A duet number pictured on Shirin and Saloni is “Akhia ohna jehre saade kuj lagde” when they hear news of a wedding in the offing. It is a happy, dance sequence. Finally a mala number picturised on Shirin “Sajna milaai akh” dancing for Sudhir is good too. Mala’s “Mere rangle nain rahwan takde rehn” is a dance number, a very fast catchy number. In all these songs, the notable aspect is catch interludes in romantic cum fast numbers.
A rare song by Noor Jehan is from the 1968 movie ‘Lal Bujhakar’ with lyrics “Sajna main tere bahjon jyunian na moi aan”. The song emits pathos with excellent lyrics of sorrow and separation. Another rare song is from the movie ‘Lala Rukh’ with lyrics “Abhi na jao aei jan-e-mun na jao” composed in a tune and instrumental treatment with Arabic touch. It was an Aziz Merthi-directed film released on January 2, 1968 starring Neelo and Muhammad Ali in the lead.
A very nice song of girls leaving their parents’ house for their husband’s is depicted in the song “Mapian dei ghar dhiyan sada nahi rehndian”; a dholak song from the movie ‘Dukh Sajna Dei’. Another catchy number from this movie is ‘Main Teri Aan’. That brings me to talk more about the music of the film ‘Dukh Sajna Dei’. It was released on September 14, 1973. It was director NA Wajee’s movie starring Firdaus, Sudhir, Ghazala, Habib, Rangeela, Rozina, Ghazala, Ali Ijaz, Niggo, Meena, Mazhar Shah, Ajmal, Asad Bukhari and Sabiha Khanum. Its song “Sanu neher waley pul tei bula ke” rendered by Noor Jehan is an immensely popular song. Even today it is hummed by masses. Noor Jehan contributed another two songs “Main teri aan” and “Mapian dei ghar dhiyan tei sada nahi rehndian” as reiterated above. Naseem Begum rendered two songs; “Dadhi mushkil bun gai” picturised on Ghazala and “Menu labb geya mahi mahi dhol mahi” picturised on Firdaus. A unique song from this movie was a mujra number by Fareeda Khanum “Tun aayun tei parrat kei” beautifully rendered by the veteran crooner.
The best song of the Salim Iqbal-Noor Jehan team however is “Laut aao mere pardesi” from the film ‘Pakeeza’ released on June 06, 1968 starring Zeba, Deeba, Gul Rukh (she appeared in the film ‘Naila’ also) and Muhammad Ali. It was directed by Luqman. The composition changes its mood with the changing seasons as depicted in this song of waiting. It is a story of a young ‘pahari’ girl, a role played by the very pretty Zeba, getting older waiting for her beloved. The song tells her story. The sound effects of lightening and rain as well as moving water enhance the impact of the song and perhaps the theme of the film as well. A sad song “Haye re qismet” from the film ‘Piya Milan Ki Aas’ has its sad effect intact. Two classical based songs need mention, Ustad Salim Khan, one member of the duo with Salim Iqbal, being a proficient classical singer himself. One is “Sajjan laagi tori lagan” from ‘Baji’ where Fareeda Khanum accompanied Noor Jehan and the other “Piya na hi aaei” from 1962 movie ‘Darwaza’ where Ustad Amanat Ali Khan accompanied Noor Jehan.
One of the famous films of Salim Iqbal was ‘Sheikh Chilli’. This film was directed by Asif Jah and produced by S M Tufail. Asif Jah also acted in this movie and was supported by Sabiha Khanum, Aslam Parvez, Asha Posle and Neelo. This movie was the debut film of Salim Iqbal released on January 10, 1958 and was a hit. The songs were penned by Akhtar Kashmiri, Ismail Matwala, Zaheer Kaashmiri, Iqbal Hussain and Waris Ludhianvi. Singers were Zubeda Khanum, Kauser Parveen, Salim Raza and Fazal-e-Hussain. India also made a movie of the same name made by comedy actor Bhagwan with music by Vinod and actors were Shyama, Mahipal and Agha. In the Pakistani version, Zubeda Khanum sang a beautiful, sad melody “Dil gham diyan challan” and a duet “Main teri tun mera” accompanied by Fazal-e-Hussain but the best song was on a dance sequence by Sabiha Khanum “Saiyo ni mera dil dharke”. The latter song was a street song in its time. The other songs were “Chambe di chamak”, “Lut lei tun maze pyar de”, “Laal pranda aeho gal” and “Menu saare kehnde jhalli”.
The following year (1959) the film ‘Kartar Singh’ hit the screen and was a roaring success. It was poet Saif uddin Saif’s movie who had seen the atrocities across both sides of the borders when Pakistan was created. The cast comprised Zarif as Vaid Prem Nath, a local Hindu Hakim, Sudhir as Umer Din, a soldier of World War II, Alauddin as Kartar Singh, the main antagonist, Musarrat Nazir as love interest of Umer, Laila, sister of Umer, Bahar, mother, Fazl Haq, Inayat Hussain Bhatti, Ajmal and Ghulam Muhammad. Continued
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