Kumar Sanu Concert – A night to remember!

It was in 1990 when I first time heard the voice of Kumar Sanu after release of Bollywood super hit film Ashiqui (عاشقی). He was introduced as playback singer by the music producer duo Nadeem-Shravan. Kumar’s beautiful voice made everyone his fan. After this initial success he didn’t stop and gave wonderful songs to the Indian film industry.

On 30th of July 2016 one of my biggest wishes got fulfilled when I got a chance of listening to this great singer live in Sydney. Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool was jam packed with 2500 people who had gathered to experience one of the best Bollywood performances. Sadhna Sargam was there with Kumar Sanu to make the evening a memorable one. Concert started around 7:30 pm with the performance of a young Indian female singer Rachna Chopra. She sang four beautiful Bollywood songs which included Chura Liya (چرا لیا ہے تم نے) and Raat Baaqi (رات باقی، بات باقی). She impressed with her melodious voice.

Now it was the time for which everyone had been waiting…… Host announced the name of Kumar Sanu. A short video documentary was played for displaying Kumar’s musical journey. Sanu gave his entry with his evergreen song Dou Dil Mil Rahay Hayn (دو دل مل رہے ہیں). Then he sang a large number of his super hit numbers. Some of them are:

Saansoun Ki Zaroorat Hay Jaisay

Ek Larki Ko Dekha

Tu Milay Dil Khilay

Sanbhala Hay May Nay

Dil Hay Ke Maanta Naheen

Mera Chand Mujhay Aaya Hay Nazar

Tu Meri Zindagi Hay

Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhayn

After this session he left the stage for Sadhna Sargam, who maintained tempo of the concert with her superb performance. She sang her popular songs. Some of them are:

Saat Sumandar Paar

Pehla Nasha, Pehla Khumaar

Chak De Saaray Gham

Chanda Re

Hanstay Hanstay Kut Jayain Rastay

Mujh Ko Hui Na Khabar

Meray Khwaaboun Mein Jo Aaye

Gajar Nay Kia Hay Ishara (with Rachna Chopra)

Then Kumar Sanu came back and both he and Sadhna sang some beautiful duets, which included:

Tujhay Dekha Tou Yeh

Jab Koi Baat Bigar Jaye

Chura Ke Dil Mera

Baazigar O Baazigar

Larki Barri Anjani Hay

Mayn Tujhay Chorr Ke Kahaan (last song)

It was the best ever concert that I have ever attended. Not only the performance but sound system, stage setup (done by Taj Mahal Events) and lighting all were just perfect. Audience enjoyed every moment of the concert. Sada-e-Shahid congratulate the organisers for arranging such a memorable event.

Visit to Pakistan – 2016

Islamabad Metro

I have recently returned from Pakistan after spending three weeks with my family members and friends. During my visit well renowned philanthropist Mr. Abdul Sattar Edhi passed away which made everyone grieved. He was a true legend and a wonderful example of true Muslim. He will be remembered forever.

I mostly stayed in Lahore and spent some time in Multan and Islamabad as well. As far as development is concerned, no doubt that now streets and roads in all these cities are much improved. Islamabad Metro stations are designed so beautifully that you feel like you are in Dubai. Centaurus Mall is also an amazing shopping mall which must be visited. Lahore has got Pakistan’s biggest mall Emporium which is still not opened fully, however it will be a wonderful shopping and entertainment complex once opened completely. In Multan the Metro Bus track is under construction and after its completion the city will have good transportation as well.

In spite of the above mentioned developments I feel sorry to mention that there is no change in the attitude of our people. Except in Islamabad, riders and drivers have no patience at all. No one gives way to others and many people help blocking the traffic at the junctions. Even Police is helpless in controlling the traffic. It gave me lot of stress. On the other hand life has become very difficult there due to the uncontrolled inflation. There is no guarantee of the products that they are genuine in spite of the high prices. Only few stores now give you five rupee coin in change, otherwise 10 rupees are the minimum currency denomination now, which is very alarming. Government claims that it has improved the financial situation of country which is a big lie. In Multan people realise that there was no need of Metro bus at all but it was better to spend the same money on the condition of existing roads and bringing more buses for helping people to commute to different routes in the city.

As far as political scene is concerned, most of the educated people want Nawaz Sharif to resign after the Panama Leaks. However most of the uneducated or underprivileged people still support PMLN. They voted for them in the recent Azad Kashmir elections and proved that the nation does not deserve Imran Khan at all. Many friends of mine have lost their hope in PTI as well and they expect action from Pakistan Army to get them rid of the existing PMLN governments in federal and Punjab.

I wish that our leaders could spend on the awareness of people of Pakistan. They should spend more on hospitals and schools rather than just decorating the country. We need real price control implemented by the government in Pakistan. During Ramadan and Eid, grocers and shopkeepers charged highly unreasonable amounts on everyday grocery items and no one took any notice at all. Government is least bothered about the inflation and the ministers and parliament members are just concerned of just their own positions and assets. Pakistan needs a real change now otherwise we will reach to the point of no return.

Seven Years of love and commitment – and the journey continues……

Majid hero.jpg

25 June is back again for the seventh time and we don’t have Majid with us. In 2009 on the same day when he left this cruel world, we could have never imagined how our love for him would keep multiplying. Since that day Dr. Javed’s Family got a new shape. Majid became the most important member of our loving family. Not a single day passes when he is not remembered by all of his family members. Allah has been so kind on us that all of us have visited Melbourne to see where Majid used to live and roam around.

Majid was the smiling soul, with a great sense of humour and witty nature, who always took care of the people around him. He was an extremely sensitive person who could not see anyone sad. His colleagues at Netsol are witness to this. Majid in his short life tried his best to achieve a high living standard which up to some extent he did. He by nature was a king who never compromised on quality of our events. He filled Rashid’s wedding with colours. No one can forget the dances and fun through which he entertained all the cousins and friends on this memorable wedding. I was unfortunate that Majid had left for Australia when I got married.

We as his brothers have always him in our thoughts. On the prayer mat after offering the prayer rituals before anyone else we pray for his forgiveness to Allah SWT. By God his love is growing with every passing day and will insha Allah keep growing till the day we leave this world to join him in the life hereafter.

Here we feel proud to say that we have fulfilled our commitment with the soul of our beloved brother that we would not forgive those cruel faces who ignored him on his death and did not find time for coming to the family. We love Majid and all those who love him. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Ameen!

Evening with Zia Mohyeddin – an unforgettable event!

Urdu International Australia is a Sydney based cultural organisation which tried to promote Urdu literature through its programmes and events. On 7 May 2016 they organised a beautiful evening in Husrstville, a Sydney suburban area, where we got opportunity to meet and listen one of the most dynamic literary person, the living legend, Mr. Zia Mohyeddin who was joined by the visiting Urdu poets Mr. Musaddaq Lakhani, Dr. Baqar Raza and Khushbeer Singh Shaad. In addition there was a breathtaking classical dance performance by Sydney’s local artist Jyoti Duxit, termed as ‘Poetry in Motion’.

Beautiful hall of Civic Theatre was jam packed with the audience and many of them could not get seated. President of Urdu International Mr. Ashraf Shad, a renowned Urdu poet, inaugurated the event with his opening speech in which he welcomed the distinguished guests. He presented a brief introduction of Zia Mohyeddin. Dr. Shabbir Haider was then invited onto the stage for welcoming the legend formally.

Zia Mohyeddin as usual was dressed gracefully. He thanked the organisers and audience for their love and respect. Zia sahib then read a number of poems and proses which were selected from the best Urdu and English literature collections of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Pitras Bukhari, Dr. Younis Butt, Ayub Khawar and Shaukat Thanvi. They included humorous as well as serious and thought provoking subjects. But the best thing was the presentation. Zia has got a God gifted skill and voice quality that is unmatchable. He gave life to the written words. We smiled and laughed with him, and at some sentences we got our eyes filled with tears. 83 year old gentleman made a non-stop performance for almost 90 minutes. After he finished crowed gave his standing ovation.

During the interval Zia sahib came to meet his fans in another hall where the organisers had placed his two books for sale. Zia sahib gave autograph on the first page to every purchaser. It also provided a lifetime opportunity to his fans of getting their photographs with the legend. I didn’t miss the opportunity and purchased his autography titled as “The God of my Idolatry”. I not only expressed my best wishes for him but also told her a little about my blog writing, which he appreciated.

After the interval Jyoti Duuxit was called onto the stage who gave a spectacular dancing performance on Urdu Ghazal ‘Haal-e-Dil Hum Ko’ (حال دل ہم کو یاد آنے لگے). I was getting late so left after her performance and missed the Mushaira (poetic session).

I greet Urdu International Australia for arranging such a marvellous programme and providing us the opportunity to watch and listen to a living legend.

Corrupt leadership exposed after Panama Papers leak

panamaleakspm

Panama Papers have not only exposed our Prime Minister and his family members but also put a question mark on our national accountability system. Punjab Chief Minister already has become controversial by not allowing National Accountability Bureau to conduct any investigation in Punjab to find the irregularities and corruption in mega government projects like Nandipur Power Plant and Metro bus and train projects

Recently after the Gulshan Iqbal Park bomb blast in Lahore there is a big demand from the public and lawmakers to allow Pak Army to expand their counter-terrorism operation. However Punjab government didn’t like the idea and opposed it.

This difference of treatment between Punjab and other provinces is increasing hatred between the residents of other provinces and of Punjab.

Nawaz Sharif and his party PMLN is already under fire after hanging Mumtaz Qadri and giving safe way to General Retd. Pervez Musharaf, who was facing serious judicial inquiries. It seems that there is no rule of law in Pakistan. Today I interacted with some of very high calibre Pakistanis in Sydney. We discussed on Qadri issue and agreed that it was not a good move to hang him. Instead he could have been given life imprisonment. If government believes that he was treated according to the law then why Raymond Davis was released and Musharraf was given free path.

In the coming days there will be more evidences coming against Sharif family and their political career will seize just like Chaudhries and Bhuttos.

Shahid Afridi to be kicked out of Pakistani Cricket immediately

Pakistan lost to India in Asia Cup T-20 match in Bangladesh last night (27 Feb 2016). Definitely India proved themselves as a better side and won the game. Afridi once again proved himself as a failure. Our ‘Chinese mobile’ once again ditched us at the time of need.

Afridi

For last five years I have been unable to digest that why Shahid Afridi is still part of Pakistani Cricket Team. This man has given some good performances definitely in the past but it doesn’t mean that he has got the rights of playing forever in spite of his worst performance.

If he has got right to play for the country despite his continuous failures then why were many capable players removed from the squad on just one or two bad performances? Then Salim Yousaf, Muhamamd Yousaf, Ejaz Ahmed, Aqib Javed, Shoaib Akhtar, Imran Nazeer, Yasir Arfat and many others deserved playing more for the Pakistani side.

In fact Mr. Afridi has got some links with the culprit officials in Pakistan Cricket Board who always keep him in the team. These culprits have nothing to do with our country’s respect and pride. They damn care about people’s feelings and keep Afridi in the squad without any justification. We demand that this person must be kicked out from the team immediately without any second thought. He always brings disappointment, embarrassment and humiliation for the nation.

Back to music – back to life!

Year 2016 has finally brought some success and achievements for me….. I went through very tough phase in my personal and family life in the recent years. After the unfortunate death of my beloved younger brother Majid in 2009 I, in spite of my best efforts, couldn’t focus on my music. Not even a single composition I made after his demise.

In January 2016 however I decided to produce something that could help me in returning back to music and the normal life. I had written and composed a beautiful Urdu song “Jaan-e-Jaan” (جانِ جاں) in 2006, which I always wanted to record. I worked on the song and improved lyrics. Then I contacted Hasan Turk in Lahore, who is the real music maestro, for arranging the music for my composition. Hasan did a great job and gave beautiful colour to my creation. I then recorded the vocals on the track in Sydney at Swish Factorie studio. My young friend Shayan halped me in recording the vocals which was a real tough job for me. Later Hasan Turk mixed and mastered the song. I am highly obliged to Hasan, Shayan and Aaron (Swish Factorie) for turning my dream into reality and providing great assistance in creating a masterpiece. Song has got great appreciation from the friends and music critics.

I would like to say that I am not a singer at all. It was my first ever chance of recording a song as a singer. There may be some flaws in my vocals but I am determined that if I continue singing I would improve my singing skills with the time. I am highly thankful to Allah Who gave me an opportunity to do some creative work after a long time. I am also very much obliged to all those who supported and appreciated me. Criticism is always welcome and it helps me in improving.

Soon we will be working on the video of this song. Keep your fingers crossed!

Aman Ullah – the king of comedy and mimicry

Aman Ullah

Since my early youth I have been watching Pakistani stage dramas live in Lahore, and on CDs. Pakistan has got the best comedy artists that include late Moin Akhtar, late Albela, Omar Sharif, Iftikhar Thakur, Muhammad Ali Mir, Shakeel Siddiqui, Sohail Ahmed, Nasim Vicky, Honey Albela, Saleem Albela and Sakhawat Naz. No doubt that all of them are gems of comedy and no Indian artist can compete with them in comedy and mimicry.

However there is one name that can be declared simply as the king of comedy and mimicry. Aman Ullah is the recognition of Pakistan. Wherever in the world people live who understand Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi, are his big fans. His dramas and programmes are watched everywhere. These days he appears on the Dunya TV show Mazaaq Raat, where he with his fellow comedians Iftikhar Thakur, Jawad Waseem and Sakhawat Naz, participates in social and political discussions and spreads smile on the faces of audiences.

Aman Ullah’s observation is just remarkable. The way he mimics lower, middle and upper classes, is highly commendable. His sense of humour is amazing and he sometimes really touches your heart with his though provoking sentences and judgements. In addition to this he has a great knowledge about the legendary artists like late Mehdi Hasan Khan, Madam Noorjehan, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and many others. Aman Ullah has a very good control over the tone and pitch of his voice, and sometimes when he sings in the programme on request, his vocals are just amazing.

Pakistani nation is very lucky that we have got such an amazing and highly talented artist who always has brought respect and recognition for our beloved country.