Noor Jehan: Nation in sorrow
By Anis Ahmed Shakur
hain Armaan, mera dil rota hai
Moreover, it was her sweet and mellifluous voice, combined with the precise diction and her authority on the urdu vocabulary that led to the creation of the ever-green songs.
Jehan: Actress and singer.
list goes on and on.
In fact, all superlatives like 'First', 'Only' 'Best' etc which are added to her name will never be considered enough to encompass her enormous contribution to the cause of music in her glorious sixty year showbiz career.
Born in Kasur, on September 21, 1926, she had a flair for music as a five year old child, she took music lessons from Kajjan Bai, a famous Indian songstress, who performed around 1920-1930.
Noor Jehan appeared in several movies as 'Baby Noor Jehan' starting from 'Sheela us pind di kurri (Punjabi film:1935), up until 1942, when the film 'Khandaan' (urdu) was released in which she played the lead actress for the first time.
1942 onwards, she was cast in several movies in India and later in Pakistan
until 1959, when the films 'Koel' and 'Neend' were released, starring
Noor Jehan as heroine.
Following numbers are an all-too-true assessment of the highly adored
the scope for expanding the more lyrical sphere were enhanced with songs
Jehan was very particular with sad songs, which she always recorded with rare
passion and feeling:
Jaltay hain Armaan mera dil rota hai: (film:Anarkali, picturised on Noor Jehan)
'Chalo achha hua tum bhool gaye': (film: Lakhon mein aik, picturised on Shamim Ara)
'Na janay kaisa safar hai mera'(film:Banjaran)
The characteristic vibrato in her voice enthralled millions in the melancholy strains of:
'Taqdeer ki gardish pay na ro' (film: Bahu Rani, picturised on Zeba)
'O ray sanam dil kaisay bataye'(film:Tauba, picturised on Zeba)
'Zamanay ki nazroan mein, mein bay wafa hoon'(film: Insaan aur Aadmi,picturised on Zeba)
Noor Jehan's songs still rank among the all-time favorite of urdu music lovers the world over:
'Laga hai misar ka bazaar deikho' (film: Tehzeeb, picturised on Rani)
'Khuda karay kay mohabbat mein' (film: Afshan, picturised on Shabnam)
'Ye waadiyaan ye parbatoan ki shahzadiyaan'(film: Dosti, picturised on Shabnam)
Noor Jehan's duets are reckoned by a vast majority of listeners as the best songs ever recorded in the annals of playback singing. Just think of the spell she cast through these duets:
'Mohabbat mein teray sar ki Qasam' (film:Aisa bhi hota hai: Noor Jehan-Ahmed Rushdi)
'Meray dil ki mehfil saja dey nay walay' (film: Andaleeb: Noor Jehan-Ahmed Rushdi)
'Aap ko bhool jaain hum'(film: Tum milay pyar mila:Noor Jehan-Mehdi Hasan)
Noor Jehan continues to live through her immortal renditions like:
'Lay Aayeen phir kahan par' (film:Saalgira, picturised on Shamim Ara)
'Dukha ye dil jo kisi ka'(film: Adalat,picturised on Zeba)
'Tum zindigi ko gham ka fasana bana gaye: (film:Dopatta, picturised on Noor Jehan)
Jehan's recordings outs her in a category all her own, above all others
in her field:
'Sayoni mera mahi' (film: Mastana mahi, picturised on Aaliya)
spirit of the great singer lives on in the next generation:
Noor Jehan was a singer of power and ecstasy:
'Chanda ray chanda kuchh tu he bata mera afsana' (film:Baharo phool barsao, picturised on Rani)
Noor Jehan had a charismatic voice, hence she was extra special for all composers:
'Sada hoon apnay pyar ki'(film: 'Anarkali', picturised on Noor Jehan)
With her impeccable urdu pronunciation, Noor Jehan went on to achieve the stature of the greatest singing icon, for whom the lyricists and composers were eager to write and compose.
They knew her lips possessed that rare gift of further refining their compostion.
Pakistani public would want to hear none other, once Noor Jehan cast her vocal sway.
Her well-bred voice had a natural treble which was her hall-mark and which brought recognition to actresses like shamim Ara, Zeba, Rani, Sabiha Khanum, Nisho, Aaliya and many others, who had given lip movement foor Noor Jehan's songs, which remain peerless to this day.
Further, Noor Jehan goes down in the history of Indo-pak music as the only songstress few could imitate.
It was the sheer innocence of those earlier movies and her elegant simplicity which brought laurels to her at such a tender age.
Recall the enormous impact she made with a song which is a resounding tribute to our brave armed forces:
'Aye watan kay sajeelay jawano meray naghmay tumharay liye hain'
Poetry was undoubtedly integral to the music that Noor Jehan made and it was this intrinsic poetic content in her vocalizing that elevated a mere film song in her crooning custody, to a near art form:
'Jis din say piya par dase gaye'(film: Intizaar, picturised on Noor Jehan)
Furthermore, the eternal romantic was also Noor Jehan.Every word of the song came from the profundity of her heart:
'Dase paraye janay walay' (film:Daman aur chingari, picturised on Zeba)
The following is an instance of the vibrancy of Noor Jehan's presentation, reflecting the sentimentality of the time:
'Bas gaya tu sautaniya kay dwar sajna' (film: Dosti, picturised on Shabnam)
Legends like Noor Jehan are not born daily and when they cross over, they can never be replaced.
On Saturday afternoon, December 23, 2000, when Noor Jehan passed, not only was the nation's greatest female voice in music silenced, but her death also robbed the world of one of its finest voices and a great exponent in modern times.
Noor Jehan left behind her voice, her music and this message to the posterity:
'Ga ye gee duniya geet meray
sureelay ung mein niralay rang mein
bharay hain armaano mein