Mala: Marvelous Mala Mesmerizes Millions
By Anis Shakur
'Akele na jana, hamay chore kar tum
tumharay bina hum bhala kiya jeeyain gey'
Mala's real name was Naseem. She was born in Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan. She
had been interested in singing and music from a young age.
Fortunately, her elder sister-cum-composer, Shamim Nazli, happened to be her first
music teacher and Mala learned the essentials of music from her.
On Shamim Nazli's request, composer, Baba G.A. Chishti, had recorded two songs
for the film 'Aabru', in Naseem's voice. Naseem later changed her name to Mala.
In fact, it was Anwer Kamal Pasha, who persuaded Mala to try her luck in the Pakistan
In her thirty year singing career (1960-90), she sang for numerous music directors.
Her first major break in the films came in 1962. She changed her name to Mala and
sang a simple composition "Aaya ray dekho sawan Aaya" (The film 'Sooraj mukhi', director, Dilshad Malik, composer, Master
The film 'Sooraj mukhi' happened to be the first film of Dilshad Malik and Master
Abdullah, as film director and composer, respectively).
In 1963, Mala rendered her voice to a tragic composition, 'Dil daeta hai ro, ro,
duhai kisi say koi pyar na karay' (The film 'Ishq per zoar nahi', Mala-Sayeen Akhtar, director, Sharif Nayyar, composer, Master
Inayat Husain, starring, Jamila Razzaq, Aslam Pervez, Yasmeen, 'Dil dayta hai" was pictured on Yasmeen).
The highly acclaimed team of Mala-Rushdi-Sohail Rana-Masroor Anwar will always
be remembered by the music lovers.
All her duets with Ahmed Rushdi were super hits:
'Aye meri zindigi, aye meray humsafar' (The film 'Ehsaan').
'Root gaye kyon' (The film 'Dil mera dharkan teri').
'Aye baharo gawah rehna'. The film 'Saiqa.'
'Mausum haseen hai laikin' (The film 'Aag').
The despondency and despair, which were vividly caught by Mala, were simply exemplary.
Mala always sang with the appropriate diction and inflexion.
Given here below are few instances:
'Ab thandi Aahein bhar pagli ja, aur mohabbat kar pagli'. The film 'Naila.'
'Mohabbat mein sara jahan jal gaya hai' (The film 'Insaniyat').
'Hai ray mohabbat hai' (The film 'Insaniyat').
'Jab raat dhali tum yaad Aaye' (The film 'Kaneez').
'Bhuli hui hoon dastaan, guzra hua khayal hoon' (The film 'Doraha').
'Ja, ja, ray chanda ja ray' (The film 'Heera Aur pathar').
From melancholy strains of 'Meri qismat bata,hai meri kya kheta' (The film 'Armaan')
to songs depicting the reality of life like ' Hum bhi hain pyar kay qabil' (The film 'Kaneez'), or from the simplicity and
innocence of 'Tu hai phool meray gulshan ka'(The film 'Phool meray gulshan ka') to the jolly songs like 'Meray juray mein
gainday ka phool' (The film 'Saza'), Mala excelled in every situation.
She was equally at ease with relatively light scores like:
'Dhoond rahi theen janay kab say' (Mala-Rushdi, the film 'Teri surat meri Aankhein').
'Khush nasibi hai meri,tum nay apna ya hai' (Mala-Rushdi, the film 'Baharain phir
bhi Aa yein gee').
'Chalay thandi hawa' (Mala-Rushdi, the film 'Najma').
Also, let us have a look back at the following two dream compositions:
'Ye sama pyara, pyara' (The film 'Darshan).
'Hawa nay chupkay say kehdia' (The film 'Lori').
The following numbers like:
'Ghaeroan say pyar kiya (The film 'Baharain phir bhi Aa yein gee').
'Din dhal gaya, suraj ka kaheen naam nahi hai'.
'Tarapna bhi hamay Aata hai, tarpana bhi Aata hai'(The color film 'Naila', director,
Sharif Nayyar, based on Razia Butt's novel, composer, Master Inayat Husain).
'Mujhay Aarzu thi jis ki, wo payam Aa gaya hai'. The film 'Naila.'
'Haal-e-dil Aaj hum suna yein gey' (The film 'Chiragh kahan roshni kahan').
'Humsafar lay chal wahan,jhoomtay hain dil jahan' (The film 'Mein kahan, manzil kahan')
are known as the best of Mala.
Mentioned here below are the nine perennial favorites of Mala:
'Mein sadqay mein wari, meri jaan' (The film 'Dil kay tukray').
'Chana way char kothay tay' (The film 'Malangi').
'Mujhay pyar sikha day' (The film 'Do Aansoo').
'Jab tasawwar mein kabhi Aap ko' (The film 'Shab bakhair').
'Teray gham say mohabbat ho gaye hai' (The film 'Shab bakhair').
'Bansi baja ye koi nadia kinaray' (The film 'Jaag utha insaan').
'Jaan-e-bahaar Aaya, dil ko qaraar Aaya' (The film 'Farz').
'Aaja ree pyari nindia' (The film 'Majboor').
'Ik zindigi samajh kar apna liya tha tujh ko' (The film 'Rim jhim').
Additionally, Mala's greatest accomplishment was 'Akele na jana'. The song was
an extremely tragic combination of torment and anguish. Her voice was immaculate, which matched the tragic scene in the movie.
Mala teamed up with Sohail Rana and this mutual understanding led not only to the
greatest super hit song in the annals of Pakistan film industry, but also to the first platinum jubilee film of Pakistan.
The emotions conveyed by the profundity and intonation of this great singer filled
even men's eyes with tears, leave alone women!
The dramatic affect which Mala's lilting voice, Sohail Rana's tragic composition
and Masroor Anwar's magnificent lyrics produced , had never been witnessed before or thereafter.
The film 'Armaan' is, indeed, more than a movie. It is a tribute to a dream that
is being kept alive by the classic Pakistani values.
In 1962, Mala won the Nigar Award for best singer for the film 'Ishq per zoar nahi'.
In 1965, Mala won the Nigar Award for best singer for the film 'Naila'.
The last days of Mala were fraught with loneliness and misery.
She could not come to grips with the harsh realities of life.
Over and above, she found herself in the midst of deep financial crisis.
During those days, she cried a lot, whenever she listened or sang her favorite
'Ab thandi Aahein bhar pagli ja, aur mohabbat kar pagli'.
Eventually, her immense pain and suffering came to a halt on March 6.1990, when
she said farewell to the world.
These immortal lyrics will always keep her memory alive:
'Ye dukh ye odasi, ye Aansoo ye Aahein
chalay Aao mil kay ye gham baant lain
Mala left us fifteen years ago, but she continues to astound millions of her admirers
through her songs. She will never disappear from our thoughts, because artists like Mala are born once in a blue moon.
Mala will always live in her songs.