Zubeida Khanum: Zeal for music
By Anis Shakur
Reminiscing about the Pakistan film industry's post independence years refreshes our memory about great artists of all
times like Santosh Kumar, Sabiha Khanum, Darpan and the likes of them.
However, this list will never be considered complete without including the name of our renowned, highly respected singer
and actress Zubeida Khanum.
For Zubeida, life was music and music was life.
She started her singing career in 1950, when she recorded a song for "Pherey".
Her singing career lasted for seventeen years, 1950 -1967, during which she rendered hundreds of songs for numerous
In 1956, she played the lead actress opposite late actor Zaheer for "Paye Khan".
In fact that proved to be the first and last movie of her life.
From 1956 onwards, she concentrated on singing. The song, which literally carried her name to the nook and corner of
Pakistan, was "Laila, laila, laila" (Ishq-e-laila).
Another song, which was almost as popular as "Laila", was "Aye badalon kay rahi"(Raat kay rahi).
Her unique style and deliverance were enough to immortalize her right in the 1950.Her unparalleled pronunciation and
great understanding of lyrics and music brought her laurels for both Urdu and Punjabi songs.
It is said that all through her career she was such a sought after artist that while she was rehearsing one song, a dozen
music directors were waiting in line to blend her lilting voice in their composition.
The all time great super hits like:
"Aye mausam rangeelay (Saat lakh)
"Dil jala na dil walay" (Koel)
"Mithi, mithi batiyon say (Raaz)
Brought her not only in the forefront of the Pakistani music, but also by the early sixties she was recognized as one
of the three greatest and busiest singers.
We are talking of the times when she was at the zenith.
When her name was enough to sell gramophone records by thousands.
One of those days when millions of her admirers were keenly desirous to see her performing art for another thirty years,
she decided to quit singing and married producer, director and cameraman, Riaz Bukhari.
Her last song was recorded for "Bahadur" which was released in 1967.
Zubeida Khanum's melodious voice has been duplicated for the umpteenth
time but never equaled and it never will be.