Our beloved Pakistan

Naheed Niazi

Umar Sharif
Moin Akhtar
Ahmed Rushdi
Mehdi Hassan
Shamim Ara
Runa Laila
Nazia Hasan
Zeba Bakhtiar
Barbara Sharif
Musarrat Nazeer
Ajab Gul
Salma Agha
Ghulam Abbas
Kausar Perveen
Firdausi Begum
Waheed Murad
Nayyara Noor
Gulshan Ara Syed
Atiqa Odho
Javed Sheikh
Humayun Saeed
Aijaz Aslam
Riaz Shahid
Salim Nasir
Aslam Pervez
Surraiya Multanikar
Naheed Niazi
Rasheed Attre
Khalil Ahmed
Sohail Rana
Munir Husain
Mohammad Ali

Music to your heart

By Anis Shakur

Naheed Niazi and her younger sister, Najma Niazi, are the daughters of Sarwar Niazi, the former director of Radio Pakistan, Karachi.

Let us glance at Naheed Niazi's true life accomplishments, which is an instance of human excellence and personal success.

It goes without saying that she was the most gorgeous female singer of Pakistani music in the 1960s.

Naheed Niazi was fair-haired, extremely attractive, profoundly intelligent and arguably the best singer in the golden era of popular Pakistani film music.

Her father wanted to see her soar.

In addition to being highly educated, impressive, charming and driven, she possessed the extraordinary gift of a magnificent voice.

Her immense appeal and her absolute belief to forget the past and move on to her next stage took her to the for-front of the rising Pakistani music scene in 1958.

Smitten by music at an early age, Naheed recorded this song:  "Jaag taqdeer ko jaga loon gee". (Recorded in 1958 for the super hit film "Aadmi", composer: Muslehuddin)

The afore-mentioned song took her to the mainstream music arena and even more so in entertainment. Along with the song, she came out number one.

As brilliant as brilliant can be, Naheed captured the high spirit of one of Pakistan's best-loved song, which is "Ik baar phir kaho".

Naheed's incomparable voice is the melody of a grateful heart.

The song which made her time-honored symbol of success was "Raat saloni Aaye"(Duet: Naheed Niazi-Ahmed Rushdi, composer: Muslehuddin, the film "Zamana kya kahay ga," picturised on Shamim Ara,Kamal)

The film "Zamana kya kahay ga" made her absolutely, unequivocally, as  successful as a singer could be in the then Pakistani music scene.

Pakistan film industry is rich with tales of legendary artists who risked all to chase their dreams. Their vision and perseverance have won them success.

Naheed is, indeed, one of them.

She is a glorious woman with the smarts to succeed and she never made mistakes winners don't make.

"Raat saloni Aaye" is a song which is celebrated all over the country even today.

Naheed worked real hard from day one. She  knew that she can't ride easy street and expect to reach the stars.

In fact, there was something in her face that transcends the ordinary.

After listening to "Raat saloni" music buffs had drawn the conclusion that the wistful magic of Naheed has a capacity and depth almost to mesmerize listeners.

When the film  "Daal mein kala" arrived in the theatres, cine-goers rushed to watch the movie because of the following song: "Samajh na Aaye dilko kahan lay jaa oon sanam". (composer: Muslehuddin).

Naheed was really tuned into the rhythm of this particular genre-sad solo-"Dil ko kahan".

The transporting power of love and anguish were successfully captured by Naheed in the film "Daal mein kala".

As a result of her focused concentration, Naheed rapidly climbed the rungs of the ladder and became indispensable  to Pakistani movie directors.

Additionally, she provided countless hours of pleasure to millions of her loyal fans and occupied an indelible place in their hearts, as well.

Naheed who achieved legendary stature as a singer, teamed up with Ahmed Rushdi to record the following duet: "Raat ho gaye jawan" for the film "Dil nay tujhay maan liya".

The following song was recorded in the voice of Naheed in the feel-good composition: "Husn bhi mauj mein hai" for the film "Mujhay jeenay do".

In her brief singing career, Naheed recorded quite a few songs. Along the way she left the treasure of a lifetime.

Naheed achieved fame beyond her wildest dreams when the following song was first broadcast through Radio Pakistan: "Chum, chum, chum, milay hain sanam, lut gaye hum, Allah qasam".

Her interest was to create entertainment. And she was victorious.

With "chum, chum," Naheed showed a watchful intelligence and drew plaudits all around.

With the following songs, Naheed struck a chord in music lovers that still resonates in their ears:

"Chali ray, chali ray, chali ray," picturised on Musarrat Nazeer.

"Sayyan jee ko dhoond nay chali jogun bun kay", picturised on Neelo.

"Mohay piya Milan ko janay day", picturised on Musarrat Nazeer.

"Kaisa safar hai kahiye, yoon he qareeb rahiye"(duet: Naheed Niazi-Ahmed Rushdi, picturised on Shamim Ara-Kamal).

Naheed owes much of her optimism, tenacity and admirable thought to her father and the musician, Muslehuddin.

She was always ambitious and motivated.

The love and admiration which her fans lavished on her is astounding.

The following songs glorifies her tale of warmth and gratitude:

"Tujh ko maloom nahi"

"Na koi  sayyan  mera, na koi piya ray".

"Aa tujh ko suna oon lori, halaat say chori chori".

The following songs have left us a legacy of cool serenity, of calm, of quiet little moments:

"Zamana pyar ka itna he kum hai, ye na jana tha".

"Piya, piya, na cook papiha"

The past has its allure, so is her memory.

Given here below is a song about which it can be stated that its message is universal, its lyrics transcend all earthly barriers, its music touches the skies:

"Raqs mein hai sara jahan".

What is unique about the songs of Naheed is that the sweetness is so profound.

Music director, Muslehuddin, who had composed most of the songs for Naheed , became enamored of her.

There's were a relationship marked by concord.

Moreover, Muslehuddin often met up with her in the decade of the sixties.

Subsequently they slipped away for a while to tie the knot.

Soon after marriage they migrated to Canada, which was a tremendous setback for Pakistani cinema.

Years passed and the Pakistani public lost touch of them.

However, in the late nineties, both Naheed and her husband-cum-composer, Muslehuddin, paid a visit to Pakistan.

Lahore television's Rehana Siddiqi, interviewed them.

The sweet smile that had opened so many doors to success for Naheed in the past, persists to this day.

From the glint in her eyes, it seemed that she is still in her element.

Happily, though, Naheed the singer hasn't lost her touch-and  Naheed the woman  hasn't lost her charm.

Many Pakistani still remember Naheed-Muslehuddin, when both of them regularly made their appearance for the music program for children in the late 1960s.

Naheed's daughter, Sadaf, received the best upbringing, education and etiquettes from her parents.

Like her mother, Sadaf took keen interest in music.

An old ghazal which was rendered by Runa Laila years ago, was recorded in the voice of Sadaf in the recent past:

"Unki nazroan say mohabbat ka jo paigham mila".

And the audience of hundreds detonated into applause for Sadaf Niazi, when she sung the same ghazal at a music concert.

Though Naheed Niazi retired from the Pakistani music in style, it seems as if the echo of her mellifluous voice still resonates through the very air of the recording studios of four decades past.




Anis Shakur works for the Downstate Medical Center and V.A. Hospital, N.Y.