The story goes that poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz had just been released from prison after serving a term for his influential views on communism in Pakistan. Noor Jehan, or Madamji, as she was addressed, stood outside, waiting for the poet to appear.
The party of friends and family that had gathered to celebrate moved to his house to rejoice. Faiz, who had spent his time in jail listening to her songs on the radio, requested her to sing.
One of the songs she sang was based on his nazm, Mujh Se Pehli Si Mohabbat Mere Mehboob Na Maang. She composed a tune for it on the spot without the use of any musical instrument. The musical quality of her rendition mesmerised everyone. Faiz would later credit her as the co-author of his poem because he believed no one could sing it with such perfection. Not even him!
Later, when the song was composed and filmed for Qaidi (1962) it further cemented her ownership of it. It was an instant hit. She could sing both high and low but her voice never once faltered.