The position of Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton in physics is no different than that of Master Ghulam Haider in film-music. Because the DNA of film-music invented by Haider 90 years ago has become a major style used in music composition even today.
Haider gave Indian music unique voices like Malika-e-Tarannum Noor Jahan and Lata Mangeshkar. Not only that, Ghulam Haider was also the composer who introduced Shamshad Begum to the people at the age of 12.
Eventually, the same Shamsad Begum became the first playback singer in the film industry. Also, singers including Noor Jahan and Lata Mangeshkar used Begum’s style and took a regular place in singing.
Master Ghulam Haider recognized Lata Mangeshkar’s potential 75 years ago, when Lata was only known in the market as a simple ‘chorus girl’.
Speaking to BBC Urdu, Lata Mangeshkar recalled her memoirs with Ghulam Haider. According to her, she was only 18 at the time and was singing in the chorus and working in a small role in a Marathi film.
Lata said, ‘Sometimes I got the role of the hero’s younger sister and sometimes I got the role of the heroine’s friend but I didn’t like acting. I wanted to sing, but no one gave me a chance. ‘
At the same time, a man named Pathan, who was supplying junior artists to the studio, took Lata to Ghulam Haider. That proved to be the first step in Lata’s life.
Haider then auditioned for Lata’s voice and passed her. Lata says, ‘I was waiting for the train with Master Sahib at Goregaon railway station. The first tune of the song of the movie ‘Majboor’ was played there. The words of the song were ‘My heart is broken, I have not left anywhere’.
Lata also said that Masterji packs 555 brands of cigarettes in a round tin box. According to Lata, Haider could have composed the melody in a cigarette box. He did not need long rehearsals or practice.
Dr. How did Ghulam Haider become a musician?
According to his son Pervez Haider, Ghulam Haider was born in 1906 in Hyderabad, Sindh. He was interested in music from an early age, but started his own clinic after studying dentistry as a teenager.
One day Seth Dilsukh Pancholi, the famous filmmaker of that time and owner of Pancholi Studio came to him for dental treatment. During the conversation, Seth Pancholi said that he was looking for a music director for the film.
Upon hearing this, Ghulam Haider opened the harmonium in the clinic and sang to Seth Pancholi. According to his son Parvez, his father’s music career started from here and he was made the head of music department at Pancholi Studio.
Haider worked as a backing musician in major film industries in Kolkata and Mumbai. That is why he is considered the ‘great musician’ of his time.
Before him, Ustad Jhande Ali Khan was considered as the first authentic and famous composer of playback music in undivided India. Zande Ali Khan was the mentor of the famous musician Naushad.
Haider was also the highest paid musician of his time. In 1945, for the filmmaker and director Mehboob’s film ‘Humayun’, he got one lakh rupees at that time, which is a record amount. The salary of the famous music director at that time was not more than Rs 10,000.
Popular films composed by Haider include Stairway to Heaven, Majnu, Gul Bakawali, Yamla Jat, Khajanchi, Chaudhary, Khandan, Humayun, Shama, Mehndi, Majdhar, Majboor, Shaheed, Chalchal Re Naujawan, Kanij, Shahida, Bekarar, Akeli etc.
According to Lata Mangeshkar, when Ghulam Haider was ill, she used to call Noor Jahan regularly to get information about Master’s health. Haider underwent surgery in 1953 and died the same year at the age of 45.
‘Master Ghulam Haider was a great artist. Before me, he was also a master of singers like Noor Jahan and he also brought Shamshad Begum.
(Emotional translation by Nirbhik Jung Rayamajhi from BBC Hindi)