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Published in the 16-29 Feb 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition


SURAIYYA JAMAL SHEIKH, known as “Suraiyya”, a yesteryear Bollywood singer and actress, died after a brief illness in Mumbai on January 31. She was 75 and admitted to a city hospital two days before her demise. The leading singer-actor of 1940s-50s, she made her debut as a child actor in 1941 with Taj Mahal. And the last was Rustom and Sohraab in 1963. Her joining films and quitting both singing and acting has a story. As if her renditions Nukta chin hai ghame dil and Ye na thi hamari qismat describe her why she chose to remain reclusive till she breathed her last. 

MAQSOOD AHMAD HASHMI, editor of a local Hindi weekly, published from Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh was shot dead by some unidentified gunmen on the night of February 3. Hashmi was on a scooter with his brother while some miscreants fired at him in the Bhatracot area. Police see old enmity to be the reason behind the attack.

RIYAZUR RAHMAN KIDWAI, a retired wing commander of Indian Airlines and brother-in-low of senior Congress leader Mohsina Kidwai, died after a brief illness at Command Hospital, Lucknow recently. He was 74. His body was taken to his native village Badagaon in Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh where he was laid to rest on January 28. A large crowd including Congress leaders attended his funeral.

Islamic scholar and author MAULANA MAHFUZUL HASAN SAMBHALI died after a prolonged illness in Delhi on January 28. He is survived by son Dr Muhammad Anas and a daughter.

Well-known ghazal singer MALIKA PUKHRAJ passed away after a prolonged illness in Islamabad on February 5. She was 90 and is survived by her daughters. A contemporary of legendary ghazal singer Begum Akhtar, Pukhraj sang many memorable ghazals. Her rendition of the nazm, Abhi to main jawan hoon refuses to fade away from public memory. Belonging to Akhnoor region of Jammu and Kashmir, Pukhraj migrated to Pakistan after partition. Some of her best known songs are Jaag soze Ishq, Ai gul zamin, Dard se mere hai, Jahan tere naqsh-e-qadam, etc. Her death has been widely mourned in the subcontinent.

IRSHAD AHMAD KHAN SHAD, a poet from Faridabad, Haryarna died of cardiac arrest recently. He was ill for six months. A close disciple of late Hiranand Soz, Shad was an active member of Anjuman-e-Adab, Faridabad. His wife Shafia Shad is a story writer.

Sofi Ghulam Mohi-u-Din, a journalist and brother of Srinagar Times editor and MLC, Sofi Ghulam Mohammad, passed away on February 5. He was 70. His death has been widely mourned. Sofi Mohi-u-Din was the owner and editor of a newspaper, The Shahmeer. He also wrote some books on history of Kashmir and Islam’s advent in the Valley and regularly contributed to Srinagar Times and used to write columns and editorials. J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, deputy chief minster Mangat Ram Sharma, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, among others, expressed grief over Sofi's demise.

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