Insha ji utho…

This evening I found myself humming an old ghazal.

Show me one self-respecting Pakistani who grew up watching PTV who does not know of or heard Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, and I’ll show him/her this:



And of course, one of my favourite patriotic songs.



Ustad Amanat Ali Khan (1922-1974) moved to Pakistan soon after Independence, a worthy classical singer and representative of the famousΒ Patiala gharana.

Insha ji Utho’ was penned by Ibn e Insha, a leftist Urdu poet, humorist and columnist who also moved to Pakistan from Indian Punjab.

I can’t tell you much more about this song except that it means, ‘get up Insha ji, let’s leave here…no use setting your heart on this city’ (or something to that effect)

But while searching for it on Youtube, I stumbled across a video of Amanat Ali Khan’s son Asad singing ‘Insha ji utho’ for his first live performance on PTV, sometime in the 70’s.

And the reason why I share it here is because of the audience….



How many people did you recognize? πŸ™‚

11 thoughts on “Insha ji utho…

  1. Are these songs significant in a historical context? Are they taught to children as patriotic songs, for instance?
    We don’t really have an equivalent, I don’t think. “Land of Hope and Glory” and such are now so outmoded references to “empire” that most schools never teach them anymore. Which is a good thing, in my view. (They’re only good for a roaring sing at a rugby match between Scotland and England !) And as for “Rule Britannia” – just about only ever sung at the close of the Proms every year – is only ever sung by that highbrow rarified elite of 1/2% of the population. I think the rest of the world needs to know that. πŸ™‚

    1. Significant in a cultural sense rather than historical Alan. Not taught to kids, but they’re famous. Amanat Ali Khan and his family are well-known and respected, and his ghazals are still aired and bring a nostalgic tear to many an eye. I know when things get too violent and unbearable in Karachi, a lot of people find themselves humming ‘Insha ji utho….ab kooch karo…’
      What makes old Urdu songs so beautiful to listen to is the purity and beauty of the language…they just don’t make ’em like that anymore. So sad!

Your turn to say something

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s