A Ghazal by Farida Khanum in Jangla Bhairavi – Hai Yahan Naam Ishq Ka Lena

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PS Thanks to Mr. Riaz Ahmad Barni, I have corrected a few mistakes in this entry. It was a pleasure to receive the following detailed account of this recording from him:

Thank you for the refreshing ‘rediscovery’ of Farida Khanum’s ghazal Hai yahaa(n) naam ‘ishq kaa lainaa. ( I’ve been a long-time fan of hers) It was included in Farida Khanum’s first LP record published by EMI probably in 1971. Later EMI released it in cassette form (No. TC – LKDA – 20014) & I still have a copy. I’m sure you’re aware that it was one of FK’s several self-composed ghazals. [ Please consider adding this point to your note.] The exception is that due to the short notice, Farida Ji had to compose this one quite extempore. As she narrates the anecdote, Radio Pakistan had scheduled a programme on Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar’s death anniversary (Jan 4) in which this ghazal was also included. Farida Ji, Ustad Shaukat Husain Khan Sahib, & the harmonium player Altaf Husain (as FK recalls his name) waited in the studio for the composer to arrive. The composer for some reason didn’t show up. As time was fast approaching for the live programme, FK was requested to sing it without composer’s assistance. Concentrating on the ghazal, she started humming it in an effort to come up with an appropriate tune. Altaf, as per FK, provided a very tunefully supportive environment and finally this great tune was created.

It’s possible that subsequently, FK might have recorded this ghazal again at Lahore, or other stations of Radio Pakistan &/or TV with Nazim Ali Khan Sahib’s accompaniment. But in the recording you have kindly placed on your website, which is exactly the one included in FK’s first LP, the Saarangi sound is not audible (at least to me). An exception could be that it was there more to give the vocalist the harmonic drone (aas) for tonic reference. [You may verify this & also double-check the harmonium player’s name which most probably is Altaf Husain & not Nazar Husain. Also the date is most probably c. 1971 & not 1980.] On the LP’s release, I remember calling Farida Ji to congratulate her on the long-awaited album. As to the exceptionally beautiful harmonium sangat of this ghazal, a longer version of which I had already heard from Lahore Radio, I was so fascinated by the opening piece that I had to ask FK the musician’s name. “Don’t you know?”, she wondered, revealing it was Altaf Husain. She told me last year that Altaf had died a few years ago. She also regretted that such an excellent harmonium exponent, too, had taken to keyboard playing.

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