(Javed Zaheer, Toronto)

TORONTO: Pakistanis wherever they are keep showing their deep love in all ways for their motherland and community. Since they believe in socializing and mingling with others proudly with their own rich cultural, religious and traditional values, they are joined by friends and supporters from other communities, particularly Indians, Bangladeshis, Afghans, Iranians and people of all colours and religions. With such love and spirit, the great success of any event is guaranteed.

GOOD CONCEPT: Best Entertainment (Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui) & NJ Marketing (Najma Malik) came up with a good concept of paying tributes to Pakistani legends. I met Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui of Best Entertainment and his team members, who are all well-educated and well-settled people belonging to good families. In short, their background and contributions are both very impressive.

Muhammad Salahuddin, popularly known as Mehdi Salahuddin in the music world, who is also the lead singer of the Best Entertainment team, introduced me and Syed Muhammad Iqbal, President of Pak Seniors Forum (PSF), to Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui, a well-known, popular and distinguished figure of the community, Jibran Hashmi (Singer/Engineer), Ruhi Samina (Singer/author), Saleha Azam (Singer) and Seema Naqvi (Poet & author). We all liked the wonderful idea and concept to pay tribute to the legends. The spirit was worth seeing.

Finally, after careful planning, the musical event: “Tribute To Pakistani Legend 2016” with grand dinner was organized on Friday, November 25, 2016, at the Milan Banquet & Convention Center in Mississauga. People came pouring in to attend the event, which as a result was delayed by an hour. The hall became full by 8:30 P.m. The gentry was of high class comprising distinguished personalities and prominent figures of many communities.

SOHAIL RANA: Sohail Rana, the world renowned and recognized music director and music maestro of Pakistan, who is a living legend of the music world, was the chief guest. Sohail Rana’s great remarkable achievement and contribution includes presenting the Canadian national anthem in Urdu language. It was not an easy task and only person of Sohail Rana’s calibre could do it.

ASHFAQ HUSSAIN: Also present on the occasion was Ashfaq Hussain, a distinguished literary figure and poet, who has been recognized and presented achievement awards for his tremendous contributions both by the Canadian and Pakistan governments.

The program began after 8:30 P.M.. Since the actual host, Najma Malik, had to go to Pakistan, therefore Seema Naqvi acted as the host. Jibran Hashmi, who played the anchor role in organizing the event and is the right hand of Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui, acted as both co-host and singer.

LEGENDS: Tribute was paid to legends including Madam Noor Jahan, Queen of Melody (Malka-e-Tarannum), Mehdi Hassan, King of Ghazal (Shahanshah-e-Ghazal), Nasim Begum, Ahmed Rushdi, Mujib Alam, Irene Parveen, Nayyara Noor, Feroza Begum, Shahnaz Begum,Alamger, Runa Laila, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and many others.

DIFFERENCE: Unlike the junkie singers (Popularly known as Bhands in South Asian community), who keep performing in the manner and ways of monkeys shouting and jumping on the trees in the jungles and zoos, Mehdi Salahuddin and Ruhi Samina proved their excellent singing class and won the hearts and praise of the audience with their beautiful, sweet and soul-touching voices. Their every song compelled people to responding with claps and Wah Wah (Words of praise). They also sang duets and entertained the music and Pakistan lovers.

TRIBUTE TO MEHDI: I was sitting near Sohail Rana when Mehdi Salahddin came to meet him and seek his permission for the golden hits the legend composed. Sohail Rana not only greeted him warmly and respectfully but greatly praised him and said: “You are really a very good singer and I am interested, out of the lots, in hearing you. I get fed up with junkies and leave when they keep torturing the people.” This was a great compliment and encouragement for Salahuddin, who sings songs/geet and ghazals of all legend singers including Muhammad Rafi, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Talat Mehmood Jagjeet Singhbut but whose ideal is late Mehdi Hassan.

Even Mehdi Hassan listened to him perssoally and praised his good quality voice and permitted him to sing his Ghazals & Geets.

Like Sohail Rana, Ashfaq Hussain is also a great fan of Mehdi Salahuddin. He liked him so much that he himself interviewed him for ATN television.

Not only Salahuddin is a very good singer but a soft-spoken and thorough gentleman as well. He was a senior officer in PIA, the national airline of Pakistan. He belongs to a good family with no connection whatsoever with any Gharanas. He likes singing before a serious audience, only who understand his class of performance. Such audience is hard to find but these days.

In the musical events mostly the junkies dominate the stage. They are the ones responsible for causing maximum harm to music and promoting bad taste music. Cheap music and bad taste of the Red Light Area class---full of filth and vulgarity. A gift of Bollywood, which believes in making money by all means. Bollywood has caused tremendous damage to India’s extremely wonderful and rich music contributions.

Muhammad or Mehdi Salahuddin sang four songs/Ghazals in the presence of Sohail Rana and five songs/Ghazals in the presence of Ashfaq Hussain.

Jibran Hashmi, the nasal singer, and Saleha Azam too performed and entertain the audience. While Jibran is well-known and popular in the community and actively takes part and is invited in community events, Saleha Azam is a newcomer but with a bright future as a singer because of her very good voice.
The program continued from 8:30 P.M. till almost 1:30 A.M. The music lovers remained glued to their seats. The songs took them back to the time and memory lane of the past. Only those with good taste of music could understand the charm. It was not an event for the monkey and junkie music taste people. The good gentry and audience proved this. Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui, Mehdi Salahuddin, Jibran Hashmi, Seema Naqvi and Ruhi Samina are all from the heart of Pakistan---Karachi but like and love with all good people of all communities.

EXPLOITERS: Commercial events are organized mostly with main focus on making money only. There the exploitation of the people is seen and felt and the true colours, cheap mentality and shady characters of the commercial organizers and most artists, posing as experienced, professionals, highly educated, well dressed and very hospitable with smile on their cunning faces, are exposed.

They not only exploit the people but use and abuse the artists as well. People must boycott programs of all such characterless creeps. It is our duty and responsibility to not only expose them in order to protect the people but to encourage, support and promote the good people to really entertain, educate and awaken the people with concepts to keep them closer and together with liking, love and respect for each other. It is damn easy to become pimps, touts and rotten eggs but hard to become and remain good member of the society and community. Good people know the worth of vales, respect and credibility. They cannot afford to comprise and stoop low.

Cana and the people welcome and encourage all communities to promote themselves in the best possible ways. The events and activities are all part of the freedom given and enjoyed. We must respectfully and responsibly avail all the facilities and opportunities and make Canada, people and all communities proud. This is why we need to remain alert against exploiters who are tarnishing the image and damaging the reputation of their communities. For them importance of values is meaningless.

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About the Author: JAVED ZAHEER

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Proud to be a Pakistani & Canadian. Born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1952. Both parents from Lucknow, UP, India. Still have near and dear ones (Sisters, n.. View More
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