Sadiq-ul-Islam: Good as gold

By Anis Shakur
Thursday – April 9, 2020
NEW YORK (United States): Focus on what you do best, and success will follow. This phrase holds true to radio Pakistan’s renowned producer-singer of yesteryear, Sadiq-ul-Islam. Sadiq embarked on a career at a most opportune moment, because most of the then radio personalities like Azeem Sarwar, Shamim Aijaz and Athar Shah Khan, regularly made their presence felt in one way or another.

The incredible competitive talent during those years brought out the best in Sadiq. More than competition was a spirit of collegiality, learning and help to perfect ones craft to the best of his ability.

Sadiq’s outsize talent, his warmth and humility and the intensity of his ingenuity have inspired much adulation in the recent past. Sadiq was not only a program producer of the highest grade but a highly competent singer as well.

He was equally at ease and in command with both sides of his creative ability. That made Sadiq’s tone all the more noticeable. Sadiq’s creative thinking led to one success after another.

For instance, once at the end of Waheed Murad’s interview, Sadiq said that interview was recorded in 1982. Then he added that he will take the listeners 17 years back in time. When the song 'Tu laakh chalari gori thum thum kay,' was recorded in Iqbal Banu’s voice for the film 'Budnaam.' The public was astonished at the sudden contrast.

The chief characteristic of Sadiq was the passion he inspired in everyone who came near him. Additionally, Sadiq’s eagerness is evident in all his presentations. Best of all, Sadiq always choose the act that spoke louder than words.

Once interviewing renowned pop singer, Nazia Hasan, Sadiq said to Nazia that he likes the song 'Aap jaisa koi meri zindigi mein aaye to baap bun jaaye.' Nazia immediately clarified that the word was 'baat' and not 'baap.' Sadiq's repartee, 'Oh, I thought it was baap.' Those were the gimmicks that made Sadiq the media darling. The public invested their time listening to Sadiq's interesting programs and they got so much back.

Talking of interviews, in the midst of an interview with singer Naheed Akhtar, Sadiq mentioned Naheed’s song, 'Allah he Allah kya karo, kuchh na kisi ko diya karo.' Naheed interrupted Sadiq by saying that it is 'dukh na kisi ko diya karo.' Thus, spinning magic with words, Sadiq won the hearts of the listeners.

Moreover, Sadiq’s ability to get through the bone of what makes us tick as humans and find humour in that distinguished him from other radio producers. One example below:

One day Sadiq started his program as usual with ‘Assalam-o-Alaikum.’ He talked for a minute and again said, ‘Assalam-o-Alaikum.’ Then he informed the listeners that he was referring to a movie by the name of ‘Assalam-o-Alaikum.’ Next, he played the song, 'Mohabbat kay diye jala lo,' sung by Saleem Shehzad for that movie.

Given the mood of the times, Sadiq could hardly ignore those gestures mentioned above. Sadiq’s carefully fact-checked interviews are highly laudable as well.

Once, Sadiq took two separate solos, 'Akele na jana,' in Mala and Ahmed Rushdi's voices in the film 'Armaan.' He meticulously put them together in such a way that they sounded like a duet, and he played it for the public. Music buffs were amazed at Sadiq’s dexterity. That added authenticity in addition to Sadiq’s implicit endorsement of the film 'Armaan.'

Further, Sadiq was known to select songs, which he played on different occasions. It was a difficult job done exceedingly well by Sadiq.

Essentially, Sadiq was an exciting, exhilarating and enormously entertaining person. He had caught the public eye with a string of interesting radio programs and with his melodious voice. He made the most of both of them.

Sadiq sang songs, which were accompanied by beautiful compositions, and the lyrics almost wrote themselves. One example below:

'Teray pyar mein aye diwanay keh hai hai rula diya, kyon bhula diya tu nay.'

Sadiq was more than an artist. His was the voice of conscience. He brightened so many other lives by encouraging them. Basically, Sadiq was an adornment to Pakistani radio. Hence, admirers revel in their delight as they listen to the song below:

'Haseen raat dhal gaye, jawan din guzar gaya, ye kaisa intizaar hai mera sukoon kidhar gaya.'

Like people, lasting songs want to be preserved as well as desired. Listening to the songs feels like something imagined. In the song below it seems as if the words flowed straight from heaven into our dreams:

'Naino ki nagri mein Aao kabhi to khwaboan mein naghmay sunao o maajhi ho.'

Sadiq learned something new every day and shared it with the people. It was all sweetness and light in Sadiq’s particular brand of sentimentality. The song below seems to occupy some point of fascination in our culture, which leaves a profound impact on one’s mind:

'Aao chalein us paar maajhi, maajhi ray, maajhi ray, maajhi ray.’

Memories of the blissful moments we have enjoyed with Sadiq come crowding over us today. Sadiq’s singing voice ignited a fire in innumerable adorers that never did go out. Hopefully, it never will.

Info: Eminent storyteller, Anis Shakur, is a Pakistani born United States (US) citizen. He works for the US federal and State government. He resides at a stone-throw distance from the darting shores of the Atlantic ocean in New York, for the past three decades.