Category Archives: SJ’s association

Tribute to Jaikishan by Sharda

Jaikishenji was the noblest, kind-hearted person I have ever seen. Very soft spoken, full of compassion & care for others, he would not dream of hurting anyone..As pure as his heart, he wanted his life peaceful & full of joy. He was very fun loving & liked to enjoy having chums,His favorite restaurants being Gaylord in Churchgate & Bombellis in warden roadLike a shining shooting star, he will be there among a group of people with a huge crowd standing outside, drinking the ecstasy of his darshan…I have seen him many times, sitting in Bombellis in warden road, surrounded by friends whenever I drove thru that area… Off & on I used to go & join him having breakfast & we would talk about my progress. Evenings he would be in Gaylord … I have not gone there as many times as I have gone to Bombellis because evenings I would go to S J hall … But whenever I have gone there it would be a joy ride having discussions about music & enjoying the makings of a new hit.He would check up with me about my training sessions with Guruji & in the hall.He would catch me if I had played hookey & bunked the visits to the hall …‘ I hear you are not going to the hall regularly ?……May I know why ?…. He will ask.Oh, dear …. what to say!.‘ No Jai sab, I had some work last week ….‘Don’t break the training …….Sharda,……This is not something to take lightly. Be regular …..Guruji’s training is not enough ..You need to get into the ins & outs of singing a new song in the recordings!.‘ Yes, Jai sab… I will be regular & not miss.. I better not bunk, now ..I will not be able to answer Jai sab again..‘ But you are not coming …Everyone misses you, Jai sab..‘Yes. Sharda, you know, I want to be with my friends, in the evenings.I do come sometimes, in the morning. But you are not there .‘Oh, I go in the evenings Jaisab. But I will come in the morning. Tell me when you will come .. I will come .‘ It is alright .. Haan .. tomorrow I am coming .. … in the evening. Make sure, you are there … .‘Yes, Jai sab, definitely.‘ Tomorrow ‘ was a joyous day ….‘ Jai sab, I am having this get together at my place … Please come & honor me ..I will be serving idlis!.‘ Sure .. I won’t miss the idlis for anything. .. The party was total fun, with Shankersab & Jai sab, Raj Sab & other big producers whom Shankerji had invited I was having a magic carpet ride on a ‘ Whole new world ‘He also gave me valuable lessons whenever I made a visit to the restaurants to have a training session with him ..Sitting in the seats , with tea & goodies , talk about this & that , coming to titbits & technics in singing .. Small small tips which are very valuable & very very rare treasures….. the throw of the voice , the controlling of breathing & so on He had guided me on how to bring out words in a song ….It was his Diksha that gave me the idea of how to say Titli & I applied the golden lesson at the start of the song & in all the repeats of the mukhdas..Each song has a soul spot in which you have to give emphasis…That soul word has to be brought out with a special thrust.In Titli udi the soul spot was in ” Titli “And the first punch only did the magic. Like if I had sung just plain. Titli udi .. the whole song would have been lifelessBut I applied Jai sab’s tip & sang …TT…itt li udi .. & this little punch lifted the song…And later on, I had used his technic in many songs, like in Badkamma & others. In each Enkanna I had applied the push. The punch & push if you put in the right place the song gets the life..You have to apply as much power in your voice as to how far you want to throw it, like if you want to throw a ball, so much power you apply exactly which would be needed as to how far you want to throw the ball…………. You don’t want to throw it farther than you intended!..How can I thank you, Jaisab for making my, sorry, your Titli fly high .What great updesh they both had given me….simply priceless.At that time I could not absorb all that, but during the passage of time, I had worked, researched & realized the technics & have formulated a workout program capsule .. which is easy, simple & very effective.During this period we have met very often & been together many times, at functions parties shows & on other occasions the Jaikishen lighting up the scene by his wonderful personality..Suddenly, a devilish sinister black shadow descended upon them attacking them brutally from all the sides forcing them to find a strategy……fastThey were a team & were together. In a team, everyone is involved as deeply as the other no matter what work is done by who… In a war you don’t bother who shoots the enemy, it is the force .. that force is one & anyone can shoot & the point is the war is won by the force..S J was a force & they were together in that force ….In a war, you have to place your army in such a manner as to face the enemy surrounding them & make attacks & counter-attacks..This arrangement of the army is called vyuha, which were used in Mahabharat yudh & other Indian wars. There are many different vyuhas &. the commander in chief selects the vyuha according to the reports brought by the spies as to what sort of attack enemy is planning & what vyuha they are arranging. This vyuha will cover the opposite army in a proper way piercing thro the enemy army from all the sides..Jaisab worked out a strategy, forming a half circle vyuha to face the attack, making two different routes for both of them to proceed & tackle the enemy. They made an arrangement that Shankerji will manage the side of ‘ like Sharda ‘ producers & Jaisab will manage ‘ hate Sharda ‘ producers ….. This will prevent the ‘ hate Sharda ‘ producers from going away ……..Jai sab did not want to antagonize the opposition & invite more wreaths..If no one bothered about S J making me sing if there were no angry retaliation from the opposition, why would they have to work separately? Wouldnt they have been continuing like the way they were doing, before? .Now as per the new arrangement, they both started to work separately, which created some misconceptions about their work.Jaikishenji’s heart was very komal, kind & soft. His love for Shankerji was pure & steadfast. He was not able to come to terms with this new development. His pain & hurt of standing apart from Shankerji was unbearable to him & it made him turn to drink doomsville ….He was not at all overdrinking during Shree 420. Jis desh days & others.Why would he suddenly fall prey to this habit?.Who wanted to put this noble soul in such a dilemma …who wanted him to separate from Shankerji. who wanted to break this Godly jodi?……………………..Whichever female force majboored him to stand apart from Shankerji, that force did not win, after all. He never let them win. The force had to accept defeat..He could have avoided this pain by bowing & giving in to the demand, which wanted him to break up with Shankerji & give music in his own name,…just Jaikishen .But he would never think of it ……He suffered & suffered inwardly but would not bend down..HE SHOWED THE WHOLE WORLD THAT HE WOULD RATHER DIE THAN BREAK UP WITH SHANKERJI. HE DROWNED HIMSELF IN A DISASTROUS PIT REFUSING TO BOW DOWN TO THE PRESSURES BROUGHT UPON HIM.And he went as the same Jaikishen he was in 1947 ..the darling of ShankerjiThe joy of Shanker Jaikishen … Not just Jaikishen..There are rules in war also .. You must not attack anyone in the not approved manner. But here this war was not a Dharam war .. This was an Adharam war, most devilish war. All sorts of dirty tactics were applied in this war …….Shankerji & Jaikishenji both high principled, golden-hearted persons, will not stoop so low as to fight an indecent war ..Facing all sorts of mean, dirty cunning strategies they both had a testing time…If only music directors were not given the treatment of a criminal if they made other singers sing in their movies… Shankerji would not have been made to face so many atrocities. Jaikishenji would not have been made to work separately in a suicidal plan.They would not have been made to tear their paths in order to face the tornado ………………………………….Was it so disastrous if some music director takes songs with some new singers that people should attack him with so much force & vengeance? Using all sorts of dirty lowly tactics? And people saying that Shankerji had to suffer because he made Sharda sing? As if he had committed an unspeakable crime by making Sharda sing!.If only people were not so mean & cruel but be human enough as to let others also live …have a small place in the film industry & sing a few songs …what they would have lost? Ultimately we all need nothing but 6 feet of land in the end!Instead of abetting the loving team to work separately & driving Jaikishenji into an untimely end…………Shankerji did not have an iota of an idea that how Jaikishenji is letting himself being sucked into this drink pit so precipitously. Being a teetotaller himself, his evenings were not spent in the company of double-faced chameleons & cunning scoundrelsHe was spending his time going to the hall religiously, drowning in his work, composing new new tunes & discovering new phrases in music..Only, if he had some knowledge about what was going on in Jai sab’s territory, he would have definitely discouraged Jai sab from falling in the pit & saved him…. .. won’t you prefer foes than having friends like this who push you to your doom, when you are passing thru a painful period?…….. Shankerji realized the severeness of the damage when it has taken too deep a root …..his own heartbreaking in pieces, beyond repair …..bringing tears in his never got wet eyes …Jaikishenji became the Abhimanyu in the vyuha he himself created.In the prime of his life, in the peak of his carrier, leaving the whole of India in uncontrollable unforgettable grief pulling himself away from lacs & lacs of loving hands, he goes ……………………….All the blows which Shanker sab was made to take so far did not shake him one bit … But this blow hit him hard. His iron heart cracked ……..And tears fell from his eyes for the first time ………..Don’t humans have human hearts in their chests?….Cheers …. become tears

No photo description available.

It was Shankar-Jaikishen who gave me a break and made me sing a whole repertoire of songs.

For the nonagenarian legendary singer Manna Dey, who has mesmerised the audience the world over with his lilting voice, the announcement of being chosen for the coveted Dada Sahab Phalke award came as God’s gift.

For the nonagenarian legendary singer Manna Dey, who has mesmerised the audience the world over with his lilting voice, the announcement of being chosen for the coveted Dada Sahab Phalke award came as God’s gift.

“It’s very flattering, the government, thinking it is right to confer the award on me.It came as a pleasant surprise. It’s Gods gift, I accept it with all humility,” Manna Dey said.

“This, however, I attribute it to the great music makers of the industry,” the veteran singer said.

Manna Dey, who initially trained under his uncle Krishna Chandra Dey, and then honed his singing under the tutelage of stalwarts like Ustad Aman Ali Khan and Ustad Abdul Rahman Khan, attributes the honour to music composers like Shankar-Jaikishan, Madan Mohan and Sachin Dev Burman “who made me sing the way I sang.

Remembering the struggle that he went through when he came to the city of dreams, Mumbai, in 1942, the 91-year-old singer said in those days, he was singing bhajans and finding it very difficult to get a break. “It was Shankar-Jaikishen who gave me a break and made me sing a whole repertoire of songs.”

Recalling his experience with musical hit Sur Na Saje, Kya Gaon Mein, he said, “There were a host of objections to me singing the song, but Shankar-Jaikishen insisted that I render the song since it was composed keeping me in mind. The song created waves, I am eternally grateful to the duo for that.

“As a playback singer, I was belittled by producers. The actors in those days had a great say in the choice of singers they wanted for their films. It was humiliating and tough but then it was a passing phase,” Manna Dey added.

Sharing his beautiful moments during the making of the song Ye Raat Bheegi Bheegi from the famous film Raj Kapoor, Naris starrer Barsaat, the singer said, “Can you believe Raj saab and Nargisji enacted the whole song for me while I was rehearsing the song, to get the right feel.”

The duo also enacted the one of the most popular romantic hit of all times, Pyar Hua Ekraar Hua Hai, for him while he was practising the song, he said.

Describing Raj Kapoor as an actor with a great sense of music, Manna Dey said, “I cannot think of anybody who was as capable of handling a song as Rajji.”

Talking about his contemporaries, Manna Dey referred Mohammad Rafi, as “God’s own man with no vices”, and added, “He was very friendly and encouraging to me. I consider him as a pioneer in playback singing, who literally lived the songs, he sang.”

“Kishore Kumar, though not classically trained, had a great voice, could improvise beautifully and had his own unique style. I learnt a lot from Lata, Rafi and Asha both as singers and persons,” he said.

On the film music of today, he said, “Where will you get composers like S D Burman, Shankar Jaikishen or Madan Mohan. Manna Dey, however, praised singers like Sonu Nigam, Udit Narain, Shreya Ghoshal and Sunidhi Chauhan. “Sonu, I think is very good,” he added.

On music talent shows like the Sa Re Ga Ma, Manna Dey said, “I do not think much of these shows. They are too young to be skyrocketed like that. I really do not think it is right for their parents to push them into it so early in life, music is a penance not a race.”

The veteran singer who does his riyaz (music practice) for one-and-a-half hours daily, said, “It is food to me. As Shakespeare rightly said if music be the food of love, play on.”

Married to a Keralite, Sulochana, whose love for Rabindra Sangeet brought them together in Mumbai, he said, “She not only used to sing Rabindra Sangeet but also spoke and wrote Bengali much before she married him.”

The music icon, who has two daughters Shuroma and Shumita, said, “Though Shuroma sings beautifully, it is Shumita who has recorded two-three cassettes of Bengali music.”

For those who want to opt for film music as a profession, Manna Dey asserts that they must learnt it under the guidance of a guru or a Ustad.

“They cannot just take it up in an amateur manner,” he added.

President Pratibha Patil will confer the country’s highest honour in Indian cinema on the singer for his contribution, in New Delhi on October 21.

Source :

https://www.indiatoday.in/movies/celebrities/story/dada-sahab-phalke-award-is-gods-gift-manna-dey-58816-2009-10-19

Pt. Narendra Sharma : A daughter remembers.

A DAUGHTER REMEMBERS: ‘JYOTI ~ KALASH’ by Lavanya Shah

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February 28, 2013 marks the birth centenary of noted poet and lyricist Pt. Narendra Sharma.On this occasion, Lavanya Shah, Pandit ji’s daughter shares with us some facts and personal memories of her illustrious father. Thanks, Lavanya ji.

Pt. Narendra sharma

A DAUGHTER REMEMBERS: ‘JYOTI ~ KALASH’ 
by Lavanya Shah

Like a child that climbs out of the womb of Earth and stands in awe witnessing the glorious golden Sun rays, sparkling on the highest peak of majestic Everest and remains transfixed that is the feeling flooding my tiny heart as I sit and write and remember my father, late poet Pandit Narendra Sharma.

His contribution is immense. It is spread over six decades on all the modern mass media communication avenues like Books, Films, Radio, Television and now the World Wide Web via YouTube, Facebook, etc.

For me, I confess, that my Papa was our family’s ‘Jyoti ~ Kalash’! He

remains life -giving, illuminating SUN energizing and inspiring me in spite of life’s pitfalls. I hope, his immortal poems and songs will inspires us all today and forever. So, I dedicate the song ‘ Jyoti – Kalash Chalke’ in his fond memory.

Song Link :1

We all know him for his Hindi songs but he was also an expert astrologer, Ayurvedic healer, as well as human encyclopedia on Indian History, Culture and Philosophy.

Many children were given unique names like Vihaan (Dawn), Yuti (Union), Lavanya (Grace = me :), Kunjam (Cuckoo), Sopan (chapter or ascent = My Son). Some rare names given by him include Vividh – Bharti, Manjusha, Bela Ke Phool, Hawa Mahal , Gajra, etc. for AIR , the name Dilip Kumar to Yusuf Khan & NAVKETAN for Dev Anand’s Film Production company.

A gifted child, ‘Narendra‘ was born on February 28th,1913 in village Jahangirpur, Tehsil Khurja of district Bulandshahar U.P. in a Bharadwaj Brahmin family. He lost his father Purna Lal Sharma when he was merely 4 years old and was raised lovingly by Uncle Ganpat Tau ji & Ma Ganga Devi.

A child prodigy, Narendra named thus by an uncle (a fan of Tagore) entered straight into class 7 th and was a top student in his class and favorite of Teachers. Passing Intermediate from Khurja, he joined Allahabad university and did his Masters in English Literature & Education.

The Sangam city of Allahabad introduced the budding poet to giants of Hindi literature like Niralaji , Mahadevi, Pant, Bachchan, Kedar Nath , Shamsher & many others. Narendra’s book of poems ‘Shool – Phool’ was released at age 20. With tuitions and editorial duties (he was sub-editor of Abhyudaya Hindi Daily Newspaper) he completed his studies. After graduating, he taught English & Hindi poetry at Benaras Hindu University. Then he joined the All India Congress Committee at Allahabad as Hindi Secretary to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and later as Hindi Adhikari in Feb 1955.

Narendra Sharma’s poems written in his youth, depicting love and longing and splendour of Nature steadily turned patriotic as India reached its tryst with Destiny. During AICC work he was imprisoned on direct ordinance of Viceroy and jailed without trial by the British. The patriot had august company of Menon, Kriplani, etc in Devli Detention Camp, and Rajasthan & Pune Jails. He did fast unto Death for 14 days and was force fed in order to keep him alive and released early. Mother Ganga Devi remained hungry for 1 week and awaited her son’s arrival at home.

Novelist Shri Bhagwati Charan Verma ( Chitralekha fame) arrived and asked the patriot to come

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away with him to the film city of Bombay to join Bombay Talkies under Devika Rani. Thus began the journey of a young man born near the Ganga to go towards the Arabian Sea where destiny introduced him to Susheela Godiwala, his wife to be from a Gujrati family. They got married on May 12th 1947. Their home at Shivaji park Matunga was a hub of artistic and creative activity with the likes of Panna Lal Ghosh, Pant, Anil Biswas, Dr Safdar Aah Sitapuri, Ramand Sagar, Chetan Anand, Vijay Anand, Dilip Kumar , Amrit Lal Nagar etc as regular guests.

MS Subbulaxmiji sang the Mangal-Geetam when my mother Smt. Susheela Narendra Sharma entered as a newly married bride and Sri Amritlal Nagarji’s wife Pratibhaji made Susheela stand on huge brass platter, filled with Kumkum filled water and she stepped like a Laxmi entering a home. Suraiyaji, the famous songstress, also sang songs to welcome the Bride! Other Guests in Baraat were famous Cine – stars like Sri Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, music director Sri Anil Biswas, Bansuree vadak Sri Panna Lal Ghosh, director brothers Sri Chetan Anand & Vijay Anand , the famous Chhayawadi poet Sri Sumitra Nandan Pantji , Sri Ramananda Sagar ji , Urdu poet Safdar ” Aah ” sahab abd many other from Bombay Talkies and Hindi literary & film circle. Art fraternity, was also represented in large number as my mother Susheela was a Fine Arts graduate from Haldenker ‘s Institute . Their wedding card had an Easel shaped like a Lotus Leaf and a pen was inserted in the middle in form of a brush!

Narendra Sharma’s poetry blossomed along with his many film songs as years rolled on. The Progressive Patriotic tone eventually embraced the core values of humanity and paraphrased words from Indian philosophy with fascinating use of many rarely used meters in his later poems. So much so that his fellow poets said, ‘The Goddess of Poetry Mata Saraswati turned shy as a young maiden stood up from her White Lotus seat and took on the robes of Mother India and the poems of Narendra became heavy with the age old wisdom of the vedas and became extremely difficult ‘

Narendra Sharma confessed in a foreword from his Book ‘ Pyasa – Nirjhar ‘ (Thirsty Brook), “my earlier poems were the krishna paksh (waning Moon cycle) and my later poems are the transition towards Shukla Paksha (Waxing Moon)” ( Shukla paksha refers to the bright lunar fortnight or waxing moon in the Hindu calendar. [Shukla (Sanskrit: शुक्ल) is Sanskrit word for color white]

A Saint Poet in the tradition of our Bhakt Kavi Tulsi, Narsimh Mehta & Tukaram , poet Narendra Sharma remained young at heart till his last breath. He understood the changing social scene and the changing modern mind. Thus, he and Mr. Pai were first to introduce Ramayan and Mahabharat via Indrajaal comic strip for children.
 Poet Narendra Sharma who conceived, planned, programmed and named ‘Vividh Bharati’ trying his hand with the recording machine as the Chief Producer of Vividh Bharati, Akashvani_ALL India Radio.
pic courtesy :Lavanya Shah and Poet Narendra Sharma MemorialSinger Late Shri Mukesh ji recorded Ram Charit Manas under his supervision for HMV. Among many other private albums penned by Pt. Sharma are Prem Bhakti Mukti and Ram Shyam Gun Gaan. The inaugural song for 1982 ASIAD Games atNew Delhi, ‘Swagatam Shubh Swagatam’; the inaugural song for Vividh Bharti composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar; ‘Nach Re Mayura’ composed by Anil Biswas and sung by Manna Dey; two of legendry Subrahmaniyam Bharti’s poems ,’Swasti ~ Shri’ & ‘Jaynaad’ and Kannada poet Shivruddrappa’s poem ‘Purush sukta’ in Hindi as ‘Nav Bharat Purush’; ‘Surdas A Minstrel of Shri Krishna’; Tagore’s poem ‘Shei din dujone’ transformed as ‘Nain Deewaane, ik nahin maane , kare man maani maane na ‘ in Suraiya’s lilting sweet voice; and Marathee Kavi Shri Tambe’s poem in Hindi emerged as ‘ Madhu mang na mere madhur meet’ sung by Shri Sudhir Phadke for Doordarshan in a LIVE telecast from Mumbai are among the many of Pt. Sharma’s gems that glitter on.

Nineteen books of poems like the most famous Prawasee Ke Geetm (Songs of a Traveler), Hans – Mala, (Garland of Swan), Rakt – chandan ( on Gandhiji ), Agni – Shasya (Child of Fire), Kadlee – Van, Draupadi , Uttar Jai, Bahut Raat Gaye etc. and short stories like Arti ki Thali, Kadvi Mithee Baatein, and innumerable radio plays, essays, film songs, dance ballets (for Sachin Shankar : Mermaid & Fishermen), etc. have been compiled in the 16 volume Pandit Narendra Sharma’s Sampoorna Rachnawali.

His guidance for Durga Sapt Shatee ‘ sung by Anuradha Paudwal ; concepts like MAHABHARAT T.V series & title songs like ‘Satyam Shivam Sunderam ‘ and ‘ Atha Shree Mahabharat Katha’; his speeches to graduating students at IIT Powai , Mumbai on Indian alphabets, OM symbol and many others; Essays on topics like History of Hindi Film Music & ‘Hindi Sahitya ka Itihas ‘ etc. remain with us. Do please see this link:
Geet Ka Safar : Sahitya se Film tak :
Today when I remember Papaji, many moments stumble out of my memory. I have written about them at this link:

 

Courtesy : https://apnaarchive.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/a-daughter-remembers-jyoti-kalash-by-lavanya-shah/

Rafisahab through the lens of a musician.

by

Ashok Jagtap (musician in Bollywood)

I came to Mumbai to try my luck in the industry.One of my friend introduced me to Bal Parte.Actually his name was Jaikumar but he was popularly known as Bal Parte.
Parte was assistant to Kalyanji Anandji and Usha Khanna.One day, he called me to his music room at warli and gave me some notations to play.He liked my playing and promised me to call for K.A.Recording.He kept his word.
I had hardly played two three recordings when this incident happened.
It was K.A.’s recording at film centre.I thought as usual I will play with orchestra but Parteji called me aside and asked me if I can play song with artist, as regular song violinist Narvekarji was not coming due to health problem.Parteji knew that I learned Indian as well western notation.To play song violin one has to have knowledge of classical music.I said I can try.
I took my violin and went to singers cabin.
After some time Rafisahab came followed by Ashaji.It was for the first time i saw both the legends.I said ” Namaste ” to both but inwardly I was nervous.Kalyanjibhai explained them the tune.I checked my notations.Within half an hour both the artists were ready and all of us went to the centre of the hall for rehearsal with full orchestra.Parte and Frank farnand were counducting the orchestra.Babla was looking after rhythm section.When rehearsal was over, artists wore headphones and went in the cabin.They were given placing.I too wore headphone and full mike rehearsal started.So far it was going well.
After some time Anandjibhai came out of the recording room and said, he found the song dull.He told the singers”Let us make the key half note high if both of you are comfortable.”
Inwardly I become more nervous as I was not accustomed to such a sudden change.When reharsal started,I was fumbling with notes.What I was playing went directly in singers earphones.Ashaji stopped singing and told some one”Bal la bolv”(call Bal).Parteji came promptly.She said “where is Narvekarji?”He tu konala pakdun anle aahe ?”Where did you get this guy? Her words entered my ears like hot lead. I become totally numb.Rafisahab told her that he is new and we would manage.After some time when Ashaji went out of the cabin to talk to someone,Rafisahab came near me.He put his hand on my back and said”koi baat nahi.Iska dimag jaldi garam hota hai.”Some how the recording was over.
This is how I met Rafisahab for the time.This small incident tells a lot about Rafisahab’s nature.I will never forget this incident but it was blessings in disguise.
I started practicing more and more. Six hours a day.For years I continued practiceing.
Years went by.Slowly I established myself.
Started playing with almost all music directors.
My first love was to play with orchestra but when need arised ,I played songs too.On many occasions I have to play with Ashaji.There was no Trace of past incident.She was comfortable with me.She would chat with me freely.
I played many songs with Rafisahab too. Anil Mohile who later became arranger used to play song violin with me.Together we both played many songs with different singers. Rafisahab,Lataji,Ashaji,all of them had amazing memory. It would take hardly half an hour for them to pick up the song. Most of the songs would be recorded within four hours. As the recording techniques developed, it increased the time required for recording instead of reducing it.
Rafisahab was a perfect gentleman. I’ve never seen him getting angry or being rude to anybody. Ashaji was exactly the opposite. If not in mood, she would make life miserable for the music directors or whoever in the range. I had seen her leaving the sets and music directors running after her. She is very out spoken but her anger would not last long. On the contrary Rafisahab never got angry. No matter how many retake’s he had to give he would sing till the music director was fully satisfied.
Only once he lost his cool at the recording of
Khayyamsahab.Khayyamsahab has habit of taking many retakes.He is never satisfied easily but that particular day after many retakes he was still not getting satisfied.He made Rafisahab sing more than 32 times.Everybody was tired.Rafisahab’s face was turning red but see his decency.Another person at his place would have walked out but he sangtill Khayyamsahab was satisfied.When Khayyamsahab came out of the recording room,he told him not to call himAgain and he never sang with Khayyamsahab again.
I remember him coming in his green fiat. Later he used chevrolet models. His brother in law Zahir would always accompany him. He was kind of his secretary. He was very friendly with us.He told us many unknown facts of Rafisahab’s greatness in his personal life. Rafisahab financially helped many needy musicians, singers even music directors who were old and out of work. For some ‘Lifafa’ would be ready and reach that person every month so he does not have to come to collect it. He did it all of this very secretly.We came to know about is only because of zahir. For the poor he was a ‘Masiha.
Once a musician who used to play with him wanted to buy a property.He set his eyes on one particular property which he liked very much but he has hardly twenty-five percent of the saving with him.He told his difficulty to his friend who advised him to approach Rafisahab.He was hesitant as the amount was not small but his friend convinced him to try.He went to Rafisahab’s house.He told him the reason.Without asking a single question Rafisahab went inside and came back with bundle of notes.That musician cried.In due course of time he returned the amount but it takes golden heart to help others.
Memory is like a small child walking on a sea-shore. You never know which pebble he will pick and treasure for the rest of his life. I also have some pebbles that I have stored .Today is Rafisahab,s death anniversary so i want to share these incidents with you which happened long time ago.
Actualy I am not an eye witness to the incidents but i got first hand information from my musician friends who always accompanied Rafisahab. Even in his famous world tour also he accompanied him. A regular player in film industry too. Before we go on with the incident, let me tell you about Narayan Naidu, a fine tabla player. I remember him for one more reason and cant resist the temptation to tell you about it.
He was staying at the distance of hardly five minutes from the place where I used to stay. Every Gokul Astami he used to call his musician friends to his house for Jagran. There would be a vocal as well as instrumental program till dawn. Many musicians from film industry used to attend every year.Kalyanjibhai’s assistant Bal Parte also used to come every year.
At four o clock or five o clock all would be served with rice and sambar. 
To come back to the point Rafisahab’s program was at Gandhi Nagar Gruh, Vadodara.
In those days record dance by female dancer was a must. A dancer named Sheela Ramani who acted or better to say danced in few films and was famous. Due to some reason she could not come for the program and the ticket holder created a ruckus when they got to know this. Even few chairs were broken. Police were called. Before the situation could go out of hand, the organizers agreed to return the money to those who want to return the tickets. He was so nervous that he asked Rafi sahab to announce the same.
The curtain opened and Rafi sahab appeared on the stage and announced that whoever wants thair money back can have them and program will continue without dancer. But nobody returned the tickets. as the program started,everybody forgot about dancer and the program passed on peacefully.
Buji lord is good friend of mine.He is a very good drumer and vibraphone player.Buji’s father was a great persecutionist.His late brother Kercy Lord was a accomplished arranger who worked with Naushad,Madanmohan and many other music directors.Rafisahab was so close to Lord’s family that he even attended Buji’s marriage.He told me about West Indies tour which was held in year 1966.
Rafisahab was accompanied by Enoc Danial, Narayan Naidu,guitarist Dilip Naik and Abdul Karim.Female singer was Minoo Purshottam.In those days she was famous stage artist.Later Dilip Naik got married to her.
People were crazy for Rafisahab.For hours they would wait out side the hotel to just see him.Buji said he was surprised to see public response. All shows were housefull.He said,
Once the organizer tried to accommodate musicians in different low budget hotel.When Rafisahab came to know,he told the organizer that his musicians should get the same treatment and if he has any problem,he would not mind shifting to the hotel where his musicians were accommodated.
There was some type of gossip with almost all top singers but not Rafisahab.In my long carrier in film industry I never heard any body speaking against him.He was ajatshatru (person without enemy).He was not in a rat race for money.
I will tell you another small incident.

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Music director Srikant Telang was my close friend.Both of us were staying in same building. He gave music in five to six small budget films.It was his wish to record at least one song by Rafisahab.His budget was so small that it was impossible to call Rafisahab for singing.
Amar Haldipurkar was his arrenger.He said”let us aproch Rafisahab.No harm in trying”.When reached there ,his brother in law zahir opened the door.He was the one who looked after financial affair of Rafisahab.Srikant told him about limited budget.He said “look.Rafisahab charges fifteen thousands but since I know you all,I will settle for thirteen thousand”In those days this amount was not small.Srikant’s face fell. Luckily same time Rafisahab came in the hall.Zahir told him about thirteen thousands.Looking at Srikants face he said ok ! How much you can afford?With great difficulty Srikant said”Sir my total budget is seven thousands.That including studio..Musicians charges etc.I can afford only two thousand.Rafisahab immediately said OK.Dont worry about money.Asked Zahir to write down date in diary.This was nature of Rafisahab.
This was not new for Rafisahab.Years ago same thing happened with Lakshmikant Pyarelal.Only difference was he returned the money and asked to share them among themselve.
You will be surprised to know that in those dayes some top singers were getting very good payment but still they charged hundred rupees extra for petrol and driver.
When Lataji was fighting for royalty,she was expecting Rafisahab to tow in her line but rafisahab flatly refused.She stopped singing with him.
After the release of film Aradhana,it was lean period for him.Actualy Rafisahab was supposed to sing all song of Aradhana.He sang first two songs but then senior Burmanda fell ill and R.D.took over.He wanted fresh voice and rest is history.
During that period he sang many beautiful songs with other singers .
Nearly two year after Rafisahab’s death, there was a recording at Bombay lab in Dadar. Music director was Roshan. He was not the famous music director Roshan but a messenger who worked with music director Ravi. He was giving music for the first movie he got. The song was being recorded at Bombay labs – As we were waiting for the rehearsal to start,
And then Rafi sahab entered. All were shocked and there was pin drop silence. It was only after he came close that we realised that he must be Rafisahab’s brother and later it was confirmed. Until then we had no idea that Rafi sahab had a brother. Though they were not identical twins, he looked like Rafisahab. Later he sang few songs with some small time music directors but none of them released.
Today after so many years Rafisahab is still in the heart of people.He was a great artist and great human being.
Day after tomorrow on 31July all over the world his death aniversary will be observed but I am posting my tribut today on occasion of my birthday.
I am not a professional writer so there are bound to be some mistakes but I have tried to write it honestly.

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My heartfelt tribute to great singer.

Ernest Menezes remembers Shanker Jaikishen

Violin maestro Ernest Menezes plays the notes of his musical memories

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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.

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Sharda


Jaikishenji was the noblest, kind-hearted person I have ever seen. Very soft spoken, full of compassion & care for others, he would not dream of hurting anyone.
.As pure as his heart, he wanted his life peaceful & full of joy. He was very fun loving & liked to enjoy having chums,
His favorite restaurants being Gaylord in Churchgate & Bombellis in warden road
Like a shining shooting star, he will be there among a group of people with a huge crowd standing outside, drinking the ecstasy of his darshan.
..
I have seen him many times, sitting in Bombellis in warden road, surrounded by friends whenever I drove thru that area… Off & on I used to go & join him having breakfast & we would talk about my progress. Evenings he would be in Gaylord … I have not gone there as many times as I have gone to Bombellis because evenings I would go to S J hall … But whenever I have gone there it would be a joy ride having discussions about music & enjoying the makings of a new hit.

He would check up with me about my training sessions with Guruji & in the hall.
He would catch me if I had played hookey & bunked the visits to the hall …

‘ I hear you are not going to the hall regularly ?……May I know why ?…. He will ask.

Oh, dear …. what to say!
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‘ No Jai sab, I had some work last week …
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‘Don’t break the training …….Sharda,……This is not something to take lightly. Be regular …..Guruji’s training is not enough ..You need to get into the ins & outs of singing a new song in the recordings!
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‘ Yes, Jai sab… I will be regular & not miss.

. I better not bunk, now ..I will not be able to answer Jai sab again.

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‘ But you are not coming …Everyone misses you, Jai sab.
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‘Yes. Sharda, you know, I want to be with my friends, in the evenings.
I do come sometimes, in the morning. But you are not there 
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‘Oh, I go in the evenings Jaisab. But I will come in the morning. Tell me when you will come .. I will come 
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‘ It is alright .. Haan .. tomorrow I am coming .. … in the evening. Make sure, you are there … 
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‘Yes, Jai sab, definitely
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‘ Tomorrow ‘ was a joyous day …
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‘ Jai sab, I am having this get together at my place … Please come & honor me ..I will be serving idlis!
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‘ Sure .. I won’t miss the idlis for anything. 
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. The party was total fun, with Shankersab & Jai sab, Raj Sab & other big producers whom Shankerji had invited 
I was having a magic carpet ride on a ‘ Whole new world ‘
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He also gave me valuable lessons whenever I made a visit to the restaurants to have a training session with him ..Sitting in the seats , with tea & goodies , talk about this & that , coming to titbits & technics in singing .. Small small tips which are very valuable & very very rare treasures….. the throw of the voice , the controlling of breathing & so on 
He had guided me on how to bring out words in a song …
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It was his Diksha that gave me the idea of how to say Titli & I applied the golden lesson at the start of the song & in all the repeats of the mukhdas.
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Each song has a soul spot in which you have to give emphasis…That soul word has to be brought out with a special thrust.
In Titli udi the soul spot was in ” Titli “
And the first punch only did the magic. 
Like if I had sung just plain. Titli udi .. the whole song would have been lifeless
But I applied Jai sab’s tip & sang …TT…itt li udi .. & this little punch lifted the song…
And later on, I had used his technic in many songs, like in Badkamma & others. In each Enkanna I had applied the push. The punch & push if you put in the right place the song gets the life.
.You have to apply as much power in your voice as to how far you want to throw it, like if you want to throw a ball, so much power you apply exactly which would be needed as to how far you want to throw the ball…………. You don’t want to throw it farther than you intended!
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.How can I thank you, Jaisab for making my, sorry, your Titli fly high 
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What great updesh they both had given me….simply priceless.
At that time I could not absorb all that, but during the passage of time, I had worked, researched & realized the technics & have formulated a workout program capsule .. which is easy, simple & very effective
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During this period we have met very often & been together many times, at functions parties shows & on other occasions the Jaikishen lighting up the scene by his wonderful personality.
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Suddenly, a devilish sinister black shadow descended upon them attacking them brutally from all the sides forcing them to find a strategy……fast

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They were a team & were together. In a team, everyone is involved as deeply as the other no matter what work is done by who… In a war you don’t bother who shoots the enemy, it is the force .. that force is one & anyone can shoot & the point is the war is won by the force.
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S J was a force & they were together in that force …
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In a war, you have to place your army in such a manner as to face the enemy surrounding them & make attacks & counter-attacks.
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This arrangement of the army is called vyuha, which were used in Mahabharat yudh & other Indian wars. There are many different vyuhas &. the commander in chief selects the vyuha according to the reports brought by the spies as to what sort of attack enemy is planning & what vyuha they are arranging. This vyuha will cover the opposite army in a proper way piercing thro the enemy army from all the sides.
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Jaisab worked out a strategy, forming a half circle vyuha to face the attack, making two different routes for both of them to proceed & tackle the enemy. They made an arrangement that Shankerji will manage the side of 
‘ like Sharda ‘ producers & Jaisab will manage ‘ hate Sharda ‘ producers ….. This will prevent the ‘ hate Sharda ‘ producers from going away ……..
Jai sab did not want to antagonize the opposition & invite more wreaths.
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If no one bothered about S J making me sing if there were no angry retaliation from the opposition, why would they have to work separately? Wouldnt they have been continuing like the way they were doing, before? 
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Now as per the new arrangement, they both started to work separately, which created some misconceptions about their work.
Jaikishenji’s heart was very komal, kind & soft. His love for Shankerji was pure & steadfast. 
He was not able to come to terms with this new development. His pain & hurt of standing apart from Shankerji was unbearable to him & it made him turn to drink doomsville …


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He was not at all overdrinking during Shree 420. Jis desh days & others.
Why would he suddenly fall prey to this habit?
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Who wanted to put this noble soul in such a dilemma …who wanted him to separate from Shankerji. who wanted to break this Godly jodi?…………………….

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Whichever female force majboored him to stand apart from Shankerji, that force did not win, after all. He never let them win. The force had to accept defeat.
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He could have avoided this pain by bowing & giving in to the demand, which wanted him to break up with Shankerji & give music in his own name,…just Jaikishen .
But he would never think of it ……
He suffered & suffered inwardly but would not bend down.
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HE SHOWED THE WHOLE WORLD THAT HE WOULD RATHER DIE THAN BREAK UP WITH SHANKERJI. HE DROWNED HIMSELF IN A DISASTROUS PIT REFUSING TO BOW DOWN TO THE PRESSURES BROUGHT UPON HIM.

And he went as the same Jaikishen he was in 1947 ..the darling of Shankerji
The joy of Shanker Jaikishen … Not just Jaikishen.

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There are rules in war also .. You must not attack anyone in the not approved manner. But here this war was not a Dharam war .. This was an Adharam war, most devilish war. 
All sorts of dirty tactics were applied in this war …….
Shankerji & Jaikishenji both high principled, golden-hearted persons, will not stoop so low as to fight an indecent war ..Facing all sorts of mean, dirty cunning strategies they both had a testing time.
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………………………………
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If only music directors were not given the treatment of a criminal if they made other singers sing in their movies… 
Shankerji would not have been made to face so many atrocities. Jaikishenji would not have been made to work separately in a suicidal plan.
They would not have been made to tear their paths in order to face the tornado …………………………………

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Was it so disastrous if some music director takes songs with some new singers that people should attack him with so much force & vengeance? Using all sorts of dirty lowly tactics? And people saying that Shankerji had to suffer because he made Sharda sing? As if he had committed an unspeakable crime by making Sharda sing!
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If only people were not so mean & cruel but be human enough as to let others also live …have a small place in the film industry & sing a few songs …what they would have lost? Ultimately we all need nothing but 6 feet of land in the end!
Instead of abetting the loving team to work separately & driving Jaikishenji into an untimely end………..
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Shankerji did not have an iota of an idea that how Jaikishenji is letting himself being sucked into this drink pit so precipitously. Being a teetotaller himself, his evenings were not spent in the company of double-faced chameleons & cunning scoundrels
He was spending his time going to the hall religiously, drowning in his work, composing new new tunes & discovering new phrases in music.
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Only, if he had some knowledge about what was going on in Jai sab’s territory, he would have definitely discouraged Jai sab from falling in the pit & saved him…. .. won’t you prefer foes than having friends like this who push you to your doom, when you are passing thru a painful period?…….. Shankerji realized the severeness of the damage when it has taken too deep a root …..his own heartbreaking in pieces, beyond repair …..bringing tears in his never got wet eyes …

Jaikishenji became the Abhimanyu in the vyuha he himself created.
In the prime of his life, in the peak of his carrier, leaving the whole of India in uncontrollable unforgettable grief pulling himself away from lacs & lacs of loving hands, he goes ……………………….

All the blows which Shanker sab was made to take so far did not shake him one bit … But this blow hit him hard. His iron heart cracked ……..And tears fell from his eyes for the first time ……….
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Don’t humans have human hearts in their chests?
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Cheers …. become tears ……………………………………………………………………….