“Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful 

feelings: it takes its origin from emotion 

recollected in tranquillity.”

–William Wordsworth

Iqbal Bano was born on in 1938 in Delhi, British India. Bano studied with Ustad Chand Khan, a master of classical Indian vocals, and began singing on All India Radio as a teenager. In 1952, she moved to Pakistan and married a man who vowed to support her musical career, allowing her great freedom for a female artist at the time. She sang on Radio Pakistan, provided vocals as a playback singer for popular movies, and attracted large crowds to her live concerts.

Bano sang in Urdu and Farsi, earning admirers in the sub-continent and beyond. A regular performer at the Jashn-e-Kabul cultural festival in Kabul, her powerful vocals once inspired King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan to give her a golden vase. In 1974, the Pakistani government honoured Bano with the Presidential Award for Pride of Performance.

Hum Dekhenge was a powerful and popular poem that Faiz wrote hoping to see the day when Zia’s dictatorship would be over. He could not see that day, but it assumed iconic status and became a universal anthem of protest and hope after Iqbal Bano gave it her melodious voice in 1986.