Bashir Ahmad (singer)

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Bashir Ahmad
Also known as Ahmed Rushdi of Bangladesh
Born 18 November 1939
Kolkata, India
Died 19 April 2014(2014-04-19) (aged 74)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Genres Ghazal, playback singing
Occupation(s) Singer, composer, lyricist
Years active 1960-2014
Website Wife=Meena Bashir

Bashir Ahmad (12 April 1940 – 19 April 2014) was Bangladeshi playback singer in Lollywood. He was known as East Pakistan's (now Bangladesh) Ahmed Rushdi because his singing style is inspired by Ahmed Rushdi. He was a legendary singer, who was acclaimed throughout the subcontinent for his smooth, and soulful voice, which animated Pakistani, Hindi and Bengali cinema in the post-partition era Indian subcontinent. Born in India, he migrated to Bangladesh during the Partition period and started his singing career. He first got his popularity when he sang playback hits in Pakistani films.


Bashir Ahmad was born in Calcutta (Kolkata now) in 1940. He was crazy about music, and was accepted as a pupil by Ustad Vilayat Hussain at the age of 15. Later, he came to Bombay, and became a student of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. He got lots of encouragement from him. In 1960, Bashir Ahmad migrated to Dhaka.[1]

In Dhaka, his mentor and brother-in-law, Ishrat Kalkatvi introduced him to Robin Ghosh. Ishrat was writing songs for film Talash, although eventually, Suroor Barabankvi contributed more songs to the film. Robin Ghosh was making tunes for the film, and he gave Bashir Ahmed a chance to prove himself. Bashir Ahmed sang some numbers for Talash, including soft romantic one, titled Kuch apni kahiyye kuch meri sunyey, yeh sham yeh tanhai youn chup to na rehiyye. Bashir sang another most famous song, Main rickshawalla matwala. He had two other songs in the film, both duets.

Bashir was also a poet and a lyricist, with a pseudonym B.A Deep. Film-maker, Mustafiz, they contacted Bashir and asked him to write a song for his film, Saagar, which he did, titled Ja dekha pyar tera, and sang it too. Similarly in Robin Ghosh's another lilting offering, Karwan, in 1964, Bashir wrote and sang a memorable hit, Jab tum akele ho gay hum yaad aaein gay, which used to be played quite often during the sixties on Radio Pakistan. So, he wrote film songs, as B. A. Deep, and also continued to sing as Bashir Ahmed for films like Saagar, Karwan, Eindhan, Milan, Kangan and Darshan. He won approval from the West Pakistan at that time, for those songs in Darshan. The hits from the films were Yeh sama pyara pyara, yeh hawaein thandi thandi (singer Mala), (Yeh mausam yeh mast nazarey, pyar karo to in say karo), (Tumharay liyay iss dil mein itne mohabbat hay, itne mohabbat kon karaya ga kahaan pao gay kis dil main ho ge), (Din raat khayalon mein tujhay yaad karoon ga, par naam tera lay kay main aawaz nah doon ga), (Hum chaley chor kar teri mehfil sanam, dil kahin nah kahin to behal jaey ga), (Gulshan mein baharun mein too hai), and (Chun liya ik phool ku), with Madam Noor Jahan.

In 1971, when the situation worsened in Pakistan, he was not encouraged in the industry as music directors considered him a pale version of Ahmed Rushdi (who remained the greatest singer in the history of Pakistani cinema) and the film Hill Station songs, namely Mera dil na janey kub say tera pyar dhoondta hai and Mere seene per sar rakhdo remain his only contributions in this period.

A film that was made on the Dhaka Debacle in the late 19970s, called Sangtarash, also included his numbers, namely Bol zara kuch duniya walay and Mukhrey mein chand, but the film, despite pleadings of the film-maker to the military regime of Zia, remained unreleased. So, he went back to Bangladesh in 1975, and continued his music career there.

Bashir Ahmad died on the 19 April 2014,[2][3] aged 74 at his residence in Mohammedpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Bashir had been suffering from various diseases including cancer. His namaz-e-janaza was scheduled to be held at Zohuri Mohalla Mosque of Mohammadpur at 10am on Sunday. It was a tragic day for all artists and well-wishers in the country, with many well-known singers speaking their praise for the great singer, particularly his notable former student, Kanak Chapa. He was honoured and beloved in Bangladesh, evidenced by the fact that he received numerous National Film Awards for his singing as well as the country's highest civilian honour, the Ekushey Padak. Bangladesh cinema has truly lost one of its star icons.


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