Shankar Jaikishan The best of Friends!






Friendship is a relationship which humans create by their choice and build with their emotions, commitment, loyalty and an infinite understanding between two individuals who stand by one another in thick and thin, rain or shine , high or low , rich or poor come what may. It sounds very easy to claim friendship but not an easy task to live up to it.

One rarely finds examples of such friendships in history. Mythology has examples like Krishna –Sudhama , Karna-Duryodhan are two names which come to my mind. My friends and readers may add examples of such friends.

But one name all of us seem to overlook is that of Shankar Jaikishan. There can never be better examples of friendship in the history; neither in the past nor in the present. Shankar was a passionate musician from Hyderabad who reached Bombay in search of opportunities for his talent. He meets Jaikishan in the office of filmmaker , and they click instantly , better than love at first sight.

Shankar takes Jaikishan to Prithvi Theatres where he is employed as a musician and an odd job man. His reputation as a committed and loyal talent, Jaikishan is employed. They work together and begin laying the foundations for what was going to be the biggest brand in Hindi Film Music.

Opportunity arrives in the form of Barsat , when Shankar is offered to score music in place of Ram Ganguli. Shankar insists that he will work with Jaikishan as his partner, and despite some resistance by Raj Kapoor due to Jaikishan’s tender age , they are signed up as “SHANKAR JAIKISHAN” Music Directors for Barsat under RK films.

The rest is history. Years later, Shankar is conferred a high civilian award of Padmashree in recognition of his services to the government in the form of fund raising music concerts to the extent which was beyond imagination . But Shankar insisted that he will accept the award only if Jaikishan was also awarded along with him. His stature was such that Government conceded his suggestion and awarded PADMSHREE to SHANKAR JAIKISHAN.

Shankar thanked Prithviraj Kapoor for his success and Jaikishan thanked Shankar for his success. This was the mettle of these genius composers and their values to friendship and gratitude to the hand that helped them when they needed it the most.

The greatness of their friendship was nearly divine. By nature they were diametrically opposing to one another. Shankar was a serious man, committed to his music, robust in nature , brutally frank in his words and loyal for life to the people who helped him. Jaikishan was fun loving , flamboyant party animal , loved all good things in life. Despite these differences they were connected at heart and soul and they thought and worked at a wavelength which cannot be described in words.

As composers they loved the same ragas, they composed similar songs but each one gave their special touch to each raga, and left the world guessing who created which song. Bhairavi was their favourite raga, and each one gave their interpretation to Bhairavi which only they knew, no one outside their world ever knew. All the so called experts of music speculate in 101 ways to attribute songs to each other, but only Shankar Jaikishan knew the “andar ki baat”

Their working style and pattern was such that, it was nearly impossible for anyone to tell who created what. Incidentally they decided to look after recordings and office alternately right after Kaali Ghata in 1951, as they realized that their work load was increasing and it was scientifically sane for them to distribute their work mutually so that they could optimize their creativity .

Just because one saw Jaikishan in the studios while recording the song, was no guarantee that the song was a propriety of Jaikishan individually . It was always a combined effort and their combined synergy which was at work.

So much so that even after Jaikishan’s death, Shankar said it was their common work as they had created a huge bank of tunes and Shankar knew how and what Jaikishan would have added and created for a certain situation. Such was Shankar’s commitment to Jaikishan , that he continued to pay half of his remuneration to Jaikishan’s family till his death.

Can one find any parallel anywhere in the history of friendship between two unconnected individuals born more than 1000 miles apart , with diametrically different natures working together as friends and dying as inseparable friends. None to my knowledge.

Shankar Jaikishan The best of Friends !

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting and indoor
Image may contain: 1 person, guitar

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