musical history

The proposed biopic on Nazia and Zoheb Hassan needs to have these songs

Among their most popular hits are ‘Aap Jaisa Koi Mere Zindagi Mein Aaye’, ‘Boom Boom’ and ‘Disco Deewane’.

A biopic on the popular Pakistani-British singing siblings Nazia and Zoheb Hassan is taking shape somewhere between London and Mumbai. Zoheb Hassan did not reveal too many details about the production in a recent interview, except that he had been approached by an unidentified Indian writer, an unnamed Indian director was attached to the project and the musician Biddu, who launched Nazia in 1980 in the movie Qurbani, was working on the music.

The telegenic brother and sister worked together on non-film albums in the 1980s, but their journey started with the song “Aap Jaisa Koi Mere Zindagi Mein Aaye” in Feroz Khan’s crime drama Qurbani. Nazia was 15 years old when Biddu met her on Khan’s recommendation at her apartment in London. The massive success of “Aap Jaisa Koi”, which also owed something to the fact that it was filmed on a svelte and sexy Zeenat Aman, bagged Nazia a Filmfare Best Female Playback award, and her career as a star of the disco-themed club song was set.

Play
‘Aap Jaisa Koi’ from ‘Qurbani’.

Naiza began singing with Zoheb for musical shows in Karachi in the late ’70s. In 1976, the duo appeared in Pakistan’s first English language film Beyond The Last Mountain as extras in a song sequence.

The success of “Aap Jaisa Koi” led to another collaboration with Biddu. He was approached by the music label HMV to record its first non-film album with Nazia, he writes in his memoir Made in India. Biddu asked Zoheb to compose a few tunes too, and the 16-year-old singer came up with three songs. Some of the titles initially under consideration were Disco Party and Music Ke Deewane.

Disco Deewane was released in April 1981 and sold 100,000 copies on the first day of its release, Biddu writes. The songs played not only across the Indian subcontinent and the South Asian diaspora in the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the Caribbean, but also in Brazil, South Africa, Russia and Indonesia.

Play
The title track from ‘Disco Deewane’.

Buoyed by the success of Disco Deewane, Biddu came up with a movie plot about a young man who becomes a successful singer. Directed by Vinod Pande and starring Kumar Gaurav and Rati Agnihotri, the soundtrack of Star (1982) had eight tracks by Biddu, all sung by the Hassan siblings. The soundtrack was also released as the album Boom Boom, the title song of which was another smash hit.

Play
‘Boom Boom’ from the movie ‘Star.’

The Hassans collaborated on other non-film albums, including Young Tarang in 1984. The music videos that featured the siblings were popular in Pakistan, but they also attracted the ire of the country’s military dictator, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Zia ordered the state-run television and radio networks to stop playing “un-Islamic” disco music. The siblings were reportedly summoned to the President’s residence in Islamabad and given a lecture on the appropriate behaviour to be displayed while performing such songs, including avoiding physical contact between male and female singers and sticking to the local dress code. The ban was lifted after the Hassan siblings complied with Zia’s diktats and dressed demurely in subsequent music programmes.

Play
The music video ‘Aankhein Milane Wale’, featuring Nazia Hassan.

Nazia and Zoheb Hassan collaborated on two more albums, Hotline (1987) and Camera Camera (1992). Nazia retired from singing after Camera Camera. She died of lung cancer in 2000. Zoheb Hassan, always the weaker of the two singers, tried to re-establish himself as a solo artist in the late ’90s and the early ’00s. In 2006, he released the album Kismat.

Although Zoheb’s singing career was never in the same league as his sister’s, proof of the enduring popularity of their musical partnership can be found in his appearance on Coke Studio, in which he sang “Chehra” from the album Young Tarang.

Play
Zoheb Hassan on Coke Studio.
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

Play
Play
Play

2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.