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Published on 28 Apr 2010 | over 8 years ago

A BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: The pashto folk singer Fazal-e-Rabi son of Sher Dil Baba was born in mohallah Amo Khel (Turo-Mardan, Pukhtunkhwa) in 1936. He had a brother named Ghulam Nabi and a sister; only the sister is still alive. Fazal-e-Rabi had 8th grade formal education; he could not pursue further education because at that time Turo did not have high while his family could not afford to send him to a high school in Mardan. Still Fazal-e-Rabi managed to obtain religious education at Jamiat-ul-Abrar (an Islamic seminary), Turo.

Fazal-e-Rabi was married twice; he had a son (named Maskin Jan) and a daughter from the first marriage, and 3 sons (Irfan Kamal, Umer Farooq, and Mudasir) from the second marriage. The eldest son (Maskin Jan) and the daughter are primary school teachers whereas Irfan Kamal works at Radio station Peshawar as music librarian. Irfan Kamal is the only son who chose to follow his fathers footsteps. He sings and writes poetry and is keenly interested in Pashto music.

Fazal-e-Rabi developed interest in singing early on while he was a primary school student. He would often sing Naats and national anthems and secured a 100 rupees prize once for his excellent performance. Note that 100 rupees was considered a huge sum of money during the early 1940s. It was, however, during a wedding ceremony that Fazal-e-Rabbis bond with Pashto music was established. Recalling the momentous occasion, Fazal-e-Rabi said that while he was sleeping in a hurja he heard sitar (a 3-string long and slender instrument) that woke him up and led him to sit next to the player. From then on, he got a sitar and secretly practicing because his family was religious and the elder brother Ghulam Nabi was very much against the idea of him getting into music when he should have been focusing on his school. In fact, many times the elder brother scolded him. But when the elder brother moved out with his wife and kids and settled in Manga Dargai, then Fazal-e-Rabi really got the opportunity to practice sitar and singing in hujras with fellow villagers and friends.

While still not yet introduced to the Radio Station Peshawar, Fazal-e-Rabi was hotly pursued by many to sing in wedding and other occasions on invitation. At the time, the pashto female singers and dancers named BANAZEERA and MMM were quite popular in the Mardan and Sawabi region, and would accompany Fazal-e-Rabi on his music tour when he would get invitation to sing in a wedding. The two female singers would dance while he would sing.

The real milestone in Fazal-e-Rabi music career was laid in 1962 when he went Radio Station Peshawar on the insistence of his friends and fans to try his luck at the Radio Station. The day Fazal-e-Rabi auditioned, many other budding singers came to try their luck too. Among the radio officials, those present on the occasion included Arbab Abdul Wadood (a radio producer), Ashraf Maftoon (an outstanding pashto poet and program organizer), and Sabz Ali Khan (pashto singer, music director and composer). More importantly, however, pashto folk singer Gulmeena also showed up that day for her audition. After all was said and done, the Radio Station team selected only Fazal-e-Rabi and Gulmeena. Fazal-e-Rabi sang the following Tappa, Charbaita and Loba that day:

TAPPA: Janana dair dair de maskor yama, Yao de mayan krrm bal de sar pa jarra krra

CHARBAITA: Grana da beshana sok tar yara rasaday nashi, dair me zrru ta oway kho la tana sabraday nash [Poet Abdul Wahab Ustaaz]

LOBA: Pa Kul Jehan kay de raswa krra yara baywafa [Poet - Nur Muhammad Ustaaz]


FIDA MUTWAHIR: Fida Mutwahir was from Mashsokhel, Peshawar, and worked at Radio Station Peshawar during the 1960s and 70s. He wrote many lovely songs including 'Mamonai Sher Alam' Badala [sung by Fazal Rabi] that became a household name.

SOURCE: Written bY AnwarGul of Kohat for Youtube.
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