the ghazal

Salma Agha’s voice could not match her beauty

The actor, singer and favourite of street performers has tried every genre, including disco and ghazal.

Salma Agha’s acting career was a brief meteoric flare, but her voice has given her an enduring legacy. Her debut film Nikaah (1982), in which she sang the memorable song “Dil Ke Armaan”, written by Hassan Kamaal and set to music by Ravi, fetched her a Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer trophy. Agha had three nominations in the category, including a nomination for Best Actress on that eventful night, and it was clear that she was going to win in at least one of the categories. Her only true competition was herself.

Agha was born in Amritsar in 1956 and raised in London. She was trained as a singer in the Kirana gharana. Agha and her sister, Sabina, formed a group to sing ABBA hits on the album Salma & Sabina Sing The Hits Of Abba In Hindi (1981). Their cover of “Dancing Queen”, called “Mitha Maze Dar”, is a prime example of the sisters hitting higher notes with ease as their vocal pitches are on the upper scale. The album was considered a novel experiment, but it didn’t lead to a future in pop music.

Play

Agha’s first playback break was for the nondescript movie Maine Jeena Seekh Liya (1982), in which she sang “Zara Zara Tu Pyar Kar” for music composers Nadeem-Shravan.

Play

She moved to Mumbai to audition for playback in BR Chopra’s Talaq Talaq Talaq. Chopra asked her if she would act in the film too, an offer she could not resist. The film was later rechristened as Nikaah after clerics took offence to the initial title, which referred to the triple talaq divorce system in Islam. The film was a commercial hit, introducing a strong female protagonist.

The hazel-eyed beauty was hailed for her acting and singing, a rare combination of talents reminiscent of the golden days of Noorjehan and Suraiya. Her next film, Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki (1984), presented her disco avatar. The film showcased her versatility as a singer of both sad love songs and disco numbers with equal panache. However, she appeared only in a dozen films since, and nothing matched the success of her first two hits.

Play

Acting wasn’t her motivation for work and her distinctly nasal voice was uniquely suited only to her, which dried up playback offers. Agha began to focus on ghazals and produced several albums, including an unusual collaboration with ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan called Har Pal (1988). In the song “Saans Bhi Loon”, his mellow voice finds a booming echo in her high pitch.

Play

Here she sings a ghazal written by Mirza Ghalib, “Dil Hai Dil Agar” and if it hadn’t been for the generosity of listeners, few would be willing to look beyond her beauty to pay attention to her shrill voice.

Play
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

A phone so stunning that it deserves its own photoshoot

Presenting the Moto X4, crafted to perfection.

Precision-crafted glass and metal design, an anodised aluminium frame, easy to hold and featuring beautiful contours, the Moto X4 is crafted to perfection indeed.

With the distinctive placement of the rear cameras, this phone makes a great subject for a photographic series.

Gaurav Sawn Photography
Gaurav Sawn Photography

The light reveals the fluidity of its body; curves that fit perfectly in the contours of a palm.

Gaurav Sawn Photography
Gaurav Sawn Photography

Reclining on a bed of satin, the glass-encased phone blends into the folds of the luxurious fabric.

The slimness, seamlessness and solidity of the phone make for a great profile shot.

A stunning design which is IP68 rated water-resistant too, it is as beautiful as it is strong.

We partnered with photographer Gaurav Sawn to create this series. Says Gaurav, “The glass sandwich design looks extremely good and the reflections on the back panel make the phone stand out. This is a phone that is best used without a case. The curved corners were also very comfortable to hold. All in all, really enjoyed shooting this phone!”

While this phone is elegant and crafted to perfection, it is also extremely tough, being protected from scratches with Corning® Gorilla® Glass that stretches all the way around.

You don’t need to sacrifice of performance either. It’s packed with a 2.2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 630 processor and comes with a TurboPower™ Charger which means hours of power in minutes!

For the music lover, this phone is a boon. With simultaneous connectivity of up to four Bluetooth® audio devices at the same time, you can build your own stereo system without worrying about cables.

The dual rear cameras – a 12MP that lets you focus faster and get great results even on dark, cloudy days, and an 8 MP camera, with wide angle lens makes your most ambitious photos look all the more impressive.

To get your hands on the Moto X4, and experience perfection, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Motorola and not by the Scroll editorial team.