Some names do not need an introduction. You just have to utter them and you receive comments galore. One such name is Nazia Hassan . Whenever I plan to write on her, I fall short of ideas and words. I feel unable to come up with anything that would be new for people related to Nazia Hassan , for her singing is praised all around the world, her social services are known to all Pakistanis, and the sweetness of both her voice and personality still reigns over people’s hearts.
Last year, I decided to compile Nazia Hassan’s rare songs and present them in the form of an article, reintroducing her collaboration with Kishore Kumar. This year, I decided to engage a few celebrities and ask them to speak their hearts out on Nazia Hassan’s 18th death anniversary . The result turned out to be extra-ordinary and I came across some lovely views, interesting incidents and laudatory comments for Nazia Hassan straight from people’s hearts. They are as follows, along with the celebrities’ names.
Haseena Moin, the most popular and prolific playwright of Pakistan says:
Nazia Hassan was an asset of our country. I knew not only Nazia Hassan and her brother from their childhood days when they used to sing on TV, but I am on very good terms with Nazia’s mother as well. Both the siblings used to greet in a very warm manner. I was in London in the days when Nazia grew ill and I searched a lot for her in hospitals but could not reach her, for she was admitted in some private hospital. The news of her death grieved me so much because she was at her peak at that point in time which took us away from her. Had she continued to live and pursue her art, she would have become even a greater musical artist of Pakistan. The demise of such a good singer, such a beautiful person and such a shy girl is a sad fact for the whole nation to live with. But we are helpless and have to bring ourselves to believe that fate had already decided that Nazia would live for a short time. My heart still aches. Even now when I meet Nazia’s mother, we keep talking about Nazia. Her mother is still disturbed and is living with her daughter’s memories kept close to her heart. May Allah provide her family with patience. Nazia Hassan’s music, however, will remain forever with us and is a treasure of our country.
Khalid Nizami, the veteran drama and film actor with his most memorable role being of “Thooi” from “Ankahi” says:
Nazia Hassan belonged to a highly educated family. During the war of 1971, a show named “Khel Khel Mein” meant for children used to go on air, produced by Munawar Nizaam for which I acted as a music director. The very first song which Nazia Hassan was given to sing was composed by me. The lyrics were instructive, written to make children learn how to watch time on the clock. It really makes me happy to tell that her very first song was my composition. This was my first and only encounter with Nazia Hassan and she sang only once for my show. It was then Sohail Rana’s show for which she regularly sang and established herself as a well-known singer. She was a kid at that time but was very well-mannered and treated her elders with respect. May Allah grant her a high place in Paradise.
Sahira Kazmi, the defiant producer, the director behind blockbusters like “Dhoop Kinaare” and “Rozee” and an actress with the most complicated characters to her name says:
Amidst many pop singers who were contributing in their respective ways to the music industry in those times, Nazia and Zoheb made themselves stand out through “Disco Deewane”, which was something totally new and one of its kind. It was amazing to see such a young singer singing in India and England as well. The duo of Nazia Hassan and Zoheb Hassan was something we can call “complete” and the whole nation had grown used to seeing them together. They also did a music show for me. The death of that sweet, humble and extremely beautiful girl upset me a lot. I still miss her so much, but what can one do? We have to surrender to God’s will after-all.
Rubina Ashraf, a flawless director and one of Pakistan’s best actresses says:
I can still recall how in the late 80s, the whole nation was smitten by “Aap Jaisa Koi”, resulting in its being played at every dance party that took place after its release. Such was the power of Nazia Hassan’s voice, which was extremely beautiful and had a lovely texture. Even in the modern times, all of her songs can be tested and they will undoubtedly pass every test. Composed on beautiful symphonies and woven out of lovely verses, they act as complete packages. Nazia Hassan will always remain in our hearts owing to the perfection of her craft, her beauty which went hand in hand with her beautiful voice, and her humble and sweet disposition. She was a perfect combination of everything, sent to us as a blessing from God for which we will always remain grateful. We are so lucky that a person like Nazia Hassan has been a part of our lives.
Ali Kazmi, a multi-talented actor with both Urdu language dramas and films and English language seasons in his acting profile says:
There is truly “Koi Naheen” like Nazia Hassan to date. She was an artist who truly encapsulated the spirit of Pop glam-rock of the 80s. She will remain one of Pakistan’s global icons forever. Some of the best of us are taken too soon but their light shall shine eternally on through their artistic legacy.
Mehreen Jabbar, the ace director and film-maker of the modern times says:
I will always associate Nazia Hassan with growing up. She embodied the cool, the heartbreak and a pushing of boundaries. Every time I listen to her, I am transported to that time when I was leaving the teenager behind and embracing the wonders and insecurities of adulthood.
Yasir Akhtar, himself a trendsetter in every field of art, be it music, acting, direction or production says:
Nazia and my relation is not only that of an artist and a listener. My uncle, Javed Jabbar was a very close friend of Nazia Hassan’s family and we would often visit their place. I still remember how when I went there for the first time, Nazia Hassan herself prepared tea for us and served it despite the presence of many servants. One hardly comes across such pure and down to earth artists. Her melodious voice and lovely songs will always be cherished by us. Junaid Jamshed, Biddu, Salman Ahmad, Zoheb Hassan and I also gave a collaborative tribute to her at Gymkhana which was attended by thousands and thousands of people. The best we can do on this day is to listen to her songs and pray for her.
Erum Binte Shahid:
Erum Binte Shahid, a fine director and one of the biggest drama producers of Pakistan says:
Nazia Hassan was, is and will be my favourite. I grew up watching her songs on PTV. When I was young, I used to save my pocket money to buy her cassettes, posters and pin-ups. My room was full of Nazia’s posters. In 1989, she and Zoheb Hassan did a show called “Music 89” which was recorded at PTV studios, Islamabad. The house-entry was organized on the “First come First served” format. I remember I was the first one to reach in the morning even before the gate opened for entrance. I met Nazia Hassan there and afterwards, also wrote her a letter. To my surprise, she replied to it! I got that letter framed and have kept it on my shelf in my bedroom. I still have her songs and shows on VHS which I used to record directly on VCR at the time of airing.
Humayun Saeed, the super-star of Pakistan with countless drama serials (both enacted and produced) and popular films to his name says:
The Pop music which was adopted by our female singers and which made its place in our films was all because of Nazia Hassan , who was our queen of Pop music. No one has been able to produce the kind of songs Nazia Hassan came up with. All of them were super-hits of their times. The grief of such a beautiful voice leaving us too early will remain forever and we will never be able to fulfil the vacuum created by Nazia Hassan’s departure from this world. Our industry misses her a lot and we pray for her place in heaven.
Omair Rana, one of the most versatile TV and film actors of Pakistan and a theatre director says:
Nazia Hassan was my childhood crush. I randomly got to share the stage with her and Zoheb in a concert in Dubai. You can google “Disco Deewane Dubai Concert” and you might find little Omair Rana chatting with Zoheb Hassan. The interesting fact is that when I grew up, many compared me with her brother. I’d settle with that. Nazia Hassan’s young death did upset me dearly!
Nadia Khan, an award-winning actress, a veteran host and a successful vlogger says:
Nazia Hassan is an unforgettable personality! She is a legend we know so little about. I cannot hum without her song in the list and I love listening to her songs even today, as no piece has been equal to hers to date. However, what surprises me is that we have not made any drama, any film or any documentary on her life. Sadly, the new generation knows little about Nazia and Zoheb Hassan being the first pop-stars of the region who made the best music and left us with sweet memories to cherish forever.
Nirvaan Nadeem, a TV and film actor and the director of Ajoka Theatre says:
Nazia Hassan was one of the pioneers in merging arts with activism. Battling against all odds through her music, we all remember her for her songs, my favourite being “Aap Jaisa Koi”.
Ali Salaman, a popular host and one of the finest actors of Pakistan says:
Nazia Hassan , we will miss you today, tomorrow and for the rest of our lives. I am sure the purity of your soul is a blessing for all those who are around you today wherever you are. Always praying for you. A Pakistani. A brother.
Desi Rants N Raves:
Desi Rants N Raves, one of the earliest and the most authentic drama reviewers of Pakistan says:
Nazia Hassan was not only a great singer who left behind a huge legacy but more importantly, at least for me, she was and continues to be a role model par excellence for young women in the way she conducted herself personally and professionally. As a young girl growing up in that era, I remember being so inspired by her commitment to ideas and ideals larger than herself.
Fizzaa Jafri, a drama writer with the most popular soap of Pakistan, “Yeh Zindagi Hai” to her name says:
Nazia Hassan’s voice still brings happiness to your face whenever you listen to her songs. There are very few people who blessed to live even after their death.
Ahmad Hammad, a professor of film studies and a poet of Urdu language says:
Due to her soft and melodious voice, Naheed Akhtar was termed as the Nightingale of Pakistan”. To me, however, it is Nazia Hassan’s captivating and pulpy singing due to which she should have been given this title. Nazia enthralled her audience through her extremely, unique, pure and youthful voice. She was equally respected in India as well. Those who were young in the 80s and early 90s cannot write their biographies without giving Nazia Hassan a special place in their text. She was herself a memorable melancholy, a melody that ended up in agony and pain.
Affan Waheed, a radio presenter and a fine young actor with issue-based serials like “Iltija” and “Be-dardi” in his profile says:
I love Nazia Hassan’s songs. My radio shows would not go on without playing her songs. They bring out so much in me…..a peculiar nostalgia; when life was just butterflies and rainbows. To date, her songs are my happy haven in hard times. Such is the magic of her voice.
Usman Butt, a learner, a model and a new sensation in the Pakistani drama industry says:
It is impossible to overstate Nazia Hassan’s importance in Pakistan’s popular culture. She was a trailblazer, a trendsetter and an icon. If I am to think of my childhood and play my memories like a movie, her songs would definitely be the music in the background. I think the collective memory of my generation and the one preceding it is inextricably linked to Nazia Hassan’s music. She is, and has always been a part of our cultural psyche.
Rimal Ali, the first Pakistani transgender model and film-actor says:
Nazia Hassan was herself a complete new era in the music industry of Pakistan at that point in time. The modernity she brought in music, coupled with her sexy voice was a beautiful combination which made her a legend. She continues to live in our thoughts.
Imran Ashraf, one of the most versatile young actors of Pakistan and a fine screen-writer says:
The South-Asian queen of Pop music was always an inspiration throughout my childhood, and to date, she still reigns over my heart.
Umer Darr, another young and versatile television and theatre actor says:
I think Nazia Hassan is a person on whom one of her own songs suits very well. I can express liking for her in the words, “Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi mein aaye/ Tou baan ban jaaye”. What an elegant artist she was! God bless her soul.