Note From Quetta: Remembering Amin Sayani of Binaca Geet Mala

By Engr. Habib Khan: Amin Sayani, 91, the popular announcer of Binaca Geet Mala passed away last week on the 20th. I heard the news from the morning program of Ceylon Radio which is also broadcast through YouTube, and for the last few weeks I have been listening to this program which broadcasts old songs and also dedicates programs to famous showbiz persons on their birthdays or death anniversaries –just as it did for Lata Mangeshkar on her death anniversary on Feb 6th; for actress “Nutan” on her birthday on 21st, and for Madhubala on her death anniversary on 23rd. And yesterday on 24th, in the beginning of the program when the birthday of my favorite singer Talat Mahmood was announced, I happily looked forward to a full program on Talat, but to my utter surprise there were so many birthdays and anniversaries that the announcer could hardly give one song for each person. Rather she very cleverly choose the same song for two people –the lyricist and the actress both related to the same song to fit in one song each in the half hour program.
The list goes:
Singer Talat Mahmood
Lyricist Naqsh Lyalpuri
Actor Joy Mukherjee
Actress Lalita Pawar
Lyricist Sameer Anjan
Actress Pooja Bhatt
Actress Sri Devi
and Music composer Sanjay leela Bansali.

There was a craze for Indian films during my youth days –when they were banned in Pakistan, and In 1972, me and my friend Khair Jan Baloch happened to be in Kabul in the month of August for a full week, and did nothing much other than watch Indian films.

Khair Baloch was the chairman of BSO (Baloch Students Organization), and when in 1973 a military operation was launched in Balochistan, he went to the mountains and fought for his cause for five years. Not many people know that the struggle was joined by many other non-Baloch educated people from the country. A couple of names that I remember being Asad Rahman (late) and Najam Sethi who fought along with the Marri tribe during the period 1973 thru 1978.

Khair Jan Baloch later got disillusioned with the political leadership, had to change sides and died of a heart attack on the day of 9-11 2001. And to the irony (sitam zareefi) of history he got buried at the military graveyard in Quetta.

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Habib Khan is a NED Alumni.