5 comments on “Happy 85th Birthday, Malika-e-Tarannum, Madam Noor Jehan!

  1. Enjoyed the Pakistani songs. I was surprised to see the hindu worship and also the song with the word ‘bindiya’.
    Awaaz de kahan hai gave a ‘tees’ in my heart. My mother loved this song, and I always associate it with her, especially the tune with the words ‘a raat ja rahi hai yoon jaise chandini ki baraat ja rahi hai’.
    I also learnt that ‘falak’ meant sky/heaven.
    Looking forward to some discoveries this coming week. :)

  2. pacifist: I have been listening to a lot of classical music these past few weeks: raags and thumris, and of course, a lot of the vocalists happen to be from Pakistan. A lot of them are singing their own compositions and a vast majority of these compositions for raags and thumris seem to be Hindi-or Sanskrit? based, rather than in Urdu, perhaps reflecting that Indian classical music is older than all these latter-day differentiations. I think before all the political correctness came-in, many such compositions were there in films.

    Richard: listening to an interview of someone in self-exile from Pakistan, I came across this forgotten number from the “other” Suraiya. As it has subtitles, I could not resist!

  3. Happy belated birthday wishes to Noorjehan.
    thanks richard for introducing me to so many songs sung by her. I knew only the pre-partition songs from her!

  4. Pacifist, thank you for sending nice words, as you often do. :) It is always so interesting to me to see how a song like “Awaz De Kahan Hai” stirs people’s memories, reminds them of a parent, etc. Sometimes, I feel envious of all of you people who got a chance to grow up with this great old film music and didn’t have to first start discovering it several decades into your lives. :)

    A few people at YouTube commented that it is sort of exceptional, at least from the present perspective, to see a Hindu worship video in a Pakistani film, but others pointed out that this was not so uncommon in the old days. From what I know, Bawa describes the situation well.

    Bawa, thanks for the film clip. I don’t think I know about “the other Suraiya.” The subtitles are fun, especially during some places in the song where there are no lyrics and we get to see descriptions like “(crazy vocal solo).”

    As far as I’m concerned, there’s no need to make some big distinction between Indian and Pakistani culture, music, and films. That is always the approach I’ve taken here. Of course, I focus most on “Bollywood,” but if I’m going to branch out into Tamil or Malayalam movies or music, it makes just as much sense – more so, actually – to get into Pakistani music and films. (Indian/Pakistani is not some ancient cultural division; it’s a relatively recent, artificially created political one.)

    But, then, I have different experiences, and a different perspective, from people who come from India or Pakistan and were brought up to be very aware of this division all their lives.

    And Harvey, you are welcome… It is great to see that I have actually introduced you to Noor Jehan’s post-partition songs!

  5. Thank you Bawa for the explanation. I agree about the latter day differentiations colouring ones ideas leading to the astonishment that I felt.

    @Richard
    You promised a longer celebration :)

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