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Chishti, Gulam Ahmad (Baba GA Chishti)

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Baba GA Chishti

Ghulam Ahmed Chishti (often abbreviated to G.A. Chishti) was a Pakistani music composer, attributed as being one of the founders of Pakistani film music. He is also sometimes referred to as Baba Chishti.

Working with filmi music, Chishti excelled at Punjabi compositions and was ‘apt at weaving the design of influences around Punjabi music’  With almost 5,000 tunes to his credit, he composed scores for 140-150 films and was the first musician to reach the 100s threshold. Being a poet, he has written lyrics for 12 songs

Early life

Ghulam Ahmed Chishti was born in 1905 in Gana Chor, a small village in Jalandhar. Early in his childhood, Chishti became fond of music and would sing naats. at his school. He was later noticed by Agha Hashar Kashmiri when Chishti came to Lahore. Kashmiri was a well-renowned writer and his works were praised throughout the Indian subcontinent and would occasionally compose songs for theatres.

Kashmiri hired Chishti to assist him with his work and offered him a salary of 50-rupees per month. Under Kashmiri’s influence Chishti began learning the intricacies of the music industry and trained with him. Upon Kashmiri’s death, Chishti joined a recording company and began composing himself. Amongst his first records were those for Jaddanbai and Amirbai Karnataki.

Composing for film

Chishti is responsible for bringing Noor Jehan to the Lahore stage when she was 9-years old in 1935[1] who since then had worked in accord with Chishti after his later migration to Lahore. He started his career composing music for the films with Deen-o-Dunya in 1936. Once he got recognised, he was offered to compose music for L. R. Shori’s film Sohni Mahival in 1938. Later the Censor Board banned his composition for the song Aik Shehr Ki Londiya from the film Shukriya in 1944 bestowing much needed attention upon the composer. He became known for his compositions in Urdu and Punjabi both.

Partition and migration

However, things were to take a drastic turn when in 1947, Pakistan was formed out of the partition of India. He decided on migrating to Pakistani in 1949 where the film industry was reeling in its infancy. The new industry was at the mercy of learned musicians and filmmakers and lacked funds to compete with the Indian films imported from India Chishti offered his services as a musician.

Due to shortage of talent in the music industry, it is reported that Chishti had to compose music for three films at a time. His initial compositions for SachaiMundri and Pheray were simultaneously produced.  Upon its initial screening, Pheray became a blockbuster hit]and earned plaudits for the composer. It is reported that the six[ to sevensongs in the film were written, composed and recorded in a single day.

Last days

Chishti was a very simple, affable and kind person. Due to his popularity and venerability, he was called Baba Ji in the film industry. He died at the age of 89 due to a heart attack on 25 December 1994 in Lahore. He wished his grandson, Mohammad Ali, a very healthy life.

G.A. Chishti, a legend music composer of Pakistani cinema can be categorized one of the founders of Pakistani film music. He had already established himself in the pre-independence era. G.A. Chishti was firmly grounded in the Punjabi ang. He was particularly apt at weaving the design of influences around Punjabi music.

G. A. Chishti started his career by composing music for the film Deen o Dunya in 1936, and in 1938 he had composed music for L R Shori’s film Sohni Manhival. After the success of this film, he moved to Calcutta where he had composed music for several films. Censor board banned one of his compositions Aik Shehar ki londya nainon ke teer chala geyi… from film Shukriya in 1944. In 1949, G.A. Chishti migrated to Pakistan, At that time the Pakistan’s films industry was in primitive stage and its productions were generally unable to compete with the selected (imported) Indian films. Music was the exception.

G. A. Chishti started to compose the music of three films at a time, that were Sachchai,Mundri and Pherey. Pherey became a blockbuster after the release. It was not only the first successful film of Pakistan but the first silver jubilee hit too. It is said that G.A. Chishti composed all of the tunes of this film only in one day. Pherey had the following hit songs:

  • Menoo Rabb di sonh tere naal pyar ho geya…
    (Munawar Sultana)
  • Akhian laveen na, ve fer pachhtavin na…
    (Munawar Sultana, Inayat Hussain Bhatti)
  • Ki keeta taqdeere, rol chhadey do heerey…
    (Munawar Sultana)
  • Jai nain si pyar nibhana, sanu dass ja koi thakana…
    (Inayat Hussain Bhatti)

G.A. Chishti had a very long and successful career. He had composed almost 5000 tunes. In Pakistan he had scored music for 152 films. He had also a poetic skill and was able to write poetry in Urdu and Punjabi. He had written the lyrics of almost 12 songs for films. G. A. Chishti was a very simple, affable and kind person. Due to his popularity and venerability, He was called “Baba Ji” in film world. He had always composed the tunes to keep in view of the public-demand and this is a fact that his tunes are still very popular in public. He had composed some Urdu films too, but infect he was a specialist of Punjabi film music.

G. A. Chishti‘s real name was Ghulam Ahmed Chishti. He was born in 1905 in Gana chor, a small village of Jalandhar. He was a fond of music from his childhood and in his early educational days, he was used to sing “Naats”. When he came in Lahore, he met withAgha Hashar Kashmiri, a well-known writer of subcontinent who was a good composer too. He joined to Agha Hashar as an employee on a salary of Rs. 50 per month. He got his early music training under the influence of Agha Hashar Kashmiri. After the death of Agha Sahab, G. A. Chishti joined a recording company and started the compositions. He produced some records of Jaddan Bai and Ameer Bai Karnatki.
He was died in the age of 89 by heart attack, on December 25, 1994, in Lahore.
G. A. Chishti’s Discoveries:

  • Madam Noor Jehan as singer on Lahore stage when she was just 9 years old in 1935.
  • Zubaida Khanum in Billo 1951.
  • Saleem Raza in film Noukar 1955.
  • Naseem Begum in Guddi Gudda in 1956.
  • Nazir Begum in Miss 56 in 1956.
  • Mala in film Abroo 1961.
  • Masood Rana in first punjabi films Rishta in 1963.
  • Pervez Mehdi in Chann Tara in 1973.
  • He instructed famous musicians Rehman Verma and Indian musician Khayyam.

Some memorable film songs

Baba Chishti had a very long and successful career. He had composed almost 5000 tunes. In Pakistan he had scored music for 140 films and was the first ever musician who composed music in 100 films.

  • Sadi nazran tun hoien kahnu door dass ja…
    (Singer Inayat Hussain Bhatti, film Morni 1956)
  • Meri chunni dian reshmi tandaan, we main ghut ghut…
    (Singer Zubiada Khanam, film Jatti 1958)
  • Qadm barhao Sathio, qadam barhao…
    (Singer Inayat Hussain Bhatti & Irene Perveen, film Saltanat 1960)
  • Sadi ajab kahani a, bhul ke purane dukhre…
    (singers Masood Rana and Mala, film Mera Mahi 1964)
  • Nain pukha Shehar Graan da, nain chah zulfan di chhan da…
    (singer Masood Rana, film Pilpili sahib 1965)
  • Noor-e-Khuda mile keh Habib-e-Khuda mile…
    (singers Masood Rana and Irene Perveen, film Mojza 1966)
  • Yeh dil ki hasrat machal rahi keh aarzoo muskara rahi hay…
    (singers Masood Rana, film Mojza 1966)
  • Teinu

Total 157 films (1936-83)
140 Pakistani films:
24 Urdu, 116 Punjabi films
17 Indian films:
13 Urdu/Hindi, 4 Punjabi films

in India (1936-50)
L = Lahore based
C = Calcutta based
B = Bombay based

1936
» Deen-o-Duniya (L)
1937
» Sohni Mehinwal (L)
1939
» Pap ki Nagri (C)
1941
» Chanbey di Kali (C)
» Mubrak (C)
» Perdesi Dhola (C)
1942
» Khamoshi (C)
1943
» Manchali (C)
1944
» Kalian (B)
» Shukriya (B)
1945
» Albeli (B)
» Zid (B)
1947
» Yeh hai zindagi (L)
» Jugnu (B – One song)
1948
» Jhuti qasm (B)
1949
» Do baten (B)
1950
» Natti Bhabhi (C – uncompleted – 1950 – Harri Singh composed other songs)

in Pakistan (1949-83)
1949
» Shahida
» Sachai
» Pheray
» Mundri
1950
» Laray
» Anokhi daastan
» Ghabroo
1951
» Dilbar
» Billo
1954
» Sassi
1955
» Pattan
» Noukar
» Mehfil
» Bulbul
» Toofan
1956
» Dulla Bhatti
» Lakht-e-Jiggar
» Morni
» Mahi Munda
» Peengaa
» Soteeli Maa
» Guddi Gudda
» Miss 56
» Haqeeqat
1957
» Seestan
» Yakke Wali
» Palkaa
» Sehti
» Sardar
» Zulfaa
1958
» Jatti
» Jagga
1959
» Shera
» Naghma-e-dil
» Gumrah
1960
» Alladin ka Beta
» Dil-e-nadaan
» Khaibar Mail
» Khan Bahadur
» Saltanat
» Mitti dian Moortan
» Rani Khan
1961
» Aabroo
» Ajab Khan
1962
» Paharan
» Jamalo
1963
» Baghawat
» Mouj Mela
» Rishta
» Teer andaz
» Chacha Khamkha
1964
» Daachi
» Mama jee
» Pani
» Mera Mahi
» Hath Jori
1965
» Pilpili Sahib
1966
» Gawandi
» AnnParh
» Zamindar
» Bharia Mela
» Janbaz
» Abba jee
1967
» Yaar Maar
» Jigri Yaar
» Chacha jee
» Imam Din Gohavia
» Ravi Paar
» Jani Dushman
» Wohti
1968
» Roti
» Chann Makhna
» Babul da Vehra
» Jagg beeti
» Mela do din da
» Jawan Mastani
» Hameeda
» Kanjoos
1969
» Sajjan Pyara
» Chann Chodhvin da
» Pyar da palla
» Panchhi te Pardesi
» Chann Veer
» Langotia
» Shera di jori
» Jind Jan
» Mukhra Chan warga
» Qaul qarar
» Koonj wichhar geyi
» Veer pyara
» Ghabroo Putt Punjab de
» Dhol Sipahi
1970
» Wichhora
» Do Nain sawali
» Maa Puttar
» Wichhrey Rabb mailey
» Yaar te pyar
» Bhai charah
» Sayyan
» Bholay Shah
» Qadra
» Chan Puttar
» Tikka Mathey da
» Matrei Maa
1971
» Baba Deena
» Rabb rakha
» Mali
» Uchi Haveli
» Yaar des Punjab de
» Ishq deevana
» Khoon da rishta
» Khoon Paseena
1972
» Zaildar
» Ucha shamla Jatt da
» Sohney Phull pyar de
» Puttar da pyar
» Ghairat te Qanoon
» Morcha
» Ishtahari Mulzim
» Jangoo
» Mera Babul
1973
» Sohna Veer
» Chann Taara
» Mera Khoon
» Ghairat da parchhawan
» Bahadura
» Dharti Sheran di
1974
» Dharti de laal
» Tota chasham
» Qatil te Mafroor
» Jigar da tukra
» Sohna Daku
1975
» Zindgi te Toofan
» Pulekha
» Sultana Daku
1976
» Sanjhi ghairat yaaran di
» Maa Sadqe
» Dukki Tikki
» Thaggan de Thagg
1983
» Wehshi Tola