The day when ‘Afreen’ era of music ended, with the demise of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

How many of you still croon ‘Afreen Afreen’ when you see your ladylove in front of you? How many of you dedicate ‘Sanu Ik Pal Chain Na Ave’ to your loved one when distance makes your love painful? These songs were created in the 70s, 80s and 90s but still hold a special place in our hearts. That’s the effect that Ustad Nushrat Fateh Ali Khan has left on us.

The man, who was rightfully called the Shahanshah-e-Qawwali, king of Qawwalis, breathed his last today in the year 1997 and left a void in the heart of each and every soul he touched with his soulful music, a void that never could be filled. Born in Faisalabad, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan started his singing journey at the young age of 3. He inherited the art of singing Qawwalis from his forefathers and lord gifted him with the most soothing voice that could capture attention. At the age of 7, his voice was polished enough to entertain the audience at the stage shows. His voice created magic and his songs managed to transcend time. Till today, the Qawwali nights are all about Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his marvelous music. He is the one to be credited to make Qawwalis famous world wide. With more than 100 cassettes of his songs released in the 70s and 80s, Ustad Nushrat Fateh Ali Khan had set benchmark of his own, a benchmark that nobody has been able to achieve. With a voice that travelled all the way to heaven, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan made up for a legend, whose artistic capabilities penetrated deep into the soul.

Apart from his heavenly voice, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan also was known for his distinctive appearance. In Japan, he is remembered as ‘Singing Buddha’ as he had that kind of persona, but this persona apparently became the cause of his death too. Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan apparently weighed 300 pounds when he died. The extra kilos took a toll on his health leading to complication and finally, his demise. He breathed his last in London, when he succumbed to a cardiac arrest. (Also Read: The date that epitomised love with ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ and ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!’)

August 16 is mourned by every sufi soul as an era of ‘Afreen’ music came to an end with the death of Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.