Music Director Deebo Bhattacharya captivated me when I heard his composed melody ‘Na Jane Kaisa Safar Hei Mera’ by Nurjehan from the film ‘Banjaran’ starring actress Neelo. The film was released both in Karachi and Lahore circuits on September 14, 1962. Although this film was the debut film of poet Masroor Anwar, ‘Na Jane Kaisa Safar Hei Mera’ was penned by the great poet, Fayyaz Hashmi, in collaboration with Himayat Ali Shaair. The music composer Deebo belonged to East Pakistan and was a Hindu. The cast of ‘Banjaran’ comprised of Neelo, Kemal, Nirala, Allauddin, Ibrahim Nafees, Azad, Asad Jafri, Rajni, Naina, Mehmood Ali, Qamar Parveen, Mehar Parveen and Mehrunisa (special appearances were made by actors Masood Rana and Iqbal Shehzad). Released by Montana Films, the movie went all out for Diamond Jubilee. The reason for its success was a strong team comprising Hassan Tariq as director, Iqbal Shahzad and Nooruddin Kisat as producers, Riaz Bukhari as cameraman and of course Deebo as melody maker.The other songs of this film include; ‘Kahin Dil Peh Na Jadoo Kar Jaye, Yeh Mehrbani, Array Touba’, sung by Masood Rana and penned by Fayyaz Hashmi, ‘Lachkay Kamaria Mori, Main Nazuk Chhori, Keh Hey Hey’ sung by Irene Parveen and Rana, filmed on Neelo and Nirala, and penned by Masroor Anwar, ‘Master Gee Mujhe Sabaq Parha Do’ a naughty song sung by Parveen, penned by Anwar and filmed on Neelo, ‘O Janya, Toray Husn Kay Karn, Aik Din Ho Jaye Ray Takrar’ a duet again by Parveen and Rana filmed on the leading pair, ‘Patt Ghunghat Kay Kholay Kholay, Tu Aa Ja Babu Jee’ filmed on Neelo and Nirala and sung by Neelo and Rana, written by Himayat Ali Sha’air and finally ‘Umad, Ghumad Mann Ki Nadi…Hej, Mujhay Dil Ki Laggi Kehtay’ filmed on Neelo, penned by Masroor Anwar. The team now moved on to their next production of another beautiful movie ‘Beti’, starring Neelo and Ejaz, and directed by Raza Mir. ‘Beti’ was released in 1964. The opening scene shows Neelo, who is playing an actress, get shot and killed by a villain. Director Talish appreciates the shot but Neelo feels unwell and goes to a doctor who tells her that she is pregnant. Neelo does not want a child and begs the lady doctor for help. Finally she gives up on her husband’s insistence and love and gives birth to a baby girl. Fresh and beautiful again, the actress returns to complete her film’s shooting, the dance number ‘Chanan Chan Chana Chun Chun Bichwa Bole’, rendered by Naseem Begum in a scintillating tune by Deebo. The marriage breaks up because of Neelo’s involvement in her films and the child gets neglected. Ejaz leaves with her daughter but the girl is abducted by child lifters. Neelo looks for her daughter and Nurjehan renders a song ‘Raat Ki Palkain Bheegi Hui Hain, Toot Rehain Hain Tare, Ab Tau Aa Jaa’ lip-sync by Neelo. This is a very sad melody full of pathos. The background musical score is also very effective. One of Deebo’s most everlasting melodies is hit song ‘Bare Bemurawat Hain Ye Husn Wale, sung by Suraiya Multanikar and picturised on Nabeela Entry to Pakistan and active years as a music director: Deebo came to Pakistan in the mid 50s to assist Indian composer Timir Baran who had come to Karachi to compose music for the Indian actress Sheela Ramani’s film ‘Anokhi’ (1956). This movie’s songs like ‘Gari Ko Chalana Babu’, ‘Deep Bujhe Haye Raat Jali, Tera Ghum Kahe Hum Sei Yunhi Jal Ja’, and ‘Geet Suno Gi Zara Thum Thum Kei’ became very popular in Zubeda Khanum’s voice. Basically these were club songs inspired from Sheela Ramani, Dev Anand’s Indian film ‘Taxi Driver’s (1954) song ‘Dil Jale Tau Jale’. According to Murad Lakhani, a music lover, there were ten songs in the film and ‘Gari Ko Chalana’ was composed by Hassan Latif and the rest by Timir Baran. Sheela Ramani was Chetan Anand’s discovery. She hailed from Sindh and acted in movies such as ‘Fantoosh’, ‘Railway Platform’, ‘Teen Batti Chaar Rasta’, among others. Baran returned to India but Deebo decided to remain in Karachi. He composed music for three films ‘Maska Polish, released in 1957, ‘Yeh Duniya’ (1960) and ‘Lakhoun Fasane’ (1961).Unfortunately all three films flopped at the box office. We have already mentioned that Deebo’s success was because of his music in ‘Banjaran’ in 1962, especially due to the impact of the song ‘Na Jane Kaisa Safar Hei Mera’ by Nur Jehan. Other movies he composed music, ‘Taqdeer’s (1966) song ‘Humain Kaya Mila’ filmed on Husna and ‘Taiz Ho Raheen Hain Dharkanain’, ‘Badnaam’ (1966), ‘Bahadur’ (1967), ‘Baazi’ (1970, jointly composed with Sohail Rana), and Tiger Gang (1974), are all still remembered for their music. One of Deebo’s most everlasting melodies is ‘Badnam’s hit song, ‘Bare Bemurawat Hain Yei Husn Waale, Kahin Dil Lagane Ko Koshish Na Karna’ by Suraiya Multanikar filmed on Nabeela and choreographed by Zamurad. This was an Urdu film based on Saadat Hasan Manto’s short story ‘Jhumke’. Critics say that during a short life of forty two years, Manto depicted the emotional hollowness of a semi-feudal society that was incapable of giving its citizens the material or intellectual wherewithal to lead a complete human life. The film, after more than fifty years of its release, is considered as one of the biggest hits of Pakistani cinema. However, Iqbal Shehzad, while partly succeeding in presenting the gist of the story, became a victim of the same Victorian morality Manto spent much of his life protesting against.Suraiya Multanikar had mentioned to me in one of her interviews that her ‘pehchan’ (identity) was due to her song ‘Bare Be Murawat Hain’, which originally was a private song. It was much later that Masroor Anwar rewrote it for ‘Badnam’. Suraiya said that she had first rendered this song at Gordon College, Rawalpindi during a music concert. The tune of ‘Bade Bemurawat Hain’ was used by Indian composer duo Nadeem-Shravan — whose oeuvre comprises quite a few ‘tune-lifts’ from Pakistani songs — for the number, ‘Mohabbat Se Zyaada’. Demise: After separation of East Pakistan, Deebo went to Bangladesh. After spending nearly two decades there, it is reported that he expired in the early 90’s. I do not know if he worked there or not. It is rumoured that Deebo was ready to embrace Islam in order to marry Firdausi Begum, another singer from East Pakistan and well established in the Pakistani film industry. Firdausi Begum however was not willing to permanently settle in West Pakistan (Karachi), so both parted ways. Published in Daily Times, January 31st 2019.