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Vijay Malla

Vijay Malla, the favorite son of Kashmir, and a legendary Kashmiri singer, breathed his last on  Wednesday, May 9, 2012. He will be missed by his fans all over the world. 



Vijay Malla   (Feb 7, 1956 - May 9, 2012)

The Legend with extraordinary talent and a humble background

His Song Must Live On ...

A tribute by Vijay Parimoo

New Jersey

Vesiye Su Adanuk Yaar Kotuy Gome, Dil Karaar Toth Madan Vaar Katuy Gom  

For my dear brother Lalit, Vijay Malla 'was the first love in Koshur music', talented singer and musician Arti Tiku Koul called him a 'Mast Malang oblivious of his own great talent', Majid Maqbool and Muhammed Tahir believe 'his legend will live on through his songs', Arun Singh is sure 'His music will comfort souls forever' and Altaf Khan knows him as 'a song called Vijay'. How True. Vijay's bewitching smile with those half-closed eyes, his ability to play any tune in any language - Urdu Ghazal, Hindi Bhajan, Kashur Baeth, Punjabi Rhythm and a Hindi song - with so many known talented artistes. How often do you come across such a rare gem? I, however, simply knew him as Jawaal Googo Mashaal Googo and while most of you like me have no idea what it means, I finally asked him five weeks ago and about forty years later. At the time I was playing his song 'Hamse Matt Poochiye Ham Kidar Jayenge, Apne Ghar Jayenge' from a website and just like that I dialed him up. He initially said I had to meet him to find out. Then after a pause he replied 'it means being free and being wild'. I never would have imagined it would be the last time I would speak with him. I am so humbled and feel privileged that I did dial that call.

I know Vijay since I was born. He is from my 'Badaa Matamaal' so I had the luxury of watching him grow as a young man full of promise. He used to affectionately pull my cheeks all the time at least till I was 15-16 years old but I was still 5’-2’’ and officially he was my 'mama' although only a few years older than me, so I had to accept. My sister Saroj who learned music with him when they were both teenagers, used to poke fun of him all the time for not shaving, for his pockets showing and lovingly called him 'Vija'. He didn't care because he loved the Rajmah and Paratha she would make and we'd make him earn it by singing songs of every kind to get that meal. I must admit I have never ever heard anyone sing 'Laaga Chunri Mein Daag....' the way he made that song dance around him. He was just learning music then and our neighbor and brother Irshaad would ask him to sing Mohd Rafi songs and my cousin brother Ganji would ask him to sing Mehdi Hassan and of course we made him sing Yuva Vaani songs. Those were the days when 'Gaada Ha Chu Ho', 'Ala Haaba Laar Habaa' and my most favorite song that I loved to sing with him was 'Chus bu Matrik Pass Hasseh'. Those were the days. We didn't know what would become of us and his talent was flying and flowing freely. His versatility at being able to perform at any type of music was unparalleled and his range of voice far exceeds anyone in his generation of artistes. I have this unofficial recording of his with a Punjabi song 'Hath Dil De Na Son Deven Raat Nu, Roka Anjua Di Kinwen Barsaat Nu, Tu Avey Jadhun Yaad Soniya ...', that I still cry every time I hear Vijay sing it. His music didn't just please, it connected souls and touched you deep to the core of your heart.

We never gave Vijay full credit and would kid him that his talent was borrowed - from his mom who had a superb melodious voice that would mesmerize you, from his dad and uncle who were scholars and philosophers, his brother Ashok ji who is equally talented and sensible and played national level Table Tennis, his brother Daleep ji who was always an athlete, an avid cricketer, an intellectual and a very handsome fellow. His other big brother Desh Ji used to practice Tabla and Classical music for hours and would close the windows so no one would bother him. My brother loved music and would often take me to listen to Desh Ji's 'Riyaaz' in their Chandpora, Habbakadal home and we would hold our ears to the side of the wall of the room to listen. His sister Karni Tathi and his dad loved him so much, they called him 'baby ji'.

During my dear sister Gugi's menhdiraat music program, a popular Kashmiri artiste was doing a fantastic job of enthralling our family and guests and our family kept requesting Vijay to sing one for his sister. He finally obliged, and many thanks to the artiste for graciously inviting Vijay to play a tune. I was not present at that occasion but my entire family and cousins tell me that once Vijay's started the tune, it appeared it was piercing the walls of all nearby homes in Nawa Kadal and folks already in bed starting coming out, blankets and quilts wrapped around them, and stood right in the temple hall mesmerized listening to Vijay's melodious singing. I really wished I was there.

During his sister’s wedding, I was on a two-week vacation to Kashmir and heard that Vijay was planning to have a family singing function every night with his buddies. So I parked myself right in that house for about eight days, eating sleeping with Vijay and his family and even got to do some unofficial recording of the songs he played. It is a remarkable representation of his talent, versatility and I feel absolutely privileged to have watched and listened to him so closely and so uninhibited.

As I mentioned before, I have known Vijay since I was born. I plan to keep knowing him till my time has come, through his music and hope it continues to inspire our next generation. Vijay Malla is a rare asset, an icon, and a true gift to our Kashmiri community, our culture, our motherland and our generation and yes I too believe his legend will continue to live though his songs and music. May his soul rest in peace ever.

Muhabbat Karne Wale Kum Na Honge Kum Na Honge, Teri Mehfil Mein Lekin Hum Na Honge

Arti Tiku Kaul's Tribute to Vijay Malla

My tribute to a great singer!

Today was a tough day for me as it was for thousands of his fans, when I heard the sad news of Vijay Malla's demise. The harsh reality did not seem real and a profound sense of grief and immense desperation at the loss of not just a human being but a very precious one took over me. As I tried to take in the reality, a quick flashback of memories went by, of a golden e...ra when I had the privilege of working with him on numerous occasions at recordings, concerts, and rehearsals. Like everyone else in the musical field, I too was mesmerized by his deep, luscious, expressive voice. The ease with which he sang the toughest of compositions, made other artists envious of him and wondered about the depth of his talent. Even though sometimes he came across as a non serious co artist, he shined at the actual performance and enthralled his audiences to great heights.

One such event comes to my mind when, at a prestigious concert for the great poet “Rasool Mir” in Tagore Hall Kashmir, Vijay and I were supposed to sing a duet “ Yaari loguth sang dil, chaini Januk chum kasam”. Just before our item Vijay took off somewhere and could not be found anywhere. The item was delayed a few times but there was no sign of Vijay. While everyone including me was frantic and trying to find him, he walked on to the stage, with a smile on his face and signaled the musicians to start the music and gestured me to come to the stage as if nothing had happened. As he started singing and I joined in, he left everyone spellbound with the brilliance of his singing and the crowd went mad with enjoyment and happiness!

A “mast malang” artist, who was oblivious of his great talent, produced some outstanding work during the 70s and 80s and went on to show his versatility in singing Ghazal, geet, folk, bhajan etc. He created a name for himself not only in Kashmir but outside too. He was signed as an artiste of Music India Ltd (MIL) - a Polydoor Gramaphone Company, and has participated in Khazana 87 and 88. MIL has also launched his cassette titled Justaju (Search) which has received good commendation.

Vijay you will always live in our hearts. Rest in peace!


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