The Partition of India in 1947 led to the migration of some musicians from India to Pakistan. Among these were musicians who had been involved in Indian cinema, including music directors. In a previous episode of our series on Hindustani musicians engaged in composing for Hindi cinema, I wrote about Rafiq Ghaznavi, who migrated to Pakistan. Today, we listen to select songs composed by Khurshid Anwar, another composer who shifted base to Pakistan, albeit a few years later.
Khurshid Anwar, also known as Khwaja Sahib, mentions in an interview that he studied music under Tawakkul Hussain Khan and was also influenced by many leading musicians of the time. He continued as a vocalist until 1940 and then began composing music for Hindi cinema.
Significantly, Khurshid Anwar was involved in anti-British activities during the independence movement before shifting his focus to a professional career as a musician and music composer. More details about his life and work can be accessed here.
In the 13th episode of our series, we will listen to Khurshid Anwar’s work as music director in Bombay before he moved to Pakistan.
The first two songs are from the film Pagdandi (1947). The text accompanying the first track mentions Zeenat Begum as the singer. The text for the second track mentions Zeenat Begum + Munawar Sultana + Dilshad Begum as the singers.
The next two songs are from the film Parwana (1947). The first song is sung by Suraiyaa. The second is sung by Kundan Lal Saigal.
We end with songs from Neelam Pari (1952), the last film for which Khurshid Anwar composed music in Bombay before leaving for Pakistan. The first song is sung by Geeta Dutt and the second by Asha Bhosale.
One of India’s leading tabla players, Aneesh Pradhan is a widely recognised performer, teacher, composer and scholar of Hindustani music. Visit his website here.