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Mehnaz: Pakistani phenomenon
By Anis Shakur
Zindigi kay sub lamhain yaad gaar hotay hain
laut kar naheen Aatay aik baar hotay hain

Listening to Mehnaz in 2003 recaptures a glorious age of  Pakistani music.
Daughter of reputed singer, Kajjan Begum, Mehnaz showed all artistic signs of music from her earlier days.
Truth be told, she did not mold herself upon her mother. She was influenced by her.
Mehnaz  made her debut from Pakistan television's musical program in the beginning of the 1970s.
The song 'Chandni raatain' (the film 'Dopatta') was recorded in her voice. (originally sung by Noor Jehan.)
Apart from receiving appreciation from the public, she earned the respect and encouragement from Noor Jehan herself.
Mehnaz's earlier break through paved the way for her future distinguished singing career.
Soon she started recording songs for the movies.
The following song not only ignited her career, but also became the most radio-recorded romantic number of the yester years.
'Mein jis din bhula doon tera pyar dil say, wo din Aakhri ho meri zindigi ka' (the film 'Khushbu', starring: Shahid, Rani, Mumtaz, Ibrahim Nafees, Rangeela).
Below is a duet, which is her crowning achievement. She knew she was all for it:
'Pyar ka wada aisay nibha yein' (Mehnaz- Mehdi Hasan)
Better still was the song  in the film 'Bazaar-e-husn', directed by Mohammad Javed Fazil: 'Lehroan ki tarhaan tujh ko bikharnay nahi dain gey'.
The film 'Sheeshay ka ghar' (director: Nazrul Dada) was brought to life by the following duet:
'Ye safar teray, meray pyar ka' (Mehnaz- Mehdi Hasan).
When it came to any situation in a movie that had emotion, composers usually turned to Mehnaz. Example:
'Wada karo saajna' (Duet: Mehnaz- Alamgir, the mega hit movie, 'Aa'ena', director: Nazrul Dada).
For the sake of record, Mehnaz also lent her voice to the following films:
'Pehchaan', 'Prince', 'Play boy', 'Aankhon, Aankhon mein', 'Chori, chori', 'Qurbani',
'Bewe ho to aisi', 'Kabhi alwida na kehna', 'Balandi', 'Ehtejaaj', 'Anmol mohabbat',
'Amber', 'Aabshaar', 'Accident', 'Badaltay mausum', 'Parastish', 'Pehli nazar',
'Daman', 'Do raastay'.
She also had a knack for doing the best in romantic numbers. Two examples:
'Mein tujhay dil mein basa loon' (the film 'Bandish')

'Do pyasay dil aik huway' (duet: Mehnaz- Mehdi Hasan, the film 'Bandish').
Mehnaz has that unparalleled quality to inflame almost any audience through her magical voice:
'Aaja, Aaja, karlay pyar' (the film 'Dulhan ik raat ki').

'Pyar ki sharab nigahoan say pila doon' (the film 'Dulhan ik raat ki').
Mehnaz's professional aspirations grew with every new song and so also her fame:
'Chalo ik faisla kar lain (duet: Mehnaz- Ahmed Rushdi, the film 'Mohabbat aur mehangaae').
Her distinctive singing voice made her a household name. The following song is a touchstone for all Mehnaz's  admirers, as its lyrics eloquently proves:
'Parda utha kay jaan-e-mun.'
She made her mark as a singer in the film 'Naag aur nagan'.
'Mun jhoomay, mun gaaye.'
She increasingly found opportunities to show her dramatic singing abilities, notably in the film 'Andaata.' Two examples:
'Teray, meray lar gaye nain.'

'Mujhay tum mil gaye.' (duet: Mehnaz- Mehdi Hasan)
At the height of her fame, she recorded the following romantic number:
'Lipat jaaon phuloan ka haar bun kar'(the film 'Jageer').
Mehnaz has every reason to feel buoyant, since she has left a flawless track record of successes.
Moreover, her fans have nothing but faith and love for her songs.
She delivers every note, every syllable in perfect order and apparently there is a huge audience for that.
By far, the most prolific singer of the Pakistani cinema and  the voice behind the most influential movies of her generation. Mehnaz entertained  the cine-goers with this song:
'Pyar bina Aadmi kuchh nahi' (the film 'Teesri qasam').
She sang with the intensity of an authoritative artist and rightly so. Example:
'Hum say jo tunay ki bay wafai' (the film 'Talaash')
The following song in her voice achieved eminence. It went on to become the wave of the future!
'Ye maujain kahan jaati hain, takra kay phir Aati hain,
chalti he rehti hain, rukti nahi hain ye,
chahay kinara milay na milay'.
Beloved by audiences as well as a new generation of movie-goers. The following song added fresh laurels to her name:
'Chaap tilak sub cheen lee ray mosay naina milai kay.'
Mehnaz's incomparable voice and first class presentation in the film 'Aansoo,'
made her the most sought after singer in the music industry:
'Aaee ray Aaee deikh kali ghata.'
What is more, her lilting voice is an utterly beguiling feast for pulses, hearts, minds and souls. Example:
'Khilonay teri zindigi hai kya' (the film 'Kundan', duet: Mehnaz- Akhlaq Ahmed).
Hers is a voice to be reckoned with. She recorded the following song in her passionate, engrossingly captivating voice:
'Mera pyar teray jeewan kay sung rahay ga.'
Mehnaz is musical by nature. The quality of her voice is awe-inspiring. She is extraordinary in her range and flexibility.
Above all, Mehnaz is endowed with immense intensity and  control over her God-gifted voice.
She is the combination of music and control that is so rare. Examples:
'Teray meray pyar ka aisa nata.' (the film 'Sallakhain')

'O meray saanwarya, baansari bajaye ja.' (the film 'Baray mian diwanay').
One marvels at her comprehension of words, as one listens to her songs.
She always sings with complete understanding of lyrics. Her voice has intangibility, resonance, depth and  strength.
The following song will exemplify this point:
'Is matlabi duniya ko koi pyar sikha day' (the film 'Naghmaat ki raat')
The fiber of her voice retains resolution in all scales. The throw of words by her remains unmatched.
Most importantly, her utterance of lyrics is remarkably fluent. Two examples:
'Shayerana see hai zindigi' (the film 'Naik Perveen')

'Yahan say wahan tak' (the film 'Yahan say wahan tak')
Mehnaz is the only Pakistani female singer to have won the most Nigar Awards. She earned ten Nigar Awards up until 1990.
Furthermore, Mehnaz is also the only Pakistani female singer to have received the Nigar Awards for seven years in a row:
Mehnaz earned the Nigar Award for best singer in the film 'Sallakhain' in 1977.

Mehnaz earned the Nigar Award for best singer in the film 'Play boy' in 1978.

Mehnaz earned the Nigar Award for best singer in the film 'Khushbu' in 1979.

Mehnaz earned the Nigar Award for best singer in the film 'Bandish' in 1980.

Mehnaz earned the Nigar Award for best singer in the film 'Qurbani' in 1981.

Mehnaz earned the Nigar Award for best singer in the film 'Bewe ho to aisi' in 1982.

Mehnaz earned the Nigar Award for best singer in the film 'Kabhi alwida na kehna' in 1983.

Mehnaz earned the Nigar Award for best singer in the film 'Kundan' in 1987.

Mehnaz earned the Nigar Award for best singer in the film 'Bazaar-e-husn' in 1989.

Mehnaz earned the Nigar Award for best singer in the film ''Balandi' in 1990.
For the past three decades, Mehnaz has had a loyal following. Her voice has left an indelible stamp on our culture and on our society.
Mehnaz is not in the limelight. Nevertheless, her popularity has not abated.
Most definitely, her songs will continue to attract music lovers for years to come.


Our beloved Pakistan