Munir Husain: Memory lives on
By Anis Shakur
Jo dil ko taurtay hain unka bhi jawab naheen Keh dil hai kaba koi sheesha-e-sharab
Ajeeb daur hai ye zindigi saza hai yahan
Sila wafa ka nahi jurm ka hesaab naheen
Tabah kar kay jo ghar mehfilain saja tay hain
Elahi unkay liye kya koi azaab naheen
Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.
The above-mentioned proverb holds true to music great Munir Husain.
Born to artistic family, he showed all signs of a successful singer as a youth.
He was the nephew of noted composer, Rasheed Attre, who first introduced him to the cinema.
He debut with the song "Qarar lutnay walay qarar ko tarsay" (The film "Saat Lakh", 1957, composer: Rasheed
Attre, pictured on Santosh Kumar).
His singing career irrefutably reached stratospheric heights after his first recorded song. It became the
number one song in his singing career, as well.
God Almighty endowed him with the distinctive gift of a deeply intense yet profoundly innocent and resonant
His voice was an exquisite blend of torment and anguish. His voice also carried a touch of tenderness and
One of Pakistan's favorite singers, Munir teamed up with Mala to record this duet:
"Hari hari ruth Aaye sawun ki" (The film "Mein zinda hoon", producer-actor: Lala Sudheer).
Munir Husain offers a hopeful instance of how much artist can accomplish if we just give them the chance.
Munir's pride in his work soon caught the eye of other film directors and they signed him for their movies.
The following Nazm was recorded in Munir's wistful voice: "Barg-e-Aawara":
'Sookhay pathon ki tarhan urtay rahay'. (Director: Jafar Bukhari's film "Samaaj", which was the re-make
of his previous film "Bharosa", Nazm: Habib Jalib).
His was a voice that transcends oceans, languages and cultures.
The outcome was simply outstanding: "Zindigi tum say mili, tum say mila pyar" (The film "Dil kay tukray",
director: Nazeer Ajmeri, duet: Munir-Mala).
The emotions conveyed by the depth and intonation of maestro Munir were unparalleled in the following numbers:
"Ik tum milay to sara jahan mil gaya" (The film: "Mauseeqar")
"Hum nay to pyar kya hai" (The film "Gunah gaar")
"Aye meri zindigi" (The film "Tauba")
Relatively speaking, Munir was brilliant at slow numbers.
However, he achieved prominence in the following faster numbers as well:
"Baray sungdil ho, baray na samaj ho, tumhain pyar karna sikhana paray ga" (The film "Aashiyana", pictured
Every fan feels the despondency and despair of a lonely heart as he listens to this tragic score: "Jo dil
ko taurtay hain" (The film: "Aashiyana", director: S.M.Yusuf).
Proponents say unabashedly, "The earlier singers like Munir Husain, changed the Pakistani music, for the
They made the entertainment what it was up until 1970s.
Given here below is a lighter number by Munir recorded years ago: "Pyar khud jeenay kay andaaz sikha day
ta hai"(The film: "Samaaj", director: Jafar Bukhari).
Not surprisingly, the eyes of his fans are misty as they listen to the souful Munir:
"Lag gaye kalayjiwa pay choat"(The film "Lunda bazaar", director: S.A.Bukhari).
The following song in the voice of Munir is an inspiration and a tribute to his nation: "Nisar mein teri
gulyon pay, aye watan kay jahan" (The film "Shaheed", director: Khaleel Qaiser).
Munir's rich voice was also well suited for the romantic scores:
"Bura jo na maano"(The film "Sanam", director: S.A.Hafiz.)
"Aisa mehboob jo mil jaye" (The film "Sanam")
"Tum milay pyar mila up koi Armaan nahi." The film 'Aulad', pictured on Habib - Nayyar Sultana.
Some examples of Munir's magical musical masterpieces:
"Rim jhim rim jhim paray phuar"(The film "Koel", director: Masood Pervez, duet:
"Hum ko duayain do tumhain" (The film "Eid Mubarak", director: S.M.Yusuf, duet: Munir-Mala).
Admirers cherish the memory of Munir's past performances as a singer.
His is a performance that, against all odds, holds on to its integrity. Munir recorded the three songs below
with affecting sincerity:
"Uthalay Aap he khanjar utha lay": The film Gulfaam".
"Jaag soaz-e-ishq jaag":: "The film "Naghma-e-dil".
"Is dil ko dil mein rakhna": The film "Naghma-e-dil".
In times due course, Munir managed his voice in a way to express a genuine, intense soberness, and the effect
was electrifying in the three songs below:
"Ik cheese gawachi" The film "Nooran".
"Punchi tay pardesi" The film "Nooran".
"Sohniyan nainoan waaliye" The film "Jaggu".
Munir had that God-gifted talent to transform simple compositions into all time great songs. Thus he earned
a place alongside noted singers of the time like Mehdi Hasan and Saleem Raza. Munir also lend his voice to the three songs
"Chayn say so rahay thay hum" The film "Naya zamana".
"Ratain kaliyan" The film " Naji".
"Teri khair howay" The film "Heer Ranjha".
Munir's voice was immaculate and it matched various situations in the movies. He channels the energy with
a rejuvenating life force all his own. It was the simplicity of his voice that brought encomiums for him. Three examples below:
"Wanjhli walarya" The film "Heer Ranjha".
"Way gal sunn haniyann" The film "Chooriyaan".
Aisay na mil maahiya" The film "Kaun apna kaun paraya".
In Munir's voice, the songs always seemed appropriate, as the one below:
"Haniyan day peelay phul" The film "Aakhri Jang".
Moreover, Munir also recorded songs for the following films:
Suhagan, Gehra daagh, Suraiya, Saathi, Parda, Gulbahar, Anokhi baath, Khyber pass, Zarqa, Sartaj, Dooor
ki Aawaz, Jawab do, Laila Mujnu, Sawaal, Taj Mahal, Dewar bhabi, Honahar, Sultana, Shab bakhair, and Haar gaya Insaan.
Pop music took its toll of the reputed Pakistani singers in the 1970s.Many renowned singers succumbed to
it. Munir was no exception.
Munir knew that in the treasury house of his soul were infinitely precious songs that could not be taken
He swayed with the twists and turns of life. His last days were filled with deep unhappiness, but he never
He took his last breath on September 27, 1995 in Lahore, Pakistan, after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
He was 65.
For millions of Pakistanis, the moment was charged with profound emotion as they listened to the news of
Some people are meant to be immortal. Their voices and memory are meant to continue from generation to generation.
Munir Husain was such a man.