In the eighties ,when I was posted in a remote area of the state of Himachal Pradesh, the only source of entertainment and socializing was the periodic get-togethers among officers and a few local people , who relished the company and reciprocated the hospitality. One of the local people was O.P, a man of taste and a fairly good singer. Naturally, all would coax him into singing a song or two to enliven the atmosphere . His pet piece of singing was, Mehdi Hassan’s “Duniya kisi ke pyar mein phoolon se kam nahin…..” which even in his voice held us spell bound. . Later I bought an audio cassette of Ghazals rendered by Mehdi Hassan , which included the above ghazal also. Gradually I became an ardent fan of the maestro and learnt the lyrics of many well known ghazals, like- Patta Patta Boota Boota Haal Hamara Jaane Hai , Yeh Dhuan Kahan se Uthta Hai , Gulon Mein Rang Bhare, Muhabbat Karne wale Kam Na Honge… , Ranjish hi sahi, Zindagi mein to sabhi pyaar kiya karte hain , and many others. The death of the maestro has caused a void in the music world. Cutting across borders, his was the singing voice of the subcontinent , where people loved him, adored him and would always wait to listen to his inimitable voice.
R I P Mehdi Saheb, you were the real Shehanshah of Ghazals !