4 comments on “Patay Khan (1955)

  1. Beautiful singing, but I will probably skip seeing the film. I really like Noor Jehan when she keeps her voice soft, sweet and in control. I think in later years most music directors had her belting it out (which is good in some songs) and also going more for that nasal component. (There is a word in Punjabi we used to describe that kind of singing, but there is no consonant in English that will represent it.=

    The older films help to remind us of her amazing voice and singing ability.

  2. That’s true, Bawa. I remember that you were telling me the same thing maybe four years ago, when I was first obsessing over Noor Jehan. :) Back then, I think you actually did provide a word, though I don’t remember what it was. I have found that when looking at some of the material from later years (1980s and 1990s), I’ve enjoyed her singing in TV clips and live show footage much more than in most of the film clips. (Though there are exceptions.) Could it be that the music directors of more recent decades actually prevented her from sounding as great as she could?

  3. I’d been hoping, ever since Greta announced that Patay Khan had been subbed and uploaded on the Edu Productions page, that you’d review it, Richard. It doesn’t sound like much fun (besides the songs – that one you embedded was lovely, Noorjehan’s voice sounds so clear and sweet here). I think, like Bawa, I may just give this one a miss and content myself with listening to the songs.

  4. I think she was definitely hampered by less imaginative film music directors in later years. On a lot of TV shows, she would be actually be singing some of her older repertoire, which was always so much better.
    There was always some talk of creating a distinct Pakistani style as opposed to Indian style (difficult!) and this kind of singing seemed to be encouraged, but I do not know that for a fact. Just that her, Tassawar Khanum, Mehnaz, Nahid Akhtar, etc.all sang in this particular way when playback singing for films. Even Runa Laila sounds very different during her Pakistani film playback days.

    I have been listening to a series of discussions on different Punjabi poets on the wichaar webcast site, and they are very interesting (unfortunately not subtitled). As sideline while discussing Munir Niazi’s Punjabi poetry, and his relatively limited film success despite some remarkable songs, the professor, who has met all these people personally, said casually while making another point, as if it were common knowledge, about the “special” friendship between Noor Jehan and Faiz. Munir Niazi having lost “his voice” (Naseem Begum) to an early death, whereas Faiz always had a champion in Noor Jehan. Unfortunately, these videos are not subtitled, a pity as they provide really intelligent discussion (even if I do not always agree with his interpretation).

    Tahira Syed, talking in a homage to Noor Jehan, said what an intelligent and fascinating lady she was, and could keep people entertained with her talk for hours.
    She says she was extremely well-read and her Punjabi and Urdu were really rich and faultless.
    Tahira has a very different perspective on her, from knowing her as the mother of her very good school/college friend. But she says you wouldn’t want to spend time with other girls’ mothers, but Noor Jehan was so entertaining that they often ended up just spending time talking to her.

    So many times when you hear modern singers, it feels like meaningless mumbling, looking at the way people like Noor Jehan took care to learn and understand the languages properly, and pronounced each and every word to give it so much weight and beauty.

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