Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words.
Farida Khanum (born 1935) is a Pakistani Ghazal singer from Punjab. The Times of India has called her “Malika-e-Ghazal” (Queen of Ghazal).
In 2005, she was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s second highest civilian honour byPresident Pervez Musharraf.
She started learning Khayal from her sister Mukhtar Begum at age seven and later learnt classical music from Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan. Her sister Mukhtar Begum would take her, a seven-year-old Farida, to Khan’s place for riyaaz. She migrated to Pakistan after partition of India in 1947.
Farida Khanum gave her first public concert in 1950 and then joined Radio Pakistan where she courted fame and fortune. She became a star when Pakistan’s president Ayub Khan invited her to a public recital in the ’60s.
The ghazal she is most associated with is Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Naa Karo.