Tribute to folk singer Misri Diplai
The legendary folk and classical singer of Sindh, Misri Diplai after protracted illness passed away on the wee hours of Sunday, in his native town of Diplo, Tharparkar district. He was 75.
Diplai like his forefathers started his singing career at young age in the wedding ceremonies and local festivals of Thar and lower Sindh. His father Fakir Allah Dino was also a known singer and dholaknawaz of his time. Diplai got great prominence when he was introduced to Radio Pakistan Hyderabad by the known broadcaster late Ghulam Hussain Shaikh, the spouse of the great Sufi singer of the sub-continent, Abida Parveen, in 1980. The same year, late Mumtaz Mirza and Abdul Karim Baloch brought him to perform on Pakistan Television.
After his predecessors, the legendary singers Mai Bhagi and Mohan Bhagat, Diplai was the most popular singer from Thar and made the genre of Thari rasooras and bhujans his unique style and popular singing in Dhatki and Marvari, two of the languages spoken both in Sindh and Rajasthan.
Diplai in the heydays of Radio Pakistan performed many of his folk songs in the evening programmes hosted by the one of Sindh’s famous broadcasters, late Saleh Mohammad Shah, commonly known as Fateh Khan, who was then a household name in rural Sindh for decades.
The known broadcaster and the Station Director of Radio Pakistan Hyderabad, Naseer Mirza while talking to Dawn.com termed the demise of Diplai as great loss to the music of Sindh, adding that the late singer had greatly promoted the culture of Thar in his melodious but raw voice.
The acclaimed singer Sadik Fakir said that it was a shocking news for him. Paying glowing tributes to Diplai he said that he would long be remembered for his contribution in the field of Sindhi music. There are around 100 audio cassettes of songs available in the market, yet Diplai remained a poor man as is the fate of most musicians in Pakistan.
Diplai who suffered severe paralysis a few years ago, has been admitted to the Mithi Civil Hospital in a serious condition on September 14. Diplai’s admirers and music lovers had expressed serious concern over his deteriorating health and appealed to elected representatives, the department of culture and the Tharparkar district government to bear expenses of his treatment and release adequate financial assistance for him and his family. The DCO of Tharparkar did announce financial aid of Rs. 30,000 but it was too late for Diplai who had been suffering not just from paralysis but extreme poverty as well.
He was bed-ridden for the last eight years due to a number of ailments and left behind six sons, two of them Mehdi Hassan and Ghulam Hussain, singers and musicians and five daughters.