1925-2007: Nisar Bazmi Dies; His Music Lives

Posted on March 23, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, People, TV, Movies & Theatre
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Adil Najam

The last few weeks have not been good. Its one bad news after the other. The fiasco of the Chief Justice’s removal; government high-handedess with protesting lawyers and then the media; Pakistan being kicked out of the Cricket World Cup; Bob Woolmer’s death in what we now know to be a murder; Inzimam’s retirement; and, now, I just heard that Nisar Bazmi has died.

According to The Daily Times:

Nisar Bazmi, one of Pakistan’s greatest music composers, passed away at around midnight on Thursday at the Aga Khan University Hospital. He was 83. Bazmi had been re-admitted about a week earlier with kidney problems amongst others. Last month, Daily Times had interviewed an extremely weak Bazmi when he was earlier admitted to the same hospital with heart problems. While doctors had advised him against talking too much, he could not help but express his love for music. “I want to be involved with music till my last breath,� he said. “Meri saansein moseeki se bandhi hui hain. Mere rag rag me surkha samandar behta he.� Bazmi said that in his opinion, not even Lata could match Noor Jehan’s voice. Born in 1924, in Bombay, India, to a family with no musical inclination, Bazmi’s interest in the art caught the eye of Khan Saheb Aman Ali Khan who taught the talented 13-year-old. He worked for All India Radio but swept into the limelight in 1944 with some songs he composed for the drama ‘Nadir Shah Durrani’. His career spanned 40 films during which time he composed for Runa Laila, Noor Jehan and Mehdi Hassan. He won numerous awards as best composer.

Bazmi sahib’s death is, of course, not comparable to the other events – he had been sick, he lived a full life of a rich and long life that deserves to be celebrated. But his passing leaves a hole in the heart just like the passage of poets Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi and Munir Niazi had.

I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times and interviewing him on television once. He was a sweet and wonderful man; much like his music. From his demeanor one would not have guessed the classics he had composed: which included, ‘aise bhi hain mehrban‘ (Ahmad Rushdie), ‘kuchh loag rooth kar bhi‘ (Ahmad Rushdie), ‘Abhi dhoond hi rahi thi‘ (Noor Jahan), ‘Kaatay na katay‘ (Runa Laila), ‘Ranjish hi sahi‘ (Mehdi Hassan), ‘Bol re guriya bol‘ (Nayarra Noor), ‘Hum chale to humaray‘ (Alamgir), and many many more.

Probably my all-time favorite song from him is the national song Yeh Watan Tumhara Hai by Medhi Hasan. The best video version of the song is the latest one which you can view here, and about which I had written here. Unfortunately, the version found on YouTube is probably the least interesting one of the three versions I know of. It is, nonetheless, very inspiring. Especially today, on Pakistan Day.


One of his great film hits, kuch loag rooth kar bhi…


And this Alamgir classic, hum challey tou humaray sang sang nazaray…


One of Mehdi Hasan’s great ghazals, ranjish hi sahi, which was once a movie song

8 Comments on “1925-2007: Nisar Bazmi Dies; His Music Lives”

  1. Samdani says:
    March 23rd, 2007 10:26 am

    I did not know about him at all. But I know all these songs so well and love them.

    Specially the milli naghma ‘Ye Watan Tumhara Hai’ is a favorite and I also loved the posts you did on this some earlier. You are right the new version that was done last year as an advert is the best of the lot.

  2. zakoota says:
    March 23rd, 2007 4:41 pm

    Nisar Bazmi was a great musician and has given great songs to Pakistani film and music industry.So many songs sung by Noor Jahan, Mehndi Hasan, Runa Laila, Alamgir, Akhlaq Ahmed and so many others are composed by him. He was also the man behind Alamgir’s huge success in the late 70s and 80s. He was no doubt one of the greatest musicians of the subcontinent and has worked along with the best musicians of both Pakistan and India.

    May Allah SWT rest his soul in peace, ameen.

  3. Sabahat says:
    March 24th, 2007 1:05 pm

    Oh this is great, I have always tried so hard but never been able to find ‘Hum Chalay Tau Hamaaray’ anywhere on audio, its great to see it on video which gives me further hope of locating it on audio at some point as well.
    So many of these tunes are amongst my favourites but I wasn’t aware that they were composed by Nisar Bazmi Saahib, though of course I know he is a great composer but unlike singers I just am never as well aware of who has composed a certain song. I wish composers were given their due on album covers.

  4. Bubbi says:
    May 4th, 2007 1:28 pm

    I used to listen to a lot of Sahib Nisar Bazmi’s compositions in the 70′s when I was first introduced to Pakistani film music. There was a time when I would actually go out to the few shops that sold Pakistani records in the UK at that time and would seek out those soundtracks which were composed by Sahib Bazmi. Sadly I don’t have those records any more, but thanks to YouTube I can once again enjoy those compositions. Thank you Sahib Nisar Bazmi for the pleasure you gave me with your music…! May you rest in peace – God Bless!

  5. ARIF says:
    May 30th, 2007 7:11 am

    OFF COURSE HE WAS UNIQUE’ SPEACIALLY HIS WORK WITH ROONA LAILA AND MELODY QUEEN MALKA-I- TRANUM NOOR JEHAN IS UNFORGETABLE SPECIALLY FILM LIKE ;LAKHOON MAIN AIK’ NAG MANI ; UMRAO JAN ADA ‘ETC

  6. ABDUL WAHID says:
    February 10th, 2008 1:14 am

    IS THERE ANY WAY IF I CAN DOWNLOAD ALL
    THE SONGS SUNG BY RUSHDI IF SOMEONE
    CAN GIVE ME A WEBSITE FOR THAT.

    THANKS

  7. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    February 10th, 2008 6:16 am

    @ Bazmi’s music was not only charming but had a
    unique quality of settleing inside your heart forever,
    I have a special corner in my heart for his “dhuns” sung
    by legendary Noor Jehan or Ustad Mehdi Hassan, he had
    a very very special melody detectable in only his tunes.
    Whenever he used sitar in his dhuns it was extraordinary.
    As Arif mentionned Lakhon mein aik, Nag mani, Umrao
    jan ada, but many others, believe me as I hav’nt seen any of these movies, but can tell you if its Bazmi or not.

    Another rare talent has gone.

    Allah Hafiz hay Pakistani Music ka.

  8. March 31st, 2008 6:24 am

    When the most twinkled star has ever died, regrettably others, brightness has such as dim and fed either, which has left lot of soreness and grieves, Mohtram Nisar Bazmi Sahab is one of them.
    May Allah (SWT) Keep soul of excellency, in Jannatulfidos Amin.

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