Today in Kot Addu: Remembering Pathanay Khan

Posted on April 28, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, People, Poetry
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Adil Najam

Today, April 28, there is a folk music program being organized in Kot Addu to mark teh 7th death anniversary of Pathana Khan. This is not the type of event that people talk about. But they should.

I remember, back in March 2006, when I heard that Pathanay Khan had died, my eyes had swelled up.

Maybe its because I am the emotional type. Or maybe it was because Pathanay Khan had introduced me to the beauty of Saraiki sufiana kalam and there are very few things, if any, that even remotely resembles the spiritual and musical power and prowess of Pathanay Khan singing ‘menda ishq vi toun, menda yaar vi toun‘ or ‘mera Ranjan hunn koi hour.’

I suspect, however, that it was the conditions in which he died that really got to me. Some years ago, the eqully spell-binding Muhammad Jumman (of the ‘yaar daadi aatish ishq nay lai aye‘ fame) had reportedly died in rotting conditions in the corridors of a Karachi hospital. A nation that should have been in awe of him had been unaware and uninterested in the conditions of the maestro. Pathanay Khan’s death came in a similar state of personal impoverishment and national neglect.

I was reminded of all of this when a reader sent me this news item from Dawn about the event today in Kot Addu:

Awards of Pathaney Khan to be auctioned

MUZAFFARGARH, April 25: Iqbal Pathaney Khan braves a scorching day going about from one office to another, one person to another, to give cards for the April 28 death anniversary of his father Pathaney Khan. Iqbal Pathaney Khan has arranged a folk music programme in his home town, Kot Addu, in which local singers will sing kafis and song of Pathaney Khan to pay homage to the great Seraiki singer. “This time at the music function, I will announce a date for auction of the awards because my family is facing poverty and we never know what we will eat tomorrow.�

“A few people give me some money for the programme and think they are giving me a charity,� Iqbal told Dawn in an exclusive interview. “I never demand any money from the fans of Pathaney Khan. This is what I have learned from my father. “Actually my father died a pauper and left nothing for his four sons and three daughters except this six-marla house, fame as 79 awards.�

“Every year I hold kafi programme to mark his death anniversary, but no MNA, MPA, senator or senior bureaucrat has ever attended the programme,� the son laments. Iqbal accused the PTV and Radio Pakistan of doling out laughable sums to his father. He had harsh words for firms marketing CDs and cassettes as well. The awards include the Pride of Performance President Award (1979), PTV Millennium Award, Khawaja Ghulam Farid Award, Rohi Award, Thal Award, etc.

But the singer’s son finds them of no use.

All of this leaves me sad and rather angry, without really anyone to be angry at. Why do we do this to those who bring us so much joy, I wonder.

As we remember Pathanay Khan I listen to this song clip (scroll forward to where the narration ends, if you want) which, more than any other, is his most famous rendition.

Saraiki,Pathanay Khan, Meda ishq wi toun Meda Yar wi Tu.Pt.1


Further Reading: Dr. Manzur Ejaz’s “The Flower of Rohi.

20 responses to “Today in Kot Addu: Remembering Pathanay Khan”

  1. Waqar Nadeem says:

    Very sad to hear that future of artists in Pakistan is extremely black. These artists get popular among people and have no other source of income except performance. They don’t even think of future as they are so inspired by their present. I have seen news very often about artists that they are in so terrible financial conditions that even its difficult to make both ends meet. I don’t know the solution yet for this but I would say awareness, people and Government should be aware of these artists and keep track of them.

  2. Sabir says:

    Pathanay Khan was a great singer .Fakhar-e-Sariki Music and Kafi

  3. I LOVE THIS CITY MOS OF ALL. IT IS MY PLEASURE TO BE A PAKISTANI.

  4. younis siraj says:

    I LIKE PATHANAY KHAN,S VOICE.BECAUSE PATHANAY KHAN FROM OUR LOVE ABLE CITY KOT ADDU..WHO PERFORM ALL OVER WORLD…WE MISS PATHANAY KHAN.

  5. Babur says:

    Fantastic singer. I have been listening to his music for 10 years. The only artist that has constatly in my car, ipod etc. I have just read that he had died pennyless and his family had been looking to sell his awards. How very sad.
    Any way to contact them or any one from his part of world who can provide more infromation.

  6. I just only say that Pathanay Khan was the best singer of Pakistan.

  7. Tanassar says:

    love and appreciate the voice and sympathy of pathanay khan with the sufi-ism………his voice has something magical…….it touches my heart and urges a storm in my mind………

  8. safdar says:

    Mr. ADIL SAME FELLING FORM ME WHEN IN HEARED THE DEATH NEWS OF PATHANAY KHAN, SO I M TRYING TO BUILD KOT ADU CITY WEB SITE , I PUT LOT OF STUFF OF PATHANEY KAHN WHEN IT WILL BE COMPLETED

    KOT ADU WEB SITE
    http://www.kotadu.com
    http://www.nextwebstudio.com
    http://www.meramustakbil.com

  9. Bilal Zuberi says:

    my attempt at posting an image here:

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