Musicians cherish singer’s memories
LAHORE: ‘Ab kay hum bichray to shayed kabhi khawbon mein milain.’ The melodic voice of Mehdi Hassan that captivated millions of people across South Asia is no more.
Hassan spent many years of his life in Lahore. In the 1970s, he lived in Gulberg III and later moved to Johar Town with his son Sajjad Mehdi.
Sajjad Mehdi told Dawn that during his ailment his father spent six to seven years in Johar Town.
“My father loved Lahore and used to visit Data Sahib every week.” He was also a regular visitor at a famous tikka house in Gulberg’s Main Market.
After his father’s burial on Friday in Karachi, his ghaibana Namaz-i-Janaza will be offered in Lahore. He said his Gulberg residence was a great place of gathering and many known singers and music directors used to gather there.
Sajjad said his father also used to sit on Abbot Road with one of his friends, Saeed Butt, who was a motor mechanic and his diehard fan. Many singers of that era, such as Masood Rana, Ghulam Abbas, Munir Husain and Pervaiz Mehdi, used to gather on Abbot Road.
Mehdi Hassan’s disciple Ghulam Abbas termed his death an irrecoverable loss. Abbas said he became a student of Mehdi Hassan in 1989 at AM Studio on Band Road. “I have the privilege to have sung many duets with my esteemed teacher,” he said, adding that he had learnt a lot from Hassan who was an institution in himself.
Musician Qadir Ali Shagan said Mehdi Hassan was like a brother to his father Ustad Ghulam Hussain Shagan. He was a great artiste and a greater human being. “I felt so happy when Mehdi Hassan Sahib sang a ghazal in my composition, ‘Mumkin ho aap say to bhula deejiye mujhay,” written by Shehzad Ahmed, because such a high-profile artiste held me in high esteem for that composition.”
Singer A. Nayyer said no singer sang ghazal the way Mehdi Hassan sang. He gave a new dimension to ghazal and with his death a golden chapter in Pakistan’s music history had ended. Veteran ghazal singer Farida Khanum said Mehdi Hassan was dedicated to music and riaz and no-one could matched him in this regard. “I remember I sang a duet with him at Radio Pakistan, Lahore, ‘Aye mehnat kash insano’, but it could not be broadcast. However, it was a memorable duet because Mehdi Hassan sang it extremely well.” She said Mehdi Hassan’s death had created a vacuum which could not be filled.
Hamid Ali Khan said Mehdi Hassan was a great singer who used to praise and encourage junior artistes. He said Hassan’s death was a great loss for ghazal lovers across South Asia.