Akhlaq Ahmed: integrity of character - E.1

  • ISLAMABAD: 'Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking,' is a statement by JC Watts and it worked well with the acclaimed singer of the yesteryear, Akhlaq Ahmed.

    Chota sa gahr tujh ko doon ga dukh sukh ka saathi banu ga.

    Akhlaq Ahmed was born on January 10, 1950, in Delhi, India and he migrated to Pakistan after a while.

    In the 1960s, Akhlaq frequented the stage shows. He sang songs alongside singer Masood Rana and actor Nadeem. Akhlaq's early music inspiration was astounding. Perhaps, it was then that the seeds of artistic revolution were sown.

    Eminent music composer, Lal Mohammad Iqbal, offered Akhlaq to sing for the film 'Pazaib.' The lyrics of the song were 'O mama meray, O chacha meray.' Hence, Akhlaq debuted as a singer in the 1972 film, 'Pazaib.' A seemingly endless array of songs appeared in the years to follow.

    One marvels at Akhlaq's comprehension of words as one listens to 'Behkay qadam unjan rahain,' music composer, Sohail Rana, the film 'Badal aur bijli,' May 4, 1973.

    Akhlaq sang with understanding and his rendering of poetry was superbly flawless. Jubilant fans greeted the song 'Aap say pyar ka izhar mushkil hai.' Music, Amir A. Khan, the 1974 film 'Tum sa naheen deikha.'

    Akhlaq might never have been closer to perfection as he was in 'Sawan Aaye sawan jaaye,' Music, Robin Ghosh, the film 'Chahat,' May 24, 1974.

    This song exudes an overwhelming melancholy 'Lo janaza chala mohabbat ka.' Music, Nisar Bazmi, the film 'Laila Mujnu,' October 18, 1974.

    As usual, Akhlaq's dedication was absolute while recording this song 'Ho meray sung chala ik khubsurat.' Duet, Akhlaq- Nayyara Noor, music, Robin Ghosh, the film 'Sharafat.' August 7, 1974.

    A person's name is the sweetest sound to him. The word 'Akhlaq' literally means 'good manners.' Indeed, Akhlaq remained an embodiment of etiquette all his life.

    Akhlaq successfully recorded sad songs and filled them with emotional power as well. Example, 'Aye dil apna dard chupa kar geet khushi kay gaye ja.' Music, Nisar Bazmi, the film 'Pehchan,' August 1, 1975.

    Over the years, Akhlaq worked his magic throughout Pakistan. The masterpieces began to flow, as they would over two decades. Example, 'Deikho ye koan Aa gaya, dil mein nasha cha gaya,' music, Robin Ghosh, the 1975 film 'Do saathi.'

    Here is a song which sounds like a translation of music through the soul 'Raat bhar sajna ko yaad kiya hoga, dil liya hoga kabhi dil diya hoga.' The 1975 film 'Umang.' Duet, Akhlaq- Nayyara Noor, music, K. Khursheed.

    This song was recorded in 1976; the public still sit still to listen to it 'Saathi meray bin teray kaisay beetay gee.' Music, Rafiq Ali, the film 'Zubeida,' January 16, 1976.

    I assume the readers will concur with me that this song is one of Pakistan's very best compositions 'Hum rahi aisee rahoan kay jin ki koye manzil he naheen ye jeewan pyas ka sehra hai aur sar pay koi baadal bhi naheen.' Music, Sohail Rana, lyrics, Ubaidullah Aleem, the film' Musafir,' or 'Beyond the last mountain,' December 17, 1976.

    There are people who are musical by nature. Akhlaq was one such man. This song is a testament to Akhlaq's singing prowess, 'Muskurata rahay Aashiyana.' Music, Nashad, the 1976 film 'Insaniyat.'

    The eternal romantic was Akhlaq in this song, 'Haseen wadion say pucho pyar karti hain.' Music, Robin Ghosh, the film 'Aa'ena,' March 18, 1977.

    Enthusing about his superfluous singing career, Akhlaq once maintained that he had done justice to each and every song that he had rendered in all his movies. Here is one example, 'Yehe hai pyaray zindigi, kabhi hai gham aur kabhi khushi.' Music, Kamal Ahmed, the film 'Prince,' June 30, 1978.

    Talking of impact, the heart of the film 'Aadmi' is the song, 'Taqdeer kay haatoan mein khilona hai Aadmi.' Music, Kamal Ahmed, the 1978 film 'Aadmi.'

    This song catapulted Akhlaq into instant fame and he remained one of the big screens most sought-after signers for many years, 'Sona na chandi na koi mehel jan-e-mun.' Music, Robin Ghosh, the film 'Bandish,' January 11, 1980.

    Regarding his musical journey, Akhlaq once characteristically emphasised how much of a learning experience it was to be an integral part of the movie. Here is a song that is well worth remembering, 'Tu hai naseeboan wali tujhay hum nay pyar kia hai.' Music, Manzoor Ashraf, the film 'Humdono,' February 25, 1980.

    Strictly speaking, Akhlaq was an ordinary human like any other being. Yet it is possible to let yourself be swept away by the emotional impact of his singing voice. Here is one example, 'Her tamanna kanwal bun gaye hai.' Duet, Akhlaq Ahmed – Mala. Music, Manzoor Ashraf, the film 'Bandhan.' March 21, 1980.

    This song arouses our dreams, anxieties and excitement 'Samaan wo khwab sa samaan.' Music, Robin Ghosh, the film 'Naheen abhi naheen.' October 21, 1980.

    Most of all, Akhlaq's ability to devote unswerving attention to his task produced success in his field. Example, 'Zindigi ka safar kabhi rukta naheen.' Music, Robin Ghosh, the 1981 film 'Kiran aur kali.'

    Akhlaq recorded the songs with verve and vivacity. Most of all, the fibre of his voice retained resolution in all scales. Example, 'Chaman chaman kali kali.' Music, Robin Ghosh, the film 'Aahut,' April 16, 1982. (To be continued,...)