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Munni Begum: A Symbol of Simplicity

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Hum khud tarashtay hain manazil kay raho sung
Hum wo nahin hain jin ko zamana bana gaya

The above mentioned lyrics (sheir) holds true in the case of Munni Begum. Let us read the real life story of this ghazal singer as narrated by her:

Munni Begum singing “There are artists who achieve great name and fame, when they are at the pinnacle of their career. As far as I am concerned, all I have been endeavoring to do is just to be like an artist and that is it. An artist of high repute and the height of artistry are a far-fetched idea for me. I had been interested in music and singing since my childhood.
Besides, I was the youngest child in my family, hence, apart from being the center of attraction for my parents, I received the maximum love and attention from both my father and mother.

Later, I took some music lessons from the famous singer, Khwaja Ghulam Mustafa Warsi. Moreover, I spent three years in the college of music.After a while, I settled down in Karachi and since then I have been striving to get recognition as an artist. I have been through extremely difficult times and I have faced tremendous hardships. However, I was never discouraged. Further, by the time I had started my practical life, the entire responsibility of my family had fallen on my shoulders. All I could do was to take one day at a time.

Listen to songs by Munni Begum

Slowly, but surely, bad times passed over. I feel that what ever I have attained in my life has been made possible because of my father. I consider myself one of the most fortunate daughters in this world. Each and every step that I took to reach my destination was accompanied with the guidance, prayer and co-operation from my dedicated father.
Furthermore, I also believe that because of his unconditional love and devotion, I was able to perform in functions. Gradually, I recorded ghazals for the radio and television musical programs. Soon my audio and video cassettes were penetrating the musical industry in Pakistan and then, all over the world.

Today, I stand in front of you. I have been singing ghazals for over two decades. Music lovers are acquainted by the fact that I have chosen an entirely different style of singing, from the beginning. Rather, I have simplified my presentation for the sake of the general public. Take, for instance, these ghazals: “Hua zamana keh us nay hum ko na bhool kar bhi salam bheija”, “Mareez-e-mohabbat unhe ka fasana” (poet: ustaad Qamar Jalalavi)

This is one of those ghazals which took my name the world over. I had recorded the following ghazal for Pakistan television’s music program “Andaaz apna apna”: “Dil ko haal-e-qaraar mein dekha”

Basically, artists feel very pleased to be feted. I wish some one comes to me to say that he likes the way I sing, or that I am a great singer. Once I had been to Dubai for a concert. When I took a cab from the airport, the cab-driver was playing an audio cassette of my ghazals. Out of curiosity, I inquired whether he knows the name of the singer. “Munni Begum, she is a renowned singer, do you like her ghazals,” he replied. I remained silent.

These are some of my favorite ghazals:
“Ghaeroan ko bhala sumjhe, aur mujh ko bura jana”
“Phir wo andaaz-e-nazar yaad Aaya”
“Jis tarhaan chahay karam farmaeye”
(poet: Syed Aali Raza, composer: Khaleel Ahmed)

Both the lyrics and the composition are superb.

“Pyar ki mun mein joth jagaye aik zamana beeth gaya” (poet: Adum)
“Tum poocho aur mein na bataoon, aisay tou halaat nahi”

At every step of her life, when the odds were most against her, Munni Begum never gave up. Instead, she worked harder. I have tremendous admiration for her fortitude. The trial and tribulation and her eventual triumph proves once again this golden maxim: When there is a will, there is a way.


12 comments for “Munni Begum: A Symbol of Simplicity”

  1. The good convenient site is made.

    Posted by Wadeatogero | November 9, 2008, 1:31 am
  2. A very informative article about a legendary singer in her life!

    Posted by Shams Khan | June 2, 2009, 12:43 pm
  3. I really appreciate the songs and ways of MS Munni Begum. I have recently discoverd her talents and there is nothing more to say than she has indeed one of the sweetest voice and so explicit in her wordings which sometimes make me wonder if she is a Bengoli.Her gazals are so heart touching and makes one lost in thoughts. Well! at least it makes me lost while hearing her live concerts. If I had wings I would fly to her. She has been really God gifted. I wish her a long and healthy life ahead with all happiness.

    Posted by suzanne | July 1, 2009, 1:16 pm
  4. she is really great.my father & my whole family is a huge fan of her voice…i use to sing like her,though i am a boy,but i wanna copy her.i have learnt all her ghazals by heart,& i usually sing them in the family gathering & parties also…may she live long with all her happiness & health.i wanna meet her.

    Posted by mohd asif kitty | November 21, 2009, 6:06 am
  5. I am listnin to her since 1982. But I did not know as to who was the Singer.As “teri mehfil se uth kar rind mastane kahai Jate “Tumhare shehar ka mausam brda suhana lage”
    I have been singing this song vary often . When I am Invited in big gathrings.As athank giving to the host. AS the Tumhare shehar ka mausam barda Suhana lage.AS telling them that If Munni Begum was here she would have appriciated this evening this way.
    S. Adhaulya

    Posted by S. Adhaulya | December 14, 2009, 9:38 pm
  6. she is a good singer and i like her all ghazal.i think about like these people, how they love thier work.may Allah give them a good health and a lot of happiness.ameen

    Hassan Zada Omar kakar

    Posted by Hassan zada Omar | January 21, 2010, 5:27 am
  7. I grew up liteninhg to her ghazals. She has a fantastic voi ce and an excellent andaz of performoing. When she sings she becomes a personification of the ghazal. She knows what is onomotopea. Her choice of the klalam of the maestro poetsneeds no recommendatopn. I cosider myself lucky to have learnt at least this much Urdu to enjoy.

    Posted by ajara lazarus | May 30, 2010, 3:54 pm
  8. I like Muni Begem very much as well as her music too, I am listening her music from my childhood
    But I haven’t hear about the new album of muni begam, and I don’t know why she left Pakistan, even I am Afghan but I like him more then my country’s singers. I have a grate hope she will record her new album soon.
    Best regard for Muni Begem
    kamal Ahmad

    Posted by Kamal Ahmad | June 4, 2010, 1:42 pm
  9. she is gretest i have no woards for her but i…….
    Wherever You Go, No Matter What The Weather,
    Always Bring Your Own Sunshine. she is the sun

    Posted by kadafibinsultan | June 9, 2010, 3:51 pm
  10. I was born in 1981 and grew up listening to her Ghazals as a kid. My parents loved her music and only recently I came across an old record and thought I’d do some searching. Great article. Thanks!

    Posted by Will - The Metronome Guy | July 25, 2010, 4:05 am
  11. I created facebook page for Nazia Hasan 2 years back and now it has more than 40,000 Fans. I am a big fan of her, i used to listen to her music since my childhood. Specially “dum dum dee” and “dosti”. These two songs are super hit !

    I pray to Allah that HE rests Nazia Hasan’s soul in peace. Ameeen
    Her facebook fan page is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nazia-Hasan/32184806122

    May Allah take care of her child and family. Ameen

    Posted by Arsalan | March 23, 2011, 1:42 pm
  12. Munni Begum is a great singer and i really like her voice when you listen to her its like you have a glass of “sherbet” God bless Munni Begum and her voice (Ameen)

    Posted by jamila Agha | July 23, 2011, 7:34 pm

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