With an impromptu acoustic rendition of his 1996 song O Sanam, Lucky Ali takes the internet by storm
“Samjhe zamaana ke dil hai khilauna
jaana hai ab kya hai dil ka lagaana
nazron se ab na humko giraana
mar bhi gaye to bhool na jaana…”
(The world thinks that the heart is a toy, but I have now understood what it is to give someone your heart. Now, don’t ever let me fall from your good graces. Even if I die, don’t forget me).
These lines, profoundly, convey the longing of a broken heart. And imagine a husky, melodious and soulful voice infusing life into these words – well, that’s how the millennial like to recall Lucky Ali. He is a legendary indie-pop icon of the 90s, whose songs weren’t just songs – but anthems to the youngsters back then. And even after the 90s, the songs he sung remain unique and unmatchable.
Just when we thought 2020 has nothing good to offer, it finally does – a trip to nostalgia featuring Lucky Ali! The 62-year-old singer took the internet by storm after a video of him singing his famous song O Sanam – from his 1996 debut album Sunoh – goes viral. Well, viral is an understatement.
In the video, of duration around two minutes, we can see Ali in a different avatar – donning an Islamic skull cap and white beard. He looks feeble and older than his age, but his voice bears the same magic. The clip was first shared by a photographer named Saad Khan, and later Ali himself shared it.
No sooner than it was shared, netizens could not keep calm. It’s like the video unleashed a wave of nostalgia that was hard to contain. The love it received is immense – Ali being worshipped by most of the 90s kids. Some of Ali’s fans even requested him to put forth more of his works or do more gigs or live shows. Several articles in news websites surfaced about the legendary singer’s viral clip, mentioning how it had impacted his fans!
But what about the man himself? Well, Lucky Ali – as he’s always been – is unfazed by the frenzy around him. Unlike many, he is an artist who never chased fame or money. “When I wrote, sang, made music, there was an honesty in it. It wasn’t about topping charts, creating a blockbuster, becoming a sensation, or chasing fame. My music was a conversation. It was like, man, I’m hurting. And I want to talk, pour my heart out,” Ali told Huffington Post India in 2017.
And his career bears testimony to this statement. He started off in 1996 with his first album Sunoh. That’s when he gained fame, and soon he was considered as one of India’s best indie pop icons. Some of his popular indie pop songs include Kabhi aisa lagta hain, Tere mere saath, Kitni haseen –zindagi, Gori teri ankhen kahein, Pyar sirf tumse pyar karta hu, among others.
Bollywood never fascinated him, even when his father Mehmood – who was a famous actor worked in Hindi films extensively. Ali received numerous opportunities to work in the industry. Songs like Naa Tum Jaano Na Hum, Hairat, Ahista Ahista, Safarnama, among many, are some of his well-known ones. He even appeared as a protagonist in a Hindi film Sur (2002), the songs of which were immensely appreciated by all.
But he never really exhausted himself, whatever the reason might be. He was, and still is, away from all the glamour and glitz of the music industry. Judging reality shows, back to back concerts or recordings, host of interviews – these were never Ali’s cup of tea. He prefers to keep his craft sacred, and something which isn’t for ‘sale’ solely.
Lucky Ali’s last non-single, before 2020, was almost nine years back. Naturally, he is not bothered about being in the limelight. Some may question why he requires so much time to create music? Speaking about this in an interview with Hindustan Times, Ali once said, “Every song has a time. It will release when it has to. I have never arrived at a point where I have released music because I felt like there was a big gap in time or something like that.”
But even when he’s not seen, he’s heard. Ali’s lack of presence socially has never affected his fame, or his worth. His concerts always remain the most-awaited ones, and all his songs are still engraved in the hearts of his fans. And as an artist unperturbed by the material-driven world, his authenticity and simplicity is what makes him loved by all. He reacted on his viral video recently in an interview with Times of India, saying: “I hadn’t really been thinking about it. Someone asked me to sing it on video, and I obliged. The attention it received was quite unexpected. For me it’s just a song that I tried to revamp. I generally don’t think about popularity. We do a lot of work- some get due attention, some don’t.”
In the viral video, Lucky Ali is seen getting emotional while singing the line ‘mar bhi gaye toh bhool na jaana’ (even if I die, don’t forget me) – and the fans were left with the thought of whether that’s what the artist fears. But for his fans, he will and always is irreplaceable and unforgettable. From healing a broken heart with Aaa bhi jaa to wandering aimlessly on the roads with Hairat – his fans will always find solace in his compositions. His soothing voice will always make us nostalgic, and probably will do so for generations to come.
(Cover Image: Singer Lucky Ali / Credit: Facebook)