Dhaka,  Thursday
18 July 2024

RUNA LAILA completes 60 years of musical excellence

Artainment Reporter

Published: 08:12, 24 June 2024

RUNA LAILA completes 60 years of musical excellence

Photo: Courtesy

Runa Laila, Bangladesh's pride and a renowned singer and composer of the subcontinent, has completed 60 years of her musical career today. For the past sixty years, she has enchanted listeners with her voice in countless songs across Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. She has never refrained from singing for any reason in her life.

Her journey in the world of music began sixty years ago and continues unabated. Now, along with singing, she is also composing music, constantly immersed in melodies.

Runa Laila reveals that her journey in film music began with the song ‘Guriya Si Munni Meri Bhaiya Ki Pyaari’ in the movie ‘Jugnu’ (a joint production of Bangladesh and Pakistan), starring Shawkat Akbar, Khalil, and Sharmili Ahmed. On June 24, 1964, at just twelve years old, Runa Laila lent her voice to this song in this movie. By that calculation, she has completed sixty years in her professional music career today.

The film, produced by Ashraf Ali Khan, was directed by Mamunun Khan. Runa Laila's elder sister, Dina Laila, also did playback singing in this film, which was released on March 29, 1968. After this, Runa Laila did playback singing for many more Pakistani films. Notable among these are ‘Hum Dono’, ‘Rishta Hai Pyar Ka’, ‘Commander’, ‘Andalib’, ‘Nasib Apna Apna’, ‘Dil Aur Duniya’, ‘Umrao Jaan Ada’, ‘Anmol’, ‘Nadan’, and ‘Dilruba’.

Even before the Liberation War, Runa Laila first did playback singing for a Bangladeshi film with the song ‘Ganer-i Khatay Swaralipi Likhe’, which became immensely popular across generations. This song was from the film ‘Swaralipi’, directed by Nazrul Islam and released on May 29, 1970. The lyrics were written by the subcontinent's renowned lyricist Gazi Mazharul Anwar, and the music was composed by Subal Das. Actress Babita lip-synced to this song in the film. Runa Laila made a significant impact with her very first playback.

Her voice gained more appreciation in Bangladeshi film songs. After that, she came to Bangladesh in 1974 and gradually enchanted listeners and viewers with her playback singing in numerous films including ‘Jibon Sathi’, ‘Takar Khela’, ‘Jighangsa’, ‘Alo Tumi Aleya’, ‘Love in Shimla’, ‘Pratinidhi’, ‘Kajal Rekha’, ‘Rang Berang’, ‘The Rain’, ‘Jadur Banshi’, ‘Sundori’, ‘The Father’, ‘Koshai’, ‘Devdas’, ‘Accident’, ‘Chandni’, ‘Dolna’, ‘Keyamat Theke Keyamat’, ‘Andhaprem’, ‘Dola’, ‘Antore Antore’, ‘Bikkhobh’, ‘Priya Tumi Sukhi Hao’, ‘Panku Jamai’, ‘Dui Duyari’, and many more.

She also has many popular modern songs in Bengali. Some notable ones include ‘Jokhon Thambe Kolahol’, ‘Pakhi Lhacha Bhenge Ure Gele’, ‘Bondhu Tin Din Tor’, ‘Pan Khaiya Thot Lal Korilam’, ‘Protidin Tomay Dekhi Surjer Aage’, ‘Bhashar Jonno Jara Diye Gecho Pran’, and ‘Shesh Korona Shurutei Khela’.

Runa Laila has been awarded the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for her contributions to the films ‘The Rain’, ‘Jadur Banshi’, ‘Accident’, ‘Antore Antore’, ‘Devdas’, ‘Priya Tumi Sukhi Hao’, and ‘Tumi Asbe Bole’. Runa Laila made her debut as a music composer in the film ‘Ekti Cinemar Golpo’, directed by her husband, producer, director, and actor Alamgir. The song in the film, composed by her, was sung by Akhi Alamgir and written by Gazi Mazharul Anwar. She won the National Film Award for Best Music Director for her very first composition.

Regarding the 60 years of success in her musical journey, Runa Laila said, “I am immensely grateful to Allah that I can still sing and compose music. Even more importantly, I can enjoy witnessing six decades of success in my musical journey with my own eyes. It's such a great fortune, such a great achievement in life that it's actually beyond words. My parents and my family have been extremely supportive from the very beginning.”