Sharda Rajan recounts the glorious past
God said . let there be a revolution in the music of India , let there be new abundant variety of melodies & tunes , let there be rich modern , magnificent orchestra of high grade……..and He created Shanker Jaikishen..
They were not siblings, cousins or relatives . They were not classmates , boyhood friends or any sort of associates….
How they could have met & joined in a most wonderful harmonious union which lasted a lifetime & beyond unless God had wished so .
Their association , their friendship & their style of work were so unique , pure & sincere & divine.
Shankerji used to arrive in the music hall every afternoon & sit there late till night , playing harmonium , making songs & pieces for orchestra.. Jai sab used to come off & on . When they were together sitting with their bajas ,playing & comparing notes it would seem that the Gods & Goddesses of music were present there alive in their melodious musical notes.
Most of the time the hall would be crowded with people. On some rare occasions Shankerji would be sitting there alone playing his harmonium , drowning himself in the flow of music pieces.
On one occasion a song is fixed for recording . And Shankerji goes on & on playing the song .
I ask him . ‘ why are you playing this song over & over again ? The composition is complete & the recording is fixed.
Says he, ‘ you have to go on playing it over & over , that is how you get new ideas & innovations.’
Sure , they brought countless new turns , variations & novelties in their compositions.
The bend in ‘Tera mera pyar amar,’ the hum in ‘Tu pyarka sagar hai,’
The voice over back up in ‘Jabbhi e dil udas hota hai’, the extended TUM in ‘ Tum..m…hi tum..m ,, ho mere jiwanme,’ & the zig zag swishes in the last part of ‘Asmanme tare hai beshuma..a…a…a..a…aaar …
And the up down up down swings in the antara of song ‘Jiya ho jiya kuch boldo ‘ and like these many more.
And the tunes , they would start the song from any new venues like in the notes above the highest note of the middle octave, which noone had ever done before….
Like in ‘Dil tera diwana ‘& ‘Rukja raat ‘
And the jumping in the tunes to unimaginable far away notes like
‘ Dheere dheere …..[sudden jumping]….chal…..
Any one would have thought that after ‘Dheere dheere , the next part would come in the next notes.
Not S J ..their notes would go anywhere to anywhere taking all of us in a melodious high jump ride..
In ‘Akele akele . the song is going softly & suddenly the high jump comes & we are all taken to dizzy heights.
And the various audiations like ‘uf umma ‘ ‘ayayaya’ ‘Yahoo ‘ ‘Takdhindhin, ‘vaivaivai” ‘ullalla ‘ and as such …..
And the mind blowing orchestra , the like of which no one have seen anywhere in the world…. The jerking rhythm pattern in song ‘Tera jana .. & the high energy emotional overtures in ‘Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe’….the hummable evergreen pieces in ‘mere jhoota hai japani’. The heart pulling cuts & breaks in the music of song ‘Dost dost na raha’ And the sheer brilliance in the music of ‘Ajeeb dastaan ‘ which does not have any match to date in the whole world ..I can mention only few songs ..because I will not be able to analyse so many of them
And the background score of Joker ..an all time classic creation .
Shankerji worked day and night during the background recording holed up in the studio
He was nowhere to be seen , in his regular joints , music hall , nor in CCI club or anywhere for nearly over a month. He just disappeared from the scene.
Because in background music , you have to see the movie , take the timing of the scene & compose the music piece to fit in that time.It has to be composed on the spot , you cannot remember the timing of the scene , compose it at home & bring . So like this ,scene after scene has to be seen & the music has to be composed & recorded.
The recording studio was booked for a month or so & Shankerji stayed there day & night . I do not know how many days Jaikishenji was there.I am sure he must have been there most of the time. But I know Shankerji was there all the time. because I used to go to the studio for my regular sittings & Shankerji was nowhere to be seen there. like all the other time sitting in the music hall every evening.
When I entered film industry, it was their high ascent time & they were zooming & zooming higher & higher Their fans growing day by day & the awards & trophies pouring in .. I heard there were complains from their households that there is no more place in their huge flats to keep any more trophies.
Time for mischief mongers to make entry..Some sly foxes would come to Shankerji , & try to put a wee little poison in his mind , about Jaikishenji…. No need to say Shankerji would flare up & throw this guy out of the music hall in just one moment ,,
The same thing Jaikishenji would do ,, but in his own way
Shankerji told me , that when some such people went to them separately , he said with awe that Jaikisenji also had given the same reply as Shankerji had given to these people.
Thus was their inner tuning , they thought & worked in the same wave length whether they were near or far……………..
Many trophies many movies many jubilees many awards & many shows & then the time comes for government appreciation.
Information comes that Shankerji’s name has come on the Padmabhushan title list..
Cheers but no cheers.
Some thing wrong has happened …..As Shankerji had told me …….
Some dumbos in the government had entered the name Shanker Jaikishen as one name belonging to one person.So one award had been allotted..
Phone calls fly up & down from Delhi & Bombay Officials are contacted in Bombay.. They all understand the mistake & feel sorry.
But they cannot do anything now…. no time for rectifying the mistake .. If S J can take Padmashree , then two Padmashrees can be given . But no two Padmabhushans can be given now..
Shankerji opts for two Padmashrees instead of waiting one more year to get two Padmabhushans.
What is a Padmabhushan or Padmashree ? Can it match their work & their genius? Their value is much much higher than the value of a Padma bhushan or Padmashree..
Even calling them emperors is not giving them their worth . Because many emperors have come & gone with no naamo nishan .
Shanker Jaikishen’s greatness will live for ever like a lighthouse guiding all generations to come. Their music will be alive youthful & fresh matching to any new generation for all time to come.