Dancing Shankar-Jaikishen. A rare treat to eyes

shankar-jaikishan-dancing-in-a-function

Hi SJ fans,When we talk about Lord Shiva,what r the qualities we see,unruffled concentration, steadfastness,little temperamental, pure,yogi,knowledgeable. When we see such attributes in human beings,we get instantly drawn to the person. There was one such individual who had all these traits,and its ironic,that his name is ‘Shankar ‘. Shankar Singh Raghuwanshi, a.k.a Shankar was all of the above and more. He had only one vision in life , Music. He used to eat,drink,breathe music. His single minded dedication to music,made him incomparable and the greatest musician of his time. His journey through the music industry is well documented , but what I would like to stress today on his birth anniversary , is what made Shankar,Shankar.
He had an acute music acumen which was unparalleled, his musical knowledge was so deep , it didn’t take long for him to master any musical instrument. Having a base in classical music, he was an accomplished Tabla player to begin with, but such was his musical sense,that in a short span of time,he became adept in various western musical instruments alongwith classical instruments,but,he was not alone.
Like how Lord Shiva always had a coolant in the form of Lord Vishnu whenever it was needed,Shankar had an able partner , who made sure that everything remained calm and comfortable around themselves, so that they could continue their musical journey till the end,yes the Lord Krishna of the duo, Jaikishan was always there to have the cooling factor in their endeavour to achieve musical greatness. Shankar was a bit temperamental, a no nonsense kind of a person,called a spade a spade,never minced words,which sometimes never went down well with few people,thats where the soothing, cheerful demeanor of Jaikishan came in. Together, this yin and yang transcended the world of music like only they can. Shankar on his part just loved Jaikishan contrary to what certain sections put forth,but they didn’t care, Shankar always treated Jaikishan as his younger brother and doted on him.
There were a couple of more people who were part of the journey to musical greatness, two master poets and lyricists ,Shailendra and Hasrat,an integral part of the backbone of SJ’s music. Together this quartet dominated the musical world for almost 3 decades. All good things had to come to an end,it started with the demise of Shankar ‘ s trusted friend Shailendra in the mid sixties and then the untimely demise of Jaikishan in 1971. This absolutely shattered Shankar,he never felt the same again,and this prompted a lot of people in the industry to shun Shankar,but then,he is Shankar,true to his character, he held his head high and continued with his musical journey till the end. There can never be and never will another Shankar, Thank you for giving a direction to music which will never be equalled.
An episode which showed the dedication of Shankar to his music,came when during the recording of a song from An evening in Paris,Shankar got the news of the demise of his mother. Once the news came through, all the musicians packed up for the day and left,Shankar came to the studio in the evening , and was livid,that everyone left the recording,he called everyone back,and recorded one of the greatest duets ever , today on the day of remembrance of the great Shankar, I dedicate one of my all time favourite songs from the same movie.

Contributed by

Mithun Krishnan