Rich tribute: Ghulam Haider’s compositions commemorated at PNCA

Various musicians performed the late maestro’s classical hits in their distinct styles.

Photo Myra Iqbal/maryam Usman August 22, 2013
The event featured a diverse set of artists who performed various compositions of the musical legend. PHOTO: MYRA IQBAL/EXPRESS


Master Ghulam Haider was a legend in his own right. His passion for music led him to abandon a career in dentistry to compose music for dozens of films in the Indian Subcontinent. He garnered fame in the music industry before the partition of India and Pakistan and opted to migrate to the latter despite being offered lucrative incentives from film directors in India. He also played a vital role in shaping up the careers of celebrated vocalists such as Lata Mangheshkar.

Ardent fans reacquainted themselves with some of his memorable tunes at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) on Tuesday evening. Renowned vocalists and musicians offered tribute to Haider through their own individual styles.

The evening opened with instrumental performances by Ustad Raees Khan, who played a number of hit film songs composed by Haider.

The rendition of “Bachpan ke geet” won much applause from the audience, some of whom also gave a standing ovation to the performance. Moving the audience with the rhythm of his flute, Khan merged the soft melody with accompanying sounds of tabla, dholak, piano and harmonium. Picking up clues from each rendition, the audience responded with rhythmic claps at odd intervals, a reassuring gesture for any performer.

Amir Raza performed the fast-paced pop numbers “Socha na tha” and “Nachna mein oday naal,” a shift from the classical and semi-classical music that formed the essence of the evening’s playlist. However, it was this stream of contemporary music that the young generation among the audience connected with more easily.

“It is through such events that we discover our musical legends otherwise there is a serious dearth of entertainment in Islamabad,” said Maliha, an audience member.

Nirmal Shah performed “Lo chadiye” and “Lutt uljhi suljhare balam” among Haider’s compositions and some hit songs by Noor Jehan such as “Mujhse pehli si muhabbat” and the dhamaal of “Laal meri patt rakhiyo.”

Shuja Ali performed a series of light ghazals such as “Mohabbat karnay walay”, “Zindagi ki raah mein” before moving on to a hypnotic mix of sufi renditions by Bulleh Shah. His “Umaran laggiyan” was an instant hit with the audience who responded with clapping, whistling and eventually breaking into bhangra moves.

Ali Raza performed “Dil ko lagga ke kahin” among other tracks. The event was organised by PNCA in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2013.


Abdulsultan | 8 years ago | Reply

Many special musical/drama events by artcouncils in Pakistan are witnessed by audiances but thousands of pakistanies are eager to watch/enjoy all such programmes. The atr coumcils should open up a tv channel.

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