This is an excerpted, verbatim & free flowing translation from the Marathi biography of Vijay Anand – “Ek Hota Goldie” by Anita Padhye
Shared by one of great SJ fans Shri Sandeep Apte ji
Please note that this biography is based on tape recorded interviews of Vijay Anand that the writer conducted through the 90s till Vijay Anand’s demise in 2004.
I have retained all references to Shankar Jaikishan and their style of working too because they are germaine to the subject. Some good insights and information for all SJ fans in general and some rare, inside information about an obscure film! : Sandeep Apte
Cameraman Jal Mistry was a good friend of both Dev Anand & Goldie. When he decided to produce a film he entrusted the responsibility of directing it to Vijay Anand. Since Jal Mistry was assoicted with Navketan for a long time, both Dev and Vijay Anand decided to help him. Dev Anand and Asha Parekh were cast for the leading roles in the film titled ‘Kahin Aur Chal.’ The patriarchal figure of Filmistan Studios, Tolaram Jalan was financing the film.
This film had music by Shankar Jaikishan. Jal Mistry had suggested their name. They were the top of the line music directors at that time. Goldie’s experience of working with Shankar Jaikihsan was a very pleasant one. Shankar-Jaikishan were both very disciplined in their work. They had distributed their work amongst themselves. If a film had eight songs, then Shankar would compose four songs and Jaikshan would compose the other four; however any outsider would never know who had tuned which song and who had arranged the orchestra. If one of them had composed more than more than four songs, they would still distribute the money equally amongst themselves. Both were also very creative in their work.
It is often said that about this duo that it was Jaikishan who was the more creative of the two. However, Goldie had exactly the contrary experience. According to him, Shankar was the creative one and Jaikishan would work hard on his music. For Jaikishan in fact, it was more like running a shop. Every day he would spend three to four hours composing new tunes. Lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri would work with him, who could write the lyrics for a song in a very short time. Shankar on the other hand had a great tuning with Shailendra. Even Shailendra would write the lyrics very quickly.
When any producer would ask Shankar to compose a song, he would respond at that very moment and create tunes. Goldie also felt that Shankar was also a great musician. Both Shankar and Jaikishan were very good natured people and both had very different musical styles of composing. Shankar would make tunes going beyond the ‘bandhish’; Jaikishan’s tunes were more ‘bandish’ based. Jaikishan laid more emphasis on the tune whereas Shankar would make the complete score and get lyrics written to the tune.
Goldie enjoyed working with the duo. The main reason for it was both were very particular about time. Also both worked with clock like precision. If they told a producer-director that they would record a song after four days, then in those four days they would compose the song, get the lyrcis written and deliver the complete song to the of delight the producer.
Goldie’s experience with Laxmikant Pyarelal was exactly the opposite of Shankar Jakishan. If a producer told Laxmikant Pyarelal that he has not liked a tune, they would say, we will present new tunes at the next sitting. The moment that producer left the premises, another would be waiting for them and they could never honour their own commitment of presenting new tunes! A producer would figure out that LP did not really have new tunes ready. With Shankar it was the opposite. If a producer did not like a tune he would instantly present another one. Jaikishan would request the producer for another sitting and definitely present new tunes. They would never keep a producer hanging.
Another striking characteristic of Shankar Jaikishan, which Goldie noticed was that both would rehearse their songs with musicians sharp at 7.00 a.m. every morning. If a musician did not land up on time he would be immediately sacked. S.D.Burman was not so strict. If a musician came late he would ask “Kyon bhai, why are you late?” He would listen to the musician’s statement and end the matter at that. Shankar Jakishan, however, would ask the musician to leave. “If you are not committed to the time and task, please do not work with us.”
Shankar Jaikishan would do 30 recordings every month. And hence musicians would make sure that they did not commit the slightest mistake. They knew that one mistake meant they would lose 30 recordings. Every morning rehearsals would happen from 7.00 to 9.00. Usually, the recording would begin at 9.30 and in three to four hours they would record the first song. Every day they would record two songs. Every musician would have his musical notation. Jaikishan was more adept at doing background music. He would sit in the recording room with a stop watch and play the film reels, decide the meter and compose the track on a piano. He would then rehearse the track with the musicians and record the track. Pyarelal learnt to score background music from Jaikishan.
Goldie also sensed that there was an invisible competition going on between Shankar and Jaikishan. If the songs of one of them proved to be more popular – the other would work harder! Both would want their songs to be hits. Like with Shankar and Jaikshan a similar spirit existed between Shailendra and Hasrat too.
Four songs were recorded for Kahin aur Chal. Three of those were picturised in Khandala. “Aye Jaanewale Aa, Der Na Lage” was a beautiful melody. The hero is working as an engine driver and the heroine looks forward to the time when his train would reach the station for two minutes everyday. That was the film situation. More than half the film was completed. Just about 20 days of shooting was yet to be done. But Tolaram Jalan was not paying anybody. Jal Mistry was a fine gentleman and a great cameraman and because he was producing the film everyone was co-operating with him. But no one wanted to work free because they knew Tolaram Jalan was financing the film.
Tolaram Jalan wanted to produce a flop film to adjust his income tax dues. That is why he was not keen to complete the film and make it a success. When people associated with the film got a sense of this – they all started demanding money.
One day, Shankar met Goldie and told him “Goldieji, we have recorded four songs for you and we have not even asked you for money.”
Goldie said “Yes, you must get paid – please ask Tolaram Jalan for the money.”
Even Asha Parekh complained to Goldie that Jalan had not paid her. In fact, Goldie himself had not been paid.
Often shooting used to be cancelled due to lack of finance. Tolaram Jalan had signed a contract with Jal Mistry that all the rights of the film would be with Jalan himself. Goldie had completed the editing of some sequences and two songs. In fact, he was happy with the way the film was shaping up. But Tolaram Jalan did not want to spend any more money and he stopped asking all artistes for dates. Had Tolaram Jalan taken Goldie into confidence, he would have persuaded all the artistes and completed the film. But Jalan Tolaram had different ideas and he did not bother. After some days, Tolaram Jalan used duplicates as actors and somehow completed the film, got it dubbed by dubbng artistes, and released the film for a single matinee show in a theatre. After that he withdrew the film and that was the end of it! When Goldie got to know this, he was pained. This film was a very troublesome and sad experience for him.