Monthly Archives: November 2019

Long Live the King and the Prince! -Shankar-Jaikishen


Raju-ji’s views are interesting because it throws open a new debate on comparing the individual styles of the duo, which is not generally done in our group, as frequently as comparing their joint work with that of other composers. Now this is a healthy exercise, as long as the discussion does not tend to diminish one’s greatness in light of the other—which I believe should be an unwritten pledge of any S-J fan!

Now each of S-J fan has an individual pair of ears and everyone may have his own subjective view which is largely dictated by what his ears say to him! So let me also say something about S and J, Mere Kaanon-se jo Utri Hai Dil-mein!

Like any other S-J fan, though one may not admit, since the time I fell into their `musical trap’ many years back, I too had been trying to differentiate and `sort out’ each of S-J song as to whether it is an S composition or a J composition! I had my own litmus test to do this, whether it was right or wrong!

If the song seems to be a bit more intricately tuned and if it rocks me rhythmically with some intoxicating tabla or dholak beats at the back-ground, I tended to conclude it is a J-tune! BTW, One `J-tune’ after dinner is prescribed to all before going to sleep, as Raju-ji has rightly discovered and as I had myself expounded in great detail in one of my earlier posts about the `scalp-massaging’ effect of his songs! 

But the question I ask myself is whether do I recognize instantly a `J-tune’ as an `S-J’ song, as easily as I recognize an `S-tune’? Perhaps, with my limited musical knowledge, the answer is `No’. There have been occasions, where I have mixed up a `J-tune’ with other composers’ products and vice-versa. For instance, the same song that Raju-ji refers, `Jeevan-ke do-rahe-pe khade—` is a lovely song, but for the uninitiated, it may even sound like an L-P or any other MD’s song! In the same way, the songs of `Aaye din bahar-ke’, `Mere Humdum, Mere Dost’ etc. could have easily passed off as `J-tunes’, the first time you had heard them! Probably L-P and other composers were inspired and influenced more by Jaikishen and followed his mould. There could have been occasional stray oblique tribute Shankar-ji in some of their songs (as in the interlude of `Chalkaaye jhaam’). But kya abhi tak koi composer paida hua who has ever even dared to copy the uniquely majestic `Shanker-Style’?!!

That brings us to Shankar-ji! A Lone Lion in the jungle, which the lesser creatures kept a safe distance from! When the lion roared, it was always magnificent! Yeh maana ki a typical `S-tune’ was simpler in construction and went mostly `linear’ unlike a more complex `J-tune’. But he ensured that it sounded `larger than life’ through his King-Size Orchestra, thanks to all those multi-layered violins and prancing piano counter-melodies flowing like tumbling waterfalls in the background and joining the stream of singer’s voice in unision! To my ears, even his solo or duet sounded like a magnificent chorus! Some of them sounded as if the violins, the guitars and the accordians have been unleashed and are running together like wild dogs with hectic pace , but reigned firmly with perfect control of a baton wielded by the `Master’ — a stocky no-nonsense maestro, a little impatient with the animals that he himself had unleashed!

For instance, you may take any `rain’ song by Shanker-ji! Now this is a different subject for a thesis, but I believe the quick-tempered maestro sizzled even a little more, like a `hot tava’ splashed with cold water! So when we hear a `rain-song’ made by S, you can almost feel the rains lashing at you and the gusty winds blowing on your face! To me, such mind-blowing effects epitomize the `S-J’ trade-mark! When you hear a `S-tune’, the `S-J Premium Quality Seal is unmistakably all over it!

Talking of curative property of an `S-tune’, the `S-pill’ is recommended for low BP, tiredness, fatigue and to boost your sustained vim and vigour to see you through the day! I would recommend one or two `S’ interludes or preludes after breakfast or lunch! Well, Unlike the `J- pill’ which makes you recline and relax at night, and pacifies you with a scalp-massage putting you in half-bliss, the typical `S-tune’ does the exactly opposite things! It makes you sit up and listen closely, sends a surge of hot blood through your veins, arouses the `Kundalini-Shakti’ up the spine, energizing the hypothalamus, stirring up the passions and blowing the brain with a different kind of ecstasy! I am tempted to sum up their individual styles through a crude doha (or tri-ha!) of my own, (Gustaakhi maaf, the `High-brows’ may please ignore this!) : `Chhote mian sulata toh bade Mian jagaata, Andaz apna apna aur rang hai nirala — Ek hai Valium toh dooja hai Viagra!!’

On a more serious note, it always puzzles me when people talk about Shanker-ji’s `decline’ and it puzzles me more when they attribute the `decline’ to his association with Sharada or dissociation with JK! Tell me, Is there any celebrity who has not declined from his peak?? Every one of them declines! L-P declined, RK declined, Rafi, Lata,Rajesh Khanna,Amitabh Bachhan —they all declined — Sachin Tendulkar is declining, Shah Rukh Khan is declining —, all of them have to decline one day or the other from their peak! Come on now, Shanker-ji was also a mortal!! Rather than the term `decline’, I would like to think that Shanker-ji `faded out’ gracefully with time. Time flows, Generations change, Tastes go topsy-turvy — and takes a toll on the uncompromising artiste! When a genius fades out after sustaining his peak for two or three decades, the `decline’ appears to be all the more abrupt! 

Let’s also not confuse popularity with quality. I believe that post-70s the lion became loner after Jai’s departure, but he didn’t stop roaring. I remember 3 of the films that I saw in 1980 – `Qurbani’, `The Burning Train’ and `Garam Khoon’. The first one was immensely popular and its songs were repeatedly played on — even long after their repeat-appeal had worn off, to my ears at least! I hardly remember any song from the second one, though it was made under a big banner and had the most popular composer of that time. The third one, I hardly remember seeing the movie, but the songs instantly stuck on my memory. I still remember sitting up with a sense of thrill at each of the songs that distinctly bore the `S-J’ brand’. Whether others cared to listen or not, `The Lion’ never squeaked!

The decadent `Use-and-Throw’ culture had set in firmly in the 80s. Unfortunately this was not restricted to paper-cups and tissue papers, but also Music! Now how can you expect a master in pottery to deliver dozens of paper-cups?!! Who had time and inclination for some elegant music?! So it was to be, `Ek do teen’— char paanch che baar sun liya — aur phenk diya in the bin— like the tissue paper one is blowing one’s nose with! And once thrown, you don’t have to worry about where you threw it!

And just a word for Sharada’s detractors. To my ears at least, Sharada’s sweet `baby-voice’ was an immaculately perfect selection by Shanker-ji for the songs that he gave her to sing. I doubt whether any other mature singer could have lent the same kind of innocent charm that she did! To my ears, Sharada in `Suraj’ was reminiscent of the same freshness that Lata brought in with `Barsaat’!

Let me end with trying to answer the million-dollar question that Raju-ji had raised! Who was the Genius? Was S in anyway a less `Genius’ than J? No Way, Sir!! To my mind at least, If JK was the `Prince Charming’, then Shanker-ji will remain the un-crowned `King of HFM’ — always!! 

Long Live the King and the Prince!

Musically yours,


P.S: I realize that my post has become long enough to become an advance review of Raju-ji’s forthcoming book!Wish You all the Best in your endeavour, Raju-ji!This was indeed a stimulating discussion. Maybe I got a little carried away!So pardon the clichés and hyperboles, if you find them not agreeable! No hard feelings! Open to corrections and contradictions!

Shankar Jaikishan: The magical Duo

This feature is taken from internet, that is why the blogger has not even touched misspelled words nor agree/disagree with the views shared by its writer.

Shankar Jaikishan were among the greatest musicians to have graced Hindi cinema – they were exceedingly popular and 75 per cent of their films were musical hits

Distributors play a very critical role in the film industry. There were no distributors when the first feature film, Raja Harishchandra, was released in 1913. With the advent of talkies in 1931 when Ardeshair Irani’s, Alam Ara was released, distributors became a vital force. They decided to sell the film on the basis of studios or banners. Even though films started selling in the name of actors, the films of the 1950s and 60s were sold in the name of a music duo. This magical duo was Shankar Jaikishan.

Shankar Jaikishan started their career with Prithviraj Kapoor’s Prithvi Theatre. In 1949, Raj Kapoor (Prithviraj Kapoor’s eldest son) acted in Mehboob Khan’s magnum opus Andaz with Nargis and Dilip Kumar. He was impressed by Naushad’s music in the film. Andaz was a musical jubilee hit. Raj Kapoor had decided to have music like Andaz in his next film Barsaat, the same year. Ram Ganguly was its composer. Soon, differences between Raj Kapoor and Ganguly developed and Shankar Jaikishan were brought in.

Barsaat had Lata Mangeshkar, who was trying hard to establish herself as a playback singer. Shankar had heard her earlier and brought her to give playback in Barsaat. Lata sang all the eleven numbers of Barsaat, nine solos and two duets with Mukesh. For the first time, Lata gave playback for Nargis, Nimmi and Bimla. Barsaat was a blockbuster. Its music stirred the nation. Shankar Jaikishan scaled the dizzy heights with their maiden film.

Shankar Jaikishan, Hasrat Jaipuri, Shailendra and Lata became the permanent team of R K Films. Barsaat’s music became a trendsetter. It is often said that Shankar Jaikishan gave their best to R K Films. They remained loyal to Raj Kapoor and indebted to too as he had given them their maiden break. Between 1951 and 52, Shankar Jaikishan also gave scintillating music in films outside R K Films.

Their third film was Bhagwan Das Verma’s Badal (1951) starring Prem Nath, Madhubala. Who can forget the compositions of the duo, Main rahi bhatakne wala hoon (Mukesh) Unse pyaar ho gaya dil mere kho gaya (Lata) and Dulcet duet Ae dil na mujhse chhipa kya hua (Lata/Mukesh). In the same year, Kishore Shahu’s Kali Ghata was released and the duo showed their versatility with Dil mein tu mere dil mein tu, Humse na puchho koi pyaar kya hai, Maine kya kiya sitam unke sitam ne loot liya, Ille bel laa illaa din hain pyare pyare and a romantic duet Ho madhur Milan hai sajna. The film did average business at the box office but was remembered for its hit numbers.

Shankar Jaikishan were very particular and never compromised with their singers. They gave an opportunity to C H Aatma in Dalsukh Pancholi’s Nagina. C H Aatma sang hit iconic numbers in typical K L Saigal style, Rooo main sagar ke kinare and Dil beqraar hai mera, Ek sitara hai aakash mein, Lata also sang her unforgettable sad number Tune hi mere zakhm-e-Jigar ko chhoo liya.

Seeing their popularity, legendary Amiya Chakraborty signed Shankar Jaikishan for his super hit film Daag (1952), starring Dilip Kumar, Nimmi. Shankar Jaikishan took Talat Mehmood for the first time to do playback for Dilip Kumar. They made three versions of their evergreen number Ae mere dil kahi aur chal in happy and sad versions in Talat’s voice and also in Lata’s voice.

In 1953, Raj Kapoor made a film on a Tuberculosis patient, Aah, which was directed by Raja Nawathe along with Nargis and Pran. Unlike Awara and Barsaat, the film didn’t do well at the box office. Even the re-edited version with a new end failed to impress.

In the same year, Shankar Jaikishan gave music in seven films – Aas, Aurat, Boot Polish, Mayur Pankh, Naya Ghar, Patita and Shikast. They gave enchanting melodies in these films. Zulm ki nagri mein (Lata) in Aas, Naino se nain hue chaar, Aa sun le mere dil ki pukaar, Dard-E-jigar thaher zara and Bewafa ne de diya ghum zindgani loot li (Lata) in Aurat.

Shankar Jaikishan composed a variety of songs in R K’s Boot Polish, Nanhe munhe bachche teri mutthi mein kaya hai (Asha/Rafi, chorus) Chali kaun si desh gujriya tu saj dhaj ke (Asha/Talat), a light number Lapak jhapak tu aa re badarwa (Manna De) and the title song Thehr zara o jane wale babu (Asha/Manna Dey/Madhubala Jhavri). There was also Ja re ja ranjo ghum ke andhere tu jaa (Lata) in Naya Ghar.

They gave all-time great numbers in Patita – Kisi ne apna bana ke mujhko, Mitti se khelte ho bar bar kis liye (Lata), Andhe jahan ke andhe rasre, Tujhe apne pass bulati hai teri duniya and Hain sabse madhur wo geet (Talat) and evergreen melodious romantic duets in Lata and Hemant’s voice Yaad kiya dil ne kahan ho tum. Shikast too had classical-based numbers in Raag Chandrakaush, Jab jab phool khile tujhe yaad kiya humne (Talat/Lata) and Sapno ki suhani duniya ko (Talat).

Surprisingly, in 1954, only two of their films released – Pooja and Badshah. Both the films flopped but Shankar Jaikishan gave immortal the romantic duet, set in Raag Bheem Palasi, Aa neel gagan tale pyaar hum karein (Lata/Hemant) in Badshah.

In 1955, they came back with their magical touch in Amiya Chakarverti’s Seema starring Balraj Sahni, Nutan and Shobha Khote. Their glorious gems were in their favorite Bhairvi, Suno chhoti se gudiya ki lambi kahani which starts with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’s Sarod, and the enthralling melodies Baat baat pe rutho na, Manmohna bade jhuthe (Lata). Manna Dey’s all-time great Tu pyaar ka sagar hai and Rafi’s heart rendering Kahan ja raha hai tu ae jane wale and Hume bhi de do sahara (Rafi/Chorus) in Qawwali style.

Shankar Jaikishan, besides Raj Kapoor, worked with almost all major directors. They were in a position to dictate their own terms. They even declined the offers made by B R Chopra and V Shantaram. They did films of all genres and periods.

Shankar Jaikishan ruled the industry for more than two decades. They were at their best in creativity and versatility. If they were responsible for getting their first FilmFare Award for Sab kuch sikha humne (Mukesh) in Anari (1959) though Mukesh was their favorite, they got best of Rafi in Chahe mujhe koi jangli kahe, Ahsan tera hoga mujh par in Junglee. Ae gulbadan in Professor, Tumse se accha kaun hai in Janwar, Yaad na jaye bite dino ki in Dil Ek Mandir and Dil ke jharokhe mein in Brahmchari. After Dil Ek Mandir they started working separately, but they kept their credit intact.

Jaikishan gave scintillating melodies in Arzoo. After completing the music for Ramanand Sagar, Jaikishan left for London. When Sagar wanted to add one Qawwali, Jaikishan recommended Shankar’s name. Similarly, all songs of Teesri Kasam were recorded by Shankar.

When Jaikishan was asked to score the background music of Teesri Kasam, he realised after listening to the song that it lacked the touch of Shankar Jaikishan and suggested Shailendra, who was the producer and lyricist of the film, to include two more songs and composed two numbers penned by Hasrat Jaipuri, Mare gaye gulpham and Duniya banana wale. Though the film didn’t do well initially, it later became a Bollywood milestone.

In the 1970s, film music was changing very fast. The golden days for the trio of Dilip, Raj and Dev were over. Shammi Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar were also fading out. The new generation of Rajesh Khanna, Jitendra and Amitabh Bachchan had taken over. Rajesh Khanna preferred R D Burman but he appeared in a guest appearance and sang his iconic number in Kishore’s voice Zindgi ek safar hai suhana which was Jaikishan’s last song.

Jaikishan scummed to cirrhosis on September 1971.

In spite of differences, this was a big blow to Shankar. He didn’t take any assignment for a long period and as a result, he lost many films. Even his mentor Raj Kapoor replaced him with Laximikant Pyarelal in Bobby. Shankar’s last notable film was Sanyasi. Shankar died on April 26, 1987.

During their reign, they were also accused of plagiarism. They had copied music from Egyptian, Arabian, Italian and even tunes of Gypsy music but one thing in their defense was that they Indianised the music so well that it appeared original. They revolutionised the concept of an orchestra. They were responsible for popularising film music. 75 per cent of their films were resounding hits and many celebrated golden and silver jubilees.

They were winners of nine Filmfare Awards for Chori Chori (1956), Anari (1959), Dil Apna Aur Preet Prayee (1960), Professor (1962), Suraj (1966), Brahmchari (1968), Pahchan (1970), Mera Naam Joker (1971) and Baiman (1972). They were also recipients of Cine Goers Association Award, Bombay Film Journalist Award and Sur Singar Sansad. They were conferred the Padma Shree in 1968.

Today Shankar and Jaikishan are not amidst us but their rich legacy of music will keep them alive in memories of music lovers for many years to come.

એક સુબહ …(શંકર)જયકિશન કે નામ !!

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એક સુબહ …(શંકર)જયકિશન કે નામ !!

નવેમ્બર 12, 2009 Deepali દ્વારા     

નેટની દુનિયામા વિહાર કરતા ગઇકાલે રાત્રે ફેસબુકમાં મિત્ર દિપાલી સોમૈયાની પ્રોફાઇલ વિઝિટ કરતાં જાણવા મળ્યુ કે “સા-રે-ગ-મ-પ” માં ત્રણ ગુજરાતી ગાયકો સેમિફાઇન સુધી પહોંચ્યા છે. આનંદ થયો. સાથે સાથે આ જ વાત પર દિલીપ મહેતા સાથે ધણી ચર્ચા થઇ. નૌશાદ તેમજ શંકર-જયકિશન કેન્દ્રમાં હતા. ચર્ચા રાષ્ટ્રવાદ તથા બીજા રીલેટેડ ટોપીક પર ચાલતી હતી પરંતુ ફરી ક્યારેક. કંઇક નવું જાણવા મળે પછી એ વિશે વધારે જાણકારી મેળવવા હું કાયમ તત્પર હોઉં છુ. બસ આ જ વિચારો સાથે બે-પાંચ આર્ટીકલ વાંચ્યા. Interesting ….

મુળ ગુજરાતી એવા જયકિશન વિશે આટલી બધી ખબર ન હતી. એક  સંગીતકાર તરીકેની ઓળખાણએ આજે “એક ગુજરાતી”તરીકેનું વિશિષ્ટ સ્થાન લીધુ.

આજથી 40 વર્ષ પહેલા, સન 1968માં ભારતીય શાસ્ત્રીય સંગીત અને વેસ્ટર્ન મ્યુઝિકનુ fusion કરીને “RAGA JAZZ Style” નામનો concept પૂરો પાડનાર સૌ પ્રથમ વ્યક્તિ એટલે જયકિશન. અને એ પણ ભારતમા. આ પહેલા આવુ fusion ઉસ્તાદ રવિશંકરે કર્યુ હતુ પણ તે અમેરિકામાં. આ સમયે ફિલ્મ ઉધોગના સંગીતકારો કોઇ કારણોસર હડતાલ પર હતા. બધા જ સંગીતકારો ઘરે બેઠા હતા…આવામાં HMV ના શ્રી વિજયકિશોર દુબેના મનમાં એક પરિકલ્પનાનો જન્મ થયો અને તેમને આ વિશે શંકર-જયકિશનને વાત કરી. શંકરજીને આ વાત બહુ જામી નહી તેથી તેમને વિરોધ કર્યો. જયકિશને આ વાત યોગ્ય લાગી, તેઓએ શંકરજીના વિરોધ છતાં આ ચેલેંજ ઉપાડી લીધો અને કઇક ક્રીએટીવ કરવાનું નક્કી કર્યુ. આ વાતને સ્વીકારી લીધા બાદ તેમની આખી ટીમ કાર્યરત થઇ. લોકસત્તાના સહયોગથી પ્રાપ્ત થયેલ નીચેની તસ્વીરમા આ આખી ટીમનુ કામ જોઇ શકાય છે.


પ્રખ્યાત સિતારવાદક ઉસ્તાદ રઇઝ ખા , મશહૂર સેક્સોફોન વાદક મનોહર દાદા (કાળા ચશ્મા લગાયેલ મહાશય), ડ્રમ પર છે ડ્રમબોય ગોવિંદા અને જમણી બાજુ જયકિશનજી. આ સિવાય બીજા અન્ય વાદક કલાકારોએ પણ પોતાનુ હુનર બતાવ્યુ હતુ.


અનંત નૈયર તેમજ રમાકાંત (તબલા)

જોન પરેરા (Trumpet)

એ ડી ટ્રેવર્સ (Bass)

દિલીપ નાયક તેમજ કેસ્ટ્રો (Electric ગિટાર)

સુમંત (Flute)

શાસ્ત્રીય રાગમાં પ્રસિધ્ધ રાગ તોડી, રાગ ભૈરવ, રાગ માલકૌંસ, રાગ કલાવતી, રાગ તિલક કામોદ, રાગ મલ્હાર, રાગ વૈરાગી, રાગ જયજયવંતી, રાગ મિશ્ર પીલૂ, રાગ શિવ રંજની તેમજ રાગ ભૈરવીનો સમાવેશ થાય છે.

આવો આ બધામાંથી “રાગ તોડી” સાંભળીયે. શાસ્ત્રીય સંગીતને સમજતા સમજતા આખી જીન્દગી પસાર થઇ જાય એમ છે. નાની નાની બાબતોને ધ્યાનમાં રાખવાની હોય છે તેમ શાસ્ત્રીય સંગીત જાણનારાઓ પાસેથી જાણવા મળ્યુ. આ બારીકતાને તો આપણે ન ઓળખી શકીએ પણ સિતારમાંથી રેલાતા સુર જ્યારે હવામાં પ્રસરાય છે ત્યારે ખરેખર દિવ્યાનુભૂતિ થાય છે.

આપણને આવા “Indo-Jazz Recording” થી પરિચિત કરાવનાર શ્રી જયકિશનને સલામ !