Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mehdi Hassan’s birth anniversary observed

ISLAMABAD: The 85th birth anniversary of the 'King of Ghazal', Mehdi Hassan was observed across the country on Wednesday. Mehdi Hassan was born on July 18, 1927 in a village called Luna in Rajasthan, India, in a family of traditional musicians. He had claimed to be the 16th generation of hereditary musicians hailing from the Kalawant clan of musicians.

Mehdi Hassan had his musical grooming from his father, Ustad Azeem Khan, and uncle Ustad Ismail Khan, who were both traditional dhrupad singers. Hassan started to perform at a young age and his first concert of dhrupad and kheyal with his elder brother is reported to have been held in Fazilka Bungla, near present DC House, of Undivided Punjab. 

After the partition of India, the 20-year-old Hassan and his family migrated to Pakistan and suffered severe financial hardships. Hassan initially started working in Chichawatni, in a bicycle shop. He later became a car and diesel tractor mechanic. Despite the financial hardships, his passion for music did not wither and he kept up the routine of practice on a daily basis.

In 1957, Mehdi Hassan was given the opportunity to sing on Radio Pakistan, primarily as a thumri singer, which earned him recognition within the musical fraternity. He had a passion for Urdu poetry, and therefore, he began to experiment by singing ghazals on a part-time basis. He once cited radio officers ZA Bukhari and Rafiq Anwar as additional influences in his progression as a ghazal singer. His very first super-hit song was "Jis Ne Mere Dil Ko Dard Diya" (film Susral) in 1962. Gradually, he became one of the most popular ghazal singers in Pakistan and the neighbouring India.

Following a severe illness in the late 1980s, Mehdi Hassan stepped down from playback singing. Later due to severity of his illness he completely departed from music. Mehdi Hassan died around noon on June 13, 2012 at Aga Khan Hospital, Karachi after suffering a 12-year-long lung, chest and urinary tract diseases. app

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