Written by Omair Alavi

By Omair Alavi He may have looked like Indian film actor Raj Kapoor but Pakistan’s Syed Kamal had his own aura when it came to films and later TV. The late actor remains one of the few actors who managed the transition to direction and production successfully during his lengthy career. From the late…

SAMAA | Omair Alavi – Posted: Apr 27, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago

By Omair Alavi

He may have looked like Indian film actor Raj Kapoor but Pakistan’s Syed Kamal had his own aura when it came to films and later TV. The late actor remains one of the few actors who managed the transition to direction and production successfully during his lengthy career. From the late 50s to the early part of the new millennium, he stayed active as an actor and director and was one of the first film stars to make TV their home after ending his career on the large screen. Veteran Lollywood actor and director Syed Kamal would have been 83 years old had his life not been cut short in 2009; he gave countless hits during the 60s and the 70s and was active even in the 80s when the film industry was on its way down. Let’s remember the Raj Kapoor of Pakistan on his birthday with songs that are still popular even after 50 years!

Kyon Huzoor Kyon – Dil Ne Tujhe Maan Liya

Syed Kamal rose to prominence in the late 50s as Pakistan’s Raj Kapoor and although he tried to create a different identity for himself, he was labelled as the local version of the Bollywood actor throughout his life. In this Moslehuddin song, the Naheed Niazi-Ahmed Rushdi combo does exceedingly well to engage the audience that follows a hilarious verbal banter.

Baday Sangdil Ho – Aashiana

It’s Kamal-Zeba again in this song composed by the talented A. Hameed; the two stars on bicycle try to resolve their differences which are eased by Ahmed Rushdi’s soothing voice and Kamal’s antics, especially when he is teasing his beloved.

Raat Saloni Aayi – Zamana Kia Kahega

This Moslehuddin number is still as fresh to the ears as it was more than 50 years back; Syed Kamal and Ahmed Rushdi make their entrance at the very end but till then the nightingale of the 60s Naheed Niazi kept the listeners in the song with her sweet vocals. The arrangement looks more like a Western number rather than a Lollywood song and maybe that’s why when the husband-wife duo of Moslehuddin and Naheed Niazi sang it on local TV in the late 90s, it came out as a winner.

Rutt Haseen Hai – Jalay Na Kyo Parwana

This film was the Pakistani version of Dilip Kumar-Raj Kapoor classic Andaaz from the 40s; Syed Kamal played the Raj Kapoor role and Nadeem was cast as the Pakistani version of Dilip Kumar. Shabnam played the bone of contention between the two just like Nargis did in the Indian flick. There were many songs in the film that became popular but Syed Kamal and Ahmed Rushdi steal the show with this Nashad composition which gives a chance to both the actor and the vocalist, to experiment.

Hello Hello Mr. Abdul Ghani – Behen Bhai

Syed Kamal shone as the comedy actor in this flick that had Nadeem, Ejaz, Deeba, Husna and Aslam Pervez in the cast and that had more to do with Ahmed Rushdi and this song composed by A Hameed. Just observe the Galay Main Phanda Daala where Kamal tightens his tie when Ahmed Rushdi tightens his voice; that’s something only serious performers could do in films.

Tujhe Apne Dil Say – Shehnai

The combo of Kamal-Sohail Rana-Ahmed Rushdi can be credited for this wonderful tragic number from Shehnai; although the film was released nearly 50 years back, it is regarded as one of the best sad songs from the era. The vocals of Ahmed Rushdi compliments the orchestration that is dominated by violins and flute while Syed Kamal looks like a lover who has lost it all.

Isi Ka Naam Tu Hai Zindagi – Shehnai

In another song from the same film, Syed Kamal and Lehri dance to a fast track that takes place in a club. The pace is fast and so is the mood and for that, thank Ahmed Rushdi and the creator of Kokokorina, Sohail Rana.

Tujhko Basaya Hai Nigaahon Main – Ghar Damaad

It was in 1969 that music composer Jawed Sarwar got inspired from Nancy Sinatra’s Summer Wine and the result was this number by Ahmed Rushdi and Runa Laila. The song still holds a place in the hearts of those who heard it the first time, and it was made memorable by onscreen performers Deeba and Kamal.

Yeh Phool Sa Chehra – Roop Behroop

Syed Kamal didn’t do much films in the 70s but this version of an Indian hit Saawan Badhon was one of his better flicks where he played a double role successfully. This Lal Mohammad – Iqbal composition may sound like their earlier hit Dil Tumko Dedia Hai from Naseeb Apna Apna but still has the power to attract the listener. It’s also one of those songs that kept Syed Kamal into the game despite the presence of younger leading men.

Yeh Ada Yeh Naaz – Road To Swat

The film was way ahead of its times; the dances, the name and above all, the genre of road trip flick. Syed Kamal stars, writes and directs the film which had possibly his last hit song. Composed by Tasadduq Hussain, the song is still loved due to its beat, its catchy lyrics and the way it was sung by Mala and Ahmed Rushdi

Bonus Song

Zara tum hi Socho – Mujeeb Alam

And then there is a song that will always feature in Syed Kamal list, as one that wasn’t sung by Ahmed Rushdi. Composed by Sohail Rana this song from Dil Deke Dekho sounds more like OP Nayyar’s classic Mujhe Dekh Kar Aapka Muskurana from Ek Musaafir Ek Haseena but the Indian song was a romantic number, the Pakistani one was tragic. Mujeeb Alam’s deep voice suits it so perfectly that you don’t miss the Kamal-regular Ahmed Rushdi at all.

About the author

Omair Alavi

Omair Alavi is a highly regarded journalist, critic, and commentator, specializing in news, sports, showbiz, film, blogs, articles, drama, reviews, and PTV drama. With extensive experience and a keen eye for storytelling, he captivates audiences with his insightful analysis and compelling presentations. His expertise and contributions have made him a prominent figure in the media and entertainment industry.