KARACHI, Nov 4: Speakers on Sunday paid tribute to Lutfullah Khan for keeping a record of as many as 5,000 voices in his audio library over the past many years.
At a function at the Karachi Gymkhana, poetess Fatima Hasan read a comprehensive paper on Mr Khan multifarious interests, spanning from collection of matchboxes and cinema posters to collection of voices.
She said: “Apart from being a dedicated collector, Mr Khan is a writer par excellance. Having travelled all over the world, he has penned his experiences, both as a student and as a globe- trotter.”
Ms Hasan added that Mr Khan’s first book, Tamasha-i-Ahl-i-Qalam, contained insightful pen portraits of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ismat Chughtai, Noon Meem Rashid, Z.A. Bukhari, and others.
His second book, Sur ki talash, was about his subjective exploration of classical music, she said, adding that Mr Khan had practised classical singing for more than 40 years.
Mr Khan’s third book, Hijratoon key silsalay, was his autobiography in which he had written about the social milieu he had grown up in, she said.
Ms Hasan informed the audience that his fourth book, Zindagi ka safar, was a travelogue.
Poet Dr Pirzada Qasim said that all his life Mr Khan had sought truth. “His writings are reflective of his candid observations and experiences. Mr Khan takes an interest in photography in which a camera truthfully records what it captures,” he observed.
Dr Qasim stressed the need for following hobbies in addition to professions. “In the past, people used to pursue hobbies, such as poetry, music and the performing arts, as diligently as they followed their professions. This gave their personalities variety and charm,” he noted.
He told the audience that Mr Khan had approached Ustad Chand Khan to learn classical singing.
The compere of the function said that Mr Khan was born on Nov 25, 1916 in Madras. He had migrated to Pakistan on Oct 17, 1947. On July 29, 1931 he had purchased a tape recorder to tape his mother’s voice. Since then he had taped the voices of Roshan Aara Begum, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Faiz Ahmed Faiz (all works), Akhtarul Iman (all works), Hafeez Jullandheri, Maulvi Abdul Haq, Charagh Hasan Hasrat, Shahid Ahmed Dehlavi, Akhter Hussain Raipuri, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui, Zakir Hussain, Krishan Chander, Rajinder Singh Bedi, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Maulana Abul Ala Maudodi, Bahaduryar Jung, Gandhi, Jawahir Lal Nehru, etc.
Mr Khan said he had ambitions to do much more but he had had to abandon a large number of projects. Be that as it may, he added, he had never complained to shortage of time. “If you know exactly what you want to do, and resolve to do it then God also helps you,” he said.
Dr Abul Khair Kashfi said that despite the fact that Mr Khan had led his life in an extremely disciplined manner, there was a lot of charm in his winsome personality.
Mr Khan presented three items from his extensive collection. The items were: recitation of the Quran by Maulana Ahtaramul Haq Thanvi in 1971, a Naat recited by poet Bahzad Lucknawi in 1961, conversation between Ibn-i-Insha and Ibrahim Jalees, a recitation of humorous poetry, a Qawwali by Mubarak Ali Khan and Fateh Ali Khan and recitation of Shikwa and Jawab-i-Shikwa by S.M. Saleem and Z.A. Bokhari respectively.