Rasheed Attre is a name that is etched in the earliest history of the Pakistani Film Industry. The maestro stood alongside giants like Khwaja Khursheed Anwar, and Master Inayat Hussain and scored many iconic films. He had the distinct pleasure of working with some of the greatest vocalists, directors, and actors of his generation. Yet, his name is scarcely mentioned in common discourse. His work however, is a different story.
Today, on his 101st Birth Anniversary, lets’ talk about three of his most iconic melodies that haven’t aged a single day.
Aaye Mausam Rangeelay Suhanay
Zubaida Khanum sang this song in 1957 and it’s still as fresh today as it was back then. The subject of the song is pretty standard. Someone yearning for their beloved to come to them as the seasons turn, to take a holiday so they can enjoy the best of times together. Yet there’s no rule saying simplicity can’t be beautiful. In fact, simplicity often is beautiful.
It’s probably the reason why the song has endured so much. It’s one of those tunes you instantly recognize; one that flows so well that you can’t help but listen. You may recall that the Canadian band JoSH remixed the song back in 2006. They even titled their album, ‘Mausam’. The song is made all the more beautiful by Neelo, who dances to the song in a beautiful valley.
It could arguably stand as Rasheed Attre’s finest and most iconic composition. However, there are two more that may claim that title.
Husn Ko Chaand Jawani Ko Kanwal Kehtay Hain
You know those verses that are just etched in memory forever? You may not know the context, or even the second verse, but the classic lingers on. This song is a great example of that. Sung by Saleem Raza and picturized on Darpan and Neelo, the song is a masterstroke of classical music.
The chorus is a verse that lives on in collective memory and is considered a classic in poetry as well. However, behind every beat of the tabla and twang of the sitar, was Rasheed Attre. He brought this beautiful melody together and he should be remembered for its eloquence as well as everyone else who contributed to it.
Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat Mere Mehboob Na Maang
If there is one tune that defined Noor Jahan as the greatest singer in Pakistan it was this. Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s beautiful poem was put to equally beautiful music by Rasheed Attre. Not only did Attre realize how delicate and beautiful the work was, but he also realized its tragic conclusion.
The beginning of the poem can be interpreted in the light of classic romance and tragedy. However, the final verses which speak of rotting bodies and the plight of man, take on a completely different tone. When the poem turns from “Teri Aankhon ke Siwa Duniya Mein Rakha Kya Hai” to “Aur Bhi Dukh Hai Zamanay Mein Mohabbat ke Siwa”, the entire interpretation of the poem changes.
Shamim Ara standing under the full moon gave a beautifully understated performance for the song in the film Qaidi. Rasheed Attre however, deserves full credit for understanding the depth that Faiz’s work required and delivering an exemplary composition.
“Laut Jaati Hai Udhar ko Bhi Nazar Kya Kijye”. This verse stands true for the plight of man, and this beautiful melody.
Rasheed Attre produced many beautiful tunes during his career. These three are just a few of his great achievements, albeit more recognized than the rest. While his light couldn’t shine on the film industry for very long as he passed away in 1967, his work still fills entire halls and decorates streets and pubs all over Pakistan. More than 50 years after his death, we may not chant his name, but his songs always echo through.