Farida Khanum: Tribute to a Ghazal Maestro

Posted on August 19, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, People, TV, Movies & Theatre, Urdu
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Adil Najam

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.

Fareeda Farida KhanumFareeda Farida Khanum

Azaadi ki zabaan

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.

Fareeda Farida KhanumOf 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.

Malika-e- Ghazal Farida Khanum

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.


28 responses to “Farida Khanum: Tribute to a Ghazal Maestro”

  1. Rafay Kashmiri says:


    I don’t know if we can ever return minimum
    appriciation to this “bulbul”, videos can only
    “commercialize ” access, thanks to ‘you tube’
    the only alternative left for us.
    just listen on ‘ you tube ‘
    Ustad Salamat Ali Khan’s Multani kafi in Sindhi
    Bhairavi, Khawaja Farid’s saraiki kalam,
    and Ustad Amanat Ali & Fateh Ali Khan with superlative
    of devine vocal techniguqe (God-gifted) pure ecstasy,
    how human being is capable to go to such sublime hights, you can listen again and again,
    its regretable to see how we are handling this heritage
    on our “top priorities” list ?

  2. nudma says:

    farida khanum is the standard of singing . she is the best classical singer of urdu poetry . she has brought a lot to pakistan but what we can return her back is to make 1000s of such videos as shaan has done……….

  3. Rafay Kashmiri says:


    I think you got the wrong number, OR

    Ravish ne thi hamari, yeh Piri aur faqiri,
    Dhondta ne tha Adil-najam, ik sitara aur

  4. rana.qaisar says:

    i realy aprished to Mr.Yousif Raza Gilani He is the one of them who have the God blessings becoz he is the great person of God who came to save the Pakistan in the behalf of Miss Benazir Bhoto
    Benazir Bhoto was a very brave,inteligent and very bold woman. If she alive so she put out the Govt of PML(Q). i always with (PPP)with my heart and soul.

  5. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    The richness of talents

    Khanum has not only the gift of voice and stemna,
    but also a treasure of Ragas from which she knows
    how to extract, and form the “Dhun” and incert the appropriate ghazal or geet.
    And this is arithmetic and geometry, I still stay on my
    word, no 2nd to Khanum yet.

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