The music of Pakeezah by the late Ghulam Mohammed was a benchmark score. Arriving bang in the midst of the peak era of R. D. Burman and Kishore Kumar, He died on 17 March 1968, four years before his magnum opus, Pakeezah (1972) was released. The film was started in 1958 but got delayed and finally released after 14 years.
When Pakeezah was resumed in 1969, many exhibitors suggested Kamal Amrohi to change the music according to the then famous trend and style. To this, Amrohi said that he would have readily done this if only Ghulam Mohammed was still breathing alive. But, now he cannot betray a man, who gave him such melodious songs, after his unexpected and untimely death. So he kept his music intact but used fewer songs as planned to keep up with the fast-changing times.
Ghulam Mohammad composed 9 songs of this film by the time the film shooting started in 1960. In fact, the first song "Inhi Logo Ne Le Liya Dupatta Mera" was picturised. Earlier the film was planned in Black & White but due to the delay and change of trend, the film shot in colour. The black & white version of the song was never used, but many of the shots are extremely similar to the final version. Notice how different young Lata’s voice sounds in this song compared to parts of the soundtrack recorded years later. Even more, interestingly, Inhi Logon Ne was originally taken from the film Himmat (1941) in a version sung by none other than Shamshad Begum!
The movie Pakeezah itself is pure cinematic magic–Kamal Amrohi was notorious for his artistry and attention to detail. Pakeezah’s breath-taking production design, Ghulam Muhammed’s haunting semi-classical thumris,
Did you know the beautiful Mohammed Rafi-Lata Mangeshkar duet, Chalo Dildar Chalo (raga Pahadi), was actually also recorded as a female solo? Intended for use as a dancing number, the fascinating solo version was cut from both the film and record releases,
One index of Ghulam Mohammed’s creativity is the melodic variety within his songs. Given the brevity of a film song, it is quite usual for every antaraa to have the same tune. But this base case is extremely unusual for Ghulam Mohammed. His songs rarely have a repeated melody throughout. If there are three antaraas, one of them is usually different from the other two; occasionally, all three are different from each other. “Dhadakate Dil ki Tamanna ho” from Shama (1961) has three antaraas with two tunes among them; Pakeezah’s “Mausam Hai Aashiqaanaa” has four antaraas with three different tunes among them.