09 April 2009

Mehdi Hassan - The Legend

Hi !
The readers of my blog will be surprised to read this post other than philately on this blog today. It is because besides philately, Music is my other pastime and Mehdi Hassan being my favourite Ghazal singer, I am giving this special post here in this blog to express my concern about this great artist who is suffering from serious illness these days. Not a single day passes when I miss to listen his Ghazals especially the super hits "Mujhe tum Nazar se Gira to Rahe Ho Mujhe tum kabhi bhi bhula na sakoge" Zindagi Mein To Sabhi Pyaar Kiya Karte Hain and " Ranjish Hi Sahi Dil Hi Dukhaane Ke Liye Aa ". Whenever I listen his Ghazlas I am so sad and deeply touched and feel quite hurt about his very poor health these days. Mehdi Hassan's voice has shared many sad and happy moments of all music lovers. In fact the pathos and depth in his voice can never be compared with the voice of any other singer. It's beyond compare ! Recently I read about his serious health in Newpapers and watched on Television that this Ghazal Mastero is seriouly ill. He suffered a stroke around three and a half years ago that left his left side paralysed.The singer that stole the heart of every Music lover in India, Pakistan and all over the world. The pathos in his voice touched millions of people all over the world. This great person is undergoing such a poor health that he cannot speak or recognize any one. What can we do to express our love and regards for this greatest singer of all time ? It would be very nice if Music lover associations in India come forward and organize benefit concerts for this great ailing singer and donate the money for his highly expensive treatment which is going on at a hospital in Karachi. It would be the real way to show our love for his Ghazals that have given a spiritual experience to the music lovers all over the world. If any Music Lover or member of Music Associations is reading my Blog, and going to organize a programme in honour of this great ailing singer, please write, it would be a great pleasure to be a small part of it in someway. He is not an asset for India and Pakistan but an asset for the whole world and we pray for his early recovery.” Here is a nice photograph of Mehdi Hassan with great singer Talat Mahmood - one of my favourite singers and some other photos of his popular albums.

The two Ghazal Legends ( Talat Mahmood & Mehdi Hassan)

His early life
Mehndi Hassan was born in the village of Luna in Rajasthan, India in 1927 into a family of rich traditional musicians. He claims to be the 16th generation of hereditary musicians hailing from the Kalawant. Kala means "Art" and Kalawant means "artist" .He received his musical training under his father, Ustad Azeem Khan and his uncle Ustad Ismail Khan who were classical musicians, well-versed in the dhrupad style of singing. They instructed him in classical music and voice production within the framework of classical forms of thumri, dhrupad, khayal and dadra, from the young age of eight.

Hassan started to perform at a young age and the first concert of dhrupad and kheyal with his elder brother is reported to have been held in Fazilka Bungla near Ferozepur. After the Partition of India, 20-year-old Hassan and his family migrated to Pakistan and suffered severe financial hardships. To make ends meet, Hassan began working in a bicycle shop and later became a car and diesel tractor mechanic. Despite the hardships, his passion for music didn't wither and he kept up the daily routine of practice.

The struggle ended when Mehdi Hassan was given the opportunity to sing on Radio Pakistan in 1952, primarily as a thumri singer, which earned him recognition within the musical fraternity. At the time, Ustad Barkat Ali Khan, Begum Akhtar and Mukhtar Begum were considered the stalwarts of ghazal gayaki. He also had a passion for Urdu poetry and began to experiment by singing ghazals on a part-time basis. He cites radio officers, Z.A. Bukhari and Rafiq Anwar as additional influences in his progression as a ghazal singer. They gave him ample opportunities to display his mastery over the ghazal on radio. He sang ghazals of all the renowned Urdu poets and his innovative style was soon appreciated by both masses and discerning audiences. Hassan’s voice and unique performance skills in ghazal singing were unmatched in the world of South Asian music. The 60s and 70s can be named Mehdi Hassan’s decades’, as there was hardly any hero in the Pakistani musical scene on whom Mehdi Hassan’s songs were not filmed.

King of Ghazals
Mehdi Hassan is universally acclaimed as the finest ghazal singer of his time. His unsurpassed vocal range and his mastery over even the most difficult of raags makes him the undisputed emperor of ghazals. His popularity amongst the masses, appreciation by the masses, and continued success over five decades makes him on par with Noor Jehan in the league of the greatest Pakistani singers of all time. The ultimate tribute to his greatness was from the eternal nightingale, Lata Mangeshkar, who compared his songs to " voice of god " . he is only the singer whose low note are matchless among all singers of subcontinent. Following a severe illness in the late 80s, Mehdi Hassan stepped down from playback singing. Later due to severity of his illness he completely departed from music.


Meenu Khare said...

Very nice post on a legend. Very nicely presented too.

Meenu Khare said...

Pl remove word verification from the comment Box, Its often irritatig...

Prashant Pandya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prashant Pandya said...

Nice to read your post about Great Ghazal Singer Janab Mehdi Hassan. It is really sad that such a great personality is facing financial problems for his treatment.

Uma Maheswar Nakka said...

He is an Excellent singer. When I was 36 yrs old I heard his song "Duniya Kisike pyaar mein". And that is it. Since then till to date I am listening to his songs. Those days only audio tapes and tape recorders. Noe iPods have come. And my iPod has at least 10 best selected songs of him.
Thanks for the article
Blessings to you.
Uma Maheswar Nakka

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