The ill-fated Pakistan International Airlines’ plane crashed on Wednesday while en-route from Chitral to Islamabad, killing all 48 people on board. We all know that among those 48 passengers were also Junaid Jamshed and his wife. Needless to say the news of this tragedy had left the country in a state of shock.
The news of Junaid Jamshed’s passing away is perhaps so devastating because he was not just a pop icon; he was so much more. He was an entrepreneur whose kurtas were essential during the festive season and a widely followed Islamic preacher. That’s a lot to juggle in one life-time and Junaid Jamshed touched lives and touched hearts in every role that he adopted.
So how will we remember JJ, as a pop star or a preacher? I believe it would be impossible to separate one from the other because whether someone likes it or not, both the pop star and the preacher are alter egos of the same icon.
As a final tribute to my favourite star from the 90’s, here’s a look at the various phases in Junaid Jamshed’s career and how I believe he would have wanted us to remember him.
The Warrior of Light
For those of us who struggle with an existentialist crisis and often pray to see the light, this beautiful naat, “Mera Dil Badal Dey” will surely resonate. This naat also summarizes a significant part of JJ’s journey during the last decade.
Dil Dil Pakistan
In 1987, Dil Dil Pakistan took the country by storm and perhaps set the stage for pop music in Pakistan. Dil Dil Pakistan will remain to be our unofficial national anthem till eternity. For the last 3 decades, it has given us a reason to be hopeful even in the darkest of times.
Pakistan remains indebted to JJ for his beautiful vocals, Shoiab Mansoor for the heart felt lyrics and Rohail Haytt for this ever green composition.
The Heart Throb
JJ knew how to break hearts but he surely knew how to mend fences. “Goray Rang Ka Zamna” which was shot in the Chitral valley did break the hearts of many dark skinned fans.
However, the damage was soon rectified by “Sanwali Salooni” – a track that gave hope to all the sanwali saloonis in Pakistan that they didn’t need Fair and Lovely after all!
The most memorable line from the song (America kay na Japan kay / Hum tu hain deewanay Multan kay) forces even a non-fan to hum along each time the song is played.
The Hopeless Romantic
The romantics will probably remember JJ while listening to the mesmerizing track, “Yeh Sham” and take a trip down nostalgia lane.
The Melancholic Lover
A common attribute of perhaps all his albums were songs that talked about cherished relationships going sour; of how those who were once inseparable drifted far apart. So for those who are in pain and want to reminisce the butterflies-in-the-stomach phase will perhaps remember JJ for “Hum Tum” and “Ajnabi.”
The Enthusiastic Aviator
Aviation was JJ’s passion. His father was a Group Captain in Pakistan Air Force and Junaid wanted to join PAF as a fighter pilot, however he couldn’t materialize the dream due to his eyesight. He, however did have a short stint with PAF as a civilian contractor. He also lent his vocals to a number of memorable songs paying tribute to the Pakistan Air Force and for this reason the aviators will remember JJ by “Aisay Hum Jeyian.”
The Lyricist’s Singer
Most of the songs of Vital Signs and JJ’s solo albums were penned by the mastreo SHO-MAN a.k.a Shoaib Mansoor. However, there are exceptions. For those of us who adore the pragmatic yet soulful poetry of Parveen Shakir can never forget the classic, “Cherhra.”
The Song I Will Remember Junaid Jamshed By
It’s hard for me to pick one favorite song because there are just so many! However, the one song that has been coming to mind ever since Junaid Jamshed passed away is “Yaad Karna”. It is ironic that this songs perhaps tells us how Junaid himself would have wanted us to remember him.