Iqbal Qureshi(Right) With Mohd.Rafi
This forgotten Music Composer was a true maestro in every sense, he composed music for less than twenty Hindi movies, the movies he did in the sixties had musical gems that made a lasting mark on the viewers memory. As there is not much information available about this much talented composer I have taken the opportunity to present the creations of this lesser known hero of the Hindi music industry.
Iqbal Qureshi, not to confuse with A. R. Qureshi (Tabla Ustad Allah Rakha Khan) was from Hyderabad, India and his first movie as an independent composer was Jasoos in 1955, though most of the films were low budget movies with lesser known actors, it did not deter him from creating good tunes and he did total justice to the songs. Unfortunately the songs I found from film Jasoos were credited to Anil Biswas instead of Iqbal Qureshi hence I am not including them in this presentation.
Iqbal Qureshi scored music for his second movie Sipahsalar in 1956 “Dil ne chheda hai Tarana” sung by Talat Mahmood and Asha Bhosle and “Ankhon mein ankhen daal ke” a duet by Mohd. Rafi and Asha Bhosle. Both the songs have catchy tunes which will appeal to any listener.The next movie for which Iqbal Qureshi composed songs was Panchayat (1958) which was Manoj Kumar’s second movie after his debut in Fashion (1957) and also had Raaj Kumar and Shyama in the cast. I am sure you would have heard the song “Haal yeh kar diya Zalim” sung by Mohd. Rafi and Geeta Dutt but you probably did not know it was composed by Iqbal Qureshi. What about “Ta Thaiya karke Aana” duet by Lata Mangeshkar and Geeta Dutt, another song you would not guess was composed by Iqbal.In 1960 Iqbal Qureshi got his next assignment with big banner Filmalaya’s, he was signed on as music director for Love in Simla, this film launched the career of Joy Mukheerji and Sadhana and directed by R. K. Nayyar who later married her in 1966. His compositions were contemporary and gave credence to the storyline. “Yun zindagi ke Raaste” sung by Mod. Rafi was composed with effects of thunder, lightning and strong winds in the background and blended with the song. Iqbal Qureshi did follow the rhythm style of OP Nayyar in this movie.
Iqbal Qureshi also composed songs for Bindya in 1960 a Balraj Sahani and Padmini starer,”Main apne Aap Se Ghabra Gaya Hoon” sung by Mohd Rafi is still remembered and is a classic.
Umar Qaid was released in 1961 and had some beautiful songs composed by Iqbal Qureshi, “Mujhe Raat Din yeh Khayal hai” is one of the song from this film.Banarasi Thug was released in 1962 another Manoj Kumar starer but this film did not do well at the box office.In 1963 he did Yeh Dil Kisko Doon which had Shashi Kapoor and Ragini in the lead and was directed by Kewal Mishra. “Phir aane laga yaad wohi” was one of the popular number from this film.Iqbal Qureshi did not get any assignment for the next two years, in 1964 he got his next film Cha Cha Cha produced and directed by Chandrashekar who was also in the lead with Helen, though the movie suggests a western music based story most of the songs were traditional and were the highlight of the movie.”Wo hum na the wo tum na the” and “Subah na aayi Shaam na aayi” were outstanding compositions in the movie.1964 also saw the release of Qawwali Ki Raat where Iqbal Qureshi had the opportunity to compose qawwali. There are three qawwali songs in this film which one cannot forget easily.
Iqbal Qureshi did not get big banner movies but he did manage to keep himself active by accepting low budget movies. There was a gap of six years before he got an opportunity to compose for a Hindi film. He did few Bhojpuri movies in between. In 1970 he did Bombay by Nite which had Prithviraj Kapoor and Sanjeev Kumar. “Baharon ne kiye sajde” a beautiful composition was sung by Mukesh.
He worked with all the top lyricists of that time like Farooq Kaiser, Bharat Vyas, Ehsan Rizvi, Hasrat Jaipuri, Qamar Jalalabadi, Neeraj, Jaan Nisar Akhtar, Shewan Rizvi, Kaifi Azmi, Akhtar Romani, Naseem Ajmeri, and Rajendar Krishan.
Iqbal Qureshi also worked with a lot of big names in playback singing like Suman Kalyanpur, Asha Bhonsle, Mohammed Rafi, Mubarak Begum, Lata Mangeshkar, Madhubala Zaveri, Manna Dey and Geeta Dutt.
Iqbal Qureshi could not churn out quality songs, maybe he could not catch up with the changing trends of music in the films. He undertook low budget movies like Shan-e-Khuda (1971), Rajkumar Sooraj (1973), Alam Ara (1973), Dastan-e-Laila Majnu (1974), Nek Praveen (1982). In 1985 he did Sautela Pati directed by B. R. Ishara with Raj Kiran and Asha Sachdev in the lead. His last movie was Pathron ke Shehar in 1986.
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