Inspired by our chat with Pakistani pop singer Quratulain Baloch, this week’s #throwbackthursday post looks at the late Reshma, whose music continues to inspire new generations of musicians.

Reshma Pakistan singer album Akhiyan Nu Rehn De

She was gypsy by birth, a Muslim by faith, and a Pakistani by fate. In 1947, at the dawn of Partition, Reshma was born in Rajasthan to a Banjara or gypsy family. One month after she was born, Reshma’s family shifted to Karachi, Pakistan.

As the story goes, Reshma would sing at different shrines as a child. When she was 12 years old, she was discovered singing at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, Sindh. Soon after, she recorded her first song, “Laal Meri” on Pakistan Radio, and with that, became a star. Her powerful and passionate voice inspired and moved people across Pakistan, India and the South Asian diasporas over her decades-long career.

Reshma suffered from throat cancer and associated complications for many years, and in 2013, she passed away in Lahore. We remember her today for her deeply moving folk songs, and bring you her beautiful rendition of “Ankhiyan nu rehan de,” as well as a few of our favourite covers of the song.


Watch Reshma sing “Akhian Nu Rehn De”


“Akhiyon Ko Rehne De” from Indian film, Bobby (1973), sung by Lata Mangeshkar


“Akhiyaan Nu Rehn De” by Quratulain Baloch


Atif Aslam sings “Akhiyan Nu Rehn De” live 


With notes from The Hindu and wikipedia