Khawaja Parvez remembered


Khawaja Parvez, who passed away on Monday, June 20, 2011, was remembered greatly by his friends, contemporaries and other poets who paid a tribute to him as being one of the most important lyricists in the history of Pakistani cinema. Born in 1930, in Amritsar, Parvez whose real name was Khawaja Ghulam Mohiuddin, graduated from Dayal Singh College in 1954, where he met director Wali’s son, with whose help he became his assistant in 1955. Later on, he was also associated with music composer Saifuddin, film director and producer Shebab Kairmani and wrote his first song for Diljeet Mirza’s film. He mostly wrote in Punjabi and Urdu. He married twice and had 11 children.
A few days ago, he was diagnosed with low blood sugar and was taken to the hospital but he died of a heart attack on Monday. Some of his friends spoke to Pakistan Today about the lyricist and revealed their memories of him. Ataul Haq Qasmi, from the Lahore Arts Council, said that Khawaja Parvez was a very lively person and very approachable. “He was a friend to all,” says Qasmi. “He used to love sitting with people in gatherings and interacting. As a poet, he was a remarkable one, giving a new turn to cinematic lyrics and songs which even today are remembered by many. Usually the poetry of a cinema song is not regarded as poetry in literature but Parvez gave it a new dimension and prestige along with a simplicity that was accessible. For example his lines, ‘jab koi pyar se bulaye ga, tum ko aik shakhs yaad ayega,’ are still remembered, and felt by anyone.”
A lyricist, Afzal Saahir, also remembers Khawaja Parvez as a man who opted for a very difficult career of writing music for film songs. “It was not an easy task to first choose this career and then be so successful at it. This is what Parvez was, and he was a great lyricist and some of the best singers have commended him over time,” says Saahir. While Khawaja Parvez wrote some of the classic songs in Punjabi sung by Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan such as Akhian Udeek Diyan, and Sanu Ik Pal Chaen, he also gave the most mischievous and teasing lyrics to some songs sung by none other than Noor Jehan. These include Neeli Neeli Ankhein Meri Duniya Pasand Karien (Khataranaak, 1975), Golden Night! (Pindi waal) Touch Me Not (Club Dancer) and Kuch Phat Gayie Hai (Dada, 1977). This shows that he was a multifaceted poet and has done justice to the whole range from the most lowbrow songs to the most elegant. Two of his ghazals sung by Noor Jehan are veritable gems, including Jo Na Mil Sake Wohi Bewafa and Maine Har Kaanta Teri Raah Ka Palkon Se Chuna.
Meanwhile, poet Eraj Mubarik refrained to make a comment on Parvez’s poetry saying that he could not find himself worthy of criticizing his senior’s poetry, especially since he was his father (Mubarak Ahmed)’s friend, and he did not find himself to be in the position to comment on his works. “He always came to meet my father and I will always remember him as a man and not a poet. For me he was a wonderful, beautiful person, and a very simple and straightforward man, loved and adored by all,” says Eraj. Meanwhile, an editor of a film-based magazine Muskurahat, Tufail Akhtar says that Parvez was actually an Amritsar-born Kashmiri who migrated to Pakistan after partition and lived and died in Gawal Mandi. The entire area of Royal Park and Gawal Mandi has been mounted with his posters to mark his remembrance. “He never admitted this publicly but the truth is that there was another side to his work,” reveals Tufail. “He wrote some brilliant songs which were hits but some were very controversial. One can say that he started the trend of today’s film songs himself.”
Akhtar who has interviewed Parvez several times says that he became popular after his friendship with the younger sister of Musarrat Nazeer, after which there was a case filed against him and he went to prison for about four or five years. “After this of course, melancholia made him into a poet,” he says lightly, reminiscing the eccentricities of his old friend. In his emotions for his beloved, he wrote a song for her called Tere Bina Jo Gharian Beeti. “On the other hand, however, he has written some great songs and ghazals,” says Tufail. “In fact he was a very good friend of Madame Noor Jehan and she often sang his songs. He also wrote a free verse each time for the Zia Mohiuddin Show and wrote scripts for several TV shows and films. He was also a politically strong person throughout his life.” The lyricist is also mentioned in a two-volume book called Pakistani Punjabi Film Geet, and also in Geetaan Di Goonj by Ikhlaq Akhtar. Parvez’s funeral was held at 10 pm on Monday night and he was laid to rest among several grieving relatives and friends. The Punjab CM also expressed his grief at Parvez’s death.