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'I fell in love with Junaid Jamshed's voice'

What are your fondest memories of Junaid Jamshed? Share your thoughts with us at blog@dawn.com
Updated 15 Dec, 2016 12:50pm

Junaid Jamshed was a cultural icon in more ways than one. Spanning over three decades, his career, both musical and religious, moved so many people. He meant something for everyone. Who was Junaid Jamshed for you? Send us a few lines of your tribute to JJ or a photo you took on blog@dawn.com


Captain Jeffrey:

"I am a fan from India and an airline pilot. I often find myself humming the song Aisay Hum Jeeyain as I am doing the takeoff run at over 300kmph. I know it was made for the Pakistani Air Force that is supposed to be our "enemy", but good music knows no borders. Sad times see me listening to Musafir. In moments of wait, I hum Dair Ho Gayi Laut Aao.

Junaid was way ahead of his times. I am not sad for his passing. Although I am not a Muslim, I am sure that he was on the right path and God will grant him a special place. In his short life, he did more to inspire spirituality among mortals than any moulana or pastor will ever do. He definitely inspired me to get closer to my faith. He served his purpose on earth. God also wants beautiful creations like Junaid in His presence. May the Almighty bless his beautiful soul.

His songs will continue to motivate me till I die. The lines "Kal toh ussi ka hai, aaj na jo haarein" have sustained me through some very dark times, when my flying career seemed like a distant, impossible dream. Long live the power of soulful music. I long for the day when I can play Dil Dil Pakistan before my friends without any judgement and stigma."

Aliza Anwaar-ul-Haq:

"I was on my Umrah trip along with my family and we met a few Turkish women. They asked me where I'm from and I told them I'm from Pakistan. Their immediate reaction was, "Dil Dil Pakistan Jan Jan Pakistan". It was remarkable! I wish I could have told Junaid Jamshed about this."

Muhammad Nauman:

"A couple of years back we were invited to a fund-raising event for a mosque in Melbourne, in which Junaid Bhai was the chief guest.

As you can imagine, although a public event, but unlike Pakistan, not a lot of people were there and meeting a celebrity like Junaid Jamshed in person was a possibility!

I along with my wife and three children were so excited to meet him. He talked to us and we were mesmerised! He had a very impressive and charming personality and of course a voice which one can never forget. There was peace and tranquility on his face and in his persona.

My sons Safwan and Rayyan took a photograph with him. In those brief moments, he only talked to us about how we should live our lives here. We can never forget Junaid Bhai! He held a tremendous appeal for the youth of Pakistan. May Allah shower him with His mercy."

Naheed Mustafa:

"I'd had recent issues with JJ for his particular brand of religious commentary and the role he played in Pakistan's larger present-day ecosystem. But Junaid Jamshed, at one time, also represented the dynamism and potential of Pakistan's young generation. I remember the first time I listened to Vital Signs, I was floored. VS felt modern and relatable and boy did it help that the band mates were so good looking.

I grew up outside Pakistan and being Pakistani wasn't cool. People called you names and made fun of where you came from and asked weird and terrible questions. But Junaid Jamshed and his band made you feel a little less uncool. It sounds like a small thing but for so many of us it was a huge boost. Their music and cultural contributions made us feel like we had something for ourselves too. God have mercy on his soul and the souls of all the dead."

Rita Chanel:

"I am an Australian who had the privilege of flying with Junaid to Manchester out of Dubai around 2011. Having resided in Dubai for a number of years, my driver from Peshawar had introduced me to many of Vital Signs' pop songs along with the ballad Aitebaar, which I adored. On this particular occasion, during embarkation, I recognised a tall man wearing a pristine white shalwar khameez and tweed jacket. By chance he caught my gaze, we made eye contact and there was something so familiar and peaceful in his eyes.

Later on in the flight, I remember visiting the lounge on board and he was there. During our conversation, he told me who he was and was pleasantly surprised that he had a young fan from Australia of all places. I asked him what was his inspiration to write Aitebaar, which he recollected and shared in detail. I requested he translate the lyrics in English, which he did on the airline stationary. This handwritten piece is still with me and is one of my keepsakes. Such a beautiful man and such a great loss to the nation."

Anees:

"In 2000, when I was living in Beijing, Junaid Jamshed came with Vital Signs to perform a concert. The same evening of the concert, a small group of Pakistani families, including mine, hosted a private dinner for the group. JJ and I connected well and we talked for an hour. The next day, during the concert, he dedicated one of his songs to me saying, "To my new friend Anees." While he was singing, he came up to my seat and shook my hand. At the end of the song, he called my name and thanked me for coming. I never met him after that event."

Amir Zaki, Rohail Hyatt & Junaid Jamshed performing at Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. Photo by Sadaf Fayyaz.
Amir Zaki, Rohail Hyatt & Junaid Jamshed performing at Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. Photo by Sadaf Fayyaz.

Sadaf Fayyaz:

"Vital Signs came to India in 1997 to perform on the occasion of Pakistan's Golden Jubilee. I remember some ladies muttering to each other, “God, I can’t believe Pakistani men are so dashing and stunning. I am ready to go to Pakistan today!” The show went on for two hours and the band were requested to sing Dil Dil Pakistan in the end. Junaid was a bit reluctant, but the Indian audience convinced him and they sang their most patriotic track joyfully."

Junaid Jamshed in NYC in 2000. Photo by Kamran Bukhari.
Junaid Jamshed in NYC in 2000. Photo by Kamran Bukhari.

Kamran Bukhari:

"Took this photo backstage at his concert in New York back in 2000. He was touring with Hadiqa Kiyani and Fakhar-e-Alam. Junaid was wearing leather pants, which I thought looked a little cheesy for his age. He was friendly and let us to take a couple of photos with him. Glad to have met him in person."

Abdul Malik:

"It was in 1986 when I had moved back to Pakistan and was visiting my good and ex-Vital Signs' member Nusrat Hussain. That was the first time I met with Junaid Jamshed and Rohail Hayat. They were rookies just jaming at home for fun. That is when I first heard them compose and arrange Dil Dil Pakistan. I can safely say that I may be few of the first persons to hear Dil Dil Pakistan. When I heard JJ's vocals, I knew he had a voice that will carry. And carry it did not just in Pakistan but across the world."

Beena Raza:

"In 1990 I was traveling from Lahore to Islamabad with my two little kids on a Fokker. JJ was on the same plane and sitting across the aisle. He noticed I was one frazzled parent and decided to help out by striking a conversation with my little ones. I of course was over the moon and blushing because I loved his songs and strikingly good looks! He successfully engaged the kids and after we landed, offered to carry both of them down the staircase. His charm and chivalry blew me over completely. It was no doubt a beautiful memory of JJ that is still deeply etched in my mind."

Sadiya Choudhury:

"My friends and I grew up with Junaid Jamshed's voice. So many songs, so many memories. Dil Dil Pakistan was released the year I moved to Pakistan for school and I was at Lord's in 2009 when the song was belted out around the ground after Pakistan won the T20 World Cup.

Dhundlay Rastay was the talk of the school playground the day after it aired on TV and Goray Rang Ka Zamana played in the background of a sketch for a school farewell party. In 2000, the Uss rah par album was on permanent loop while I revised for final exams at university abroad.

JJ then went on his own spiritual journey and it was sometimes hard to square the bearded preacher with the pop star of old, but the voice was always there. He was the voice of Pakistan for my generation with all its competing passions and contradictions. We lost our John Lennon yesterday."

Mahboob Ali Qureshi:

"One day I was having dinner at a KFC in Hyderabad with my friends when a man entered the place with a group. The moment he came closer to our table, I shouted "Oh!!! it's is Junaid Jamshed!" For every fan, it would be a dream to find their hero sitting next to their table at a restaurant.

We went over to his table and shook his hands. He had a beautiful smile. I asked for his autograph and he wrote ''Dil Dil Pakistan'' on the paper in Urdu along with his signature.

The moment is etched into my memory as if it happened yesterday. Thank God for giving me the chance to meet JJ in person."

Vinay Radhakrishnan:

"Like most Indians, I discovered Junaid Jamshed & Vital Signs during my aimless detours of Pakistani pop on Youtube. By then I was listening mostly to Coke Studio and few other excellent contemporary bands. Then I stumbled onto Vital Signs, which at first, seemed hopelessly old fashioned with their honeyed vocals and trite lyrics.

My cynicism probably stemmed from the fact that I had left the angst of lost love, long behind and had faced the cold practicalities of married life. But as that voice harped on about the idea of love with cast iron certainty, I started to hear and remember a time, when I believed that love and music was all that mattered. Songs such as Woh Kaun Thi, Aitebar and Tum Duur They, preached about the luscious pain of heartbreak with such authority that I remembered only too well.

At the peak of his powers, I read with anguish how Junaid turned his back on the talent and found peace in religion. He no longer sung the songs that I wanted, but the man and his songs were there. And with that, was always the hope that the band might reunite and sing some of the old songs again. Now we are left with the memories and the songs that will always be the sound track of my adolescence."

Shiva Chaulagai:

"I'm Nepalese, currently living in Saudi Arabia. I listened to his patriotic song Dil Dil Pakistan over a thousand times long before I even knew who sang it! It was only yesterday after hearing of his untimely demise that I came to know that it was actually Junaid who sang it. I am listening to the song all over again. His voice was unique and I deeply regret his death."

Shajee Ur Rehman, student:

"It's strange that last night we were having dessert somewhere and on the counter there was a poster that read "Junaid Jamshed will be coming to Manchester on 14th January 2017 for a conference at the popular Nawaab Restaurant" and this afternoon (within 12 hours) we heard this tragic news of the plane crash and that he was on board. Will always remember Junaid Jamshed as the singer of Vital Signs who we all grew up listening to. May he and all those that were lost aboard flight PK 661 rest in peace."

Nadya H. Sadiq:

"The moment I heard the tragic news of todays crash and Junaid Jamshed being one of the victims, I was in a state of utter disbelief. I met JJ about 8 months back while on board from Lahore to Karachi. That was a fan moment for me! I have been his fan since Dil Dil Pakistan days and followed his transition closely. I admired him then, I admired him now. Before the flight landed, I wanted to talk to him and let him know how much I admired him but unfortunately, I couldn't gather enough strength. All I did was extended my boarding pass to him for an autograph right before we landed, and this is what he wrote to me; "Fikr -e- Akhirat ko Barhain," duago- Junaid Jamshed."

Kashif:

"People loved him. I remember he came to Washington DC in 1995 or 96 to celebrate Pakistan's Independence day. We were all gathered near the Washington Monument and host made the announcement that Vital signs have left Los Angeles sometime ago and will arrive in DC in the next 2 to 3 hours. There were about 6 to 8 thousand people. Singer arrived with his band late in the evening and it was a huge performance."

Pramod Verma:

"I'm an Indian and a week back I appeared in a exam in which a passage had a mention of Junaid Jamshed. That's when I came to know about him. Feeling really sad about the loss of such a great man. RIP JJ and all those aboard the flight."

Mariam Khoso, educationalist

"When I went for Hajj last year, he was the one who gave us a bayaan during our time at Arafaat. Much of the bayaan I don't remember [but] there was this one thing that he said, however, that I think I will always keep with me. He was talking about Allah, His Attributes and Names and he talked about Kareem. He wanted to make us understand in depth what the meaning of Kareem was."

Kashif Ahmed:

"Like many fans of Junaid Jamshed, yesterday's news has made me extremely sad and reflective.

My heart goes out to all those who lost their loved ones in yesterday's tragedy.

I was fortunate to see Vital Signs and then Junaid on his own perform in several concerts (1991, 1994, 1996 and 1999). Once I was able to squeeze into the changing room (in 1996) and exchange a few words. He was humble person with a beautiful soul. A part of our childhood has died but his words of wisdom with our real purpose in life remain. May God grant him a high place in Heaven."

Yasir Ashraf, journalist:

"The death of Junaid Bhai has broke me to the core. I am from the Indian-held Kashmir whose blood is filled with love and affection for Pakistan. At a very young age, I along with my cousins used to listen to Dil Dil Pakistan song on speakers in our homes or during picnics. We used to dance madly on its tune.

My hands trembled when I heard the sad news of the crash. I am a journalist and it was the saddest day in my professional career when I had to update it on my website. I can say I knew Pakistan because of JJ. It was because of his soulful voice in the patriotic songs which made me fall in love with Pakistan."

Faisal Riaz:

"Once, Junaid Jamshed was visiting F-10 Markaz in Islamabad for Tableegh. I came to know about the mosque where he was staying along with many other cricketers, and decided to visit the place to meet this fine being I grew up listening to. I reached there with one of my school mates. I saw Junaid Jamshed for the first time in my life in person at that night. I mustered up some courage, rushed to him and asked "Junaid bhai aap ka time chaeay."

He smiled, shook our hands, held my wrist and said "aapke leay time he time hai" and took us inside the mosque. He offered us dinner before we could talk and listen to him.

We were really impressed to see how simple and kind hearted he was. Today, he is no more with us but will always be missed dearly. May his soul rest in eternal peace!"

Nigum Arshed:

"The first music album I ever purchased was by the Vital Signs. If memory serves me right, I spent RS 35 of my pocket money on it. Over the years, I bought all of their albums. It was always a treat whenever a new single, album or a video, directed by Shoaib Mansoor, was released. Needless to say, I remember most the songs by heart even today. I continued to enjoy Junaid’s music when the band separated and he went solo.

His sudden demise in the PK 661 crash brought back so many fond memories. Sad and nostalgic. RIP JJ!"

Tauseef Sheikh, ex-musician:

"I knew him personally, as I used to open his concerts in Lahore. I feel sad and its hard to believe that he is no longer there to guide me."

Marvi Masud:

"My brother was not more than two years old when he first listened to the song Sanwali Saloni Si Mehboba. Even as a toddler, he loved listening to music. My parents got him the cassette and he would listen to it every day. Unfortunately, my brother passed away a year later. Yesterday when my parents heard the news about Junaid Jamshed's death, they were crushed. They were reminded of how angelic JJ's voice was that even a toddler found it melodious to sing along with it."

Waqas Ahmed:

"It was 1990 or maybe 1991 and I was at a 'variety show' (those were a thing back in the day) in Karachi. Vital Signs was one of the bands performing and at the end of their act, they sang Dil Dil Pakistan and called all the kids to come on stage. Like everyone else, I ran toward the stage but was too small to get up as the stage was really high. I kept trying to climb up when suddenly someone put their hands around me to pull me up. It was JJ! He lifted me up in his arms and started singing the song.

This is one of my best memories. Such a small act of kindness but I have never been able to forget it."

Before being ‘Junaid Jamshed’, he was already a hero. After becoming Junaid Jamshed, he could do no wrong: Ali Azmat remembers Junaid in good words.

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Junaid Jamshed was a cultural icon in more ways than one. Spanning over three decades, his career, both musical and religious, moved so many people. He meant something for everyone. Who was Junaid Jamshed for you? Send us a few lines of your tribute to JJ or a photo you took on blog@dawn.com