It was a tumultuous time - the decade of the sixties. A nation was rising to wrest away its rights to found its own country. There were rumbles in the air and there was music too! The fledgling film industry of the region was making Urdu films to cash on the bigger market.
Over the sixties more films were released. Most of them saw popular success and there were icons to be idolized, new lovely tunes were to find place in the hearts of music lovers. It became an enchanting part of nostalgia that looks back to the melodious sixties.
They travel far over the years to wistfully hum the tune 'Teri yaad aa gaiyi gam khushi men dhal gaye ek chiragh kya jala sao chiragh jal gaiyi (Your thoughts have come/my sadness has turned into joy/how a lamp lit has turned into an effulgence of hundred lights). The song was from Ehtesham's film "Chand Aur Chandni" with Masood Rana á la Ahmed Rushdi crooning for the lover boy Nadeem and Karim Shahabuddin setting the music. A pensive Nadeem was strolling down the beach with the jacket flung over his shoulder. The song holds its own even after fifty years!
Bashir Ahmed who died last year was known for his fluency in both Bengali and Urdu and for the mellowness of his voice. One of his loveliest songs is from Kazi Jahir movie Moner Moto Bou with music by Khan Ata. It has a lovelorn hero Razzak with Suchonda as leading lady when Bashir Ahmed sings "Amake porate jodi eto laage bhalo jaalo agun aaro jaalo dhalo aro byatha dhalo" (If you love so much to singe me then keep on the fire, keep on pouring more pain). The other popular song "Dekonaamare tumi kache dekona dure achi seyi bhalo" (Please don't call me to your side/it is better that I am far from you) is also from a Kazi Jahir movie Moynamotiwith Bashir Ahmed singing and composing the music.
"Jab tum akele honge hum yaad ayenge din raat aahe bharoge" (When you are alone I will arrive in your thoughts you will sigh nights and days) is one of the memorable song of the sixties in the voice of Bashir Ahmed for the movie Karwaan.
Legendary Mehdi Hassan sings Tum zid to kar rahe ho hum tumhe kya sunaye" (You are fretting but what can I sing for you) for another Ehtesham movie "Dag". The music is by Ali Hussain. Indeed Nadeem is there with Shabana.
"Woh mere saamne tasbir bani baithe hai mere har khabon ki taabir bane baithe hai" (She is sitting there in front of me a picture of the fulfillment of all my dreams) is an enrapturing Ghazal from the popular movie Chokori. Again Nadeem is there looking sad but dapper in a prince coat with a lady playing the piano and a smiling leading lady Shabana looking at him with a winsome glance while Reshma the siren fixes him with malicious look. Mujeeb Alaam sings the song with the music maker of the time Robin Ghosh as the music director.
Mala sings a lilting song "Ye shama pyara pyara" (The weather is so charming so pleasant) for Rahman's movie Darshan. The versatile singer Ahmed Rushdi sang two memorable songs for Chand Aur Chandni and Chokori. The one for Chand Aur Chandni is a chirpy love song "Jaane tamanna khat hai tumhara pyar bhara afsana" (My dear the letter from you is a tale full of love) and the one from Chokori is the outpouring of a sad lover with Nadeem in it - "Kabhi to tumko yaad ayegi woh bahare woh sama". (A time may come when you will fondly remember that spring that pleasant weather).
Abdul Jabbar the eternal singer of the land also sang a Urdu love song with Firdausi Rahman "Neela gagan hai"(The sky is blue) with music by Khan Ata for the first colour movie Sangam of Zahir Raihan.
During the sixties Runa Laila was in Karachi. She was only 14 and sang the memorable love song "Unki nazron se mohabbat ko jo paigham mila" (The message of love that I received from his eyes) for Hum Dono!
Time takes everyone forward; the songs that are cherished with great love and fondness never fade away. Nostalgia sings the songs.