7 comments on “And on Her Tenth Death Anniversary, Here’s to the Great Madam Noor Jehan!

  1. Thank you, Vidur. And I checked your latest Baby Noor Jehan upload… That’s nice – it’s from the same movie as “Shala Jawaniyan Mane.” (Noor sang a verse from “Shala Jawaniyan Mane” in the interview I mentioned – in Part 3. It was very cute.)

  2. Well, she says in the interview that she was 10 when she recorded “Shala Jawaniyan Mane”… But this film Gul-E-Bakawali came out in 1939, when by most accounts she was 12 or 13. Maybe it took a couple of years for the film to come out?

  3. Richard, great post. Your love of Noor Jehan is infectious. She was one of a kind. She did so many wonderful songs in the pre-partition era but post-partition her collaboration with Khawaja Khursheed Anwar was unmatched. Khalid Hasan (who himself passed away in 2009) wrote a nice piece on Noor Jehan that is worth reading: http://www.khalidhasan.net/2008/10/22/nur-jehan/
    Of course, the iconic candid sketch of her Bombay days was written by the great Urdu short story writer Saadat Hasan Manto in his collection “Ganjay Farishtay”. I understand that Khalid Hasan has translated that piece but I have not had a chance to read the translation.

  4. Fawad, many thanks for the nice words, both here and in response to my comment on your blog. I agree that many of the songs that Noor Jehan did for Khawaja Khursheed Anwar were great; I love the music of Intezar and Koel. I have heard opinions from other people who say that Noor Jehan’s pre-partition music was better, but I’ll just say here that it’s a close call. :) (Though really, especially when you consider the pre-partition music from Naushad and Sajjad Hussain – I mean, that is certainly wonderful stuff!)

    And thank you for the link to the article by Khalid Hasan. I read that sometime before; though not on his Web site; I think it was posted on a forum (Hamara, maybe?) and I found it on a search. I’ve also read his translation of Saadat Hasan Manto’s article on Noor Jehan as published in the book Stars From Another Sky: The Bombay Film World of the 1940s. I haven’t had a chance to read this whole book yet, but I was able to read that particular chapter because it is also posted online, at Hamara Forums. (I provided a link to it in the post that I did for Noor Jehan’s birthday… It doesn’t seem to be working right now, but if it works again, I’ll add it to the comments here.)

    I was thinking in particular of Manto’s article, and some things within it that someone pointed out to me in a recent exchange, when I said that not everybody has the kindest things to say about her personality. :) But nobody denies that she was a wonderful singer, and I also greatly enjoy her screen presence, so the gossipy literature doesn’t really affect my opinion much.

    And as I’ve said, I also do like many of the things Noor Jehan said in interviews; I have a great deal of respect for some of her opinions, as well as some of the courageous things she did (including standing up for Faiz Ahmed Faiz, of course), regardless of whatever flaws she might have shown in her personal life. (Though I have to add, whatever her faults, it seems that her husbands were worse – but of course, this is all beside the point…)

    In any event, for as long as I love hearing Noor Jehan’s voice, and seeing her in the old movies, I’ll continue to post about her here… Or maybe not for as long…, because who knows if this blog will last that long. :)

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