Last year the mobile phone company Mobilink had released a wonderful tribute to Mehdi Hassan on the occasion of Independence Day, conceived and produced by actor Shaan; now of Khuda key Liye fame. We had carried a number of posts on that wonderful tribute (here, here and here) and have recently featured it again on our sidebar. This year, Mobilink released a similar tribute, this time to Farida Khannum.
It is done equally tastefully and although the song itself does not have the gravitas and passion of ‘Yeh watan tumhara hai‘, the visuals and the sentiments are very moving. I, at least, have been listening to it repeatedly over the last many hours.
Of course, the ghazal and geet maestro Farida Khanum deserves – nay, demands – a separate and detailed post. She is in a class by herself and some of the most memorable renditions of Urdu ghazals and geets have been from her. To even think of writing about her music overwhelms one. She is a giant. Truly a giant of her craft. But more than that she is also a wonderful person and the big smile and welcoming demeanor that you see in this new video is not an act. It is very genuine. I have had the pleasure (in an earlier life) of interviewing her and spending some time with her. Her sense of humor and her sense of compassion are legendary … and real.
I hope to write a real post on her when I can do justice to it (unfortunately my list of posts-to-write keeps growing longer), but right now I wanted to at least share some of her greatest musical gems with our readers.
For me, to think of Fareeda Khannum is to think of ‘woh ishq jo hum say rooth gaya‘. This is not the best recording to that song, but listening to it still gives me goosebumps. Powerful poetry, rendered with amazing poignancy.
Although her forte has always been the ghazal, Farida Khanum’s geet have been equally memorable, including some Punjabi folk songs such as Balle Balle Tor Punjaban Di. But probably the signature geet fromFarida Khanum is ‘Mein nay paaon mein payal tou pehnay nahiN.’ Again, this is not the best recording of the song, but it is memorable nonetheless.