APROPOS of the letter ‘Mehdi Hasan: some facts’ (July 26), there are a few points which need clarification to set the record straight.
Mehdi Hasan was decidedly a pride of Muses and one of the great singers of all times. But it is wrong to attribute to him any intellectual or academic understanding of poetry he would select for his singing.
I know it for sure that it was renowned poet and writer Tabish Dehlvi who used to select poetical compositions of classical poets for Mehdi Hasan for singing. Tabish, who was a man of ethics, restricted him by not selecting his own compositions for which Mehdi Hasan had always complained.
It is not commonly known that it was Raja Sahib of Mehmodabad who introduced Mehdi Hasan to Tabish Dehlvi in the mid-1950s who, in turn, introduced him to Z.A. Bukhari/Rasheed Ahmed, thus paving the way for Mehdi Hasan to become a radio artist.
Lacking proper education and academic training, Mehdi Hasan naturally had some problems with the pronounciation of several Urdu and Persian words. He was helped by Tabish Dehlvi, who had command over the Urdu language and, besides being a poet, was an outstanding broadcaster known and acknowledged for his modulation.
S.M.R. HASAN London