Monday, March 5, 2012

Mother and Daughter: Kajjan Begum and Mehnaz (Fresh Link)

Tonight we have some really soulful singing from a mother and daughter duo.  

Kajjan Begum

Kajjan Begum (mother) was an Indian singer trained in the Banaras gharana and who moved to Pakistan after the Partition. Not much else is readily available on the internet about her. But one assumes, with all the caveats embedded in that word, that she came from the Lucknow, Banaras, Mirzapur, Allahabad area of easternUttar Pradesh and that she emerged out of the then-dying tawwaif (courtesan) tradition.


Mehnaz, (daughter) was born in 1956 and during her prime was an extremely popular and successful playback singer in Lollywood. But her real passion was the ghazal, which she sang in many films and concerts throughout her active years.  She is now settled in the USA.

Not much more to say about these two and so it should be. Let the music speak for itself. This collection of Kajjan Begum and Mehnaz singing folk songs and thumri based songs is spectacular.  I wish I knew more about when these recordings were made for Pakistan TV but I would guess in the late 70s and 80s.  But then take a look at track 9, Hare Hare Bans. Doesn’t sound like that would pass the Mullah Censor Board of the past several decades.  Whatever, whenever, the voices of both women are strong and distinctive and perfectly suited to the folksy flavor of the songs. The light-classical thumris and dadras beautiful gems that have quickly become some of my favorites.

            Track Listing:
       01 Banri ne Ajab Shahana
02 Shah Mera biyahan Aaya
03 Barkha Laagi Mori
04 Mori Chooriyan Kurki Jaain
05 Amman Mere Bawa Ko
06 Sajan Ye Mat Janiyo
07 Kagwa Too Urr Gaiyo
08 Goondho Ri Malan
09 Hare Hare Bans
10 Chali Re Naee Nar
11 Sahki Ri Morey Nain
12 Kal Naheen Aao
13 Ghri Sawan Ki Badarya (Kajri)
14 MainSooye Gayee Goyyan (Dadra)
Listen here.


deewani said...

All I knew of Mehnaz before this was that Bollywood in the 90s had copied a few of her film songs from the 80s. Big hits like Jaan-e-Jigar, Jaan-e-Man from Aashiqui, Main Jis Din Bhula Doon from Police Public and a few numbers from the OST Inteha Pyar Ki. So her influence reached across the border.

Shyama said...

I love the collection of your work 0 am sharing your blog on facebook

ajnabi said...

Shyama, you are welcome!

Fawad Zakariya said...

Ajnabi sahib, you stole a post I have been planning for a long time:) kajjan begum is a great but under-appreciated vocalist. I have dug up some interesting facts about her life so hopefully will write them one day. In the meantime thanks for bringing both kajjan and mehnaz to your readers' attention.

ajnabi said...

Fawad sahib, so sorry! But I can't wait to hear your information on Kajjan Begum. Don't delay too long.

amir jafri said...

Kajjanbai was a singer and actress in India during the 1920s and 1930s, often referred to as the "Nightingale of Bengal".[1] Aside from acting, she and Ghulam Mohammed also taught Noor Jehan when the latter was young, making her do riyaz up to 12 hours each day.[2] Kajjan stopped singing in 1930,[citation needed] however, she continued to star in movies such as Shirin Farhad and Layla Majnun opposite Nissar, becoming a symbol of on-screen romance in the cinema of India.[1]

amir jafri said...

IMDB info,,

Jehanara Kajjan is an actress, known for Indrasabha (1932), Shirin Farhad (1931) and Zehari Saap (1933).
Trivia (1)
Died in December of 1945. Was a popular star of silent film