Bhagwanti Navani – ڀڳونتي ناواڻي

Bhagwanti Navani (ڀڳونتي ناواڻي), also well known as Sindhi Cuckoo (سنڌ جي ڪوعل), was born in Nasarpur in Sindh, British India (now Pakistan) on February 1, 1940 to Jassumal Navani and Vishni Bai, who had Three sons and Three daughters.

At the tender age of barely Seven-years, she faced the side-effects of Partition of India in 1947 when she had to leave her Indian Girls Primary School in Karachi and migrate to India to study at Kamala Girls’ High School in Mumbai. She passed her Matric in 1957 from the High School for Sindhis.

She trained herself in Indian Classical Music at the Devghar Music School and Arun Sangeet Vidyala and then joined the People Theater Association. Here she availed the opportunity to polish her singing under guidance of Kanu Ghosh and Kanu Ray. Such were her musical talents that she was known as an exponent of Sindhi folk music.

Being a trained Singer with extremely melodious voice, she was comfortable with all kinds of music and sang Kalams, Bhajans, Lories, Ladas, Sakhiyoon, Orans, Sahras and Dohiras, with ease. Some of her Music Albums are, Muhinja More Laada (مهنجا مور لاڏا), Muhinjo Ladal Aayo (مهنجو لاڏل آيو ), Sikk Mein O Sikk Mein (سڪ ۾ اوسڪ ۾), Bhagwanti Navani (4 Volumes) and, above all, Sukhmani Sahib (سکمني صاحب) (6 Volumes).

From 1960s to 1970s, she was also the first choice as female singer for Sindhi films and sang in films like Sinduha Ke Kinare (سنڌوءَ جي ڪناري), Jhoolelal (جهوليلال), Hojamalo (هوجمالو), Shal Dhiyar Na Jaman (شل ڌيئر ن ڄمن), Pardesi Preetam (پرديسي پريتم), Kanwar Ram (ڪنور رام) and Halu Ta Bhaji Haloon (هل ت ڀڄي هلون).

Such was her influence in the music industry, that she sang duets with some of the top singers of Hindi film industry like C.H. Atrma, Mahendra Kapoor and others.

Bhawanti, being also a very versatile actress, was associated with distinguished Sindhi writer, Gobind Malhi’s Kalakar Mandel and performed in more than 3,000 stage shows in and out of India. Some of her popular Plays were Gustakhi Maaf (گستاخي ماف), Mehmaan (مهمان), Desh Ji Lalkar (ديش جي للڪار) and Tuhinjo So Muhinjo (تهنجو سو مهنجو).

She played the lead role of Heroine in the Sindhi film titled Sindhua Je Kinare (سنڌوءَ جي ڪناري) released in 1968, for which her performance was highly applauded to win the Best Actress award.

Bhagwanti Navani, already a sweet, gentle with charming smile and much sought after artiste, became immortal after release of her Sindhi album Sukhmani Sahib, released in 1989.

Sadly for the Sindhi community, the sweet, gentle and much sought after artist Bhagwanti Navani died on October 22, 1986, leaving a never-to-be-filled vacuum. However, her divinely singing of Sukhmani Sahib, a fabulous translation by Parsram Zia (پرسرام ضيا) with melodic composition by C. Lakhmichand (سي لکميچند) made Bhagwanti Navani an immortal superstar in every Sindhi home and till this day.

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