Masood Rana: Music is my life

By Anis Ahmed Shakur

Renowned Pakistani music director, Baba G.A.Chishti, is well-known for his magnificent compositions for the Pakistani movies.

One of his greatest accomplishments was, indeed, the introduction of Masood Rana to the Pakistani music.

Masood Rana began his singing career in 1962.

With his charismatic voice and God-gifted talents, he rapidly climbed the rungs of the ladder and within no time, he was competing with the remarkable singers of his period.

The eventful story of his dramatic rise in the world of music started with his debut song: 'Mashriq ki hai tareef' (film: 'Inqilaab': 1962, music: Natho khan), which was followed by another super hit, romantic song: 'Kaheen dil pay na jadoo' (film: 'Banjaran': 1962, lyrics: Masroor Anwar, music: Deebo, picturised on Kamal).

Then came one of the most popular, evergreen song: 'Aye dil tujhay ab unsay ye kaisi shikayat hai' (film: 'shararat': 1963, lyrics: Masroor Anwar, music: Deebo, picturised on Mohammad Ali).

It was followed by 'Mukhray pay Aanchal' (film: 'Dil nay tujhay maan liya': 1963, singer: Masood Rana- Naheed Niazi, music: Muslehuddin).

Next in line was Masood's all time favorite Punjabi song: 'Tangay wala khair mangda' (film: Daachi: 1964, lyrics: Hazeen Qadri, music: G.A.Chishti, picturised on Lala Sudhir).

Masood Rana

Masood did justice to all poets in general, and to josh Malihabadi, in particular.

National songs written by Josh Malihabadi and recorded in Masood's voice are an asset for the Pakistanis:' Dil ko jab bay kali nahi hoti, zindigi, zindigi nahi hoti' (poet: Josh Malihabadi)

'Aye watan hum hain teri shama kay perwano main' (film: 'Aag ka darya:1966, poet: Josh Malihabadi, music: Ghulam Nabi, Abdul Lateef)

Innumerable lamps must have been lightened with these words: 'Kitnay roshan hain diye, teray shabistano mein'

Likewise, the backbone of Pakistan: The farmer and the hard working labor were so proud to hear these lyrics from Masood's lips: 'Teray mazdoor ki Aankhon kay shararay lay kar, teray dehqan kay mathay kay sitaray lay kar, chandni boain gey jhultay huay maidano mein' His fans will always remember his familiar face when he used to appear in national dress (dressed in sherwani) in Pakistan television's music program.

Maestro Masood had that extremely rare ability to prolong a lyric and then, bringing the last word of that lyric to an abrupt halt, the last word of the lyric was uttered in less then a second.

This was the prerogative of Masood alone. Hence, it has not been observed in any other play-back singer of the Indo-pak subcontinent.

A quick example is 'Aye watan hum hain teri shama kay perwano mein' (note how he stretches the phrase : 'kitnay roshan hain diye, teray shabistano' and then, stops all of a sudden at the last word of the phrase, 'mein'.

In the sixties, he became the heart-throb of millions of his country-men with 'tumhe ho mehboob meray, mein kyon na tumhay pyar karoon' (film: 'Aa'ena: 1966, lyrics: khwaja pervez, music: Tasadduq)

Film: 'Hamrahi' was a milestone in Masood's singing career. All songs of 'Hamrahi' are relegated as the 'Best of Masood Rana'.

Moreover, thousands of movie-goers watched 'Hamrahi' just because of the all-time great songs of Masood.

'Hamrahi's seven songs are listed here below:

'Kiya kahoon aye duniya walo, kiya hoon mein' (film: 'Hamrahi': 1966, lyrics: Muzaffar Warsi, music: Tasadduq)

'Karam ki ik nazar hum per...ya Rasool Allah'

'Ho gaye zindigi mujhay pyari'.

'Naqsha teri judaye ka ab tak nazar mein hai'.

'Mujhay chore kar akela, kaheen dooor janay walay'.

'Qadam, qadam pay naye dukh'.

'yaad karta hai zamana unhi insano ko'

'Pukara hai madad ko, bay kaso nay, haath khali hai...bacha lo doob nay say ye...ya Rasool Allah' will never be forgotten by 130 million Pakistanis.

The indescribable pathos, injected by the depth and versatility of the voice of this master singer is simply out of this world.

Mentioned here below is a song from the endless list of super hits, which is a recipe for sadness:

'Ajeeb hai ye zindigi, kabhi hai gham, kabhi khushi' (film: 'shola aur shabnam': 1967, music: M Ashraf))

Apparently, it fills ones heart with hope and desire, as he listens to 'khushi say gham sahain gay hum, kay gham kay baad hai khushi'

Romantic scores like 'Jhoom aye dil ho, mera jaan-e-bahar Aaye ga' (film:'Dil mera, dharkan tere': 1968, music:Enayat Husain, picturised on Waheed Murad) took Masood's name from one corner of Pakistan to another.

In the vast array of sad songs, which enthralled million, two are listed here below:

'Koi saath dey, key na saath dey' (film: Budnaam, music: Deebo).

'Phir subah hogi, Aandheray nahi ruknay walay' (film: 'Phir subah hogi', music: Naashad, lyrics: Masroor Anwar)

Masood's distinctive gift to accommodate the co-singer (in a duet) to transform otherwise not so glamorous composition into all time great mega hit is one reason, among many, of his great name and fame.

Given below is a masterpiece, which is an exquisite blend of torment and anguish:

'Tujhay pyar ki qasam hai, mera pyar bun kay Aaja' (film: 'chand aur chandni': 1968, Masood Rana-Mala, music: Karim Shahabuddin)

One of the best example of despondency and despair, caught vividly by Masood is 'Teri yaad Aa gayi, gham khushi mein dhal gaye' (film: 'chand aur chandni': 1968, music: Karim shahabuddin, picturised on Nadeem)

It fills ones eyes with tears as he listens to 'tum tou ho gaye juda, aur bhatak rahay hain hum' and also, 'Aisee bijliyaan gereen, saray khwab jal gaye'

Masood became the darling of the youth with songs like: 'Fasana-e-dil hai mukhtasar sa, kay Aag dil mein bharak uthi hai' (film: 'Tumhi ho mehboob meray': 1969, music: M.Ashraf)

'Hal-e-dil Aaj ye hum suna yain gay' (film: 'chiragh kahan, roshni kahan': 1971, music: M.Ashraf)

He won the hearts of the younger generation with 'Teray bina yoon gharyaan beteen, jaisay sudyaan beeth gayeen' (film: 'Aansoo: 1971, music: Nazir Ali, lyrics: khwaja pervez)

When it came to express rare passions and feelings, no one could do it better then Masood.

A fine instance of that vivid, virtual reality is 'Meray dil ki hai Aawaz, kay bichhra yaar melay ga' (film: 'Baharo phool barsao': 1972, lyrics: shevan Rizvi, music: Naashad, picturised on Waheed Murad)

Super-performer Masood, teamed up with Bakshi wazir to produce that immortal solo, which had swayed the seventies:

'Main is duniya mein akela hoon' (film: 'Main akela': 1972, music: Bakshi wazir)

Masood's popularity was at its height with songs like:' Meri dua hai kay tou bunkay Aftab rahay' and 'Ye wada kiya kay mohabbat karain gay' (film: 'Daman aur chingari': 1973,Masood Rana-Noor Jehan, music: M.Ashraf)

Masood was brilliant at slow numbers. Tragic scores like 'Aag laga kar chupnay walay sun mera afsana' (film: 'Dil lagi': 1974, music: Rafiq Ali)

Today, five years after his death, the passions of millions of Pakistanis all over the world are, indeed, best reflected in his own voice:

'Mujhay chore kar akela, kaheen dooor janay walay,
na bhula sakoon ga tujh ko, mujhay yaad Aanay walay'.

The cruel hands of death snatched Masood from us in 1995.

However, his memory is at the forefront of our minds forever:

'Mauth ki dhumkiyaan na dou mujh ko,
mauth kya zindigi nahi hoti'.

Could there be a better way to pay tribute to our beloved Masood Rana, other then this:

The thirst for Masood Rana's songs never abates.