Sunday, June 17, 2012

Memories of a Magical Voice

It has taken me and Saira some time to come to terms with the fact that Mehdi Hassan Miyan is no more with us in this world. The voice which we loved to hear when he connected with us on the telephone sometimes in recent years when he had to give up traveling due to his critical lung condition has been stilled, but the echoes remain in our subconscious and will continue to do so.

The magic of his voice cannot be described in words. I know millions of his admirers will agree with me when I say that Mehdi Hassan was very special to the Creator. Which was why he gifted him with the ability to sing his way into the hearts of even those who had little understanding of the pure ghazals he chose for rendering. He drew everybody - the common man, the well read, the rich, equally to him when he rendered the ghazals of such  profoundly intellectual and philosophical poets as Faiz Ahmed Faiz or Ghalib for instance. It’s only an uncommonly gifted singer who can draw his audience equally with the charm of his voice and his deep understanding of the exquisite poetry he is rendering. And Mehdi Hassan Miyan was one such richly gifted singer.

He visited us whenever he came to Mumbai and it was always a great occasion for the family. Saira’s grand mother Shamshad Begum Sahiba (Ammaji) especially used to be so happy to see him. As a classical vocalist of repute, Ammaji had a discerning taste and she always held Mehdi Hassan Miyan in high esteem for the splendid quality of his singing when he captivated his audiences at concerts. The CDs which he presented to her of the recordings of his concert tours delighted her. In fact, Ammaji and I shared a great love for Urdu and Persian poetry. For me, it is a taste I acquired from  my childhood in Peshawar when I listened attentively to my grand parents, uncles and aunts discuss Persian poets such as Khayyam, Hafiz Shirazi and Maulana Rumi, among many others.

The last time Mehdi Hasan Miyan visited us he was having high fever and he wanted to lie down. He held my hand and we recited together his favourites and mine. I can still recall his soft voice as if it was just yesterday that he was here. I have witnessed his success and the incredible adulation his admirers accorded him in other countries and in Pakistan. He remained ever so humble and unaffected by it all as all great men are. May God bless his soul and grant him the best of Jannat.

DK

20 comments:

  1. MAY GOD BESTOW ETERNAL PEACE ON MEHDI HASSAN. WE WILL ALWAYS MISS HIM.

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  2. Listening these words from a man like Yusuf Sa'ab and your usage of Miyan to him reminds me of my younger days when we were instructed to call all our family helpers as Miyan. Though i never got to listen Mehdi Hassan Sahab but am sure his voice will never let Ghazal singing get obsolute. Thanks Dilip Sahab for your blog.

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  3. Bless you Yusuf sahab for your kind tribute to the Ghazal legend Mehdi Hasan !

    Sultan Mazharuddin
    Riyadh Saudi Arabia

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  4. To have known such a great personage (who was yet humble) is indeed your good fortune. I was introduced to Mehdi Hassan in the year 1983 when I was pursuing my post-graduation in English Literature at Mumbai.
    A friend, one day, invited me to his house. He played Mehdi Hassa saab's 'Ranjish hi sahi...' ..... And I was mesmerised.... I was thrilled, enchanted and in raptures by the depth and versatility of his voice. how he made even the most difficult bandish seemingly effortless.
    Since that day Mehdi Hassan saab's music became a part of my life and will remain so until I depart.

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  5. Ok, now as he is not between us, i an unknown person say to 'ALLAH' THE ALMIGHTY, give late Mehdi Hassan Miyan the best of place in Jannah. AMEEN

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  6. Marhoom Mehdi Hassan sahab is not now in this Duniya-e-faani.....
    May GOD bless his soul & grant him the best of Jannatul-Firdous..
    Aameen

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  7. Yusuf Sahab, you are very right when you say that he was very special to the Creator..that is why the Creator had planned to immortalize your Mehdi Hassan Miyan through his unique vocal cords rendering mesmerizing ghazals. In the process Mehdi Hassan gave new dimensions to the words of many distinguished poets from around the world.

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  8. Mehdi Hasan Sahab was truly a global asset.

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  9. Dilip Saab
    We are the luckiest to exist in the era of Mehdi Hasan, Ghulam Ali, Lataji, Ashaji, Rafi, Kishore, Mukesh, Yousuf saab, Amitabh,Saira, hema, Dharam....the list of finest artists and incredible human beings makes one feel blessed. God has been very kind. Thanks to internet that I am able to thank you and all the great beings around here. thanks for sharing your thoughts

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  10. Thanks for the gratitude you presented to praise-worthy Mehdi Hassan. Actually he was a blessing of God towards music lover.

    May Allah bless his soul (Aameen).

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  12. Thespian Dilp Kumar's aka Yousuf Saab's Tribute To A Great Sufi Shehensai Gaza Mehdi Hassain Saab ...............................................................................................................:......................................................................................................................................... sincearll,y Ashhm99/Ajmadbaig. Bangalore

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  13. Dear Yusuf saab thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories with us. It is a pleasure getting to know you through this site. I wish u all the best and pray to Allah SWT for your health. And that he bestow his mercy on all of us. Ameen.

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  14. Dilip ji, your excellent feeling and thoughts about your late friend mehendi hassan ji,are so respectful and pure and have mesmorised us too.realy he was a singer, whom i have started listening at the age of 13 and today i am 49.i do't remember a day when i have not heared his musky and so trained voice.may he be blessed peace and rest by the almight...sunil chadha,ludhiana.

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  15. Only a gifted son of the Creator like you who has created a legend for himself in his lifetime can appreciate the work of a fellow artiste through the medium of fine spirituality.
    God bless you continued good health .
    Sohrab Irani

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  16. Dear Dilip Sahab,

    Apke alfaz apke terha sabit he..

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  17. It's my pleasure to visit your blog..

    Mehndi Hasan sahab is known as the "King of teh ghazal" and you are the only one "The King of Acting"..Lots love for you.

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  18. Dilip Saheb, I am great admirer and a fan of Dilip Kumar,and I always wondered what music he likes to listen to in his personal hours, after reading your thoughts for Mehdi Hassan with such a depth, I feel so happy to be a fan of two legends. May Allah give Mehdi Hassan the best of Jannat."Ameen" May Allah also keep Dilip Kumar in great health and great spirit."Ameen"

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  19. What a heart-wrenching tribute from India's best film actor. Dilip Saab, I interviewed Late Shammi Saab sometime back and he was all praise for you and few other legends.

    here's the link:
    http://www.indiainfoline.com/LifeStyle/Art-Approach/Tumsaa-Nahi-Dekha/2776389

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