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Tributes paid to Pashto folk singer


A singer performs at a function held in Mardan to pay homage to Fazal-i-Rabi Ustad. — Dawn
A singer performs at a function held in Mardan to pay homage to Fazal-i-Rabi Ustad. — Dawn

MARDAN: Speakers at a function eulogised the services of late Fazal-i-Rabi Ustad for Pashto music and termed him master of folk singing.

The Lasoona Welfare Organisation (LWO) in collaboration with culture directorate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa organised the function at Mardan Press Club here the other day. The function was a sequel to Revival of Indigenous Cultural Heritage (RICH) project launched under the auspices of culture directorate.

Mohammad Saeed, a local poet, pledged that he would publish a comprehensive book in Pashto on the life and contribution of Fazal-i-Rabi Utad. “Though I am poor yet I am determined to publish a book covering all aspects of the life of Fazal-i-Rabi Ustad,” he said

Senior artists, music lovers and fans of Fazal-i-Rabi Ustad paid tribute to the maestro of Pashto folk singing. Former station director of Radio Pakistan, Peshawar Nisar Mohammad Khan was chief guest on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, he said that legends like Fazal-i- Rabi Ustad should be honoured. He said that Ustad had mastery over every genre of Pashto folk music. He said that Fazal-i-Rabi had learnt playing sitar in a short period of one week and could also play rabab and harmonium.

Qasim Gul Baba, a senior folk singer, shared his memories about the late singer with the participants. He said that both he and Fazal-i-Rabi Ustad used to perform at wedding ceremonies and other happy occasions.

“Ustad would love to sing charbeta, badala and tapas. His velvety voice could be distinguished among hundreds of other popular Pashto folk singers of his time,” Mr Gul recalled. Advocate Akbar Khan Hoti, Pashto poet and writer, said that legends like Fazal-i-Rabi Ustad were born once in hundreds years.

Music composer Ustad Nazeer Gul in his remarks said that Fazal-i-Rabi had a melodious voice and could register a magical impact on the listeners. He said that many folk songs sung by him were still popular.

LWO chief Jahangir Khan said that his organisation would continue holding such events to pay tribute to legendary singers and artistes.

Fazal-i-Rabi Ustad had 450 audio albums to his credit. He was recipient of numerous awards. Born in 1930 in Toru Mardan, Fazal-i- Rabi Ustad had a natural flail for singing and launched his career in music at the tender age of nine despite family restrictions.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2016