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Pangs in city of his birth

?DUNIYA WALON meri awaaz toh sau baar suni, dil bhi toota hai mera us ki bhi jhankar suni?? Thus wrote Naushad. And ?Duniya walon? could as well have been ?Lucknow walon?. For, it was in the city of his birth that Naushad got some and probably lost a lot.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 01:45 IST

“DUNIYA WALON meri awaaz toh sau baar suni, dil bhi toota hai mera us ki bhi jhankar suni?”

Thus wrote Naushad. And ‘Duniya walon’ could as well have been ‘Lucknow walon’. For, it was in the city of his birth that Naushad got some and probably lost a lot.

After leaving Lucknow in 1937 and tasting initial success in Mumbai, Naushad had built a house in Jhawai Tola in old city immediately after his marriage to a Lucknow girl. A couple of years later, Naushad received a notice from a bank telling him that his old city house would be seized if he didn’t repay the loan.

The music director was stunned. He had never taken any loan! Naushad rushed back to the city and discovered the fraud. “Someone had taken loan against Naushad saheb’s house. He had even produced papers of his house and forged signatures,” recalls Athar Nabi, who was among the ‘few good men’ to have helped him. The then additional city magistrate, SP Singh, too was very helpful.

It was with their help alone that Naushad finally got to keep the house he had almost lost. But the incident had its impact on him. Though he never complained, Naushad decided to sell off his house soon after. But he never forgot the help that Nabi had provided to him. Years later, when Nabi’s wife Naheed contested the municipal elections from the Ganeshganj ward as corporator, Naushad who kept himself from all political campaigns, came to Lucknow and campaigned.

Though Naheed lost the elections due to a disinformation campaign, Naushad had proved his point. That he never forgot an act of kindness.

Also, Lucknow never really fully acknowledged the contribution Naushad the legend made to the world of music. The Naushad Sangeet Kendra never really took off as successive state governments failed to release funds for its development. “The Naushad Sangeet Development Society was set up on November 30, 1993.

In the first meeting of the Society, in which Sunil Dutt and Dilip Kumar too were present, it was decided to set up a centre to groom budding musicians.

The centre never achieved fruition because of funds crunch. Only 22 students are at present studying at this centre,” says Nabi who was made the chairman of the Society.

To financially sustain the kendra, the Society decided to give the semi built premises of the building for holding functions etc. When Naushad came to know about it, he was furious. He wrote to the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (then LNN) to either remove his name from the Kendra or stop such frivolous activities there. Nabi then explained to Naushad the reasons behind the move and the genial music director was satisfied.

But, LMC wasn’t. It asked Nabi to return the LMC land back. Nabi refused. The matter is pending in a court.