I cannot express the amount of grief I am feeling at this particular moment. No I am not crying, but my heart is. He was not related to me not at least in the sense we define relatives. Did he know me? I would say yes, he may not know me as an individual but he did know me as a fan. I believe he knew me and million more of my type which is evident from the fact that he always sang for us… he always sang for me. How else was he able to so closely relate to my life?
My first experience of his magic came when I heard “yeh watan tumhara hai” on national television. AH! What strong lyrics and how eccentric a voice. I felt blood rushing through my veins, overwhelmed with the utter warmth of his singing I stood up from my place and started waving an imaginary Pakistani flag in mid air. As I developed a keen interest in Urdu literature and poetry and began exploring its various facets a new genre of music dawned upon me, “Ghazal” and there I met the king. As a music lover I found it impossible to ignore him, he dominated a greater part of the Ghazal singing skill and others simply bowed to the kings unique voice scale and abilities.
People say that when darkness comes even your own shadow leaves you which is true to a great extent. From personal experience I can still recall those dark times, when my heart was filled with unexplainable rage and anger, ready to unload all the hate within, when my heart was broken. Somehow when no one else was around, he was. Singing in his heavenly voice which descended straight in my soul. Such was the power of his words, of his music and his voice that it took me in a trance… away from my worries and woes. I could listen to him for hours while waiting for the storm within to settle down. I cannot imagine what would have become of me without the support of his songs, what else could heal my heart? I do not know, nor do I wish to find any other remedy. He was nothing short of a messiah for broken hearts… and hearts do break, more than often and each time they leave a scar and I must say that today one such scar has been etched on my heart.
The news of Mehdi Hassan passing by is no doubt a national loss, Khan sahab was a treasure for music lovers and was well known not only in Pakistan but also in India, Nepal and many other countries. He was a man of extraordinary talents and deserves the utmost respect which is admirers have always shown towards him. For me personally Mehdi Hassan meant a lot and I feel no shame in saying that his were the songs I listened to while silently crying to my griefs locked in my own world. “jab koi pyar say bulaega…”, “muhabbat karnay walay kum na hongay”, “ku ba ku phail gae baat” and “ranjish he sahi” are a few of his songs which I loved the best. Man is mortal, people come and go, but there are few who are meant to live forever. Mehdi Hassan sahab is undoubtedly one of them. You will be missed sir but not forgotten!