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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 !!

« જીવાતા સંબંધજંપ્યા વિના »

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 !


Ernest Menezes remembers Shanker Jaikishen

Violin maestro Ernest Menezes plays the notes of his musical memories


What’s the similarity between the movies ‘Howrah Bridge’ and ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’? Any guesses? It’s a man called Ernest Menezes. He played the violin for both these movies and in countless more.

Music Plus met with ace violinist Menezes to get into a conversation about music, movies and more. The man immerses himself in the world of music, so much that his melodious violin can be heard right from the gate.

Practising his skills religiously, the 78-year-old began his career with O.P Nayyar’s classic ‘Howrah Bridge’ in 1958. Dedicating 10 years of his life in the pursuit of learning the art of playing the violin, Menezes stepped into the world of music at the age of 18.

“Every day, I would practise for five hours in the morning and then again for five hours in the evening Maybe that’s the reason why I can still play at this age,” said Menezes.

Having mastered the art of playing the string instrument from his uncle, Menezes became popular for his exceptional work. With his uncle’s training and encouragement, Menezes was introduced to the music industry to support his family. Hailing from a modest background, Menezes found his calling in the violin.

The talented violinist has worked with the likes of O.P Nayyar, Shankar Jaikishan, Roshan, Madan Mohan and others. Making a debut with celebrated music composer O.P Nayyar was a blessing for an 18-year-old Menezes. Nayyar, who was known to be extremely strict, was every musician’s delight. In an era when producers would refrain from compensating musicians, Nayyar would take make sure that the musicians’ payments were cleared first. He was the pioneer in fixing rates for the musicians.

“He always said that he was in the industry because of the musicians. No music director has ever said this before. He was strong-headed and always knew what he wanted. Nayyar Saab would finish recording in one or two takes. Once Rafi Saab asked him for one more take and he denied it because he felt the song was ok,” recollects Menezes.

Having extensively worked with Shankar-Jaikishan, Menezes possesses an insider’s view of the legendary Raj Kapoor’s work regime.

Menezes added, “Raj Saab was a visionary. He had learnt music when he was young and that’s why he could explain what he wanted exactly to Shankar-Jaikishan. For background score, he would use pieces of music which were used in his earlier movies just to get the exact music he wanted. Raj Saab had a unique working style. He would explain a scene that needs to be shot in a different way to people and then shoots it in a completely different way. For all his musical sessions, Raj Saab would travel to his farmhouse in Loni along with composing team to work in peace.”

According to Menezes, The Raj Kapoor Films theme song is actually a classical waltz called ‘Waves of the Danube’. “Raj Saab had paid the International Performing Rights Society a handsome amount of ₹35,000 to use the waltz. Such was the integrity of the great man,” expresses Menezes.

It’s not a coincidence that his favourite movie soundtrack is ‘Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi’. He had worked with Shankar-Jaikishan on every song in the movie including the famous ‘Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh’. Lamenting the loss of Jaikishan, Salil Chowdhary, Roshan and R.D Burman for their early deaths, Menezes fondly recalls how Jaikishan composed entire songs out of counter melodies composed by his assistants.

Other than Jaikishan, Menezes has had the opportunity to work both R.D and S.D Burmans. He reminiscences the enriching experience of those times. While RD was ahead of his time, SD was more rooted in folk.

“Both had same assistants, Manoriji, my uncle Joe and Gomes. All were world-class musicians who helped shape the music of that time. Though RD was a fun-loving guy, he was moody. He would change the song completely even if a little part was not right. RD had the best music room at the time. He used to compose, record and listen to the songs in his room. His rhythm team was the best in the industry,” opines Menezes.

In 1986, Menezes along with three others would play at Hotel Oberoi for six months on the 3rd-floor lobby. Zubin Mehta came to Mumbai with his orchestra for a concert. He was staying at the Oberoi on the 21st floor. “Zubin complimented me and told me that he could hear us play even on the 21st floor,” recalled Menezes. Speaking of another incident, Menezes remembered how Odissi dancer Protima Bedi her Italian friend began dancing to the waltz music while we were playing at the hotel.

Menezes has always been at the forefront to help fellow musicians in the industry. It was during his term as the Secretary of the Cine Musicians Association in 1995-97 when musicians got their biggest pay hike. Later, Menezes was also elected as the Secretary of the Film Federation of India. “I fought for artists’ rights and what helped in my fight was that all the producers knew me.”

Looking back at his life and his career, Menezes confesses, “I am not very intelligent and I wish I had done many more things in my career but I couldn’t. I also feel that I could have been much better. Back then, I didn’t know the tricks of the trade and I still don’t know much. But, I still won’t go and beg for work.”

With his never-ending passion for the violin, the man is forever ready to play his favourite tunes. At the end of the conversation, the maestro played ‘Yaad Kiya Hai Dil Ne Kaha Ho Tum’ sung by the legendary Hemant Kumar and composed by his favourite Shankar-Jaikishan.

Memoirs of Hasrat on controversies on Shanker & RK

शैलेन्द्र और जयकिशन के जाने के बाद उन्हें और शंकर को को क्यों नहीं मिला राजकपूर के साथ ज़्यादा काम, बता रहे हैं हसरत जयपुरी साहब। इसके अलावा और भी कई विवादस्पद मुद्दों पर हसरत साहब की अंदरूनी बेबाक राय।

These cuttings Courtesy : ज़ेड एच


Tribute to Shailendra after his demise by Jaikishen


Jay subramanyam

That sad Wednesday afternoon, a little after he died, the radio sang :

Aye mere dil kahin aur chal 
gham ki duniya se dil bhar gaya 
dhoondle ab koi ghar naya

It was Shailendra’s own lyric from `Daag’. He, too, had just told his weary heart : “I am full of the world’s sorrows. Let me seek a new home!”.

At the nursing home where he lay, we, his close friends, tried vainly to hold back our tears. Twenty years is a long time to know anyone, particularly in the film industry where “friendships” are made and broken easily, too easily.

Twenty years ago, we – a small group of people – had started from nothing. We had dreams, and nothing else, to sustain us. We had stood together, to the surprise and possibly dismay of many, and together we had worked out a common destiny. And today, without warning, death has laid an icy hand on one of us.

Dhoond le ab koi ghar naya.”. He had done it.

For “Teesri Kasam” his own production, he had written :

Sajan re jhoot mat bolo, khuda ke paas jana hai, na haathi hai na ghoda hai, vahaan paidal his jaana hai.”

True enough. We all have to go on foot. There will be no elephants to carry us, no horses, no Impalas. Poets have to go there when the call comes and ordinary men too.

But do the poets of the world, true creative artistes, really die?

Born and brought up a man of the people, Shailendra remained that all his life. His lyrics, like he himself, were simple, and had depth. And what a variety! He could dash off a frothy love lyric, he could compose a deeply philosophical poem. He wrote of sadness, gaiety, resignation, despair, hope.

Ye poorab hai, poorab wale, har jaan ki keemat jaante hain“, he said, in the theme song of `Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai’. That was the pariot. “Awara hoon“, he sang, in a manner at once, light-hearted and serious. The song became world famous. And it was the same patriot who laughingly wrote “Mera joota hai Japani” in `Shri 420′.
When Shailendra joined our fold – at the time of Raj Kapoor was making “Barsaat” – it was with two lyrics he had ready – “Barsaat mein humse mile tum” and “Patli kamar hai“. He said goodbye to the R.K. Banner, again with two lyrics, for “Mera Naam Joker”. In between, from his work done not only for us – Shanker and myself – but for other composers, I can name scores of lovely lyrics, songs which have been on everyone’s lips.

By the way, Shailendra has written lyrics for all films for which my partner Shanker and I have composed the music with the exception of `College Girl’ and `Aarzoo’. In the latter film, he didn’t work with us because he was ill.

Shanker and I met Shailendra for the first time twenty years ago. Raj Kapoor introduced us at his office which was then at Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi. Shailendra had a job in the railway workshop at Parel. He wrote poetry in his spare time. One of his poems – “Jalta hai Punjab” – moved Raj Kapoor so much he wanted to put it in `Aag’. But Shailendra was then not keen on contributing lyrics to films. He later changed his mind and joined us for `Barsaat’.

The last time I ever saw him in good health was at Rajkamal studios about a month ago where I was doing some back-ground music recording. And you know what he was saying? Despite all the difficulties he had experienced in producing `Teesri Kasam’ he wanted to launch another film!

In the early days, Shailendra was living in a one room tenement at Parel. After `Barsaat’, my partner had been offered our first contract outside R.K. ( the film was Mr. Dalsukh Pancholi’s `Nagina’) and wanting to persuade Shailendra to write the lyrics, I visited him for the first time at his home. Like us, he was quite needy then, but his work caught on quickly and he became much sought after. His address had a few changes – from somewhere, Parel, to `Rim Jhim’, his own home at Khar, but all along the man himself never changed.

He was intelligent, very gentle, full of knowledge and very sensitive. His love of poetry and literature was paramount. Tagore was an early favourite as also Khalil Gibran. He was always nice company, whether you were discussing poetry or politics. He was very emotional and wept when something moved him. When he was composing a lyric, he would walk restlessly about the room. He loved writing on the beach. From the early days, he smoked incessantly – I wish he had been more careful.

He was young – only 43. Why did he have to go that early and with so much mental suffering?

In the music room of Shanker-Jaikishan at our homes where he was so welcome, there will be a void. There will be a bigger void in our hearts.

Dhoond le ab koi ghar naya…”.

 Goodbye, my friend.


This is courtesy : Jay Subramanyam who composed it on Jan 12, 2009 at 1:54 PM

As music lovers celebrate the 82nd birth anniversary of Jaikishan this Friday, here’s a rewind to the magic of Shankar Jaikishan


Yaad Na Jaye… A file picture of Shankar greeting Jaikishan on his birthday

Written by

Deepak Mahaan

Shankar Jaikishanthe name itself is so lyrical and inspiring that none is surprised that the music director duo created some of the greatest songs ever for Hindi film screen. If Shankar was named after the great Hindu deity of dance and Jaikishan’s name was the very embodiment of God of music, such a lethal combination of blessed talent had to be conjurers of exemplary notes. Obviously, when they captured the music lovers’ imagination and hearts with mesmerising array of melodies it didn’t surprise anyone since it was always expected of their formidable ability.

If Naushad exuded classical charm, Sachin Dev Burman exemplified the Himalayan tranquillity and O. P. Nayyar executed nature’s countless rhythms, then Shankar Jaikishan (SJ) duplicated various colours of the seasons in their enticing compositions. From high brow symphonies to rustic ballads, they had enthralling masterpieces to bind every listener’s heart in delightful ecstasy. Their years at the great Prithvi Theatre made them understand how music could be utilised to heighten the dramatic elements and this intrinsic talent of using sound to convey subtle emotions won them mass adulation without difficulty.

What compels attention in most SJ creations are the intricate and elaborate introductory pieces that not only set the mood and tone but also became tour-de-force of the melody. Though SJ conducted huge orchestras, they always ensured that the distinctive sounds of different instruments came forth with immaculate clarity without distorting the harmony of the overall composition. Listen to the harmonium crescendo before Mohammed Rafi creates nostalgia with “Yaad Naa Jaaye” (“Dil Ek Mandir”) or the sitar, violin and piano notes chiselled within a humming chorus prior to Rafi’s evergreen “Ye Mera Prem Patra” (“Sangam”) and you realise how the operatic preludes arrest our attention even before the words come into play.

Instrumental interludes

Similarly their instrumental interludes between verses were a treat to hear as they were set to enhance the evocative appeal of the image on screen. Remember how the violins meander around accordion notes to augment Sadhana’s pristine beauty and Lata Mangeshkar’s voice in “Tera Mera Pyaar Amar” (‘Asli Naqli’) or the way saxophones enhance Mukesh’s romantic aura in “Ae Sanam Jisne Tujhe” (‘Diwana’). The list is long and difficult to mention within the confines of a small article but suffice to say that several music directors tried to master this art but couldn’t reap the same results.

If Nayyar created unforgettable rhythmic patterns from stray objects, then SJ gave life to many established rhythms like foxtrot, waltz and teen taal (16 beat tempo) with their dexterous use of bongo drums, dholaks, octopads and congos. Within the limited scope of a song sequence, SJ designed wonderful patterns of sounds that not only helped raise the quality and mood of the song but also exhibited their irrepressible virtuosity. Described as “ultimate composers” by Nayyar, the talented duo even composed elaborate Hindustani classical ragas on prominent western instruments and vice versa with astounding success. Though their popular numbers are well entrenched in public memory, it must be stressed that they were the pioneers of fusion music and their exceptional non-film disc “Raga Jazz Style” was its finest example. Judging from the overseas response to their exquisite English number by Usha Uthup in “Bombay Talkies” to the accompaniment of tabla, flutes and sitar, one can say that they could have certainly ‘rocked’ the western world if they had so desired. For greater proof, visit and see why their “Jaan Pehchaan Ho” (“Gumnaam”) and “Dekho Ab To” (“Jaanwar”) songs are such smashing hits amongst western listeners!

Raj Kapoor may have played an integral role in establishing SJ but it is a fallacy to credit him for all their success. Even excluding the RK films, the sheer range of their musical compositions and success is breathtaking with such diverse films as “Daag”, “Seema”, “Halaku”, “Basant Bahaar”, “Humrahi”, “Sasuraal”, “Amrapali”, “Asli Naqli”, “Arzoo”, “Dil Ek Mandir”, “Junglee”, “Professor”, “Love in Tokyo”, “Suraj”, “Brahmachari”, “An Evening in Paris” and several others that cannot be listed for want of space. In fact, apart from Raj Kapoor’s super stardom, SJ also played a big hand in establishing Shammi Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar and many of their films actually ran to packed houses only because of SJ’s enchanting musical bouquets.

One must confess that the contribution of two outstanding lyricists Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri has to be etched in gold since they gave life to SJ music and their lyrics created their legend. If Shailendra was brevity personified with philosophical gems embedded in every line, Hasrat was the Urdu poet with romantic sensibilities and their simple poetry from everyday language made SJ music connect instantaneously with the masses. Veteran film critic Raju Bharatan reveals that that most of the times the writers wrote the lyrics to an already prepared SJ tune but such was their mastery that not only would they quickly adapt the metre but also pen easy to decipher words. This is easier said than done and it is fair to say that these two accomplished writers were great assets for SJ music.

Alas, when Jaikishan died young and Raj Kapoor too abandoned the SJ banner, it led to a steady eclipse of business. Though Shankar never lost his magical prowess; his acidic tongue made Bollywood enemies push the SJ name out of the creative arena. Nevertheless, it is safe to predict that centuries later when many composers would have been forgotten, the SJ name would be eulogised for its remarkable, life infusing Shammi-Rafi numbers as they impart immense joy and strength to every human being. There is an immense rejuvenating power in most SJ creations but nowhere are the joie-de-vivre and the exultation of youth more visible and infectious than in the magical bond of Shammi, Rafi and SJ that will live forever. If imitation is the best form of flattery, I still think Rahul Dev Burman’s score for “Teesri Manzil” is the ultimate tribute to the genius of Shankar Jaikishan!


Courtesy :

RK’s Music and Shanker-Jaikishen

[Courtesy : (Courtesy :]

“Raj Kapoor music legacy started with the shower of melody that was Barsaat under the baton of Shankar Jaikishan. But even SJ, innovative as they were, were ultimately mere executors of Raj Kapoor’s musical will. The great Showman was the Great Conductor who audio-visualised his music as an integral part of the film’s script. No wonder Lata Mangeshkar said that all music in RK films was, in the end, given by Raj Kapoor himself-which, here, is the take of point for the RK music story.At HMV’s Taj Function to celebrate the motion picture event that Ram Teri Ganga Maili had proved to be as RK’s greatest money spinner of all times. Lata Mangeshkar certainly drops a brick when, in addressing the august audience, she says,”At RK early on, all music may ahve been credited to Shanker Jaikishen, later Laxmikant Pyarelal may have taken over and it is now Ravindra Jain. But one thing I, as the one who has sung for RK from Barsaat down, have seen is that the music in any RK film is, in the ultimate analysis, given by Raj Saab himself.”Consternation! Ravindra Jain, sitting stumpy, there in a spotless white coat, is aghast, wondering whether this is his reward for reverting from Hemlata to Lata. Hasrat Jaipuri, grateful to be there at all for the solitary song that he has written for Ram Teri Ganga Maili, is at a loss to decide how exactly to react, since he knows, better than anyone else, how dominant, right through, has been Raj Kapoor’s role in ‘envisioning’ and encapsuling Shanker-Jaikishen’s music.So much so, that Hasrat knows that “Sun Saiba Sun” in Ram Teri Ganga Maili, as written by him, is not Ravindra Jain’s tune at all. As far as Hasrat remembers, Sun Saiba Sun is how he, long ago, wrote a certain Lata number, tuned by Jaikishen, for RK’s never made Ajanta.
This was Raj Kapoor’s point even when Laxmikant Pyarelal so sensationally supplanted SJ at RK. All the music that Raj Kapoor wanted he had already got shaped on tape by SJ, on his own audio-visual terms, for his films to come. If at all Raj needed any music director now in 1973, it was to put the SJ tunes, already there on tape, into the final form in which they were to go into Bobby or Satyam Shivam Sundaram or Prem Rog or any other RK movie.In fact, more than once, Raj Kapoor wanted Laxmikant-Pyarelal to utilise, in a RK movie, the Jaikishen tune that was ready at hand in the format of Sun Sahiba Sun. But each time LP shied away, since by that time, this duo came to RK with Bobby in 1973, it had already its own distinct identity as a composer team. The break with LP therefore, when it did come finally, after Prem Rog, came late. It was inevitable that, at some point, LP should have moved away from the idea of merely impersonating SJ at RK.Why then did Raj move away from Shanker after Kal Aaj Aur Kal, if it was merely the SJ way he wanted the RK music to be shaped? The reason was personal. At a time when Raj Kapoor was reeling under the plus half-crore loss he had incurred on Mera Naam Joker, Shanker had mindlessly pushed the cause of Sharda for a song in Kal Aaj Aur Kal. And the song, Kisi Ke Dil Ko Sanam, was certainly there when we saw it at the press show, but was later scrapped from certain prints to teach Shanker a lesson. Intelligence was never Shanker’s strong point. Otherwise in the wake of Barsaat, he would have considered going solo. Hasrat, then teaming with him, insists that Shanker full of composing beans, toyed with the thoughts of going solo sans Jaikishan, but had to give up the idea when he saw that the film trade would only buy the name – Shanker-Jaikishen.Sharda even today maintains that one of Lata’s conditions to sing again for RK(the melody queen’s voice was not to be heard in Mera Naam Joker and Kal Aaj Aur Kal) was that Laxmikant-Pyarelal should replace Shanker for the music of Bobby. Raj Kapoor was not the one to submit to such conditions, of course, but the fact remains that he was under severe pressure at the time, after Kal Aaj Aur Kal had merely compounded the staggering losses sustained on Mera Naam Joker.Shailendra was gone by then(1970) and this meant that Raj Kapoor now tuned that much less with Shanker. When Jaikishen too went the Shailendra way in late 1971, even the one RK composer who vibed with Randhir Kapoor, Raj’s RK heir, was gone. Plus with Bobby, Raj had decided to banish, not only himself as a hero, but also his “soul”, Mukesh. He was out to recreate the Nargis-Raj aura through a younger Nargis, in the nymphet shape of Dimple, and a younger Raj Kapoor, in the fledgling form of Rishi Kapoor.
From the earliest days, I have been interested in music. In fact, my first ambition was to be a music director. I even sang in my earlier films like “Chitchor”, “Chitor Vijay”, “Jail Yatra” and “Gopinath”.In our country, our whole existence, our lifestyles, our cultural fabric is wedded to music. Our life, our birth is wedded to music. Our death is wedded to a lament, which is also a music. Our rituals, our gods, our goddesses, everything is music, is music, is music….Where words fail, it is music that conveys much more than all words put together
Such a setting, as Raj viewed , it also needed a younger pair of music-maker whom he could guide to keep heartbeat with the young lovers. Thus did Laxmikant-Pyarelal come to realise their life’s ambition of erasing the name of SJ from RK. Ironically, it was Mukesh, out of the Bobby singing picture, who brought LP in, pleading that if the duo now failed to show the gumption to take over from Shanker, the honour would go t a rival composer, since Raj had already made up his mind on a change.For all that, when LP themselves lost favour with Raj after Prem Rog, the moment was ripe, music buffs felt, for Raj Kapoor to do the thing that would hurt his duo the most – resurrect Shanker. Any bitterness between Raj and Shanker was by then past. In fact, Shanker’s first reaction, when early in 1973 he had heard that LP were to do Bobby, was to assert that let them come into the music sanctum of RK, for now the world would know who was the better composer: SJ or LP! Shanker was as naive as that. He had finally to be told that, not only was he out of RK’s Bobby, he was not wanted for RK’s Dharam Karam either, since the film’s young director, Randhir Kapoor, tuned out with the Teesri Kasam bullock-cart era, but with the jet age representated by R.D. Burman.So Shanker never turned to RK and Raj Kapoor was seen to feel intensely for the man on his death, as he made a personal appearance in Bombay TV’s Chhaya Geet to pay his salad-day’s composer a touching tribute. Actually, Ram Teri Ganga Maili had been a musical subject right up Shanker’s alley. But the film came to be done by Ravindra Jain and, in assessing the music, you could not argue against the show-world maxim of nothing succeeds like success.But Ravindra Jain and Laxmikant-Pyarelal, they came only later, the men to give RK music shape and substance were Shanker-Jaikishan. Raj Kapoor wanted this duo for his very first film, Aag, but had to submit to the will of his father, Prithviraj, and make do with stage composer Ram Ganguly. Now Aag may have been the first film to fix the vocals of Mukesh on RAj Kapoor through a sonorous unforgettable like Zinda hoon s tarah ki gam-e-zindagi nahin, but the rest of the film score, while popular enough, moved very much with the ambit of tradition. Na aankhon mein aansoo, Kahee koyal shor machaye re, Dil toot gaya jee chhot gaya, Raat ko ji chamken taare, Kahin ka deepak kahin ki baati(as vocalised by Shamshad Begum, Mukesh and Shailesh) could have been songs belonging to any film of the time, there was nothing distinctly Raj Kapoorian about them.SJ maintained that they put in a lot of work on Aag, but I cannot buy this, since Shamshad Begum has told me that, for every single song of hers in the film, she was personally rehearsed by Ram Ganguly. Just as I could not go along with Shanker when he said that Jagte Raho was originally offered to SJ, but they refused, seeing that the theme had scant scope for music. Since Jagte Raho was to be made in Bengali and Hindi from the outsets by stage stalwarts Shombu Mitra and Amit Moitra, it stood to reason that the choice of composer, even by Raj Kapoor, would be someone in the creative mould of Salil Chowdhury.Of Raj, it has been said that he wove the Melody of Life into his films. Interwoven into the fabric of this Melody of Life was a rare visual rhythm that Raj could strike only with Barsaat. It is this visual rhythm, running like a golden thread through his films from Barsaat to Ram Teri Ganga Maili, that came vividly to mind, as Lata revealed at the HMV function how, after recording the first song of Barsaat, Jiya Beqarar hai, all of them – herself, Raj Kapoor and the entire RK unit – came out of the Famous Recording Studio at Tardeo and sat down by the streetside wondering what was going to happen to the song, to Barsaat, to RK. As Lata said this, Raj nodded mistily.
As one critic observed, Raj Kapoor poured every ounce of his inspiration and creative energy into the shaping of the music of his film. He knew exactly what he wanted from his composers, lyricists and singers. He would coax and cajole, badger and pummel his team and call it a day only when hehad got the songs perfect, the tune right, the words correct, the orchestra right and the recording flawless.Then he would lie back and start thinking of a hundred different ways of bringing that song to life on the screen.
If, Jiya beqarar hai, as written by Hasrat to Shanker’s tune, betrays, in its interlude music, traces of Husnlal-Bhagatram as Shanker’s mentor, these were the only familiar notes that your ears picked up in the music score of Barsaat. Right from the Barsaat mein (the second song recorded for the film as tuned by Jaikishen and written by Shailendra) down to other Lata evergreens (like Hava mein udata jaaye, Meri aankhon mein bas gaya koi re, Bichhde huye pardesi, O O O O mujhe kisi se pyar ho gaya and Ab mera kaun sahara), it was something totally new in film music that you heard in Barsaat, while Bhairavi as its strong undercurrent. This lends credence to Raj’s stated view that it was he who had shaped SJ in the Bhairavi strain, starting from Barsaat.Raj Kapoor,by the same token, was entitled to his view(a view endorsed by Lata) that any music SJ made for him, even for films not starring him, was RK music! After all, RK was SJ’s base camp. It is from this base camp that the duo climbed dizzy heights to become the first music directors, in the history of the film industry, to charge Rs. 5 Lakhs for a film. My gut point is, while was Rk was SJ’s alma mater, it never became a mental crutch in the duo’s style of functioning. Like true freelancers, SJ stepped out of RK and dazzlingly proved themselves. Even while doing so, every time they returned to their base camp, RK, they came up with an excitingly fresh stock of tunes. this is where the perspective listeners saw the ever creative conducting hand of Raj Kapoor in operation.It was Raj Kapoor’s vision that conceptualised the dream sequence in Awara, of course. When asked who, Shanker or Jaikishen, score dthe famous dream sequence number, Raj replied that both had a hand in it. The truth came to me in a strange way. Suraiya told me that she had a record of the famous egyptian singer, Om Kulsum, which Nargis wanted to hear. So Suraiya sent it to Nargis through their common hairdresser, Mary. As Mary entered RK, who should espy the record Shanker, sitting there! Shanker took the record from MAry, played it and instantly ang his Raj Saab, to convey the glad tidings that he had found the tune for the famous dream sequence for Awaara!That is how, one supposes, Shanker came to fashion the arrestingly orchestrated Tere Bin aag yeh chaandni part of the Awaara dream sequence, with Jaikishen conjuring up the ghar aaya mera pardesi section. That is how Shanker and Jaikishen came to be two glittering sides of the same box-office coin. But the man who shaped their style and technique was Raj Kapoor. SJ would have remained mere tunesmith if Raj Kapoor, as a versatile musician himself, had not demonstrated to them that any music they composed had to be visual music, music that could be imaginatively filmed. That is why Shanker’s claim that it was he who showed Goody Seervai how SJ wanted the accordion played in Awaara hoon is neither here nor there. It is known that the original Awara hoon tune was Jaikishen’s brainwave. But at some point, Shanker too invevitably came into it-like Jaikishen habitually came into any Shanker tune. And then, at the most vital point, Raj Kapoor himself stepped in. And it was only after Raj so stepped in that the oral music of Awara could take form and meaning as Aa jaao tadapte hain armaan, Hum tujh se mohabbat kar ke sanaam, Dum bhar jo udhar munh phere, Jab se balaam ghar aaye, and Ek bewafa se pyar kiya. Nor were these the only tunes SJ composed for Awara or any other RK film. There were ever so many other tunes that passed into RK’s taped stock, being visually not quite right at that point.
It is on this RK treasure-trove that Raj Kapoor kept drawing to the end. That is how you find, as early as in 1953, in Aah the original tune of Jaane Kahaan gaye woh din in the film’s background score! At other times, it worked in reverse. In Shree 420, for instance, after Nargis and Raj have enacted Pyar hua ikraar hua, you hear, in the background scoring the tune of Chhoti si yeh zindagani re!
What a shame we could not get to view this Chhoti se yeh tune fully(as sung and enacted by Mukesh himself on the screen) when we sat down to watch Aah(with its absurd reshot ending) on TV recently. At some point after Aah, SJ decided, in view of the grooming quantum of work, that Shanker would do all the dance compositions and Jaikishan would do all the background scoring in the duo’s films. In Aah itself, contrast the flamboyance of Shanker’s orchestration in Jhanana jhanana jhanana jhanana ghungarva baaje with Jaikishan’s soft-as-a-whisper tuning of Yeh shaam ki tanhaiyaan. Here are two Aah tunes that we are in a osition to pinpoint as either Shanker’s or Jaikishen’s. Okay, again in Aah, Raaja ki aayegi baraat was by Shanker and Sunte the naam hum by Jaikishan. But this identification exercise is pointless, since the Unseen Hand behind each Aah tune from Jaane na nazar to Jo main jaanti unke liye, Raat andheri door savera to Aa jaa re, was Raj Kapoor’s. Not a note could be recorded until his Unseen Hand had first played it out in his mind.The notes, enrapturing as they were could not prevent Aah from coming a nasty cropper at the turnstiles. This was a great setback for Raj, since he had planned his next, Boot Polish, as a songless film in the noe-realistic de Sica style. The failure of Aah certainly shook Raj Kapoor, since reshooting the film’s ending had only made matters worse. So now, as Raj sat down to view Boot Polish(as directed by his assistant, Prakash Arora), the aspect that the film presented was a documentary.Now this fact is little known – that all the musical situations in Boot Polish were created after the full film had been shot! For the first time at RK, the thing went in reverse- the songs were not written into the films script.It is this amazing context that you have to view Boot Polish again to see how, within a month, Raj extracted, out a SJ, a music which he , by skilful surgery, fitted into the film. Raat gayi phir din aata hai, Thehar zara O jaane waale, Nanhe munne bachche teri mutthi mein kya hai, Chali kaun se des gujariya(picturised tellingly on the man who wrote it Shailendra), Tumhare hai tum se dua maangte hai, Lapak jhapak, tu aa re badarva, Main baharon ki natkhat rani-were integrated into the texture of Boot Polish after the film was shot and ready.
Only the genius of Raj Kapoor could have worked it thus to turn Boot Polish into a hit that neutralised the losses suffered from Aah. If someone were to tell you today that the way Baby Naaz sings in Boot Polish to David(John chacha tum kitne achche) was an afterthought of Raj Kapoor’s, would you believe it?That is why, where the man “envisioning” it all is Raj Kapoor, I attach no value to my belated knowledge that, in Shree 420, almost all the songs, ranging from Mera joota hai japani, Dil ka haal sune dilwaala, Pyar hua ikraar hua, ichak daana beechak daana and Ramaiyya vastvaiyya, were the handiwork of Shanker. to me, it is just an accident that Raj happened to pick up more tunes from Shanker-Jaikishan in this film.To me, Jaikishan’s one Shree 420 creation, O jaane wale mud ke zara dekhte jaana, is symbolic of the very best of SJ at RK. To me, if Shankar admitted no superiority, Jaikishan brooked no equality. Shaping a Shree420 number like Mud mud ke na dekh was a childs play for Jaikishan, since it was a tune in glamorous accord with the Gaylord lifestyle.RAj Kapoor himself initially wanted to be a music director. As to Lata, so to me, therefore, Raj Kapoor himself will remain the Grand Music Director of all his RK Films, with Sj his two conducting hands. Yes, the Great Showman was the Great Conductor too. Raj was the dreamer. Sj were merely the executors of his musical will. But Raj sadly also became a prisoner of his own musical image. Thus the moment listeners heard Zindagi khwab hai on Radio Ceylon, they logically expected the number to go on Raj in Jagte Raho. When therefore Zindagi khwab hai materialised on Motilal, Jagte Raho a super film. stood rejected at the outset itself. The high Bhairavi note on which the film ended, with Nargis putting over Jagoo Mohan Pyare like Dilip Kumar’s Jogan, was not how the public had seen Nargis and Raj Kapoor in the 14 films in which the two had co-starred in a row before Jagte Raho.The ideal in Jagte Raho, of Nargis alone being able to quench Raj Kapoor’s thirst in the end, was therefore given, by the public, a crude interpretation that made Salil Chowdhary almost an interloper at RK. Lost, on such a crassly commercial audience, was the authenticity of his bhangda. Aeven duniya deve duhaii, and his artistry of composition in Thandi Thandi pawan ki puhar and Lo shay wai-wai. How could the public ever accept the idea of a film in which Raj Kapoor, the Eternal Tramp with a song in his heart, did not sing at all! Such a film, if revealing Raj Kapoor as a peerless actor, could only be an award-winner, not a crowd puller.After the trauma of Jagte Raho, Ab Dilli Dur Nahin was an RK show in which Raj Kapoor lost all interest the moment he came to know that the initial offer made to him, to project Chacha Nehru as the star of the children’s show, stood withdrawn by New Delhi. SJ’s assistant Dattaram, took a flying start with Ab Dilli Dur Nahin, coming up with such catchy kiddy numbers as Chun Chun karti aaye chidiya, O maata and Yeh chaman hamara apna hai, but Raj Kapoor’s heart was not in the film as directed by his assistant, Amar Kumar. Probablt the fact that Ab Dilli Dur Nahin’s making coincided with his break with Nargis had something to do with Raj’s apathy. The end result was that Ab Dilli….made no waves.This was a crisis point in Raj Kapoor’s life. He had now to convince his distributors that he could be as effective a romantic opposite the far-from-mini Padmini as opposite Nargis. How Raj Kapoor went to renew his faith in his own brand of cinema with first Padmini in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain and then with Vyjayanthimala in Sangam is by now part of our filmlore. Such a folk-hero was Raj Kapoor a long as he stuck to the simpleton mantle, that even his weird idea of dacoits reform went musically across in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai. This was also the film in which Jaikishan proved that he was capable of matching his Chori-Chori classic. Rasik Balama, with something so profound as O basanti pawan paagal.
I do not say that I compose music, but i conduct it. I get my music done the way I visualise it – at what particular moment the woodwinds should flow, at what intensity and volume the percussion….now THAT is the art of conducting.
So it definitely has a very distinct quality about it, no matter who the composer is or who the writer.
Shanker for his part. as is now well known, did not want to do his dacoit film at all. What is not so well known is how Raj brought him around. At RK, the tune had always come first, the words after, since that was Raj’s style of audio-vision. But now, to get a stubborn Shanker going, Raj had Shailendra pen down the opening stanza of Honton pe sachchai rehti hai first. And then asked Shanker whether such poetic words, evoking the flow of Ganga, did not really offer him any musical scope. The composer in Shanker was stirred and this musician’s musician tuned the theme song of Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai on the spot. The other near theme-song in the film, Mera Naam Raju, was equally evocatively tuned by Jaikishan and the musical pace for the dacoits, with Padmini as their peach of a prize, had been set. The wild Ho maine pyar kiya abandon that Padmini brought to her dancing, the equal lack of physical inhibition surrounding her enaction of Kya hua yeh mujhe kya hua, gave the film’s music a romantic impetus by which key situational numbers in it, like Hai aag hamaare seene mein and Aa Ab Laut Chalen, came to be readily accepted in Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai.After that, the rest of the RK’s music, from Sangam to Ram Teri Ganga Maili, is still so fresh in th public eye and ear that it needs no detailed recap. Only, by the time Sangam came and went, Sharda had arrived to knock the hyphen out of Shankar-Jaikishan. It had been for long Shankar’s plaint that Ameen Sayani, after acting fair in the Mera Joota hai Japani days, had began playing a Binaca Geetmala Game of his own by which Jaikishan always upstaged Shanker, come Wednesday! Ameen’s plea was that he, like the public, could not tell a Shankar tune from a Jaikishan’s tune – as far as he was concerned, it was all “Shanker Jaikishan’s Sangeet”!Now matters really came to a head, as Ameen Sayani gave preference, in Binaca Geetmala, to Jaikishan’s Yeh mera prem patra padhkar, over Shanker’s Dost dost na raha in Sangam. The fact that Jaikishan had unwittingly, in a signed Filmfare article, identified Yeh mera prem patra as composed by him, had infuriated Shanker further since, according to him, it broke a lifetime pact by which neither composer would publicly identify a tune as either Shanker’s or Jaikishan’s. Shanker maintained that Yeh mera prem patra was not a patch on Dost dost na raha as a composition and that Ameen Sayani was clearly playing favourites. So Shanker approached the sponsors of Binaca Geetmala and got all important pehla paidaan-doosra paidan distinction in it abolished. That killed Binaca Geetmala effectively as ‘a Wednesday must’ for us listeners.As for the film itself, the Vyjayanthimala-Raj Kapoor emotional involvement gave a rare edge to Sangam and its songs, especially to Bol Radha Bol as composed by Jaikishan. Now even this was another change of pace at RK – till then, Shanker had composed all the title tunes, while in Sangam it was Jaikishan’s Mere man ki ganga that Raj had okayed as the film’s theme song. Maybe this piqued Shanker no end, for I recall Mukesh telling me that practically all his theme songs for SJ were done by Shanker. But now it could be Jaikishan here, too, in a Raj Kapoor film – as exemplified by Main Aashiq hoon Bahaaron ka(in Aashiq).After that came joker and disaster. There was no romance left in Raj Kapoor’s life any longer – both Padmini and Vyjayanthimala ahd gone out of it. And Raj Kapoor, it had been crystal clear, could breathe romantic life into his music only so long as he had a affair going. It therefore came as no surprise when Raj Kapoor, already balanced precariously on the circus swings(seeing that he had lived for five years in the RK studios with his narcissistic image of Mera Naam Joker), just came down in a heap.Yet there was nothing wrong with SJ’s music in his magnum opus for all the intrusions of Sharda as the rift in the lute. If Shankar created Jaane Kahaan gaye woh din, JAikishan matched it with Jeena Yahaan Marna Yahaan. Even Neeraj assumed the Shailendra garb effectively enough in Shanker’s Kehta Hai joker and Ae bhai jara dekh ke chalo. If Jaikishan’s Daag na lag jayee had a rare cadence, so did Shanker’s Kaate na kate raina. Only, it was Asha singing in place of Lata! And for all the virtousityof Asha, Lata’s absence was somehow seen as making all the difference in the end. Especially in the light of the way RK’s fortunes were revieved the moment Lata returned with her vocals for Bobby!SJ’s last beat at RK had now been sounded in Kal Aaj Aur Kal by Jaikishan as Tik tik tik tik tik tik. Thus in came LP with Bobby. But for me, Rk music ceases to be RK music sans SJ. Call it my bias, if you like, but it is a bias. I know that is shared by thousands of listeners all over India. How can you possibly try to sit down and analyse LP’s own admission, they were merely required to be musical reincarnation of SJ at RK?When Raj Kapoor himself maintained that by 1972, he already had on tape all the music that he needed for RK movies, that he merely wanted the aid of a music conductor to help him put it together again, let us leave the RK record at that. If the shower of melody that began with Barsaat retained its mellifluent flow right down to Ram Teri Ganga Maili, the baton of that flow was wielded by Raj Kapoor himself. And that is one baton that cannot be handed on – RK’s musical mainsprings dried up the moment Raj Kapoor breathed his tuneful last.”

आ अब लौट चलें … कैसे गूँजा शंकर जयकिशन का शानदार आर्केस्ट्रा? Aa Ab Laut Chalein

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पुराने हिंदी फिल्मी गीतों में अगर आर्केस्ट्रा का किसी संगीतकार ने सबसे बढ़िया इस्तेमाल किया तो वो थे शंकर जयकिशन। हालांकि उनके समकालीनों में सलिल चौधरी और बाद के वर्षों में पंचम ने भी इस दृष्टि से अपने संगीत में एक अलग छाप छोड़ी। पर जिस वृहद स्तर पर शंकर जयकिशन की जोड़ी वादकों की फौज को अपने गानों के लिए इक्ठठा करती थी और जो मधुर स्वरलहरी उससे उत्पन्न होती थी उसकी मिसाल किसी अन्य हिंदी फिल्म संगीतकार के साथ मिल पाना मुश्किल है। शंकर जयकिशन का आर्केस्ट्रा ना केवल गीतों में रंग भरता था पर साथ ही इस तरह फिल्म के कथानक के साथ रच बस जाता था कि आप फिल्माए गए दृश्य से संगीत को अलग ही नहीं कर सकते थे।

मिसाल के तौर पर फिल्म  “जिस देश में गंगा बहती है” के इस सदाबहार गीत आ अब अब लौट चलें को याद कीजिए। 1960 में बनी इस फिल्म का विषय चंबल के बीहड़ों में उत्पात मचा रहे डाकुओं को समाज की मुख्यधारा में वापस लौटाने का था। इस फिल्म के निर्माता थे राज कपूर साहब। राजकपूर की फिल्म थी तो शंकर जयकिशन की जोड़ी के साथ शैलेंद्र, हसरत जयपुरी, मुकेश और लता जैसे कलाकारों का जुड़ना स्वाभाविक था। कुछ ही दिनों पहले सोशल मीडिया पर शैलेंद्र के पुत्र दिनेश शंकर शैलेंद्र ने इस फिल्म से जुड़ी एक रोचक घटना सब के साथ बाँटी थी। दिनेश शंकर शैलेंद्र के अनुसार

“राजकपूर ने फिल्म की पटकथा बताने के लिए शंकर, जयकिशन, हसरत और मुकेश को आर के स्टूडियो के अपने काटेज में बुलाया था। राजकपूर ने  फिल्म की कहानी जब सुनानी खत्म की तो कमरे में सन्नाटा छा गया। अचानक शंकर ने चाय का कप टेबल पर दे मारा और गाली देते हुए उस ठंडे, धुँए भरे कमरे से बाहर निकल गए। सारे लोग उनके इस व्यवहार पर चकित थे। फिर राजकपूर ने शैलेंद्र से कहा कि जरा देखो जा के आख़िर पहलवान* को क्या हो गया? कहानी पसंद नहीं आई? शैलेन्द्र शंकर के पास गए और उनसे पूछा कि मामला क्या है? शंकर ने गालियों की एक और बौछार निकाली और फिर कहा कि डाकुओं की फिल्म में भला संगीत का क्या काम है? बना लें बिन गानों की फिल्म, हमें यहाँ क्यूँ बुलाया है? शैलेंद्र ने उन्हें समझाया कि इस फिल्म में भी गाने होंगे। सब लोग वापस आए और कहानी के हिसाब से गीतों के सही स्थान पर विचार विमर्श हुआ और अंततः फिल्म के लिए नौ गाने बने।”

(*संगीतकार बनने से पहले शंकर तबला बजाने के साथ साथ पहलवानी का हुनर भी रखते थे 😊।)

तो बात शुरु हुई थी शंकर जयकिशन की आर्केस्ट्रा पर माहिरी से। आ अब लौट चलें के लिए शंकर जयकिशन ने सौ के करीब वायलिन वादकों को जमा किया था। साथ में कोरस अलग से। हालत ये थी कि तारादेव स्टूडियो जहाँ इस गीत की रिकार्डिंग होनी थी में इतनी जगह नहीं बची थी कि सारे वादकों को अंदर बैठाया जा सके। लिहाजा कुछ को बाहर फुटपाथ पर बैठाना पड़ा था। कहा जाता है कि इस गीत कि रिहर्सल डेढ़ दिन लगातार चली और इसीलिए परिणाम भी जबरदस्त आया।

आर्केस्ट्रा में बजते संगीत को ध्यान में रखते हुए निर्देशक राधू कर्माकर ने गीत की रचना की थी। ये गीत फिल्म को अपने अंत पर ले जाता है जब फिल्म का मुख्य किरदार डाकुओं को आत्मसमर्पण करवाने के लिए तैयार करवा लेता है। गीत में एक ओर तो डाकुओं का गिरोह अपने आश्रितों के साथ लौटता दिख रहा है तो दूसरी ओर पुलिस की सशंकित टुकड़ी हथियार से लैस होकर डाकुओं के समूह को घेरने के लिए कदमताल कर रही है। निर्देशक ने पुलिस की इस कदमताल को वायलिन और ब्रास सेक्शन के संगीत में ऐसा पिरोया है कि दर्शक संगीत के साथ उस दृश्य से बँध जाते हैं। संगीत का उतर चढाव भी ऐसा जो दिल की धड़कनों के  साथ दृश्य की नाटकीयता को बढ़ा दे। वायलिन आधारित द्रुत गति की धुन और साथ में लहर की तरह उभरते कोरस को अंतरे के पहले तब विराम मिलता है जब हाथों से तारों को एक साथ छेड़ने से प्रक्रिया से शंकर जयकिशन हल्की मधुर ध्वनि निकालते हैं। इस प्रक्रिया को संगीत की भाषा में Pizzicato कहते हैं। इस गीत में Pizzicato का प्रभाव आप वीडियो के 39 से 45 सेकेंड के बीच में सुन सकते हैं।

गिटार की धुन के साथ गीत गीत आगे बढ़ता है।  मुकेश तो खैर राजकपूर की शानदार आवाज़ थे ही, अंतरों के बीच कोरस के साथ लता का ऊँचे सुरों तक जाता लंबा आलाप गीत का मास्टर स्ट्रोक था। इस गीत में लता जी की कोई और पंक्ति नहीं है पर ये आलाप इतनी खूबसूरती से निभाया गया है कि पूरे गीत के फिल्मांकन में जान फूँक देता है। गीतकार शैलेंद्र की खासियत थी कि वो बड़ी सहजता के साथ ऐसे बोल लिख जाते थे जो सीधे श्रोताओं के दिल को छू लेते थी। गलत राह पे चलने से नुकसान की बात हो या समाज द्वारा इन भटके मुसाफ़िरों को पुनः स्वीकार करने की बात, अपने सीधे सच्चे शब्दों से शैलेंद्र ने गीत में एक आत्मीयता सी भर दी है। उनका दूसरे अंतरे में बस इतना कहना कि अपना घर तो अपना घर है आज भी घर से दूर पड़े लोगों की आँखों की कोरें गीला कर देगा।

आ अब लौट चलें, आ अब लौट चलें

नैन बिछाए बाँहें पसारे तुझको पुकारे देश तेरा

आ जा रे – आ आ आ

सहज है सीधी राह पे चलना

देख के उलझन बच के निकलना

कोई ये चाहे माने न माने

बहुत है मुश्किल गिर के संभलना

आ अब लौट चलें …

आँख हमारी मंज़िल पर है

दिल में ख़ुशी की मस्त लहर है

लाख लुभाएँ महल पराए

अपना घर फिर अपना घर है

आ अब लौट चलें …

इतना मधुर संगीत संयोजन करने के बाद भी ये गीत उस साल के फिल्मफेयर अवॉर्ड के लिए नामांकित नहीं हुआ। इसके संगीत संयोजन के बारे में शंकर जयकिशन पर आरोप लगा कि उनकी धुन उस समय रिलीज़ हुए इटालवी गीत Ciao Ciao Bambina से मिलती है। अगर आप वो गीत इटालवी में सुनें तो शायद ही आप इस साम्यता को पकड़ पाएँ। पर अलग से उस धुन सुनने के बाद तुझको पुकारे देश मेरा वाली पंक्ति गीत की धुन से मिलती दिखती है। पर इस हल्की सी प्रेरणा को नज़रअंदाज करें तो जिस तरह गीत को शंकर जयकिशन ने कोरस और लता के आलाप के साथ आगे बढ़ाया है वो उनके हुनर और रचनात्मकता को दर्शाता है।



Sachaai  was the first Hindi film to use Nagaswaram & Thavil

Blast from the pastNagaswaram player Tirucherai Sivasubramania Pillai playing for the film Sachaai. Director K. Sankar and music director Sankar Jaikishan are seen.Special ArrangementBlast from the pastNagaswaram player Tirucherai Sivasubramania Pillai playing for the film Sachaai. Director K. Sankar and music director Sankar Jaikishan are seen.Special Arrangement

Sachaai  was the first Hindi film to use the instruments

There has been a constant exchange of ideas between the worlds of Tamil and Hindi films, particularly in the area of music. Although instruments like the shehnai and tabla became an integral part of Tamil film music, conversely, musical instruments unique to Tamil Nadu could not find a special place in Bollywood film music. But in 1969, film director K. Shankar broke new ground in his Hindi film ‘ Sachaai ’ by introducing the nagaswaram and thavil to accompany a song rendered by the legendary Asha Bhonsle, younger sister of another icon, Lata Mangeshkar.

The song ‘More saiyan pakde baiyan ’ was set to music by Shankar Jaikishan, which sounds quite similar to the Tamil superhit ‘ Singara velane deva ’ from the film ‘ Konjum salangai ’, in which it was rendered by nagaswaram player Karukurichi P. Arunachalam and playback singer S. Janaki.

In ‘ Sachaai ’, the nagaswaram is played by Tirucherai Sivasubramania Pillai, the noted artiste from the then composite Thanjavur district. The thavil was played by Tirunangur Ramu, and few could match him at producing the ‘tha’ of the ‘tha thi thom num’ that lies at the heart of playing percussion instruments. Another thavil player featured in the song was Therazhundur Rajarathinam.

“My father was booked for two days for the recording of the song, but it was over in half a day,” recalls S. Arunagiri, Sivasubramania Pillai’s son.

Forgotten recordings

The composition commences with a combined arrangement of the thavil and drums. Sivasubramania Pillai’s playing follows Asha Bhonsle’s voice after every stanza. “My father watched the film in Kumbakonam. The famous dancer Helen and actor Sanjeev Kumar appear on the screen for the song,” says S. Raguveeran, also the nagaswaram maestro’s son and an engineer with TANGEDGO. Mr. Raguveeran has most of his father’s recordings, some of which he has uploaded on YouTube, including the song from ‘ Sachaai ’ .

It was film producer G.Velumani who introduced Sivasubramania Pillai to director K. Shankar, an in-law of M.G. Chakrapani and brother of the late Tamil Nadu chief minister M.G. Ramachandran. “My father’s uncle ( sitthappa ) Anantharaman and MGR had worked together in theatres and MGR would say, ‘your sitthappa is my sitthappa . My father also performed in Sivaji Ganesan’s family functions,” recalls Mr. Arunagiri, a retired school teacher.

The performance gave Tirucherai Sivasubramania Pillai a place in the world of films.

Contemporaries, like Thiruvaduthurai N. Rajarathinam Pillai had acted in ‘ Kavi kalamegam ’ and Thiruvenkadu Subramania Pillai had performed in ‘ Aryamala ’. Besides the song ‘Singara velane deva’, Karukurichi Arunachalam has played the raga Bilahari in the film ‘ Konjum salanga i’ . Moreover, Madurai brothers Sethuraman and Ponnusamy played for the film ‘ Thillana Mohanambal ’. Sivasubramania Pillai, a student of flute Tirupampuram Swaminatha Pillai and his father Natarajasundaram Pillai, also made a guest appearance in the film ‘Thiruvarul ’ .

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