ISLAMABAD: The melody queen of Ghoonghat utha loon, kay ghooghat nikaloon and living legend in Lollywood playback singing, Zubaida Khanum came out of hibernation after two decades and found herself in a galaxy of hundreds of fans at National Art Gallery (NAG), where troika of promising young artists – Saira Tahir Noor, Sara Raza and Ali Abbas – sang her old songs.
Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) arranged the musical night on Tuesday and gave a red carpet to Khanum, paying tribute to her illustrious career in film music.
Culture Minister Pir Aftab Hussain Jilani, Senator Maula Bux Chandio, PNCA DG Tauqir Nasir, Lok Virsa ED Khalid Javed and others were present on the occasion.
People of twin cities gave a standing ovation to Khanum who was introduced in film Billo by Baba Chishti in 1951 and got breakthrough from famous film Shehri Babu in 1953.
Khanum sang a lot of super hit songs in films and also appeared as second heroine in Patay Khan with Zarif. She stopped her film career after marriage to cameraman Riaz Bukhari in the end of the 50s.
PNCA pocketed well-deserved credit, for organising such back-to-back events to recognise and acknowledge the services of maestros in singing including Reshman, Ustad Shagan, Mehdi Hassan Khan, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, and now Zubaida Khanum well in time before the bell tolls.
“I have played my part and now it’s the responsibility of youngsters and society at large to get the art rolling in a similar fashion to use art as a tool for spreading the message of love, peace and happiness,” said the great vocalist in a lobby of PNCA while talking to media.
Khanum, who was on wheelchair, was relaxed as she entered the PNCA premises. “I am very happy to visit Islamabad after 25 years and thank PNCA and Tauqir Nasir for inviting me,” said a soft-spoken Khanum.
In his inaugural address, Nasir said it was an honour for the Council that Khanum has accepted their invitation. “Artists like of Khanum are assets for the nation. They used art as a tool to spread eternal message of love and peace,” Nasir said, “and we acknowledge Khanum’s services.”
Culture Minister Pir Aftab Jilani said it is indeed a good gesture from PNCA to arrange such events to honour living legends of the country who did exceptionally well in promotion of art and culture all over the world.
Jilani said, “We are encouraging private partners to come forward and join PNCA and other cultural public institutions for the promotion of art and culture. My ministry is doing its best to entertain public with art and encourage artists in this phase of terrorism.”
The musical evening commenced with Khanum’s unforgettable Naat ‘Shah-e Madina, Shah-e Madina’ by Saira Tahir. It followed the stunning work of violin maestro Ustad Raees Ahmed who mesmerized audience with Zubaida’s one of hit songs ‘Ay Maosam Rangeelay Suhanay’.
Sara Raza, Ali Abbas and Saira Tahir took the audience to the past, interpreting 11 melodies as well as four duets including Gori Gori Chandni Mein, Sayyon Ni Mera Dil Dharkay, Mera Dil Channa Kach Da Khadona, Laila o Lai Laila, Kiya Hua Dil Pay Sitam, Dupatta Baiman Ho Gaya, Babul Da Wera Chadd Kay, Ho Kay Majboor Challi and concluded with the theme song of the night Ghooghat Utha Loon, Kay Ghooghat Nikaloon.
Young Ali Abbas swayed with his mesmerizing voice. He actually stole the show with controlled voice. Kanwal Naseer conducted the event.