The hallmark of the musicians of early period in our cinema is their adaptability to all situations and all sorts of songs in the film. In this context, one must talk of one very gifted music director, A. Hameed. From a classic sixties music of Saheli to the modern-day rendition of club songs in Hasan Tariq’s three beautiful movies, Mazi HaaI Mustaqbil, Seeta Maryam Margaret and Begum Jaan, he proved himself capable of all the moods. A. Hameed was a brilliant tunesmith, who was chiseled in the furnace by the masters of their time. He began in the fifties and continued well into the eighties, which shows how versatile and talented he was. Even with new prodigies like Kamal Ahmed and Amjad Bobby coming into the fold, the demand for his kind of music did not end in the early eighties. The best proof of that fact is that Kamal precisely started off from where A. Hameed left off!
Yes, if you analyze Kamal Ahmed’s music, you’ll find many similarities to A. Hameed. Kamal also began with classical musical values, with hit songs like Ga morey manwa gata ja re, champa aur chambeli and Hum ne jo dekhe khwab tumharey, and went on to make brilliant club songs in the later years of his career. The only difference is that when A. Hameed came along, even a typical Evernew musician used to hear all sorts of music, right from Frank Sinatra to Kundan Lal Sehgal, from Bing Crossby to Naushad and Jhandey Khan, from Jazz and Old man river to Mohey chorr gaey balam and Chahey koee ghul machaey galiyan hazaaar day, etc. So, the range of the new musician in the fifties was much vaster than the range that our musicians of the 2000s could boast of.
Hameed began his career from Jaffar Shah Bukhari’s film, Anjaam, in 1957. He had just wandered into Lollywood, and was fortunate he was noticed by such a stalwart of the cinema. Bukhari Sahab found him sufficiently convincing to give him another of his film, Bharosa, which was screened in 1958, and which gave us that unparalleled master of script and dialogues, called Riaz Shahid. With the commercial success of Bharosa, A. Hameed was able to stand on his own two feet. Bukhari Sahab then made him pet music man, and gave him another flick, Faisla, where A. Hameed was able to compose tunes for such incomparable voice as of lqbal Bano, one of them being Chaley jaee ho bedardi main roey mare hoon.
But, Hameed’s true triumph, which registered his name for all times to come in the industry, was the screening of S. M. Yusuf’s two golden movies, Raat Kai Rahi and Saheli. Who can forget the hit songs of Raat Kai Rahi, probably one of the most intriguing early detective films. It had such hits as Haey kiss se nazar takra gaee, Aag se na khelo babujee, Ae badlon ke rahi, Kya hua dil pe sitam, etc. You could say it was the geetmala of the Rushdi-Zubaida Khanum duets. In Saheli, on the other hand, it was classic film music of the sixties, which is the all-time favorite of Lata Mangeshkar. Its most popular song was, of course, Naseem Begum’s biggest hit, Hum bhool gayey har baat magar tera pyar naheen bhoolay. Those days, films were largely constructed around homely issues, and A. Hameed, literally, reached the apex of typical `family’ melodies. Other songs from this film were Hum ne jo phool chuney dil mein chubhey jatey hain, Mukhrre pe sehra daley aa ja o aaneywaley and of course, that eternal sad duet by Saleem Raza and Naseem Begum, Kaheen do dil jo mil jatey. It is interesting to note that in this classy geetrnala, Madam Noor Jahan was conspicuous by her absence. Naseem Begum, Kausar Parveen, and Saleem Raza have sung most songs.
From this day onwards, A. Hameed himself became a fan of Naseem Begum, and gave her priority over any other female singer. He again gave her exemplary hits in Aulad, with songs like Tum milay pyar mila (with Munir Hussain), Naam le le ke tera hum to jiyay jaeinge and that beautiful song for women, Tum quom kee maa ho socha zara/ Aurat se hamein yeh kehna hai! Do you hear such beautiful and meaningful numbers anywhere today? It’s a sad reflection on our music today.
Soon, S. M. Yusuf made another big hit, titled Aashiana, which had all its songs romantic hits of the time, of course, including Oho barrey sangdil ho/ barrey na samaj ho/ tumhein pyar karma sikhana parrega. Other hits from this film are Dekha jo unhein dil ne/ Chupke se kaha haey and Ja re bedardi too ne kaheen ka hamein na chorra. A. Hameed breathed his last in the mid-nineties, with his last few movies being Naya Andaz (De rahee hai maza berukhi aap kee and Zidd na kar iss qadar jaan-e-jaan), Mazi Haal Mustaqbil(Zindagi too ne har qadam pe mujhe aik sapna naya dikhaya hai), Sangdil (Yeh aap kee mehfil hai) and Love In London (Gulon pe rang aa gaya) – By Zulqarnain Shahid