Her Popularity

Malika Pukhraj Her Popularity
At the age of 17, she left the employment at the Maharajah's court and took many decisive steps in her personal life. She married Syed Shabbir Hussain, who was a well respected literary figure in his own right, particularly in the field of Urdu short stories. It was during this period, that Malika matured as an artist, both due to her exposure as Shah sahib's wife, through whom she met well known poets like Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Hafeez Jallandhri and through her regular performance on All India Radio. Radio at this stage was critical for popularizing music and Malika rendered many thumris, dadras and ghazals during this period. It was her ghazals that won her acclaim and she began to develop a regular fan club. Malika's style of music became very popular especially her ghazals, since her Urdu pronunciation was extremely good.

Malika had been taught Urdu by a Principal of a local college during her stay in Delhi. Her Urdu teacher was particularly fond of her and would often ask her to sing "naats" to him. However, as a child she did not appreciate his rigorous teaching and would often wish him ill. Little did she realize at this stage what an important role that would later play in making her a super star. Based on the success of her ghazals, she practically stopped singing dadras and thumris at this stage and along with her contemporary Begum Akhtar, brought ghazal into the main fold of sub-continental music.