Masood Rana: Music is my life
By Anis Shakur
Ajeeb hai ye zindigi kabhi hai gham kabhi khushi
Khushi say gham sahain gey hum, keh gham kay baad hai khushi
Masood Rana was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, where his ancestors owned land. His fore fathers originally hailed from Jallundhar,
As a teenager, he started singing from Radio Pakistan, Hyderabad in 1955.
Renowned Pakistani music director, Baba G.A.Chishti, is well known for his magnificent compositions for the Pakistani
One of his greatest accomplishments was, indeed, the introduction of Masood Rana to the Pakistani music.
Masood Rana began his singing career in 1962.
With his charismatic voice and God-gifted talents, he rapidly climbed the rungs of the ladder and within no time, he
was competing with the remarkable singers of his period.
The eventful story of his dramatic rise in the world of music started with his debut song: 'Mashriq ki hai tareef' (film:
'Inqilaab': 1962, music: Natho khan), which was followed by another super hit, romantic song: 'Kaheen dil pay na jadoo' (film:
'Banjaran': 1962, lyrics:
Masroor Anwar, music: Deebo, pictured on Kamal).
Then came one of the most popular, evergreen song: 'Aye dil tujhay ab unsay ye kaisi shikayat hai' (film: 'shararat':
1963, lyrics: Masroor Anwar, music: Deebo, pictured on Mohammad Ali).
It was followed by 'Mukhray pay Aanchal' (film: 'Dil nay tujhay maan liya': 1963, singer: Masood Rana- Naheed Niazi,
Next in line was Masood's all time favorite Punjabi song: 'Tangay wala khair mangda' (film: Daachi: 1964, lyrics: Hazeen
G.A.Chishti, pictured on Lala Sudhir).
Masood Rana recorded the two songs below for the 1965 film 'Arzu.' Songwriter, Wajd Chughtai, music, Deebu.
'Main to samjha tha judaye teri mumkin hi naheen.'
'Arzu ka rang bhar kar dil ka afsana kaho.' Songwriter, Wajd Chughtai, music, Deebu.
Masood did justice to all poets in general, and to josh Maleeh Abadi in particular.
National songs written by Josh Maleeh Abadi and recorded in Masood's voice are an asset for the Pakistanis:' Dil ko jab
bay kali nahi hoti, zindigi, zindigi nahi hoti' (poet: Josh Maleeh Abadi.
'Aye watan hum hain teri shama kay perwano main' (film: 'Aag ka darya, 1966, poet: Josh Maleeh Abadi, music: Ghulam Nabi,
Innumerable lamps must have been lightened with these words: 'Kitnay roshan hain diye, teray shabistano mein'.
Likewise, the backbone of Pakistan, the farmer and the hard working labor were so proud to hear these lyrics from Masood's
'Teray mazdoor ki Aankhon kay shararay lay kar, teray dehqan kay mathay kay sitaray lay kar, chandni boain gey
jhultay huay maidano mein.'
His fans will always remember his familiar face when he used to appear in national dress, dressed in sherwani,in
Pakistani television's music program.
Maestro Masood had that extremely rare ability to prolong a lyric and then, bringing the last word of that lyric to an
abrupt halt, the last word of the lyric was uttered in less then a second.
This was the prerogative of Masood alone. Hence, it has not been observed in any other singer of the Indo-pak subcontinent.
A quick example is 'Aye watan hum hain teri shama kay perwano mein' (note how he stretches the phrase : 'kitnay roshan
hain diye, teray shabistano' and then, stops all of a sudden at the last word of the phrase, 'mein'.
In the sixties, he became the heart-throb of millions of his country-men with 'tumhe ho mehboob meray, mein kyon na tumhain
pyar karoon' (film: 'Aa'ena: 1966, lyrics: khwaja pervez, music: Tasadduq)
Film: 'Hamrahi' was a milestone in Masood's singing career. All songs of 'Hamrahi' are relegated as the 'Best of Masood
Moreover, thousands of moviegoers watched 'Hamrahi' just because of the all-time great songs of Masood Rana and from
that time on, he came to be known as Mohammad Rafi of Pakistan.
'Hamrahi's seven songs are listed below:
'Kiya kahoon aye duniya walo, kiya hoon mein' (film: 'Hamrahi': 1966, lyrics: Muzaffar Warsi, music: Tasadduq)
'Karam ki ik nazar hum per...ya Rasool Allah'.
'Ho gaye zindigi mujhay pyari'.
'Naqsha teri judaye ka ab tak nazar mein hai'.
'Mujhay chore kar akela, kaheen dooor janay walay'.
'Qadam, qadam pay naye dukh'.
'yaad karta hai zamana unhi insano ko'.
'Pukara hai madad ko, bay kaso nay, haath khali hai...bacha lo doob nay say ye...ya Rasool Allah' will never be forgotten
by 150 million Pakistanis.
The indescribable pathos, injected by the depth and versatility of the voice of this master -singer is simply out of
Mentioned below is a song from the endless list of super hits, which is a recipe for sadness:
'Ajeeb hai ye zindigi, kabhi hai gham, kabhi khushi,jahan hain ab tabahiyan, wahan theen raunaqain kabhi' (film: 'shola
aur shabnam': 1967, music: M Ashraf)
Apparently, it fills ones heart with hope and desire, as he listens to 'khushi say gham sahain gey hum, kay gham kay
baad hai khushi'.
Romantic scores like 'Jhoom aye dil ho, mera jaan-e-bahar Aaye ga' (film:'Dil mera, dharkan teri': 1968, music:Enayat
Husain, pictured on Waheed Murad) took Masood's name from one corner of Pakistan to another.
In the vast array of sad songs, which enthralled millions, two are listed below:
'Koi saath dey, key na saath dey' (film: Budnaam, music: Deebo).
'Phir subah hogi, Aandheray nahi ruknay walay' (film: 'Phir subah hogi', music: Naashad, lyrics: Masroor Anwar)
Masood's distinctive gift to accommodate the co-singer (in a duet) to transform otherwise not so glamorous composition
into all time great mega hit is one reason, among many, of his great name and fame.
Below is a masterpiece, which is an exquisite blend of torment and anguish:
'Tujhay pyar ki qasam hai, mera pyar bun kay Aaja' (film: 'chand aur chandni': 1968, Masood Rana -Mala, music: Karim
One of the best example of despondency and despair, caught vividly by Masood is 'Teri yaad Aa gaye, gham khushi mein
dhal gaye' (film: 'chand aur chandni': 1968, music: Karim shahabuddin, pictured on Nadeem)
It fills ones eyes with tears as one listens to 'tum tou ho gaye juda, aur bhatak rahay hain hum' and also, 'Aisee bijliyaan
gereen, saray khwab jal gaye'.
Masood became the darling of the youth with songs like: 'Fasana-e-dil hai mukhtasar sa, keh Aag dil mein bharak uthi
hai' (film: 'Tumhi ho mehboob meray': 1969, music: M.Ashraf)
'Hal-e-dil Aaj ye hum suna yain gey' (film: 'chiragh kahan, roshni kahan': 1971, music: M.Ashraf)
He won the hearts of the younger generation with 'Teray bina yoon gharyaan beteen, jaisay sudyaan beeth gayeen' (film:
'Aansoo: 1971, music: Nazir Ali, lyrics: khwaja pervez)
When it came to express rare passions and feelings, no one could do it better then Masood.
A fine instance of that vivid, virtual reality is 'Meray dil ki hai Aawaz, kay bichhra yaar melay ga' (film: 'Baharo
phool barsao': 1972, lyrics:
shevan Rizvi, music: Naashad, pictured on Waheed Murad)
Super-performer Masood, teamed up with Bakshi wazir to produce that immortal solo, which had swayed the seventies:
'Main is duniya mein akela hoon' (film: 'Main akela': 1972, music: Bakshi wazir)
Masood's popularity was at its height with songs like:' Meri dua hai kay tou bunkay Aftab rahay' and 'Ye wada kiya kay
mohabbat karain gey' (film: 'Daman aur chingari': 1973, Masood Rana-Noor Jehan, music: M.Ashraf)
Masood was brilliant at slow numbers. Tragic scores like 'Aag laga kar chupnay walay sun mera afsana' (film: 'Dil lagi':
1974, music: Rafiq Ali)
Today, five years after his death, the passions of millions of Pakistanis all over the world are, indeed, best reflected
in his own voice:
'Mujhay chore kar akela, kaheen dooor janay walay,
na bhula sakoon ga tujh ko, mujhay yaad Aanay walay'.
The cruel hands of death snatched Masood Rana from us on October 14, 1995.He died in Lahore.
However, his memory is at the forefront of our minds forever:
'Mauth ki dhumkiyaan na dou mujh ko
mauth kya zindigi nahi hoti'.
Could there be a better way to pay tribute to our beloved Masood Rana, other then this:
The thirst for Masood Rana's songs never abates.