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Irene Perveen

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show business

Irene Perveen: Rendezvous with music
By Anis Shakur

Itnay baray jahan mein koye naheen hamara
Duniya ki thokaroan mein phirtay hain bay sahara

Hum hain yateem bachhay koye naheen thikana
Allah kay naik bundo kuchh reham hum pay khana
Kardo bhala kisi ka hoga bhala tumhara

Itnay baray jahan mein koye naheen hamara

Tan pay naheen hai kapra aur pait bhi hai khali
Roti khiladay baba Aaye hain do sawali
Kuchh daiday rah-e-maula kar lain gey hum guzara

Itnay baray jahan mein koye naheen hamara

The key is remembering that every hurdle crossed is one less hurdle in pursuit of your personal ambition.

The above statement holds true to the renowned singer of the yesteryear, Irene Perveen. Irene, who is of Christian faith, hails from Lahore. By dint of desire and hard work, she made a name for herself and her movies.

Irene was drawn to music as a child and began studying music at a young age. Irene debuted as a singer in the 1957 film ‘Noor-e-Islam.’

Essentially, every fan gets nostalgic as he listens to this song. ‘Shafaq chehray pay lehrati hai.’ Irene- Saleem Raza, the 1961 film ‘Gul Bakawli.’

More surprising is the fact that Irene never lost her sway for a moment in her illustrious music career. The two songs below scaled the height of popularity in the ambient era:

‘Been bajanay walay, matwalay, teri been ka jadu maar gaya.’ Irene- Nazeer Begum, music, Manzoor Ashraf the film ‘Saperan,’, December 8, 1961.

‘Aik sapera bun kay lutera lutenay Aaya.’ The film ‘Saperan.’

The tenderness and joy in Irene’s voice is quite evident in these three songs:

‘Teray husn ka darshan ho jaaye ik din.’ Irene- Masood Rana, music, Deebu Bhattachariya, the film ‘Banjaran,’ September 14, 1962.

‘Luchhkay kamariya mori mein nazuk chori,’ Irene- Masood Rana. The film ‘Banjaran.’

‘Patt ghunghat kay khol khol tu Aaja babujee .’ Irene- Masood Rana, the film ‘Banjaran.’

Irene is most well known for her song, which brought tears even in the eyes of stonehearted people. That was a group effort. No one artist could have done all that. Yes, I am referring to the song below, which depicts a harsh reality of life:

‘Itnay baray jahan mein koye naheen hamara, duniya ki thokaroan mein phirtay hain bay sahara.’ Irene- Nazeer Begum, Khadim Husain, lyrics, Shabab Kiranvi, music, Manzoor Ashraf, the 1963 film ‘Maan kay Aansu.’

This song keeps the viewer engaged in the romantic story ‘O jan-e-mun zara ruk ja, ye ada na hum ko dikha, hum nay mana.’ Irene- Masood Rana, Ahmed Rushdi, music, Deebu, the 1963 film ‘Qatal kay baad.’

In the vast array of songs is ‘Tum bhi sharabi ho, mein bhi sharabi, bhar lo jaam-e-sharab.’ Irene- Munir Husain, music, Khalil Ahmed, the film ‘Daman.’ October 4, 1963.

Here is a song that established Irene as a foremost singer of high repute, ‘Kaisay uthaon najaria ray.’ Irene, the film ‘Daman.’

Intelligent in slow numbers, Irene was exceptionally artistic in faster scores as well. Example, ‘Duniya rail gari hai, sanp ki sawari, jo samjhay wo khilari, na samjhay wo anari, O bhayya.’ Singers, Irene- Baby Rubina- Masood Rana- Ahmed Rushdi, music, Deebu, songwriter, Fayyaz Hashmi, the 1964 film ‘Beti.’

Its equivalents are songs like,’Bura maan kar kahan chal diye, ye to ishq walo kar farz hai, Aadaab arz hai.’ Singer, Irene- Masood Rana, music, Deebu, the 1964 film ‘Shararat.’

In the endless list of hits are songs like ‘Gali gali mein dil baichun, naam mera dildaar, itna achha, itna sasta.’ Singers, Irene- Masood Rana, music, Deebu, the 1964 film ‘Shararat.’

Irene’s rare passion and feeling is highly laudable in the song, ‘Almadad O' Almadad perwer digaar-e-do jahan.'.’ Singers, Irene- Mala, music, A. Hameed, the film ‘Tauba.’ February 15, 1964.

The transporting power of love and gentility were successfully captured in this song, ‘Ik haseen meherbaan, pyar ka ye samaan.’ Singers, Irene- Mala, music, A. Hameed, the film ‘Aashiyana,’ October 9, 1964.

The simplicity and innocence of Irene’s voice is best described in this wedding song. ‘Ja kay susraal gori maikay ki laaj rakhna.’ Singers, Irene- Noor Jehan, music Khursheed Anwar, the film ‘Haveli,’ October 23, 1964.

Irene was a singer of the highest grade, many of whose songs became hits like, ‘Neelay, neelay, Aasmaan per baadal.’ Irene- Masood Rana, music, Tasadduq, the 1965 film ‘Ye jahan walay.’

Irene is also well known for this popular song, ‘Ruth sawan ki ray mun bawan ki.’ The 1965 film ‘Zameen.’

An acclaimed singer, Irene’s many contributions to singing have embedded herself in the Pakistani psyche. Below are two examples:

‘Aaya Aaya milnay ka zamana Aaya.’ Irene- Masood Rana, music, Ata-ur-Rehman, the 1965 film ‘Bahana.’

‘Karachi sheher ka naam hai, bachh kay rehna yehan.’ Irene- Ahmed Rushdi- Masood Rana, the film ‘Bahana.’

At the peak of the singers prowess came songs like ‘Aao sakhi mangal manayain.’ Irene- Masood Rana, music, Ata-ur-Rehman, the 1965 film ‘Mala.’

The melancholy tone suffuses irene’s whole performance in ‘Ik aur baat maani, ik aur zakham khaya, khud hum nay apnay haathon dil ka diya bujhaya.’ Irene- Masood Rana, music, Deebu, the film ‘Budnaam,’ September 2, 1966.

Irene sang this song with affecting sincerity. ‘’Kaan mein jhumkay dholay, kya bolay.’ Music, Deebu, the film ‘Budnaam.’

A passionate voice and millions of admirers had brought national renown to this fiery singer. Below are two examples of Irene’s sweet voice:

‘Noor-e-Khuda milay keh Habib-e-Khuda milay.’ Irene- Masood Rana, music, G.A. Chishti, lyrics, Zahoor Nazim, the 1966 film ‘Jan baaz.’

‘Deikh, deikh, deikh, teri gali mein Aaya hai koan.’ Irene- Masood Rana, music, Khursheed Anwar, songwriter, Tanvir Naqvi, the 1966 film ‘Sarhad.’

Irene demonstrated an unusual aptitude for music in her entire singing career. Below are two examples:

‘Husn waloan ko jalanay ki buri Aadat hai.’ Irene- Masood Rana, music, Manzoor Ashraf, songwriter, Khwaja Pervez, the 1966 film ‘Aa’ena.’

‘Allah jhat pat say hero bana day mujhay.’ Irene- Ahmed Rushdi, the film ‘Aa’ena.’

The song ‘Tumhe ho mehboob meray.’ Touted as one of the most popular movie songs ever recorded added more fame to Irene’s persona. Moreover, the song also attained iconic status when it was repeatedly broadcast on the Pakistani Radio stations for an extended period of time. Singer, Irene, music, Manzoor Ashraf- Tasaddaq Husain, the film ‘Aa’ena.’

Tumhe ho mehboob meray mein kyon na tumhain pyar karoon
Tumhe to meri duniya ho mein kyon na iqraar karoon
Mera pyar yaad rakhna

Tumhain dil diya jis kay qabil tumhe ho
Mera pyar tum meri manzil tumhe ho
Meri zindagani ka haasil tumhe ho tumhe ho tumhe ho

Tumhe ho mehboob meray mein kyon na tumhain pyar karoon

This Vulcan of music hammered out hundreds of songs as an ordinary singer would render a score. Below are two examples of Irenes’s artistry:

‘Balma jhalak dikhaja, O balma Aaya moray duaray.’ Irene, music, Ghulam Nabi- Abdul Lateef, the film ‘Aag ka darya.’ January 24, 1966.

‘Aaha khetoan pay deikho kaisi chhai bahaar.’ Irene- Ahmed Rushdi, the film ‘Aag ka darya.’

The magic of Irene’s smile, the dazzle in her eyes and most of all, her singing voice, allow us to forget some of our day to day problems:

‘Maan bhi jao guria rani, naheen roothna achha.’ Singer, Irene, music, Tasaddaq Husain, the film ‘Hamrahi.’ May 6, 1966.

Soon Irene entered the golden part of her career, when every song brought new triumphs like this one, ‘Raj dularay tera jug mug mukhra.’ Irene- Masood Rana, music, Wazir Ali, the 1967 film ‘Albela.’

In 1967, Irene was a singer everyone knew, particularly this song, ‘Sola saal ki mein albeli, mein hoon lakhoan mein akeli.’ Singes, Irene- Masood Rana, music, Manzoor Ashraf, songwriter, Tanvir Naqvi, the 1967 film ‘Shola aur shabnam.’

This song created waves all over the country. ‘Lay chala hai dil kahan.’ Duet, Irene- Masood Rana, music, Jaami, songwriter, Himayat Ali Shayir, the film ‘Shola aur shabnam.’

Let us honor Irene’s masterpieces as we share her sentiments in these two songs:

‘Dil na lagana ja kay dais paraye.’ Music, Manzoor Ashraf, the film ‘Insaniyat,’ February 24, 1967.

‘Pyar mein sub kuchh chalta hai.’ Duet, Irene- Ahmed Rushdi, the film ‘Insaniyat.’

The song below is one reason among many as to why the public have great respect and open admiration for Irene:

‘Aye raat bata kya un say kahein.’ Duet, Irene- Munir Husain, music, Inayat Husain, the film ‘Dewar bhabhi.’ May 5, 1967.

Irene’s immense energy explains why every song seemed to jump right out of the gramophone record and every suffering character is so furiously defended. Below are two examples:

‘Kuchh kuchh mujh say milti julti bachho aik thee rani.’ Duet, Irene- Ahmed Rushdi, music, Nisar Bazmi, the film ‘Aag.’ November 3, 1967.

‘Mein mar gaye haye.’ The film ‘Aag.’

The listeners imagination awakes at the first lyric of this song, ‘Waqt na deikhay raha kisi ki, jo apna lay khushi usi ki.’ Duet, Irene- Ahmed Rushdi,’ the film ‘Aag.’

Irene’s voice was both convincing and charming in the song ‘O maan, O maan.’ The film ‘Nishaan,’ Irene Perveen- Tasawwar Khanum.

Irene’s voice was superlative as usual in ‘Meri zindigi kay raazdaan.’ The film ‘Tansain,’ Irene – Mujeeb Alam.

Irene prided herself on clear diction .Foremost are Irene’s two songs:

‘Hello, hello, Mr. Abdul Ghani.’ Singer, Irene, music, A. Hameed, the film ‘Behan bhai,’ May 24, 1968.

‘Up-to-date bana hai,aur waisay bhola bhala suit boot mein zaalim tunay kaisa rang nikala, Hello, hello, Mr Abdul Ghani, jee Abdul Ghani, Hello, hello, Mr. Abdul Ghani.'.’ Singer, Irene, the film ‘Behan bhai.’

The public fell passionately in love with Irene’s singing voice as they listen to this romantic number, ‘Tum mujhay apni mohabbat day do, dil mein rehnay ki ijazat day do.’ Duet, Irene- Masood Rana, music, Tasadduq Husain, the 1968 film ‘Alif Laila.’

Irene’s intense, charismatic voice in the song ‘Nadia behti jaaye, behti jaaye,’ vaulted her to stardom. Duet, Irene- Ahmed Rushdi, music, Robin Ghosh, the 1968 film ‘Tum meray ho.’

The readers who are familiar with Irene’s astonishing aptitude are acquainted with the fact that Irene’s tremendous contribution to music speaks volumes nonetheless. Example, ‘Mohabbat ka wada aisay nibhana, na Aankhein churana, na daman churana.’ Duet, Irene- Masood Rana, music, Tasadduq, lyrics, Shabab Kiranvi, the 1968 film ‘Shahi Mehal.’

Throughout her singing career, Irene rendered songs that were simultaneously poignant and playful, tragic and jolly. Here is one playful song, ‘Aray, ray, ray, mein chali.’ The 1968 film ‘Katari.’

Irene’s lilting voice is apparently one to listen. Ultimately, so is her romantic score like the one below:

‘Chand bhi saamnay Aatay huye sharmata hai, itnay haseen nazar Aatay ho keh pyar Aata hai.’ Singers, Irene- Masood Rana, music, Deebu, songwriter, Wajd Chughtai the 1969 film ‘Pyar ki jeet.’

With the passage of time, Irene devoted much of her effort to rehearsing and recording songs. Irene’s innumerable adorers can never forget the unrequited love expressed in the two songs below:

‘Ho dilruba kaisa ye jadu kya.’ Duet, Irene- Ahmed Rushdi, music, Nashad, the film ‘Tum milay pyar mila,’ February 7,1969.

‘Ye haseen wadian ye samaan.’ Singer, Irene, the film ‘Tum milay pyar mila.’

Irene’s reputation for singing stood so high that she became an insignia of success, featuring exceptional musical numbers like the two below:

‘Lazzat-e-soaz-e-jigar pooch lay perwanay say.’ Duet, Irene- Ahmed Rushdi, music, Nashad, the film ‘Saalgira,’ February 14, 1969.

‘Teray waday say meri zindigi saji.’ Duet, Irene- Ahmed Rushdi, the film ‘Saalgira.’

But throughout it is the loving presence and voice of Irene herself that keeps the movie going. She was a devoted singer and a very likeable person. One example below:

‘Phool khila hai pyar ka.’ Duet, Irene- Mala, music, Kamal Ahmed, the film ‘Diya aur tufaan,’ May 9, 1969.

With her wistful voice, Irene transformed simple compositions into popular numbers. Example, ‘Kis qadar hai aitemaad.’ The 1970 film ‘Azmat.’

Similarly, this song expresses Irene’s aspirations toward taste and sophistication, ‘Aaj naheen to kal is ghar mein chand see bhabhi Aaye gee.’ Singer, Irene, music, Lal Mohammad Iqbal, the film ‘Naseeb apna apna,’ April 3, 1970

Likewise, this song was a harbinger of great tidings, ‘Kya dilruba hain nazaray.’ The 1971 film ‘Wehshi,’ Irene Perveen- Mujeeb Alam.

Irene’s voice enraptured the listeners in this song, ‘Manay na beiri balma, mora mun tarpaye.’ Duet, Irene- Runa Laila, music, Nisar Bazmi, the film ‘Umrao Jan Ada,’ December 29, 1972.

Irene always kept a balance between her working life and her home life. Hence, her singing career never stood in the way of her personal happiness. She retired from the show business three decades ago. Years ago Irene married and settled in Canada along with her family.

In the years since those days in the 1960s, I have learned that I am not alone in my devotion to dedicated artists like Irene. That there is a certain hale and heartiness in Irene’s distinctive achievements. Indeed, this is what Irene Perveen’s melodious voice is all about.

Our beloved Pakistan