A aj jaane ki zid na karo, yu hi pehlu mein baithe raho. When Farida Khanum sang this Fayazz Hashmi nazm in Pakistan in the early 1970s, ghazal lovers of India cocked their ears to their tape recorders as though it was a coded command from the legend herself, and played and replayed the tape until it whirred in agony. People in India and Pakistan enjoyed the song so much that the demand for the cassette soared on both sides of the border. “That ghazal is simple poetry set to the simplest of tunes and it is that effortlessness that touches hearts,” says Khanum, now 74, over a telephone conversation from Lahore. “I am glad people still like it a lot.” She will have Aaj jaane ki... as the showstopper at the ICCR’s Routes2Roots concert in Delhi on Tuesday.
Aaj jaane kii zid na karo by Farida Khanum.
Balay Balay Tour Punjaban Dey [Folk Song] by Farida Khanum.
Khanum was born in Calcutta and learnt classical music from the maestro Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan. She still remembers the clip-clop of the tonga in which her sister Mukhtar Begum would take her, a seven-year-old Farida, to Khan’s place for riyaaz. An exponent of the Patiala gharana, she recalls, “All that I know today is because of my training in Amritsar. I learnt many Hindustani ragas in the style of the Patiala gharana, which is known for its graceful execution of thumris and khayals. I could have been a classical singer if I had not migrated.” Khanum had her first public performance in 1950 and then joined Radio Pakistan where she courted fame and fortune.
Milan rut aa'ii - by Late Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and Farida Khanum.
Wo ishq jo hamse rooth by Farida Khanum
Laa dey Juhmka Chandi ka by Farida Khanum
“I used to get 50 (Pakistani) rupees per show and that was quite a lot those days,” laughs Khanum. “In Pakistan, the classical singers were so good that I would not have been able to match those extremely talented ustads. I had always been interested in poetry and that is when I thought I should shift to a semi-classical genre, rather than struggle in a difficult field,” she says with disarming modesty.
Woh Mujh Say Hoay Hum Kalam by Fardia Khanum
Mein Ney Pairon Mein Payal by Farida Khanum
She became a star when Pakistan’s president Ayub Khan invited her to a public recital in the ’60s. “Bahut pyar mila uske baad humein. I performed a lot in India as well and it became a second home to me,” says Khanum, who especially loves performing in “Ghalib ka shehar Dilli”. Do the volatile relations between India and Pakistan affect her? “How can we artists turn our faces when India bleeds and just because some forces are busy funding war?” she asks. “We still can’t stop watching Shah Rukh Khan movies.” This time Khanum plans to meet music director AR Rahman. “I had gone to Chennai the last time I came to India but couldn’t meet him because of our busy schedules. Rahman wanted to record me then. I wish it is possible this time,” says Khanum. - Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today presented Begum Farida Khanum and Malini Rajurkar with Ustad Haafiz Ali Khan Award, 2005, named after host Ustaad Amjad Ali Khan’s late father. The legendary singer was here as part of an initiative by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to "build bridges" through culture. Introducing the singer, ICCR director-general Pavan K. Varma called her a "symbol" of India-Pakistan friendship. Diplomats, celebrities and journalists, who turned out in large numbers at the convention hall of Ashok Hotel, spontaneously burst into applause after every number. The 70-year-old singer enchanted them with truths from the heart. "One can lie with words, not music," she said, and went on to sing the all-time favourite: " Aaj Jaane ki jid na Karo ." REFERENCE: Song Sung True by Suanshu Khurana Posted: May 03, 2010 at 0040 hrs IST http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/song-sung-true/614141/ Fareeda Khanum: Made in India, queen of Pak music - Page2 - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Fareeda-Khanum-Made-in-India-queen-of-Pak-music/articleshow/msid-1331523,curpg-2.cms