A couple of weeks ago, I was looking at some songs in the film 1857, starring Suraiya and Surendra, singing for music director Sajjad Hussain. I remembered a few things about Sajjad Hussain, such as the fact that he was also music director for one of my favorite soundtracks of all time, Dost (1944), starring Noor Jehan. I recalled also that he was a pretty temperamental character and that this probably was why he didn’t get to work on as many films as he should have. I decided to look Sajjad up again to see if I could get some more information that might be of interest, and that’s when I noticed that he was born on June 15, which meant that he had the same birthday as Suraiya. So, I decided that this year, I would make a joint birthday post for both of them, including a few of those lovely songs from 1857. (Plus, since 1857 did also star Surendra, I can include at least one clip with him thrown in as a bonus. Unfortunately, the technical quality of that video leaves something to be desired – in fact all of them are somewhat limited in that way. But I still am very happy that I could find them and post them!)
I also discovered that Sajjad was music director for Rustom Sohrab, which I had read was Suraiya’s last film. As far as I can tell, though, she sang only one song for that movie. (There were quite a few other singers in Rustom Sohrab; it looks as though Sajjad gave a song to almost all the big playback stars of the Golden Age.) I assume, then, that it was the very last song that Suraiya sang for the cinema. That’s too bad; 1963 was far too early for her to retire. But it certainly was a good swan song for her, and I felt it would also be a beautiful way to end this birthday list.
Happy birthday, Suraiya and Sajjad!