Saturday, January 19, 2013



In my collection of gramophone records there are a few LP records of Pakistani singers and music directors including Mehdi Hassan, Noor Jahan, M. Ashraf(Music Director), Masud Rana,Runa Laila,  Nahid Akthar and so on. While legends like Mehdi Hassan,  Noor Jahan, Ghulam Ali, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Runa Laila are very popular in India and several of their  LP Albums were released throughout the  country singers like  Nahid Akthar remained fairly unknown for the music lovers of the country.

Singer Nahid Akthar was very active in Pakistani small screen and film music  during the 70s and 80s and she had a place of her own in the music world. In the same mould as Noor Jahan and Runa Laila  as far as traditional  style of singing Urdu  poetry, Pujabi folk songs and ghazals is concerned, Nahid Akthar has an expressive  voice of her own suited for all types of songs including film songs.She also has a powerful magnetic stage presence. She was introduced in Pakistani film music by the veteran music director  M. Ashraf in the film Nanha Farista(1974) with the song,’Jane kyun dil tarapta rahta hayao’. But she was catapulted into fame and popularity with the songs in film Shama again with music by M. Ashraf. The soft  melodious song, ‘Kisi mehrban ne’  and ‘Aise mausam mein chup kayoon ho’, both penned by Tazleem Faazli, are a treat to the ears.      In film  ‘Muhabbat Zindagi hai’ (Music M. Ashraf)there is this beautiful song. ‘Dil –Dil- Dil- Dil sambhala”showing the range of Nahid Akthar. All the three songs are included in the LP Album  FILM HITS-NAHID AKTHAR  a must possess album for lovers of Pakistani film songs. The album also includes a few popular songs of Nahid Akthar tuned by Kamal Ahmed.

But the most popular film song of Nahid Akthar is the  fast, foot tapping number from film Muhabat Zindagi Hai, viz., ‘Tut toro toroo tara tara’, her voice adapting to the need of the song with a lot of huskiness in the Asha Bhosle style.The song became so  popular that Nahid Akthar came to be identified with the song. ( song and several other similar fast, husky disco songs are included in the LP Album REFRESHINGLY NAHID AKTHAR. Apart from a few songs composed by M. Ashraf  songs tuned by music director Nizar Basmi are also there. Nahid Akthar’s versatality and range is amply  evident in the album NAHID SINGS PUNJABI HOT HITS . The album contains eleven Punjabi folk songs. The song ‘Munda mere pind da’(Music: Nazir Ali)stands out among them.

To the veteran music director M. Ashraf also goes the credit of introducing several singers like Shaukat Ali, Masud Rana, Nayyara Noor, Anwar  Rafi and so on in Pakistani film music.I have in my collection a few LP Albums of films for which music was composed by M. Ashraf. One is film DAMAN AUR CHINGARI  containing nine songs by Noor Jahan, Masud Rana,Ahmed Rushdi and the great Mehdi Hassan.The two film LP Album of films DO BADEN (Music:M.Ashraf) and SABAQ Music:Nizar Basmi) has twelve songs of the great singers like Mehdi Hasssan, Noor Jahan, Runa Laila, and so on.  Hearing Mehdi Hassan singing film songs is a refreshing experirnce.In the LP album of films PARDE MEIN RAHNE DO and AAS under the same composers we have again singers Noor Jahan , Runa laila,Nayyara Noor, Ahmed Rushdie and so on.There is also an exclusive LP album of Masud Rana containing his songs from various films.

It is unfortunate that singers like Nahid Akthar could not rise in popularity in India unlike a Noor Jahan , Runa Laila, Ghulam Ali and so on.   With the lifting of the ban on import into Pakistan  of Indian films in 2005 and the conscious liberal policy of cultural exchanges ( Business as usual policy as somebody remarked)there has been a flood of Pakistani singers and artists into India with some of them like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Adnan Sami ,Shafquat Amanat Ali,Veeena malik and so on earning fame and fortune.Obviously singers like Nahid Akthar  were the victims of the policies of the period.

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