Monthly Archives: May 2016


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Lata Mangeshkar Sings For Shankar Jaikishan – Part 1

“I believe no one can equal the music composed by Shankar-Jaikishan. They composed classical songs, cabarets, dance numbers, love songs, sad and happy songs. Few composers have been able to match their range. Their music has extended the life of many films – films that would have otherwise been forgotten…”

Lata Mangeshkar (in Nasreen Munni Kabeer’s book, Lata Mangeshkar in Her Own Voice)

1949 was a significant year for Lata Mangeshkar in that it marked the beginning of her domination in the world of Hindi film playback singing – a domination that would last several decades. This year also saw the debut of one of the most successful composer duo in Hindi films – Shankar Jaikishan. Over the next 35 years, Lata and SJ collaborated on over 450 songs, many of which are firmly etched in the minds of Hindi film music lovers.

In the first part of this post, I will talk about the songs from the period 1949-59. This was the period when, in my opinion, SJ were at their creative best and Lata at the pinnacle in terms of voice quality. This was also the period when Lata was the main singer for SJ. She sang an unbelievable 65% of all songs composed by SJ during the period. And I really mean ALL songs, including those sung by male singers. During this period there were several SJ soundtracks (Mayurpankh, Kali Ghata, Parbat, Poonam, Aas, Aurat, Patrani, Halaku, etc.) where every track had Lata’s voice – solo, chorus backed, or with other co-singers. For this post I am focusing only on solos and chorus backed songs of Lata, although I believe that when it came to composing romantic duets for Lata there were very few composers who could come close.

Although people largely believe that Aayega Aanewala from Mahal that made Lata, I don’t think that’s entirely correct. True that the song is a masterpiece, but it was the simultaneous release of many outstanding soundtracks in a single year (1949) that established Lata Mangeshkar as a singer. And I also think in terms of popularity, the songs of Barsaat had a huge role to play in creating the legend of Lata Mangeshkar. With 10 songs by Lata, each a gem, SJ’s Barsaat is one of the most impactful debuts ever by a composer. I can never get tired of listening to the songs of this film.

Meri Aankhon Mein Bas Gaya Koi Re – Barsaat (1949) – Hasrat Jaipuri

Following the super-success of Barsaat, SJ got a number of assignments outside the RK banner where they came up with compositions that established the unique SJ stamp -simple, but extremely melodious tunes embellished with lush orchestration. Given below is a random sample of SJ compositions from the year 1951 sung by Lata. These songs demonstrate that the singer-composer duo was equally adept at sad songs and light, dance numbers.

Aa Jao Tadapte Hain Armaan – Awaara (1951) – Hasrat Jaipuri
Unse Pyaar Ho Gaya – Badal (1951)–Shailendra
DIl Mein Tu – Kali Ghata (1951) – Hasrat Jaipuri
Tune Haaye Mere Zakhm-e-Jigar Ko – Nagina (1951) – Shailendra

Each and every soundtrack SJ produced in the 50s had many lovely songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar. The only exception was RK Films’ Boot Polish in 1953. It was a big surprise because both Raj Kapoor and SJ had by now become staunch Lata loyalists. But this remained an aberration because Lata continue to be the main female singer for SJ till the mid 60s. Here are some more of my favourite Lata-SJ songs from the early fifties.

Aayi Aayi Raat Suhaani – Poonam (1952) – Hasrat Jaipuri
Ye Shaam Ki Tanhaiyan – Aah (1953) – Shailendra
Nainon Se Nain Hue Chaar – Aurat (1953) – Shailendra
Mitti Se Khelte Ho – Patita (1953) – Shailendra
Kaare Badra Tu Na Ja – Shikast (1953)–Shailendra

In the following song from Pooja, notice the prelude music, which formed the basis of a song fromSeema a year later (Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai). There are many instances where SJ developed a tune used in the background music or preludes/interludes in song into full fledged songs.

Main Murlidhar Ki Murli – Pooja (1955) – Shailendra

In 1955 came Seema. I think it is a fairly significant film in SJ’s oeuvre, primarily because of two songs, both sung by Lata. This was the first time SJ composed something that was semi-classical. The first was Manmohana Bade Jhoote, a composition in Raag Jaijaiwanti. This (in my opinion) is one of the best (if not the best) Lata-SJ song of all time. Starting off with a lovelyalaap, the songs highlights are the wonderful taans that Lata negotiates so effortlessly. The other noteworthy song from this film is Suno Chhoti Si Gudiya Ki, a composition in Raag Bhairavi. While the song is sung well by Lata, the real star of this song is Ustad Ali Akbar Khan who demonstrates one of the best use of Sarod in Hindi film music.

Manmohan Bade Khoote – Seema (1955) – Shailendra
Suno Chhoti Si Gudiya Ki – Seema (1955) – Hasrat Jaipuri

1956 was another big year for the Lata-SJ combo, who produced 50 songs this year. This meant that roughly one out of every 4 songs sung by Lata this year was composed by SJ. The 7 soundtracks SJ produced this year are in my opinion their very best. My personal choice includesRaj Hath, Patrani, Chori Chori , Halaku and the biggest of them all – Basant Bahar.

The producers of Basant Bahar had taken a big risk by taking on SJ as the composers instead of the favourites Naushad or Anil Biswas. While there was no questioning SJ’s ability to provide great, popular music, but they hadn’t demonstrated enough their mastery over songs based on classical music, which was so essential to this film. But see, what SJ produced – a soundtrack that made classical music so accessible to people! This was a soundtrack that can keep both the purists and laymen happy. Every song from this film is a masterpiece, but the Lata song I loveMain Piya Teri, which is based on SJ’s favorite raga – Bhairavi – and has some amazing flute interludes by Pannalal Ghosh.

This clip includes the lovely flute prelude which unfortunately is not included in most audio releases of this song.

Main Piya Teri – Basant Bahar (1956) – Shailendra
Chandrama Madbhara – Patrani (1956) – Shailendra
Mere Sapne Mein Aana Re – Raj Hath (1956) – Shailendra

In my book, the following song from Halaku ranks very high on the melody quotient. The fluidity of the tune is brought alive by Lata Mangeshkar’s dulcet voice.

Ye Chaand Ye Sitaare – Halaku (1956) – Shailendra

In order to round-off this write up on the first 10 years of the SJ-Lata collaboration, I select one song per year from 1957-59, each belonging to a different genre

First, a soothing lullaby …

So Ja Re So Ja Mere Raj Dulare – Kathputli (1957) – Hasrat Jaipuri

Next, a light, romantic number …

Aate Jaate Pehloo Mein – Yahudi (1958) – Shailendra

Finally, a sad song. For me the high point of this song is the way Lata renders the second line of the mukhdaKoi Dekhe…

Tera Jana – Anari (1959) – Shailendra

In the next part of this post, I will talk about Lata Mangeshkar and Shankar Jaikishan in the 60s and beyond.

Their music reached every nook and corner of the country. From a hut to a palace.


Shri Rajan Shah

For a young lad of 23, Shankar Singh Ram Singh Raghuvanshi, who migrated from Hyderabad in 1945 with a dance troupe, no one , even in their wildest of dreams would even have imagined that here was the youngster, who with his visionary genius, was all set to change the music trends. Not only did he change the trend of music, but gave music its rightful place. He was the person responsible to make music an industry in itself. Till then, it was only the Film industry that existed, but with the rise of the new Sun on the horizon, the Music industry started taking shape.
His musical prowess was such that he could play every musical instrument with ease, while he was a master of most which were introduced by him. His mastery over raagas made him comfortable with songs of any genre and any situation. His keen eye could search great musical gems like Jaikishan, Dattaram, Sabistian and many more. The musical fraternity would have been poorer without all these gems had it not been for this great genius.
His loyalty and dignity were his hallmarks, which he never compromised even in the late 60 s when there was so much of mud slinging on him about the alleged break with Jaikishan. The media kept barking, but Shankar never dipped low , as he kept his dignified silence , thus shutting the barking hounds.
What shocks me beyond belief is the attitude of the Government. Here was the duo, with 9 film fare awards, 13 nominations, number of other awards, being so biased with such a miserly attitude. Do they deserve only a Padmashri ? They defined music. They made it an industry. They gave melody. They produced harmony. They soothed a billion ears. Their music reached every nook and corner of the country. From a hut to a palace, there is not a single day that their songs don’t reach them. They gave joy. They gave sorrow. They gave pleasure. They made singers. They made artists. They and they themselves were responsible for what music is today. They unleashed the Golden era. They did every thing that was unthinkable. Then why this bias?
Let’s all come together and take a pledge that we will fight for a cause to give this legendary duo the deserving Bharat Ratna. Let the campaign begin.

Ramesh Shastry : The lyricist of ‘Hawa Mein Udta Jaye’ in Barsaat


Tributes to Dr.RAMESH SHASTRI (2 August 1935-30 April 2010) , poet & Lyricist, on hie Death Anniversary today. He wrote a very popular siong from Film Barsat “Hava me udata jaaye”. Rajkapoor issued an advertisement for songs of his film Barsat.(1949). Dr.Ramesh Shastri who was in Benaras showed his poetries and Raj Kappor selected ” Havame udata jaaye” for his film. For ‘ Har Har Mahadev” he wrote -Kankar kankar se puChhu shankar mera kaha He – and – Gunjan karata Bhavara ( Geeta Dutt – Avinash Vyas).

He hailed from a village Diyor from Bhavnagar state (gujrat) He was born on 2nd August 1935. He left home and went to Benaras to study Sanskrit from where he got degree of Visharad,He then came to Gujrat and studied in St.Xaviers – college (Ahemadabad) later on he became Ph.D. in Sanskrit.He served in Ayurvedic colleges at Bhavnagar,Baroda and Ahemedabad. He retired in 1990. Though he wrote such lyrics in films he was not very ambitious about film industry mainly because of his Pure religious thinking. He was invited by Raj Kapoor many times but could not think of settling down in Mumbai and ignored his invitations. His Bhajans under pen name of ‘Ramsharan’ were aired from
Radio Ceylon. He suffered cerebral Palsy and was handicapped for ten year. He died on 30th April 2010 in Amdavaad.

Courtesy : Venkata Raman G on facebook


There is some confusion in your information.

Dr. Shastri was from Allahabad.
He shifted to Bombay after his mother’s death.

He wrote devotional songs for almost all films before Barsaat ans was already well know in the film industry at that time.

He was qualified in Sanskrit and ayurveda but never served at any university.

He had 5 daughters and one son.
I am his son.
His youngest daughter is Narayani Shastri who is wotking in TV serials and Films like pak pak pakak and rinh.

My father passed away on 8th February 1981.