Islamabad records its love for Zubaida Khanum
By Jonaid Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: The legend of vocalist Zubaida Khanum lives on. In the 50s she ruled supreme in the film world, and on Tuesday evening she was given a warm welcome and standing ovation when she came to the Pakistan National Council of the Arts.
Indeed there was a competition among young fans to cart her wheelchair and bring her from the main gate inside the auditorium.
The great vocalist had come to Islamabad after 27 years. Yet she was well-contented and glad to come to the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), she told the media at the gates.
Zubaida Khanum repeated that she was very happy to be in the federal capital and the PNCA, where she had come responding to Tauqir Nasir’s invitation.
The PNCA had kept its tradition of recreating the glory of great musicians and associate with musicians of the times when the music of Pakistan was a great name in the filmdom both here as well as in the subcontinent.
Zubaida Khanum rather enjoyed the replay of famous melody of yesteryears when her name was a guarantee of the success of films and of the times when no film could achieve box office popularity with music and song numbers.
The song Ghoonghat Nikaloon Ke Ghoonghat Uthaloon was on everyone’s lips during the 50s.
The musical evening commenced with Zubaida’s unforgettable song Shahe Madina. Thereafter Saira Tahir, Sara Raza and Ali Abbas took the audience to the past, interpreting 11 melodies as well as four duets.
But the pathos and music of violin tunes fiddled by Ustad Raees overwhelmed everyone’s heart.
Ustad Raees gave instrumental music from the film Saat Lakh.
Federal Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jilani called Zubaida Khanum a legend and said the government would do everything for her welfare as well as for other ailing vocalists, musicians and artists.
“The government shall take very good care of them,” he remarked.
While repeating old famous numbers was a way of paying tributes to Zubaida Khanum, a number of fans, including Kanwal Naseer and PNCA Director General Tauqir Nasir, also came on the stage to record their citation about her grand work of art.
These artists were “shining stars in the cultural firmament and made this land famous and we will honour each one of them and ring in their past achievements so that Pakistan became well renowned for its cultural process to wash away the bad name propagated against its fair name,” Mr Nasir said in his tribute.
Compere Kanwal Nasir, daughter of the great artists Mohni Hamid, reminded that there was no greater recompense for a great singer than to see her songs interpreted by younger artists.