|Akhlaq Ahmed: Singing explained
By Anis Shakur
Sona na chandi na koi mehel jan-e-mun tujh ko mein day sakoon ga
Phir bhi ye wada hai tujh say tu jo karay pyar mujh say
Chota sa gahr tujh ko doon ga dukh sukh ka saathi banu ga
Dare to soar—Your attitude almost always determines your altitude in
The above proverb holds true to the renowned singer, Akhlaq Ahmed. In the 1960s,
Akhlaq frequented the stage shows. He sang songs alongside singer Masood Rana and actor Nadeem. Akhlaq’s early music
inspiration was surprising. Perhaps, it was then that the seeds of artistic revolution were sown.
Popular music composer, Lal Mohammad Iqbal, offered Akhlaq to sing for the film ‘Pazaib.’ The lyrics of the song
were ‘O mama meray, O chacha meray.’ Hence, Akhlaq debuted as a singer in the 1972 film, ‘Pazaib.’
A seemingly endless array of songs appeared in the years to follow.
One marvels at Akhlaq’s comprehension of words as one listens to ‘Behkay qadam unjan rahain,’ music, Sohail
Rana, the film ‘Badal aur bijli,’ May 4 1973.
Akhlaq sang with understanding and his rendering of poetry was superbly flawless. Jubilant fans greeted the song ‘Aap
say pyar ka izhar mushkil hai.’ Music, Amir A. Khan, the 1974 film ‘Tum sa naheen deikha.’
Akhlaq might never had been closer to perfection as he was in ‘Sawan Aaye sawan jaaye,’ Music, Robin Ghosh, the
film ‘Chahat,’ May 24, 1974.
This song exude an overwhelming melancholy ‘Lo janaza chala mohabbat ka.’ Music, Nisar Bazmi, the film ‘Laila
Mujnu,’ October 18,1974.
As usual, Akhlaq’s dedication was absolute while recording this song ‘Ho meray sung chala ik khubsurat.’
Duet, Akhlaq- Nayyara Noor, music, Robin Ghosh, the film ‘Sharafat.’ August 7, 1974.
A person’s name is the sweetest sound to him. The word ‘Akhlaq’ literally means ‘good manners.’
Indeed, Akhlaq remained an embodiment of etiquette all his life.
Akhlaq successfully recorded sad songs and filled them with emotional power as well. Example, ‘Aye dil apna dard chupa
kar geet khushi kay gaye ja.’ Music, Nisar Bazmi, the film ‘Pehchan,’ August 1, 1975.
Over the years, Akhlaq worked his magic throughout Pakistan. The masterpieces began to flow, as they would over two decades.
Example, ‘Deikho ye koan Aa gaya, dil mein nasha cha gaya,’ music, Robin Ghosh, the 1975 film ‘Do saathi.’
Here is a song which sounds like a translation of music through the soul ‘Raat bhar sajna ko yaad kiya hoga, dil liya
hoga kabhi dil diya hoga.’ The 1975 film ‘Umang.’ Duet, Akhlaq- Nayyara Noor, music, K. Khursheed.
This song was recorded in 1976, the public still sit still to listen to it ‘Saathi meray bin teray kaisay beetay gee.’
Music, Rafiq Ali, the film ‘Zubeida,’ January 16, 1976.
I think the readers will agree with me that this song is one of Pakistan’s very best compositions ‘Hum rahi aisee
rahoan kay jin ki koye manzil he naheen ye jeewan pyas ka sehra hai aur sar pay koi baadal bhi naheen.’ Music, Sohail
Rana,lyrics, Ubaidullah Aleem, the film’Musafir,’ or ‘Beyond the last mountain,’ December 17, 1976.
There are people who are musical by nature. Akhlaq was one such man. This song is a testament to Akhlaq’s singing prowess,
‘Muskurata rahay Aashiyana.’ Music, Nashad, the 1976 film ‘Insaniyat.’
The eternal romantic was Akhlaq in this song, ‘Haseen wadion say pucho pyar karti hain.’ Music, Robin Ghosh, the
film ‘Aa’ena,’ March 18, 1977.
Enthusing about his superfluous singing career, Akhlaq once maintained that he had done justice to each and every song that
he had rendered in all his movies. Here is one example, ‘Yehe hai pyaray zindigi, kabhi hai gham aur kabhi khushi.’
Music, Kamal Ahmed, the film ‘Prince,’ June 30, 1978.
Talking of impact, the heart of the film ‘Aadmi’ is the song, ‘Taqdeer kay haatoan mein khilona hai Aadmi.’
Music, Kamal Ahmed, the 1978 film ‘Aadmi.’
This song catapulted Akhlaq into instant fame and he remained one of the big screens most sought-after signers for many years,
‘Sona na chandi na koi mehel jan-e-mun.’ Music, Robin Ghosh, the film ‘Bandish,’ January 11, 1980.
Regarding his musical journey, Akhlaq once characteristically emphasized how much of a learning experience it was to be an
integral part of the movie. Here is a song that is well worth remembering, ‘Tu hai naseeboan wali tujhay hum nay pyar
kia hai.’ Music, Manzoor Ashraf, the film ‘Humdono,’ February 25, 1980.
Strictly speaking, Akhlaq was an ordinary human like any other being. Yet it is possible to let yourself be swept away by
the emotional impact of his singing voice. Here is one example, ‘Her tamanna kanwal bun gaye hai.’ Duet, Akhlaq
Ahmed –Mala. Music, Manzoor Ashraf, the film ‘Bandhan.’ March 21, 1980.
This song arouses our dreams, anxieties and excitement ‘Samaan wo khwab sa samaan.’ Music, Robin Ghosh, the film
‘Naheen abhi naheen.’ October 21, 1980.
Most of all, Akhlaq’s ability to devote unswerving attention to his task produced success in his field. Example, ‘Zindigi
ka safar kabhi rukta naheen.’ Music, Robin Ghosh, the 1981 film ‘Kiran aur kali.’
Akhlaq recorded the songs with verve and vivacity. Most of all, the fiber of his voice retained resolution in all scales.
Example, ‘Chaman chaman kali kali.’ Music, Robin Ghosh, the film ‘Aahut,’ April 16, 1982.
Akhlaq’s admirers are indebted to his well-spent life and to the assiduity with which he sang songs for numerous movies.
This song is simultaneously praise-worthy and heart-breaking,’Kabhi khwahishoan nay luta.’ Music, Manzoor Ashraf,
the film ‘Meherbani,’ December 3. 1982.
Akhlaq sang with the instinctive artistry that made him one of the twentieth century’s great performers. Akhlaq sang
this song with great effect, ‘Luta qarar meray mun ka.’ Music, Manzoor Ashraf, the film ‘Nadani,’
September 18, 1983.
This song has sparked hope among the music buffs from different walks of life, ‘Aap apni misaal hota hai, pyar lazawaal
hota hai.’ Music, Amjad Bobby, the film ‘Lazawaal,’ November 23, 1984.
Just think of the spell he cast through songs with ‘Bus ik teray siwa koye naheen.’ Music, Robin Ghosh, the 1984
Akhlaq always sang with understanding and had assiduously honed his craft over the years. Example, ‘Kali ghata chalay
keh dharti dulhan.’ Duet, Akhlaq- Sabeena yasmin. Music, Wajahat attre, the film ‘Zameen Aasmaan,’ December
When it came to the songs, Akhlaq’s voice could best be described as an immaculate song machine. Brilliant in duets,
Akhlaq’s solos are immortal as well. Two examples below:
‘Pyar karna meri jaan sikhaon ga.’ The film ‘Zameen Aasmaan.’
‘To phir mujhay yaad karo gey.’ The film ‘Zameen Aasmaan.’
Insatiable drive for success led Akhlaq to more hard work. As the years passed, he kept singing songs. Akhlaq was more and
more impressive in the two songs below:
‘Chaya nigahoan pay jadu.’ Music, Manzoor Ashraf, the film ‘Faisala,’ October 17, 1986.
‘Khil uthi bahar bun kay zindigi.’ Duet, Akhlaq- Mehnaz, the film ‘Faisala.’
Akhlaq’s devout fans thoroughly enjoy recalling the songs of yesteryear. Moreover, Akhlaq made a place alongside great
soul singers of the time with songs like the two below:
‘Zindigi geet hai, geet hai zindigi.’ Duet, Akhlaq- Naheed Akhtar, the film ‘Faisala,’
‘Aankhon may tera pyar.’ Duet, Akhlaq- Naheed Akhtar, the film ‘Faisala.’
The credit goes to the celebratory Akhlaq to have sung in the movies that gripped the heart of admirers. Example, ‘Teray
bina mera dil naheen lagta.’ Duet, Akhlaq- Naheed Akhtar, music, Wajahat Attre, the 1986 film ‘Qatil ki talaash.’
Likewise, excellence of Akhlaq’s singing potential is conspicuous in the song ‘Khilonay teri zindigi hai kya.’
Music, Kamal Ahmed, the film ‘Kundan.’ March 27, 1987.
Between 1974 and 1999, Akhlaq’s recorded output could only be described as prodigious. Moreover, music composers knew
that Akhlaq possessed that rare gift of further refining their compositions like the one below:
‘Aakhri saans tak tujh ko chahoon ga.’ Duet, Akhlaq- Mehnaz, music, M. Arshad, the film ‘Bulandi,’
September 21, 1990.
Akhlaq, the perennial favorite of music buffs added colors to this song, ‘Itna sajh dhaj kay tu meray saamnay.’
Music, Manzoor Ashraf, the 1992 film ‘Josheela dushman.’
If you are a connoisseur or a longtime fan of akhlaq, then you must have listened to the song ‘Ab tak hum nay ye naheen
jana.’ Music, Khalil Ahmed, the 1994 film ‘Anokha pyar.’
With his national renown at an all-time peak, Akhlaq sang ‘Kaisay jeyain teray bina.’ Duet, Akhlaq- Fariha Pervez,
music, Amjad Bobby, the 1996 film ‘Ghunghat,’
Poetry was undoubtedly vital to the songs that Akhlaq sang. Example, ‘Do nain milay do dil dharkay.’ Music, Amjad
Bobby, the 1997 film ‘Sangam.’
Truly was Akhlaq’s a charismatic voice. Example, ‘Ye dil hai deewana teray pyar ka, ye dil hai sohnay dildar ka.’
Music, M. Arshad, the film ‘Nikah,’ June 5, 1998.
Akhlaq received the prestigious Nigar Award eight times, including thrice in a row. The details below:
Akhlaq won the Nigar Award for best singer in the film ‘Chahat,’ in 1974.
Akhlaq won the Nigar Award for best singer in the film ‘Bandish,’ in 1980.
Akhlaq won the Nigar Award for best singer in the film ‘Meherbani,’ in 1982.
Akhlaq won the Nigar Award for best singer in the film ‘Nadani,’ in 1983.
Akhlaq won the Nigar Award for best singer in the film ‘Dooriyaan,’ in 1984.
Akhlaq won the Nigar Award for best singer in the film ‘Qatil ki talaash,’ in 1986.
Akhlaq won the Nigar Award for best singer in the film ‘Kundan,’ in 1987.
Akhlaq won the Nigar Award for best singer in the film ‘Bulandi,’ in 1990.
Bad luck, Akhlaq spend the last ten years of his life fighting against leukemia. Akhlaq’s wife, who worked for the Pakistan
International Airlines, admitted him in a London hospital. Considering the gravity of the situation, the P.I.A. posted Akhlaq’s
wife to its London office. Akhlaq’s wife had kept him going through some of the hardest times, which had not been easy.
Modest about his role as a singer, Akhlaq credited his stoicism to his loved ones. They taught him to take life as it comes.
When things get tough, you have to hang in there and believe they will get better. Take the next step and don’t give
up. That is all Akhlaq did in the last days of his life. During those days, adorers had nothing but prayers and love for Akhlaq.
‘Death is an old joke, but new to everyone.’ Akhlaq lost his battle against blood cancer on August 4, 1999, in
London. One of Pakistan’s great voices was silenced.
As one listens to Akhlaq’s songs, one feels that Akhlaq is still very