A Lgend Music Director
Nisar Bazmi was born in 1925 in district Khan
Des near Bombay, India. He began composing songs on All India Radio
Delhi in the mid 40s. His first film was Jamna Paar in 1946.
He composed songs in 24 films before he migrated to Pakistan in 1962.
He was a C-class music director in India but received instant recognition
as a foremost film composer in Pakistan. He composed music for 66 films
in Pakistan. His first film was Head Constable in 1964 and
the last was Very
good Duniya very bad log in 1998.
Nisar Bazmi died on the age of 82 years
on March 23, 2007.
Here are copied - with lot of thanks - some very interesting facts about
Nisar Bazmi's music career from Mr.
Khurram Ali, Dawn's website:
Chanda ka dil toot gaya hai (Mohammad Rafi, film: Khoj (1953)
This is a song Nisar Bazmi recalls when referring to the Indian span of his career.
Among other songs:
- Chalti ka naam gadi, Jo smajh gaye who samajh gaye,
Peechhay reh gaye anari.
He did almost 40 films in India, which included many
songs sung by Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar.
Ho tamanna aur kiya (Noorjehan, film: Aisa Bhi Hota Hai (1965)
In 1962, Bazmi was in Pakistan to visit some relatives as well as explore the
possibilities of work her. A friend arranged his meeting with Fazle Karim
Fazlee and his son Faizee, well-connected filmmakers of the 1960s. They booked
him for their film Aisa Bhi Hota Hai, and also helped him procure Pakistani nationality.
The recordings started in December 1962, and the entire score was ready
by the first few months of the following year. The film, however, was not released
until 1965. The songs, lent out to the radio soon after their recording,
thus became popular long before the first screening of the film. Among the popular
numbers were the comic-modem
- Hum ko toh ishq nay buddhoo bana diya (Ahmed
Rushdi, Masood Rana) and
- Mohabbat mien teray sir ki qasam (Rushdi and Noorjehan).
composer's own favourite remained
which also became extremely popular
with the public. "I like it because it is so eastern. It really gives you a feel
of our classical music," he says.
An interesting anecdote is related to the recording of the first song of this
film: Aye aye bahar kay din aye. "All the music directors had gathered to watch
my work. Khawaja Khurshid Anwar, Rasheed Atrray, Master Inayat Husain,
and others. Those days, songs were recorded on three tracks: two were
given to the musicans, and on to the singer. For certain reasons, I was not
getting the required effect, and kept on asking Madam (Noorjehan) for more
re-takes. On the nineteenth, Masster Inayat, who had just entered the hall,
said to me, 'Bazmi Saheb, this is good.' And I Okay-ed it. Those were the good
old days when you could ask even a senior artiste to give many re-takes," recounts
Mushkil mein sub nay tujh ko pukara (Masood Rana)
Film: Hatim Tai (1967)
These were the days when Nisar Bazmi had signed a contract with Eveready Pictures, the kind of employment which provided him with an office to work in,
but did not stop him from taking up jobs offered by other companies.
To his dismay, he noticed a gramophone being brought into his office. He protested, "but
I don't need a gramophone here." The employers told him it was just therte
in case he wants to use it... But Bazmi knew its real purpose and his
worries were realized when the employers brought in a record with Hatim Tai printed in Hindi on its sleeve.
They said, "we see you are working on the hamd. Incidentally, the Indian film
also has a hamd in it. Why don't you listen to it..."
"Listen," said Bazmi very curtly (the unassuming Bazmi can become disrespectful
sometimes, i.e., when he is offended). "If you wanted someone to copy the tunes,
you could have hired a musician. You don't need a composer for that". Eventually,
the hamd he prepared was original, and quite a good one.
Hatim Tai was a costume film, like an earlier one he had done, called Aadil (1965)
which starred Muhammad Ali, like so many costume films of the day. But unlike
Aadil, it was a film about the magical world, and provided an opportunity for
him to express his wildest imagination and take his audience on a trip beyond
the real word -- which he did!
Remembering his tussle with filmmakers, Nisar Bazmi says: "I was fortunate to
work with people who did not force me to compose plagiarized tunes, even when
they wanted me to do so. Of course, I never worked with the ones who were notorious
for plagiarism. I need not mention them, because you all know who they were."
Halat badal nahin saktay (Noorjehan)
Film: Lakhon Mein Eik (1967)
Afzal Husain, who had recorded the songs for Aisa Bhi Hota Hai, decided to produce
a film. He wanted Raza Mir to direct and Bazmi to compose the music. It turned
out to be a good team. Many music listeners as well as critics remember the score
from Lakhon Mein Eik as the best of Bazmi, although he himself thinks he surpassed
himself in Naag Muni, a few years later (which was again, incidentally, a Raza
The most popular song from Lakhon Mein Eik has been, of course, the evergreen,
ever-sad number: Chalo achha hua tum bhool gaye. It was also very well placed
in the film.
"That song was entirely inspired from the situation. I was reading the script.
The lover, a Muslim boy, has lost his memory. His father brings the heroine,
to see him. She is a Hindu girl whom this boy had loved madly. Now he asks, "Who
is she?" Just as I read this, I thought they could not have been married anyway,
so these words came to mind: 'Chalo achha hua tum bhool gaye, ik bhool he thha
mera pyaar...' And I composed the song with these dummy words. Later, the poet
decided to keep them..." says Bazmi.
Bazmi's own favourite, however, remains Halat badal nahin saktay. What he likes
about it is the contrast between classical and light classical. "The asthai is
very classical; the antra so light. And they go along together in perfect harmony," he
Another song, Sun Sajna, was typical of Bazmi because it was rendered at an extremely
high-pitch. "I have never sung at such a pitch", the Madam complained when it
was recorded. Well, that was just the beginning. She would soon find herself
eclipsing her own pitch a few years later, in Naag Muni.
Kuchh log rooth ker bhi (Noorjehan)
Film: Andaleeb (1968)
Nisar Bazmi thinks that Fareed Ahmed, the director, deserves credit for the success
of this film, "He was a hard-working person, who had a grip on every department
of the film: beackground music, editing, processing... everything."
Almost all the songs of this memorable film were super hit -- Nanhi munni gudiya
rani, Meray dil ki mehfil saja dainay wally, Gaysuon kay anchal mein... to name
but a few. Bazmi's own favourite remains the sad version of Kuchh Loge. He prefers
it over the lighter version, which "did not have such a powerful situation in
the film as this one".
Interestingly, Bazmi had composed a song by Jan Nisar Akhtar in his days earlier
in India. That tune was also based on Bilawal that. The beginning of the song,
sung by Lata Mangeshkar, was strikingly similar to Kuchh Loge. (If you like,
why not try out humming it yourself. The line is: Yeh raat yeh jaltay tarray/Yoonhi
jaltay nah rehain gay/Badlain gay yeh nazaray/Yeh raat...)
Saajna ray (Noorjehan)
Film: Naag Muni (1972)
"In my opinion, the only good film music is that which bursts out from the situation
in the script and forces itself upon the music director," says Bazmi. Naag Muni
had everything Bazmi could dream of. Out-of-this-world situation, the backdrop
of an imaginary dance-and-music based culture, and Raza Mir. Waheed Murad, the
hero in Andaleeb, was once again in the starring role. What resulted was one
of the best films ever made in our industry (forgive the lousy insertion of a
sub-plot in the second half), and one of the best musical scores which is still
remembered today. Aaj bhi sooraj doob gaya hai was the song Madame had to render
in such a high picth, it must have made the tune seem so easy from Sun sajna.
And then there was Tun toh pay waroon, one of the most celebrated songs of our
cultural history -- some adored its heart-rending melody while others found it
disgusting for being too earthy. Almost nobody has ever been able to forget it.
Nisar Bazmi's favourite, however, remains the horrible Saajna ray. "There have
been so many songs about love, happiness and sorrow. This one is different from
them all. This one is different from them all. This one is about fear. Straight
fear. Not just the fear of losing love, but also the fear of losing someone's
life." Indeed, it is.
In this song, Bazmi was also able to pay homage to S. D. Burman, one of his favourite
music directors from India. Burman's song Rangeela ray had been living in the
memory of Bazmi for quite some time. (That was an old song, don't confuse it
with the new one, please!) The beginning of Sajna ray was an allusion to that
song, but very much in the tradition of true art -- which meant that the resemblance
"Just listen to the two songs yourself and compare them", says Bazmi, "You will
know what am I saying".
Aisay bhi hain meherban (Ahmed Rushdi)
Film: Jaisey Jantey Nahin (1969)
Nisar Bazmi usually quotes this song to prove that Rushdi was also a master of
serious singing. "This song is very popular," he adds. "People from abroad also
sing it. I was happy and amazed to find a Chinese group rendering it on one occasion." The
film was directed by Suleman, who was also the director of the earlier Ali-Zeb
production Aag (1967). Songs from that movie, also composed by Bazmi, were also
popular, including Mausam haseen hai (Ahmed Rushdi-Mala duet).
Jaise Jante Nahin was among the last of the black and white films. The era of
colour movies had at last also begun in Pakistan. (Hollywood had released its
first colour movie in 1939, while India's Aan, released in 1956, was the first
colour production of that country).
Chalo yoonhi roothe raho (Mehdi Hasan)
Film: Shararat (1974)
Mehdi Hasan had a reputation for singing slow songs. "Why not try him on a fast,
happy song?" Bazmi thought. In the beginning people were reluctant, but the number
turned out quite well, and became popular at once.
Suleman was a director who usually made a good team with Bazmi (they must have
worked on 15 or 16 films together). With Shararat, however, differences arose
between them. Bazmi had always been fond of long pieces of 'intervals' in his
songs. With the arrival of colour he had started taking even greater liberties,
as he thought that the colour camera can hold people's interest over long sequences
of musical action. Some of the actors did not like that, saying it was too much
fatigue. In Shararat, Suleman gave in to such actors and mutilated the interval
pieces. "Why, you could have told me," said Bazmi, "I could have kept them short
in the original score... if your actors are tired of running around, next time
I will only give you asthai and antra!"
Aisi chaal main chaloon (Tasawur Khanum)
Film: Anmol (1973)
Pervaiz Malik had decided to direct a film about a strong female character --
something of a modern-day Amazon. This was the song Bazmi prepared to introduce
to the tougher side of the character. Likewise, he chose a new voice. Tasawur
Khanum had done only one song before. The naturally high pitch of her voice was
quite suitable for this character (although an ironically ill-matched contrast
with the original voice of the actress, who was, incidentally, the soft voiced
Earlier, the heroines of our films had usually played passive roles: blood, sweat
and tears and sacrifice. Anmol was something of a gender revolution as far as
the cinema is concerned. Where did this character come from?
"We can't say," says Nisar Bazmi. "But it just might have come from somewhere
(across the border)." Laughs.
Other super hit memorables from Anmol: Pyaar insaan ko (Mehdi Hasan), Abhi aap
ki umar hi kya hai (Runa Laila and Rushdi), and many others.
Apparently, Bazmi likes this movie. "I have done several pictures with Pervaiz
Malik but the really good ones amongst them are only three: Anmol, Pehchan and
Talash." Then, if you mention Intikhab, he will respond with an ambiguous "ji
han", leaving you to wonder if he means to review his judgment. Of course, the
most memorable hit from Bazmi-Malik team remains the unforgettable "Allah hi
Allah kiya karo" from Pehchan (1976), which gave boost to the upcoming crooner
"That was based on a Kashmiri folk tune", says Bazmi. "And I think Masroor Anwar,
the poet, did a good job on it."
Mein tera sheher chhor jaoon ga (Mujeeb Alam)
Film: Shama Aur Perwana (1972)
This was the film which brought him together with Hasan Tariq. Many critics still
consider Tariq-Bazmi-Rani team to be one of the most successful groupings in
the history of our cinema.
The song, which also marked the mahurat (launching) of the film, was originally
recorded in the voice of Mehdi Hasan. Other songs, such as Mein teray ajnabi
sheher mein, etc., required a higher pitch and hence they were rendered by Mujeeb
Aalam. Hasan Tariq, however, wanted all the songs for the character to be done
in a single voice. Since it was more difficult to ask Mehdi Hasan to render the
five other high-pitched songs, Bazmi called upon Mujeeb Alam to re-record this
one in his own voice. Fortunately, the four-track system had already been introduced
by that time, so that Mujeeb merely had to dub his voice on the previously recorded
musical track. In this song Bazmi had deliberately kept the interval pieces short.
The situation demanded that, since the singer was supposed to be gazing at the
beloved, without taking his eyes away even for a moment.
Shama Aur Parwana had a nominal storyline, and the film depended upon its music
in order to avoid a complete box office failure. Bazmi composed eleven songs,
out of which ten became super hit (including Mein tere ajnabi sheher mien (Mujeeb),
Pyaar ko jurm (Mujeeb-Mala) and Aaj hai mehfil deed ke qabil (Noorjehan).
Watching the premiere show, Pervaiz Malik remarked, "It seems as if, whenever
Hasan Tariq failed to come up with something in the story, he simply asked Bazmi
Saheb to put a song there" Bazmi recalls this comment whenever someone mentions
Shama Aur Parwana. I do not think he disagrees altogether.
Laga hai Misr ka bazaar (Mehdi Hasan-Noorjehan)
Film: Tehzib (1971)
In 1973, Bazmi went off for his pilgrimage (he has always been a religious person).
As soon as he came back, he was picked up by Hasan Tariq right from the airport,
who told him, "Bazmi Saheb, you have to do this song just now, for me..." The
song was for his next venture Tehzeeb, describing the emotions of a girl who
is completely drunk and alone with her lover.
However, the song from Tehzeeb which became most popular was Laga Hai -- rendered
twice in the film, in two different voices. Interestingly, the censors first
passed the song but later decided to get the word 'Misr' (Egypt) removed for
diplomatic reasons. By then, the film had already been released and the records
sold. They could not do anything about the records but they did get Hasan Tariq
to dub the prints again, substituting husn for 'Misr'; watch out for the brief
jerk the next time you watch Tehzib!
Jo bacha tha wo lutanay... (Noorjehan)
Film: Umrao Jan Ada (1973)
The favourite character of Hasan Tariq was the prostitute. Anjuman and Umrao
Jan Ada will go down in our history as two of the most memorable films on the
topic. Hasan Tariq had discovered Rani's talent for dancing roles, and nobody
could ever cast her again the way Hasan did. In fact, her career faded with her
separation from Hasan.
Of the several dance scores Bazmi did for the Rani-Hasan team, perhaps the best
remembered ones are Dil Dharkey (Anjuman) and Jo bacha tha. About the latter
song, he says, "I have now come to like the song myself. Look at the way Madame
has rendered the word 'tha' in the first line. Simply wonderful. But, strange,
as it may seem now, I wasn't quite happy with this song in the beginning." Why?
Bazmi refused to say. "Oh, I don't want to name anyone. They all have been so
nice. I really care for their feelings, and don't want to hurt..."
From other reliable sources we learn that the song was originally meant for Runa
Laila, who was taking over the music scene in those times. And Bazmi had always
treated the young crooner with the kindness of an elderly person. It was Hasan
Tariq who suddenly decided to take the song away from Runa and give it to Madam.
Bazmi, who is by nature calm could not cope with the last-moment change, and
it needed the rest of the country to really convince him that the rendering was,
after all, not quite bad.
Song: Khayal rakhna
Made for TV (1982)
This song was just as popular in the early eighties as the Vital Signs' Dil Dil
Pakistan was to become about five years later. It was rendered by Alamgir, whom
Nisar Bazmi had introduced earlier in his film Jageer, with the fast-rhythm song:
Hum chalay to humaray sang sang. It was also a breakthrough for the Benjamin
Sisters as the chorus. Rendered on modern beats, but still with rather simple
equipment as compared to the gadgets people use today -- it had an 80-keyboard,
guitar and jazz only -- this was the tune picked up by Shoaib Mansoor, the producer,
out of the several Bazmi had prepared for the song. The rest is history.
Sacha tera naam (Mehnaz)
Film: Biwi ho to Aisi (1983)
This is amongst the last works of Bazmi, so far. The trends had changed by then.
Most of the musical score from Biwi ho to Aisi reminds us of the disco trends,
but Bazmi's own favourite remains Sacha tera naam -- a simplistic hymn. Why?
Don't ask him. He would say, "Allah ka naam hai bhai. Isn't that reason enough
to like the song?"
Some memorable film songs
(Famous film songs not mentioned in "Memorable Musical Films" on Pakistan
Film History segment).
- Rahi bhatakne wale, La-elah ke ujaley...
(singer Mehdi Hassan, film Aadil 1966))
- Mushkil mein sab ne tujh ko pukara, Parwardigara...
(singers Masood Rana, film Hatim Tai 1967)
- Jab koi pyar se bulaye ga, tum ko ek shakhs yaad aaye ga...
(singer Mehdi Hassan, film Zindgi kitni
haseen hay 1969)
- Buhat yaad aayen ge woh din, tumhen tarpaen ge...
(singer Mehdi Hassan, film Aneela 1970)
- Teh-e-dil se keh rahe hayn tujhe aaj ham mubarak...
(singer Masood Rana, film Do Tasveeren
- Band aankhon mein sapne they...
(singer Mehdi Hassan, film Ganwar 1975)
- Ik Larki, bholi bhali si...
(singer Ghulam Abbas, film Ganwar 1975)
- Ham chaley to hamare sung sung yeh nazarey chalen...
(singers Alamgir, film Jageer 1976)
- Woh aa to jaye magar, mera pyar hi kam hay...
(singers Ghulam Abbas, film Ganwar 1975)
- Chalo yunhi roothe raho, lab se bhi kuchh na kaho...
(singer Mehdi Hassan, film Shararat 1975)
- Sawan ke din aaye Baalam, jhula kon jhulaye...
(singer Naheed Akhtar, film Naag aur Nagin
Total 90 films (1946-98)
66 films in Pakistan:
65 Urdu, 0 Punjabi, 1 Pashto film
24 Indian Urdu/Hindi films
in India (1946-61)
» Jaib Kutra
» Daghabaz Dost
» Extra Girl
» Hamari Qismat
» Geo Raja
» Roop Lekha
» Ram bhrose
» Kyun jee
» Halla Gulla
» Pyara Dushman
» Flying Queen
» Jungle Queen
» Bhala Aadmi
» Kall kya hoga
» Sachey ka bolbala
» Teer aur Talwar
» Shola jo bharkey
in Pakistan (1964-98)
» Head Constable
» Aisa bhi hota hay
» Waqt ki pukar
» Hatim Tai
» Ghar pyara Ghar
» Jaise jante nahin
» Mohabbat rang laye gi
zindgi hay Naghma
» Sarhad ki god mein
» Dil ka Shehar
» Baat puhchi teri jawani tak
» Namak haram
» Mastani Mehbooba
» Do Tasviren
» Pyar hi pyar
» Ik gunah aur sahi
» Aag aur Aansoo
» Naag aur Nagin
» Neya Suraj
» Jan ki bazi
» Jondiamarg (Pashto)
» Khak aur Khoon
» Mere apne
ho to aisi
good Duniya very bad log