Mehdi Hassan Is No More


Mehdi Hassan Is No More

The music industry in Pakistan was dealt a huge blow when the one and only Shahenshah of Ghazal Mehdi Hassan Khan died after prolonged illness in Karachi. Born on 18th July, 1927 in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Mehdi Hassan began his career in 1957, and was a household name even before he ventured into playback singing for films. His unique style of ghazal singing made him popular, and he continued to succeed in all forms of music.

 

Be it his patriotic song Yeh Watan Tumhara Hai, his ghazal Ranjish Hi Sahi from Mohabbat, his hip hop number Chalo Yunhi Roothay Raho from Shararat or Mujhe Dil Se Na Bhulana from Aaina, Mehdi Hassan added his flavour to all the numbers he sung. Whereever Urdu is understood, Mehdi Hassan was known and respected. Every musicians – from the golden era of films to TV and radio – had the honour of having his compositions rendered by the great man, who was considered the colossal of ghazal singing. From Sohail Rana, Nisar Bazmi, M. Ashraf, Kamal Ahmed to Robin Ghosh, A. Hameed, Nashad and his son Wajid Ali Nashad, Mehdi Hassan sang for all, and even won numerous awards for his filmi and non-filmi songs.

 

From the mid 60s to the mid 80s, Mehdi Hassan was one of the top 3 singers of the Pakistan film industry. His competition varied from Ahmed Rushdi to Masood Rana and to Ghulam Abbas in his later years but Mehdi Hassan always made the difference. Nobody else could sing Kabhi Main Sochta Hun from Aaina in a better way than Mehdi sahab, whereas his patriotic songs still evoke nationalism for the way they were rendered. Mehdi Hassan’s ghazal work is not known to the newer generation but believe me, had Allama Iqbal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Mir Taqi Mir, Mirza Ghalib and Ahmed Faraz been alive, they would have given him a standing ovation!

 

Be it ghazal singers of India or Pakistan, all considered Mehdi Hassan their teacher, and tried to emulate his style of singing. Hari Haran, Roop Kumar Rathore and even Pankaj Udhas paid glowing tributes to the man who made a name for himself through his majestic voice. Lata Mangeshkar once commented that Mehdi Hassan has bhagwaan in his throat, which is no small comment coming from the Bollywood nightingale. Jagjit Singh even paid visit to Pakistan a few years back to perform in a concert benefitting the greatest ghazal singer of all time. It is sad that Mehdi Hassan decided to leave this world for the other, because his departure has made millions teary-eyed!



Omair Alavi

A member of the Geo News team and writing articles on sports and entertainment since 1995.

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  • NASAH

    Mehdi Hasan’s sad demise does not mean this blog remains silent.

    • Raj Chouhan

      After 10 days mourning blog is back NASAH ji.

  • NASAH

    It is obvious from his ‘filmi’ songs — that Mehdi Hasan’s heart was not in singing film songs — he took the assignment for livelihood.

  • Anonymous

    Somewhere in the heavens above, one can almost hear the sounds:
    Gulon mein rang bharey baAd-e-nauBahar chaley
    Chaley bhee aAo kai gulshan ka karobar chaley….
    May Khan Sahib rest in peace………

  • Farooq M. Hashmi

    Dr.NASAH, it was the News Blog Forum which had been still for around two weeks,not the bloggers. As the News Blog Forum had been listless,and no new comments had been appearing on the blog pages,the familiar bloggers had probably,found it of no use to post their blogs in condolence of Mehdi Hasan’s demise.Thus,there is a low number of condolence messages in the Forum after it has eventually,been resurrected today.Doctor, between you and I, I do not like the new set-up of the News Blog Forum because the blogging process has been made considerably mind-boggling through introducing many intricate unnecessary steps.

    • Raj Chouhan

      I do agree with you Hashmi Sahab, earlier the set up of this forum used to be very attractive, this is third time they have changed it in this year only which is appearing complicated and unimpressive (Maza Nahin AA Raha).

      • Anonymous

        I concur with your judgement on blog appearance gentlemen.

        • NASAH

          I too — I can live with a country where a cranky judge mad at being reminded of his own family corruption — can erase the elected prime minister of the country (a case of “khait khaye gadhha.maar khaye…” you know the rest) in a pique — but I too cannot live with a blog that self erases itself.

        • NASAH

          I too — I can live with a country where a cranky judge mad at being reminded of his own family corruption — can erase the elected prime minister of the country (a case of “khait khaye gadhha.maar khaye…” you know the rest) in a pique — but I cannot live with a blog that self erases itself.

      • Farooq M. Hashmi

        Chouhan Sahib, you are absolutely right. One of the frustrating short-comings of the newly-introduced set-up is that if perforce,you open a new site,and thereafter you return to your original blog page, you find, much to your chagrin, that all your writing is deleted by itself_____your whole blog space is left totally blank, It has happened to me many a time when I had to open the ‘ dictionary ‘ site to check spellings. There was no such setback in the previous set-up.

    • M.Saeed

      Agreed 110% Hashmi sb.
      On the other hand, many like me, must have lost a good deal of time, energy and mental acrobatics in writing and posting comments during these outage days but are dismayed now to find they are nowhere to be seen. The new system introduced is definitely not inter-active like before and have lost many of the well meaning contributors. I have a hunch that, it this might have something to do with the new media-war in operation.

  • Farooq M. Hashmi

    Mehdi Hasan was The Mehdi Hasan, Muhammad Rafi was The Muhammad Rafi, Mukesh was The Muhesh, K.L.Saigal was The K.L.Saigal, Tal’at Mahmood was The Tal’at Mahmood, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was The Nusrat Hateh Ali Khan, Noor Jehan was The Noor Jehan and Lata Mangaishkar is The Lata Mangaishker( May she live a unique long life). Never will they take rebirths in new human forms.