Her voice was well suited for Punjabi movies and her songs guaranteed sure success. Noor Jehan also made appearnces on TV. Her patriotic songs during the 1965 war with India were quite inspiring.
Noor Jehan won a number of awards including the President’s Award in recognition to her services in the fields of singing and acting. Noor Jehan is known as The Queen of Melody and is one of the most influential singers of the sub continent.
Ghazal is a genre of music very popular in South Asia especially Pakistan and India. The poets usually expressed their undying love and the cold response from the beloved in beautiful words. Later poets also made social issues a topic of their poetry. The beauty of ghazal is further enhanced if sung well.
Pakistan is lucky to have many talented ghazal singers; Tina Sani is one of them. Tina was born in Dhaka and lived in Kabul before settling in Karachi. Tina’s forte is rendition of ghazal in both classical and semi classic music. She was trained in classical music by Ustad Nizamuddin Khan and then by Ustad Amrohvi. Tina started her singing career by recording a jingle for an advertisement little did she know that she would become a celebrated ghazal singer later on.
Tina Sani was influenced by the great ghazal singers of like Malika Pukhraj, Akhtar Begum, Mukhtar Begum and Farida Khanum but has created her own style of singing. Over the years she has emerged as a mature artist who is constantly working on improving herself. Every new song is a step towards perfection. She dazzles the listeners with every word and every note she delivers. She renders the ghazals of contemporary poets with ease and is equally comfortable singing the poetry of Zauq, Ghalib and Mir; the immortals of Urdu poetry.
Tina Sani received the Pride of Performance Award from the government of Pakistan. Tina continues to enthrall the audience with her melodious voice.
Tahira Syed is a ghazal and folk singer from Pakistan. She is the youngest child of the legendary ghazal singer Malika Pukhraj. At the age of 12, Tahira started learning the basics of singing. After spending a couple of years learning classical music from Ustad Akhtar Hussain, her singing skills were later honed by her mother.
Tahira’s voice is quite different from that of other female Pakistani singers. Her voice is a bit heavy, resonant but graceful nonetheless. Tahira mostly sang ghazals, Pahari and Punjabi folk songs during her singing career. She started her singing career in 1968-69 from Radio Pakistan; a medium which served as a base and launched the careers of many singers and actors of Pakistan. Tahira has lent her voice to a couple of film songs as well. The film song which vibrates in the memories of many is “Hum sa ho to samney aaiy”. The famous music director Nisar Bazmi composed the song and asked Tahira to sing it. The song was a hit and Tahira put an end to all speculations that her voice did not suit playback singing.
Blessed with good looks, elegance and charm; the lady also graced the cover page of National Geographic magazine in 1985.
Tahira is not that active on the music scene and that’s why the new generation is not aware of her which is quite unfortunate. Singers like Tahira did not achieve fame overnight but worked hard for it.