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Pakistani cinema


Nashad: Scent of memory

By Anis Shakur


Talent and love of music bear no relationship to economic status, race, or nationality, it requires only music education.


The above statement holds true to the music great, Nashad. There are few gifts greater than friendship; Nashad’s music is one of them. Nashad was born Shaukat Ali in Delhi, India, in 1923. He received his early academic education in a local high school in Delhi.


Nashad was drawn to music at a tender age. He learnt to play flute and mastered it with astonishing rapidity. His immense love of music took him to Bombay. Nashad felt privileged to work with probably the two all-time greatest music composers of the Sub-continent, Master Ghulam Haider and Naushad. Additionally, Nashad coordinated with a group of instrumentalists and attained expertise in various musical instruments.


Let us go backward in time—Along the Indo-Pak Subcontinent, the movie studio walls whisper of scores of years. If we listen to the echo, they have much to say.


Nashad changed his name to Shaukat Dehelvi and made his music debut in director Shev Raj’s 1947 action film ‘Dildaar.’ Songwriter, C.M. Muneer, cast included Sagina, Yashonat, Dev Radha and Deepak. Nashad is a shining example of the value of early music education.


Blessed with an unparalleled aptitude for music and trained in music by his teachers at a young age, Nashad had an aptitude for flute-playing as well.


In 1948, Nashad composed music for the film ‘Jeenay do,’ which was released under the banner of J. Hind Chitra. This time Nashad listed his name as Shaukat Husain. Director, A.F.Keka and Majeed. Cast included Monica Devi, Pana Laal, Haresh, Ratan Piya, Laila Gupta and Shanta Kanwar.


Nashad’s concept is timeless. So is his music. Basically, Nashad was a praiseworthy, lovable and a hard working person. He retained these qualities up until his death. He composed songs for the 1948 movie ‘Payal’ and listed his name as Shaukat Ali.


Nashad’s music compositions in the 1948 film ‘Suhagi’ took him a foot higher on the climb up the cliff. He changed his name to Shaukat Dehelvi in ‘Suhagi.’ Through his music, Nashad could speak the tragic sense of the story.


In 1948, Nashad also composed songs for the film ‘Tutay taray’. His name appeared as Shaukat Dehelvi in ‘Tutay taray’. It was released under the banner of Sheikh Mukhtar’s film production unit called ‘Omar Khayyam films’. Director, Haresh, cast included Shamim Banu and Moti Laal. In ‘Tutay taray’ Nashad composed Bahadur Shah Zafar’s ghazal ‘Na kisi ki Aankh ka noor hoon, na kisi kay dil ka qaraar hoon.’


Nashad composed songs with the intensity of a master composer and rightly so. In 1949, Nashad composed music for actor-director Yaqoob’s movie, ‘Aaeye.’ Yaqoob and Silo Chena Cheterji played the lead roles.


Nashad composed songs with confidence and exuberance, which is expected from a veteran music composer. In 1949, Nashad changed his name to Shaukat Husain Haideri and composed songs for director Haresh’s film ‘Dada.’  It was released under the banner of ‘Omar Khayyam films.’ Cast included Sheikh Mukhtar, Begum Para, Munawwar Sultana, Shayam, Murad, Mukhri, and Gullu. It was released in Jubilee cinema, Karachi.


I think the readers will agree with me that innovation was one of Nashad’s very best values. Reverting to his movies, in 1953, the film director, Nakhshab Jar Chori, changed Shaukat Ali’s name to Nashad. This name accompanied him for the rest of his life.


Nashad composed songs for director Nakhshab’s 1953 movie ‘Naghma.’ Nadira and Ashok Kumar played the lead roles in ‘Naghma.’


It seems that Nashad knew just how to make music tick. The three films below can evoke so many memories:


The film ‘Chaar chand’, cast included Sheyama and Saresh. Music, Nashad.


The film ‘Darwaza’, cast included Sheyama and Chandar Shehkar. Nashad introduced singer Sauman Kalyan Puri for the first time in ‘Darwaza.’ Director, Shahid Lateef, husband of writer Asmat Chughtai.


The film ‘Sub say bara rupayya’, director, P.L. Santoshi. Cast included Shasshi Kala and Sundar. Music, Nashad and O.P. Nayyar.


Nashad used his skill to invigorate every musician who shared the stage with him. Moreover, Nashad possessed the rhythm and melody, the blend of sounds, the energy and passion. Assuredly, he had veneration for music. Below are three success stories of Nashad:


The 1955 film ‘Shehzada’, cast included Shela Ramani and Ajeet. Director, Mohan Sehna. Music, Nashad and S. Mahinder.


The film ‘Jawab.’


The film ‘Baaradari, director, K. Amarnath, cast included Gita Bali- Ajeet, Chandar Shehkar and Paraan. Songwriter, Khumar Bara Bankavi.


The song ‘Bhula naheen deina jee bhula naheen deina, zamana kharab hai bhula naheen deina.’ Singer, Shamshad Begum, the film ‘Baaradari.’


The song ‘Tasweer banata hoon tasweer naheen banti.’ Talat Mehmood, the film ‘Baaradari.’


Nashad also sang a song for the film ‘Baaradari.’


The listener’s imagination awakes at Nashad’s first musical notes. Then there are innumerable moviegoers who fall passionately in love with Nashad as soon as they listen to his songs at random. Below are Nashad’s four accomplishments:


The film ‘Aawara shehzadi’ cast included Meena Shori and Diljeet. Director, Pyaray Laal, music, Nashad and Jimmy.

The film ‘Jallad’ cast included Veena, Munawwar Sultana and Nasir Khan.

The film ‘Bara bhai’ cast included Kaamni Koshal and Ajeet.

The film ‘Mehfil’ cast included Rehana and Diljeet.


Daily practice is needed to hone the strength necessary to break into a field. It is also the norm for successful people like Nashad at their peak. Nashad’s four movies below:


The film ‘Hathkari,’ cast included Shakila and Moti Laal.

The film ‘Zindigi ya tufaan’ cast included Nautan and Perdeep Kumar.

The film ‘Zara bachh kay’ cast, Nanda and Saresh.

The film ‘Qatil’ cast, Chitra and Prem Nath.


Nashad was an ideal music composer to millions of music lovers because he became the people’s musician. His ultimate excellence was a product of total commitment and dedication over the long term. Below are Nashad’s four more movies:


The film ‘Flight to Aasaam’ cast, Shakila and Ranjan.

The film ‘Pyar ki dastaan’, cast, Anita Goha and Saresh Kumar.

The film ‘Roop laikha’ cast, Wajeeh Chaudhri and Mahi Paal.

The film ‘Maya mehel’ cast, Helen and Mahi Paal.


Nashad’s last film in India as a music composer was the 1962 film ‘Flying man’ He migrated to Pakistan in the same year.


Nashad debuted as a composer in the 1964 film ‘Maikhana’ in Pakistan. Director Nakhshab Jar Choi, scriptwriter, Agha Nasir.


Nashad reached the pinnacle of a remarkable career by following his own instincts. Below are two examples:


‘Pee kay maikhanay chalo’ singer, Naseem Begum, the film ‘Maikhana.’

‘Jaan keh kar jo bulaya to bura maan gaye.’ Singer, Saleem Raza, the film ‘Maikhana.’


To listen to Nashad’s music is to live through impressively sumptuous celebration. Below are Nashad’s two celebrated songs:


‘Mein deewana mujhay na cheiro’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan.

‘Ik apna hai, ik baygana.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan.


Nashad took songs that had been at a certain level for some years and stirred things up. He also showed a knack for tapping into the moods of the times with songs like the two below:


‘Deikho deikho ray julm naahe Aaye sanwarya.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, director Yunus Rahi’s 1966 film ‘Jalwa.’

‘Ho laagi ray, laagi lagan meray dil mein.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the film ‘Jalwa.’


An accomplished composer of Pakistani show business, Nashad’s many contributions to movies have embedded himself in the Pakistani psyche. Below are two examples:


‘Koi ja kay unsay kehday hamay yoon na Aazma yein.’ Singer, Mujeeb Alam, the film ‘Jalwa.’

‘Dam mastt qalander Ali Ali.’ Singers, Ahmed Rushdi- Muneer Husain, the film ‘Jalwa.’


‘I have always delighted most in my work in the films.’ Nashad once remarked. Always the innovator, Nashad went on to produce such romantic duets like ‘Masoom sa chehra hai hum jis kay hain deewanay,’ which was a formidable achievement. Singers, Ahmed Rushdi- Runa Laila. Director Qamar Zaidi’s 1967 film ‘Rishta hai pyar ka.’ Below are two more examples:


‘Zakhm-e-dil chupa kay royain gey, tujh ko Aazma kay royain gey.’ Singer, Naseem Begum, the film ‘Rishta hai pyar ka.’

‘Bari meherbani, bari he inayat.’ Singer, Masood Rana, the film ‘Rishta hai pyar ka.’


The lyrics below explains why every song seems to jump right out of the cassette and every singer’s voice is so appealing and attractive:


‘Lay Aaye phir kahan per qismat hamay kahan say.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, director Qamar Zaidi’s 1969 film ‘Saalgira.’ Music, Nashad.

‘Meri zindigi hai naghma, meri zindigi fasana.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, the film ‘Saalgira.’


The three songs below are the meritorious and memorable ones and explains Nashad’s marvelous profundity of output by an assumed mediocrity of talent:


‘Zulf ko teri ghataon ka payam Aaya hai.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the film ‘Saalgira.’

‘Lazzat-e-souz-e-jigar pooch lay perwanay say.’ Duet, Ahmed Rushdi- Irene Perveen.

‘Teray waday say meri zindigi saji.’ Duet, Ahmed Rushdi- Irene Perveen.


Nashad is revered for all his music compositions in general and for the film ‘Tum milay pyar mila’ in particular. Further, Nashad was one of Pakistani cinema’s most versatile composers. Below are two examples:


‘Gori kay sar pay saj kay, sehray kay phool kahain gey.’ Singer, Ahmed Rushdi. Director Iqbal Yusuf’s 1969 film ‘Tum milay pyar mila.’


The tragic duet ‘Aap ko bhool jaayein hum itnay to baywafa naheen.’ Singers, Mehdi Hasan- Noor Jehan, the film ‘Tum milay pyar mila.’


Those who met Nashad knew that his life was fulfilling and his task was rewarding. Below are two examples:


‘Mujh ko ulfat bhi naheen, mujh ko adawat bhi naheen.’ Singer, Mujeeb Alam, the film ‘Tum milay pyar mila.’


‘Apnay pehlu may meray dil ko machal janay do.’ Duet, Mehdi Hasan- Noor Jehan, the film ‘Tum milay pyar mila.’


The filmmakers relied heavily on Nashad’s compositions. Nashad, in turn, offered his best music for every movie. Two songs below:


‘Ho dilruba kaisa ye jadu kiya.’ Duet, Ahmed Rushdi- Irene Perveen

‘Ye haseen wadian ye sama.’ Singer, Irene Perveen.


Nashad’s musical talent was huge. As such, it appealed to everyone. The three songs below are at the forefront of music buffs:


‘Unhe ko dhoond rahi hai nigah-e-shauq meri.’ Solo, Noor Jehan- Mehdi Hasan. The 1970 film ‘Chand suraj.’

‘Wo zameen aur ho, Aasmaan aur ho.’ Duet, Noor Jehan- Masood Rana. The film ‘Chand suraj.’

‘Aa bhi jaao saajna armano kay gulzaroan mein.’ Singer, Noor Jehan. The film ‘Chand suraj.’


Nashad’s compositions are outstanding. He transforms them into musical accomplishments. He continued with that jewel of his music compositions. Below are two examples:


‘Tu nay baar baar kiya mujhay bay qaraar.’ Singer, Mala. Director Humayun Mirza’s 1969 film ‘Saza.’

‘Mein kyon daman ko phailaoon.’ Singer, Ahmed Rushdi.


Furthermore, Nashad filled this tragic song with emotional power, ‘Jab bhi chahain ik naye surat bana lay tay hain loag.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the film ‘Saza.’


A new generation has discovered Nashad and his individualist musical masterpieces. On a spring day in Pakistan, optimism is as near at hand as the next perfect stone. The same holds true to Nashad’s musical compositions. Below are three examples:


‘Yoon kho gaye teray pyar mein hum.’ Singer, Mujeeb Alam. Director Luqman’s 1970 film ‘Afsana.’

‘Hum ko tumharay sar ki qasam.’ Ahmed Rushdi, the film ‘Afsana.’

‘Tera pyar meri ibadat hai.’ Singer, Mala, the film ‘Afsana.’


Those who have studied Nashad’s amazing musical talents understand that each song Nashad composed represents immense preliminary labors, endless observations and a worldwide knowledge. Below are three examples:


‘Khuda karay keh mohabbat mein wo maqaam Aaye.’ Solo, Mehdi Hasan- Noor Jehan. Director Javed Hashmi’s 1971 film ‘Afshan.’

‘Mili hai Aaj zamanay ki her khushi mujh ko.’ Duet, Ahmed Rushdi- Nighat Seema. The film ‘Afshan.’

‘Kaheye mizaaj kaisay hain.’ Singer, Ahmed Rushdi, the film ‘Afshan.’


Since his earliest days, Nashad had learned a lot about music and forgotten almost nothing. His memory was appalling, his outlook infallible, he possessed, to guess right, instinct, experience and recollection. Below are three examples:


‘Mein nay ik Aashiyaan banaya tha, ab bhi shayad wo jal raha hoga.’ Singer, Noor Jehan. Director Qamar Zaidi’s 1971 film ‘Rim jhim.’

‘Sawaal per meray khamosh hai zabaan teri.’ Duet, Ahmed Rushdi- Noor Jehan.


Sure, poignant strains of Nashad’s melody emerges as one listens to the song, ‘Dhoond rahi theen janay kab say teri surat meri Aankhein.’ Duet, Ahmed Rushdi- Mala. Director S. Sulaiman’s 1971 movie ‘Teri surat meri Aankhein.’


Also the song, ‘Garaybaan chaak kar liya hum nay.’ Singer, Mala, the film ‘Teri surat meri Aankhein.’



Listening to this song is a riveting experience, ‘Mohabbat karnay walo mohabbat kis ko kehtay hain.’ Singer, Ghulam Fareed Sabri- Maqbool Fareed Sabri. Director S. Sulaiman’s 1972 movie ‘Ilzaam.’


From the poignancy of the song ‘Hum pay ilzaam to aisay bhi hai waisay bhi sahi.’ Noor Jehan, the film ‘Ilzaam’ to the grandeur of the song ‘Aik baat kahoon kaho, dil ka raaz kahoon kaho.’ Duet, Ahmed Rushdi- Runa Laila, the film ‘Ilzaam.’  Nashad’s versatility is evident in every composition.


Nashad knew by heart most of the musical lessons he had read, he had kept in his brain all the pictures his retina had reflected. Nashad always told his novitiates to do: Focus on the music. Below are two examples:


‘Ik baar chalay Aao phir Aa kay chalay jana.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the 1972 film ‘Ik raat.’

‘Kis nay bajaae hai ye baansaria.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, the film ‘Ik raat.’


Nashad achieved success through hard work and perseverance. Quality songs aspire to grandeur and seriousness. Nashad’s songs like the three below are a more authentic mirror of life in our eastern culture:


‘Aye mohabbat tera jawab naheen, tujh say barh kar koi sharab naheen.’ Singers, Shaukat Ali, Irene Perveen, Tasawwar Khanum. Director M. Sadiq’s 1972 film ‘Baharo phool barsao.’


‘:Ye ghar mera gulshan hai, gulshan ka Khuda Hafiz.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, the film ‘Baharo phool barsao.’


‘Meray dil ki hai Aawaz keh bichhra yaar melay ga.’ Masood Rana, the film ‘Baharo phool barsao.’


Nashad could feel energy in music and his spirits soared. Insatiable drive for success led Nashad to more hard work. The cine-goers fall under the spell of Nashad’s music. Below are three examples:


‘Aye parda nasheen gar Aaj kaheen ik aur nazara ho jaye.’ Singers, Tasawwar Khanum- Mala, the film ‘Baharo phool barsao.’

‘Meri jaan yaar badshah, hua hai pyar badshah.’ Singer, Ahmed Rushdi, the film ‘Baharo phool barsao.’

‘Chanda ray chanda kuchh tu he bata mera afsana.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, the film ‘Baharo phool barsao.’


Nashad had the savvy to motivate the singers. A good example is director Iqbal Yusuf’s 1972 film ‘Hill station.’

‘Mere dil na janay kab say tera pyar dhoond ta hai.’ Singer, Basheer Ahmed, the film ‘Hill station.’


Nashad saw true, compared swiftly, and understood intuitively. Below is one example:

‘Pyar ko hum bana yein gey aisee misaal.’ Singer, Noor Jehan. Director Fareed Ahmed’s 1972 film ‘Suhaag.’


Nashad was always looking for a new challenge. Moreover, his working life offers a hopeful example of how much the composer can attain, if we just give him the chance. Below are three examples:


‘Kis nay laboan per geet bikhe ray.’ Duet, Noor Jehan- Ahmed Rushdi, the film ‘Suhaag.’

‘Kuchh he dino ki baat hai.’ Singer, Ahmed Rushdi, the film ‘Suhaag.’

‘Is khat ko meri Aakhri tehreer samajh na.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, the film ‘Suhaag.’


Nashad’s admirers had seen the satisfaction in his smiles and they felt it in his handshakes. Nashad continues to live through his immortal songs like ‘Aaj tak yaad hai wo pyar ka manzar mujh ko.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the 1973 film ‘Sehray kay phool.’


Likewise, songs like this one below still rank among the favorites of music buffs, ‘Unka he tasawwar hai mehfil ho keh tanhai.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, the film ‘Sehray kay phool.’


The power of the man and his music really hit home in the song, ‘Mujhay kar daina deewana teray andaaz mastana.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan. Director Zafar Shabab’s  1973 film ‘Naya raasta.’


Also in the song, ‘Khat phar kay tera Aadhi mulaqaat ho gaye.’ Singer, Mala, the film ‘Naya raasta.’


In fact, Nashad became the defining voice for quality songs and excellence in show business. His true genius was to create music for the two songs below:


‘Zindigi mein to sabhi pyar kiya kartay hain, mein to mar kar bhi meri jaan tujhay chahoon ga.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, filmmaker Darpan’s 1973 movie ‘Azmat.’


‘Tum he nay mujh say kaha tha.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, the film ‘Azmat.’


One brushes tears of deeper emotion from his eyes as one listens to the song ‘Kartay hain mohabbat sub he magar her dil ko sila kab milta hai.’ Singer, Ghulam Ali. The 1974 movie ‘Tum salamat raho.’


Some of Nashad’s songs exemplifies twentieth century Pakistani life. Example, ‘Mohabbat zndigi hai aur tum meri mohabbat ho.’ Solo, Mehdi Hasan- Noor Jehan, the film ‘Tum salamat raho.’


Reverting to Nashad’s innumerable achievements, we have a huge number of people who relate to his style of music. Below are two examples:


‘Apnay qadmoan mein rakh lijiye.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the film ‘Tum salamat raho.’

‘Kiya na jaaye intizaar Aaja.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, the film ‘Tum salamat raho.’


With the passage of time, Nashad’s music played more forcefully and energetically. It is evident in these two songs, ‘Aaye ga, koi Aaye ga, dharkan, dharkan phool khilaye ga.’ Singer, Mala, the film ‘Tum salamat raho.’


‘Dil dharkay mera dil dharkay.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, the film ‘Tum salamat raho.’


Nashad was Nashad and there was no one like him in the Pakistani cinema. As such, Nashad put his stamp on numerous successful movies like director S. Sulaiman’s  1975 movie ‘Zeenat.’ Below are three songs:


‘Rafta rafta wo meri hasti ka saama ho gaye.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the film ‘Zeenat.’

‘Meri guria ladli sab say pyari hai.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the film ‘Zeenat.’

‘Mohay panghat pay annand lal cheir gayo ray.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the film ‘Zeenat.’


Nashad’s later movies like ‘Zeenat’ holds interest, thanks  to his fiercely committed and convincing music. Below are two more songs of the film ‘Zeenat.’


‘Bannu teray mehendi laganay koi Aaya.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, the film ‘Zeenat.’

‘Kisi ghar ka ye bhi chiragh tha.’ Singer, Ghulam Ali, the film ‘Zeenat.’


Perhaps, the secret of Nashad’s success lies in an indomitable commitment to honesty in work. His two songs below carries a profound and poignant message for music lovers:


‘Bannu kay ghar say mehendi laganay koi Aaya.’ Singer, Noor Jehan, Director Qamar Zaidi’s 1975 film ‘Paalki.’

‘Ye jhuki jhuki nigahein inhein mein salaam kar loon.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the film ‘Paalki.’


Nashad’s music is dramatic, uplifting and, at times, sentimental. His reputation among the listeners is so solid that the music and the musician became one. Below are two songs:


‘Kisi ka saath mil jaaye.’ Singer, Ahmed Rushdi. Director Laeeq Akhtar’s 1973 film ‘Farz.’

‘Jaan-e- bahaar Aaya, dil ko qaraar Aaya.’ Singer, Mala, the film ‘Farz.’


Indeed, the world would be a lesser place without Nashad’s magnificent music. His music in director Zafar Shabab’s 1975 movie, ‘Shikwa’ was exemplary for its elegance. Here is an example, ‘Daman say lipat kar deewana.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the film ‘Shikwa.’


How in an industry abounding in gifted composers, does Nashad stand in ‘a category unto himself.’ Well, ‘He was a music machine.’ That is what he was born to be. Below are three examples:


‘Barsaat ka mausum hai.’ Director Zafar Shabab’s 1976 movie ‘Waqt.’

‘Mujh ko manzil bhi tum bana o gey.’ Singer, Naheed Akhtar, the film ‘Waqt.’

‘Ye loag baray hum logoan pay hanstay he rahay hain.’ Singer, Mehdi Hasan, the film ‘Waqt.’


Nashad won the Nigar Award for best composer in the film ‘Maikhana.’ In 1964.

Nashad won the Nigar Award for best composer in the film ‘Saalgira’ in 1969.


Nashad died in January 1981. He was fifty eight years of age. The news of his death stupefied the admirers.


Nashad’s son, Wajid Ali Nashad, is also a music composer. Nashad’s another son, Imran Ali Nashad, made his mark as a singer. Hence, Nashad’s sons have kept their father’s name alive.


Though Nashad is no longer with us. But to the delight of listeners of all faiths, throughout the world, his music lives.