SHAMMI KAPOOR REMEMBERS JAIKISHAN
A neat fifty-plus of the 60-odd songs that Shankar- Jaikishan composed for Shammi Kapoor have proved enduring hits. Jaikishan’s deep bond of friendship with the actor translated into the extra-special rapport reflected in their ‘track’-record. On Jaikishan’s 36th death anniversary on September 12, the actor goes down memory lane…
am asked whether I had a better tuning to Jaikishan than to Shankar. Yes, I did, but only because Jai and I were of the same age – Shankarji was older to me. I knew both of them since 1948 when they were musicians with Prithvi Theatres and I would work there as an actor. Then Barsaat happened and they began to go places. I kept working in Prithvi till 1952 and then had my famous phase of multiple debacles as a film actor till 1958 and Tumsa Nahin Dekha happened. By that time, S-J were big. But on a personal level, we had always remained friends, and Jai and I kept meeting and partying together.
“My first two hits, Tumsa Nahin Dekha and Dil Deke Dekho, happened respectively with O.P.Nayyar and Usha Khanna, both of whom gave me super-hit music – with my inputs of course. So it was a while before S-J and I came together professionally – our first film was Ujala and my voices were Mukesh and Manna Dey. We did have some good songs in the film, like Manna Dey’s ‘Jhoomta mausam mast mahina’. This was followed by Singapore, where for the first time Mohammed Rafi came in for me under their baton.
“But it was with Junglee that we struck gold as a team. I had used the term ‘Yahoo’ in my lines in Tumsa Nahin Dekha and gave the term to Jai when he was working on ‘Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe’. He incorporated the expression in musical form. It was destiny, I suppose, that when the Internet came into India and Yahoo soon became a household word, I was to be one of the earliest users of the ‘Net in India. But that’s by the way.
“Jaikishan was simply an amazing composer. He was very open to inputs and loved to fuse Western music with his classical roots. If he was great at all those rhythmic numbers, he could churn out the soulful ‘Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par’ equally effortlessly. And at this point I must say that Shankarji was no less a genius. I remember I was in his music room – they always had separate offices and did complete songs individually even before they split, except for Raj Kapoor’s movies – when he started fingering the keys of his harmonium and came up right in front of me with ‘Aiyiyya karoon main kya’ for the same film, with the expression ‘Suku suku’ that he had devised as a starting-point!
“Jai was in the habit of calling me after shoots to Bombelli’s restaurant at Mumbai’s Churchgate. It was there that he would present the tunes, usually musically or with dummy lyrics, and I would ‘book’ them. He would actually hum or sing them out to me right there in the eatery, and most of them were fabulous compositions and went on to become instant and enduring hits.
“Of course with my love and vast exposure to Western music of all kinds, I would give him inputs. But he never copied what I gave him – he would work out a fresh melody around them, improvise and sometimes even turn the originals on their heads. Whether it was Jai or anyone else, I was always involved from day one in my music. I would discuss with the director and writer why a song had to be placed where they wanted it, what kind of song it should be and finally have a decisive say in the selection. Of course I never looked beyond Rafi, and the only reason why Rafi wasn’t there for me in Ujala was because after my initial success I was trying to navigate my career and S-J were then equally partial to Rafi, Mukesh and Manna Dey. Mannada later sang for me in specific songs for Jai’s Pagla Kahin Ka(‘Mere bhains ko danda kyoon maara’), Professor and Jaane Anjaane. That apart, it was Rafi all the way.
“I remember taking Jai to Singapore for the shooting of the film of that name – we travelled a lot together because I would drag him along to Beirut, Paris and so many places! We were watching a cabaret show with Malaysian words in the song. Jai asked a waiter for a napkin and pen and began writing down notations, resulting in the hit song ‘Rasa saying sayang’ in the film. Jai was very quick – and once again, he had improvised a lot on the original.
“When he passed away, I was affected personally rather than professionally, because by that time my career as a hero was over. I remember my father (Prithviraj Kapoor), who considered him like a son, was very sick with cancer at a hospital on Mumbai’s Marine Drive. Jai’s funeral passed the building and somehow the family prevented my father from coming to the window by diverting his attention. Of course, he came to know of Jai’s death before he died, and my father actually wept for him.
“I met Jai for the last time on September 11 – he was in hospital for weeks. When I took his leave, I said, ‘Okay, Jai, see you tomorrow.’ He just kept looking at me and to date I have never forgotten that look.
“A very likeable and outgoing man, Jaikishan never spoke ill about anyone. Always immersed in music, he celebrated life. I remember I threw a party for him at my home when he got married, and he reciprocated when I married Neela.
“Once I was shooting in the mid-town Roop Tara Studios when he told me to come quickly to his music room. When I told him that I could not, he drove down all the way, called me out to his car and made me listen to what eventually became ‘Tum mujhe yoon bhula na paaoge’ (Pagla Kahin Ka) and ‘Jab mohabbat jawaan hoti hai’ from Jawan Mohabbat. I would often go to his Gobind Mahal sitting room and sit with him and the musicians Dattaram and Sebastian. Which brings me to two amusing incidents.
“As friends, we would often argue and fight, but the one time I really clashed with him and almost hit him was when he refused to yield to my request to take back his masterpiece ‘Teri pyari pyari soorat ko’ from L.V.Prasad’s Sasural and allow me to use it! Of course I had to give in, but I was lucky another time.
“And that , incidentally, was the only time I saw him seriously upset and on the verge of tears! He came to me once and wanted me to listen to the recorded Rafi-Suman Kalyanpur duet ‘Aaj kal tere mere pyar ke charche’. The song was recorded for another hero’s film and had been approved by the film’s team. But the hero was not in town and when he came back, he rejected the song because it did not ‘suit his persona’! Manmohan Desai was directing me in Budtameez and I took the song to him, but he did not care much for it. I played it out to Ramesh Sippy and Bhappi Sonie with whom I was making Brahmchari and it became one of the topmost chartbusters from that film!
“Among our films together there were two that did not reach the musical level of the rest – Budtameez and Chhote Sarkar. It’s not that Budtameez was not up to the mark – there were a couple of decent songs in the film. But the film was delayed in production and to a certain extent we all had lost interest in the film. As for Chhote Sarkar, it came at the fag end of my career as a hero. My knees had given way, I had put on a lot of weight, and Jai was completely down and had fallen victim to the fatal combination of alcohol and bad company.
“Why did Jai go downhill? Yes, the split with his partner did affect him, but not all that much because as we all know they were always used to working separately. What affected him was the lack of good work. Many of his banners had left him, mostly for Laxmikant-Pyarelal, but also for Kalyanji-Anandji, S.D.Burman, R.D.Burman and others. And he had cultivated a lot of hangers-on who had influenced him to start drinking all day long.
“What else can I say about my friend? He was very quick at background music, and his background music pieces were so good that he often made great songs from them, like ‘O basanti’ from Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai owing its existence to a music piece in Awara. His Gujarati leanings made him always pronounce the word snacks as ‘snakes’, and I have this feeling that he would do it deliberately! A quirk he had was of balancing his glass of liquor on the ankle of the folded leg as he sat! Incredibly we would all keep watching the glass and it would never fall!
“So many other composers gave me fantastic songs – O.P.Nayyar, Usha Khanna, Kalyanji-Anandji, Roshan, R.D.Burman and even Ravi. But Shankar-Jaikishan were truly amazing, and I miss Jai a lot!’
संगीत की दुनियाँ के बेताज बादशाह शंकर-जयकिशन से नयी पीढी और दुनियाँ के लोगों को फिर से परिचित कराने या / और उन्हें फिर से याद दिलाने का एक छोटा सा प्रयास
As it was earlier announced on this blog, a grand statue of our beloved Jaikishen of Shanker-Jaikishen was unveiled with grand fun-fare and enthusiasm at his birth place Bansda (Gujarat). Few members of Yahoo Group on Shankarjaikishan also attended the event. Here is a report by one of its members Mr. Kamal Mustafa Sikander which is reproduced below as it is posted on his blog
Jaane wale kabhi nahi aate… remember this Mohd. Rafi song from Dil Ek Mandir composed by Shankar Jaikishen? You will agree that there could not have been any other song at the unveiling ceremony of Jaikishen’s statue in Bansda. A bronze statue of legendary music director (composer) Jaikishen (of Shankar-Jaikishen fame) was unveiled by veteran music composer Anandjibhai (Kalyanji-Anandji fame) in the presence of Swami Sachidanandji at Bansda (Vansda) in Navsari District of South Gujarat where Jaikishen was born on 4th November, 1929.
Apart from Swamiji & Anandjibhai, the event was attended by many prominent people from the region. Anandjibhai was accompanied by his wife Kantaben. Anandjibhai amused the audience in his patent funny style. When the compere said it was fine if Anandji decided to speak while sitting on his chair, he said that due to his height, it doesn’t make a difference whether he was sitting or standing.
The statue is an initiative by Swami Sachidanand of Gujarat who is a great fan of the legendary composer duo Shankar Jaikishen. Speaking at the event, he said that when he was going through depression, it was only by listening to melodious songs composed by Shankar Jaikishen that he was able to come out of it. When he went abroad, he saw statues of many famous foreign musicians there. He got a desire to make statues of famous musicians of India and decided to make a beginning with the statue of Jaikishen at his native place Bansda as he made the entire Gujarat proud by his achievements. He hoped that this would be just a beginning and people from all over India will make efforts to keep memories alive of legendary artistes. He said he is a great fan of Shankar Jaikishen and their contemporaries whose music is remembered till date and is referred to as the golden period of Hindi film music. He said music united people and also spoke about the famous Bhajan ‘Man Tadpat Hari Darshan’ which is composed, sung & written all by devout Muslims. He said many of Naushad’s songs contained words like ‘Rama’ and these are some of the best examples of communal harmony that can be seen anywhere. He urged people to take a lesson from these legendary artistes who devoted their life for spreading the message of love and brotherhood through their melodious music. He came to know more about Shankar Jaikishan after reading Gujarati biography by Dr. Padmanabh Joshi of Ahmedabad. Swamiji also remembered many of Shankar Jaikishen’s contemporaries like Mehboob Khan who also hailed from neighbouring town of Billimora, Shaqeel Badayuni, Naushad, among others.
A message in a poem form from singer Sharda was read by famous writer Rajnibhai Pandya. Rajnibhai also said that he received many emails/SMS from his readers that Shankar should also be remembered at this event and he duly conveyed the wish of music lovers to the organisers. He said the august audience consists of some notable names who have done lot of things to keep memories of yesteryear musicians alive. A prominent name was of collector Harish Raghuvanshi. All the gentlemen were honoured on the dais. Many eminent speakers requested the people of Bansda to make sure that the statue is kept in a well maintained pristine condition.
A feast was organised for the entire town of Bansda and everyone who attended the event. The veg. food served was very tasty. Everyone, including yours truly, relished the tasty pakodas, Surti undhiya, puris, daal-rice and butter-milk. The event was also covered by E-TV, Chitralekha (Gujarati magazine), Rajasthan Patrika, among others. It was a very well organised event and it seems the organisers’ wanted to convey : ‘Tum Bansda Ko Yu Bhula Na Paoge’
Qamaal Mustafa Sikander
Music lover & Editor News Blog
HERE ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY QAMAAL BHAI
कुछ और भी फोटो हैं जिन्हें आप सीधे कमाल साहब के साईट पर जा कर देख सकते हैं
THERE ARE MORE PHOTOS, TO VIEW THEM PLEASE VISIT :
The shankarjaikishen group on Yahoo was represented by the members whose photographs are as under:
My sincere thanks to all the members who made us the story and photographs available to fans of SHANKER-JAIKISHEN