Let the music play - Part 4
there is a wealth of ghazal music in pakistan & it has got me very close to urdu poetry and in response to a request that i write on Iqbal Banu, I would simply rate Farida Khanum and Mehdi Hasan higher than Iqbal Banu and Ghulam Ali respectively
Having said this, the more I listened to all 4 of these, the closer I got to the classics if I had not listened to any one of them because each has a specific group of poets they sing. Iqbal Banu in my opinion has made her name on account of her contribution to film music of the 50’s and then later on with ghazals but I admit my ignorance about her body of work except for three tracks (a) payal main geet hain chum chum kay (b) hum daikain gay & (c) dasht-e-tanhai main, the last two by Faiz
the one thing that makes Noor Jehan unique is that her diction of “mujhe say pehli see mohabat” is her vividly chaste urdu that one cannot imagine anyone else doing justice to this nazm by Faiz.
I cannot say the same about Iqbal Banu. On many occasions, Noor Jehan’s brilliance & her rendition has overshadowed the nazm and legends are made when this distinction between creator and musician becomes hazy.
Buying a best-of Iqbal Banu would therefore serve no purpose. If you have taken my advice on getting best of Faiz, Iqbal Banu is going to be part of it anyway. Begum Akhtar is the principal of the school from which Iqbal Banu dropped out :)
I also personally feel that listening to ghazals has its limitation. You cannot go beyond a certain point. It can also leave you emotionally spent. Faiz ghazals though are an exception because the content takes over. I find him to be deeply patriotic, committed to his ideals, love being raison-d'etre, be it for the commitment with socialism and love for some one in real person. I am lucky to have witnessed the age when Faiz lived, mistreated by the rulers and loved by the common man.
The real Pakistani music that you can never grow tired of listening to, is sufi music. Will look for a concise collection in stores and will revert back
to be continued