Naseem Akhtar was a prominent playback singer of the 1940s; she was active during the period 1942-1949. She sang approximately 72 songs in 40 films in India, including memorable ones such as Aag lagi dil mein woh pyari (Shahjehan, 1946) and Kisi kai madhur pyar mein dil mera kho gaya with Sushil Sahu (Sindoor, 1947). Post Partition, she left to settle in Pakistan.
Born in 1920 into a musically inclined family, Naseem Akhtar started singing on Lahore Radio. Impressed with her singing style, composer Pandit Amarnath gave her a break in Nishani (1942). Till then she used to sing at functions of the wealthy as well as at mehfils and musical gatherings. Post Nishani, she came to Bombay where she went on to sing for Khooni Laash (1943). She rendered playback in films such as Bhai (1944), Ek Din Ka Sultan (1945), Pehli Nazar (1945), Ratnavali (1945), Sanyasi (1945), Wamiq Azra (1946), Tadbir (1945), Shahjehan (1946), Nek Parveen (1946), Safar (1946), Keemat (1946), Sohni Mahiwal (1946), Bhanwar (1947), Ek Roz (1947), and more. She sang under music directors such as Naushad, Khemchand Prakash, Ghulam Mohammed, Anil Biswas, Khurshid Anwar, Shyam Sunder, Ghulam Haider, Rafiq Gaznavi, Govind Ram, Sajjad Hussain, Firoze Nizami and C Ramchandra.
Among the many songs she rendered, are Jeeta hai wa marta hai koi from Keemat (1946), Duniya hai ab mere liye jinda along with Zohrabai Ambalewali in Laila Majnu (1945), Is dil ki halat kya kahiye in Bhai (1944), Barbad na kar de kahi from Shahjehan (1946), Kisi ke madhur pyar me man mera kho gaya from Sindoor (1947), Jawani yeh bharpur dilkash adaye from Pehli Nazar (1945), Unka ishara jaan se pyara from Pehli Nazar (1945), Chand ko gale se lagaye from Keemat (1946), Toot gaya hai sapna along with Pandit Amarnath from Nishani (1942), Kaliyon ko masalane aae hain from Aaj Aur Kal (1947), Mujhe loot liya re mujhe from Sohni Mahiwal (1946), Kuch yaad dilati hai from Bhai (1944), Mann pagle swapn dikhaye from Keemat (1946), Ek baat kahoon from Sanyasi (1945), Holi ka tyohar from Hamara Sansar (1945), Tohe kaise dikhau from Parai Aag (1948), Baanke naina se from Tadbir (1945), Bhule se kabhee yad kar ai bhulane wale from Ek Roz (1947), and Dil jo diya kahane lage aaj naa from Safar (1946), among others.
After Partition, Naseem Akhtar migrated to Pakistan. She sang in a few films, but was not successful. Naseem Akhtar passed away in Lahore on 11 May, 2007.
Additional information courtesy: Atul’s Song A Day