ISLAMABAD:'Happiness is subjective,' is a three word concise statement that presumably worked well with the distinct singer of the days gone by, Mala.
Ye dukh ye udasi ye Aansu ye Aahain, chalay Aao mil kay ye gham baant lain gey
Mala was born Naseem Nazli in the then Lyallpur, Punjab, pre-partitioned India, on November 9, 1939. She had been interested in singing and music from an early age.
Fortunately, her elder sister-cum-music composer, Shamim Nazli, happened to be her first music teacher and Mala learned the essentials of music from her.
On Shamim Nazli's request, music composer, Baba G.A. Chishti, had recorded two songs for the film 'Aabru', in Naseem's voice in 1961. In fact, it was Anwer Kamal Pasha, who persuaded Mala to try her luck in the Pakistani film industry.
In her 20 years singing career (1960-70), she sang for numerous music directors.
Her first major break in the films came in 1962. She changed her name to Mala and sang a simple composition "Aaya ray dekho sawan Aaya" (The film 'Sooraj mukhi', director, Dilshad Malik, music composer, Master Abdullah).
The film 'Sooraj mukhi' happened to be the first film of Dilshad Malik and Master Abdullah, as film director and music composer, respectively.
In 1963, Mala rendered her voice to a tragic composition, 'Dil deta hai ro, ro, duhai kisi say koi pyar na karay' (The film 'Ishq per zoar naheen', Mala-Sayeen Akhtar, director, Sharif Nayyar, music composer, Master Inayat Husain, starring, Jamila Razzaq, Aslam Pervez, Yasmeen, 'Dil dayta hai" was pictured on Yasmeen.
The highly acclaimed team of Mala-Rushdi-Sohail Rana-Masroor Anwar will always be remembered by the music lovers. All her duets with Ahmed Rushdi were super hits like the two tragic songs below:
'Aye meri zindigi, aye meray humsafar' (The film 'Ehsaan')
'Root gaye kyon' (The film 'Dil mera dharkan teri').
Romantic songs like the two below helped Mala built reputation for herself as a singer:
'Aye baharo gawah rehna'. The film 'Saiqa.'
'Mausum haseen hai laikin' (The film 'Aag').
The despondency and despair, which were vividly caught by Mala, were simply exemplary.
Mala always sang with the appropriate diction and inflexion. Given here below are two tragic songs:
'Ab thandi Aahein bhar pagli ja, aur mohabbat kar pagli'. The film 'Naila.'
'Mohabbat mein sara jahan jal gaya hai' (The film 'Insaniyat').
Perhaps, one of Mala's greatest qualities was the versatility with which she recorded one tragic song after another like the two below:
'Hai ray mohabbat hai' (The film 'Insaniyat').
'Jab raat dhali tum yaad Aaye' (The film 'Kaneez').
Indeed, Mala was proud of herself for her flawless pronunciation as is evident in the two sad songs below:
'Bhuli hui hoon dastaan, guzra hua khayal hoon' (The film 'Doraha').
'Ja, ja, ray chanda ja ray' (The film 'Heera Aur pathar').
From the melancholy strains of 'Meri qismat bata,hai meri kya kheta' (The film 'Armaan') to the songs depicting the reality of life like ' Hum bhi hain pyar kay qabil' (The film 'Kaneez'), or from the simplicity and innocence of 'Tu hai phool meray gulshan ka'(The film 'Phool meray gulshan ka') to the jolly songs like 'Meray juray mein gainday ka phool' (The film 'Saza'), Mala excelled in every situation.
She was equally at ease with relatively light scores like the two below:
'Dhoond rahi theen janay kab say' (Mala-Rushdi, the film 'Teri surat meri Aankhein').
'Khush nasibi hai meri,tum nay apna ya hai' (Mala-Rushdi, the film 'Baharain phir bhi Aa yein gee').
Mala is widely acclaimed for this romantically charged song, 'Chalay thandi hawa' (Mala-Rushdi, the film 'Najma'). (To be continued...)