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 :


SJ work outside RK fold is much more, tremendous and of far higher quality. (up to 1971- Jai’s demise.)

This is an e-mail which I got from a visitor on my youtube channel.
I found it useful to share with all my fellow SJ fans.
Shri R.Nanjappa ji writes :
Dear Pandey Ji,
Thank you for your email of this morning.
I have since reread your comments on my response to the YT feature of 5 Jan 2015 closely.
I want to share two further thoughts with you.
There are two distinct worlds in SJ’s music: one for RK films, one out side the RK fold. People usually praise the association of RK and the SJ quartet of S-J, Shailendra and Hasrat, along with Mukesh and Lata. But I feel this is overdone. RK did launch SJ as MDs and supported them by making them his paid employees. But he also severely limited the scope of their genius by forcing them to conform to his own formula of music in his films. In RK films, SJ’s music was popular but lacked depth, except in flashes. They composed music for just 9 films for RK – two of which failed at box office, though for non-musical reasons, and one achieved just average success. Among them, Aah had perhaps the best ever music of SJ for RK- with soulful renderings by Mukesh and Lata. Boot Polish too had a very lively score, though it was a later addition, the film having been completed as a realistic film in the style of a Vittorio de Sica, without songs. The whole music was composed and recorded within 25 days!
But to an objective observer, it is too obvious that SJ work outside RK fold is much more, tremendous and of far higher quality. [ up to 1971- Jai’s demise.] This is primarily because they enjoyed total creative freedom outside RK shadow. I feel the RK-SJ association is hyper hyped.
Lata Mangeshkar once said that whoever might have been credited as MD for RK films, the real music director was RK himself- the others merely executed RK’s ideas. There is some truth here, but not whole truth. [Lata is usually not wholly reliable. She distorts matters.] SJ composed many tunes which RK had taped and stocked. It is these he used till Ram Teri Ganga Maili. RK was unfair that he did not acknowledge SJ’s contribution openly.
Lata also had a direct hand in denying Shankar re-entry to RK fold. Lata had fallen out with RK and Shanker over the song Main kya karun Ram for Sangam. But later RK reconciled with Lata, but when Bobby was to be made, Lata said she would not sing for Shanker and she insisted that Shanker should be sacked, and brought in LP. RK just yielded. But RK told LP that they were to be just arrangers, as the tunes were already ready- made by SJ. Thus, RK, Lata -all conspired against the great Shanker, when he was already down without Jai. Such is the wretched filmy world. Jahan Rishte na honge jhoot ke- runs one song in Patita– composed by SJ, written by Shailendra, and sung by Talat. What an irony in real life!
Lata had another grudge against Shanker – that he promoted Sharda. Some may dispute the quality of Sharda’s voice. But how and why? In comparison with whom? Whose voice is perfect, ever? Each singer has a distinct voice and it suits some actors and situations more than others- this is the MD’s choice, and people are the ultimate judge. Can Lata ever sing an ‘Aayiye Meherban’, Raat Akeli hai, Aye dil mujhe bata de, Poocho na hamen hum unke liye,Jaane kya tune kahi, Aage bhi jaane na tu, Kya ho phir jo din rangeela ho. etc?
Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting and indoor
Lata had prevented the rise of many other female singers. I will give one telling example, not widely known. When some Hindi films were dubbed in Tamil, Tamil artistes used to sing the Tamil version songs. When Aah was dubbed as Avan in Tamil, A.M.Rajah and Jikki sang the songs of Mukesh and Lata. These became quite popular, which Lata did not like. When Uran Khatola was dubbed into Tamil, Bala Saraswati Devi, a gentle and cultured Telugu and Tamil knowing lady of some aristocratic background with a sweet voice was selected by Naushad to record the Tamil songs. She was called to Bombay, was rehearsed by Naushad and one song was even recorded. Lata came to know about it, she ran a furious tantrum; even Naushad was unnerved, and quietly replaced the poor Bala Saraswati Devi, and recorded the Tamil songs in Lata’s voice. Now, Lata cannot pronounce any south Indian language properly, and the Tamil songs she sang in the Tamil version of Uran Khatola ( named Vaana Ratham) sound so ridiculous. But such are her ways. It is Lata who prevented Shanker from entering RK fold again. I feel RK was wretched in thus deserting and destroying Shanker, who is acknowledged as a great composer by all knowledgeable insiders, after extracting so much work from him in advance. [Lata similarly destroyed C.R. SDB also yielded to her. Such were her tactics- I call it “Latagiri”.]
Is RK deserting Shanker important? Yes, however talented a composer, he needs steady support to maintain and nurse his creative talents, without worry. See how SDB was supported by Nav Ketan for long, Ravi was supported by some big producers, while Madan Mohan lacked consistent support from any big banner. Thus when Shanker was down on luck, support from RK would have helped his market. But then, it is a mystery why almost all his films failed after the death of Jai, though everyone concedes that Shanker was the more complete musician between the two?
There is another aspect about which I will write separately.
Yours sincerely,

Website on Shankar Jaikishan launched by SJFAI, Hyderabad

Dear friends….
After long brainstorming and painstaking efforts of couple of months WE could come out with first image of user interface of our ambitious project of SJFAI websites. .

The process of conceptualization and giving it a concrete shape had undergone lots of creative sessions of design and its execution…With limited material available of SJ Era we had to crack innovative design befitting their stature and immortal melodies. .
To juxtapose creative inputs with software . ergonomics is a completely a complicated creativity to crack…

We met certain challenges and arrived at first milestone of beautifully designed compiled. .website. .
Commissioned the basic structure of desired contents projections…

The full fledged operation shall be an on going activities involving….evolving a complete End package…

Feeling proud to launch on Celestial Birthday of Shankar ji. ..which was desire of Lakshmi …

A dream come true…..partially. ..

I must thank Mithun Krishnan chief moderator and communication Director of SJFAI for his untiring zeal and persuasion. …and follow up. .
Lakshmi President SJFAI for her unflinching confidence in design team and her subtle but effective follow up for the result orientation. ..

The committee and members whose silent support and encouragement..

Members whose contributions which shall be showcased in due course of time

And above all Rucha my younger daughter who created the design with out her vision. ..our visions could not have been successful…

I Thanks all who appreciated and showered praises to Rucha and entire team on launching of website. ..

Expect patience and perseverance for the final outcome of website. ..

Thanks again

Mayank Shukla

With Lakshmi k Tummala
Mithun Krishnan

Tribute to Jaikishan on his death anniversary on 12 September 2018


Kunal Chatterjee

Panchals belong to the southern part of Gujarat and are considered to be extremely skilled as artisans. I have no means to know whether Jaikshan Dayabhai Panchal belonged to this specific category. But, his skill at harmonium compels me to believe that he could assemble and reassemble all the reeds of the instrument with consummate passion and create stunning melody. For a long time I thought that instrument used in musical preludes and interludes in “Awaara Hoon” and “Andhey Jahan Ke Andhey Raaste” was Accordion. It was only few years later (around mid-50s) I learnt the effect was created by deft use of Harmonium. That was the time I also learnt that Jaikishan started his musical journey with this instrument. Did he carry goddess Saraswati’s blessings? I am inclined to think so because as I heard those songs over and over again, I was more and more convinced about the underlying divinity in those compositions. No wonder Jaikishan along with his partner Shankar reigned supreme in what is known as golden era of music.

Jaikishan’s creativity in composing background score is part of Bollywood folklore. It is believed that he would count a few numbers on his finger for a particular scene and compose music. In fact, he was known to complete background score for entire film in three days flat (with only three hour, 930 am-1230 noon, sitting each day). Till date nobody has a clue to his genius in this specialised area of film production.

Jaikishan was fun-loving and humane. He shared cordial relations with industry and had a special bond with Shammi Kapoor. In an interview in 2009 Shammi Kapoor narrated how hurt Jai (as he called him affectionately) felt when a particular hero of late 60s refused to accept his composition Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyar Ke Charche, because it was not compatible with his image. Shammi Kapoor consoled Jai and assured him that he will gladly use it in his ongoing project Brahmchari. This gesture made Jai feel overwhelmed, Shammi Kapoor reminisced.

For industry tragedy struck twice in a space of five years. First Shailendra in 1966 and then Jaikishan in 1971. Chord of divine melody was snapped by cruel Fate. Good times don’t last forever. No wonder it signalled beginning of the end of golden era of film music !

Rajesh 2
Sharing rarest of rare pic from personal collection of Rajesh Kumar Singh Screen issue July 21 , 1961
In year 1961 Poona / Pune faced severe flood ! 
Film Industry was on road comprising all actor / actress and associates for funds !
It is heart piercing to see from early 70 s Film industry refrained from such noble cause , ( except few )
Worse was from 90 s decade haven’t come across any news !Jaikishen of immortal duo S J was on road for charity for Pune flood victims !
Tribute to noble soul !

कालजयी दर्शन का विहंगम संगीत : होठों पे सच्चाई रहती है



‘जिस देश में गँगा बहती है’ का गीत-संगीत जिस कालजयी दर्शन को अपने में समाये हुये है उसी के एक गीत की विवेचना से जो कथ्य एवं तथ्य समक्ष उपस्थित हुए हैं वो शंकर-जयकिशन के सरगम दर्शन का एक ऐसा विहंगम संगीत प्रस्तुत कर गया है जो उनके बहुआयामी लय-सुर-ताल के अद्भुत दृश्य-परिदृश्य का द्योतक है।
‘होठों पे सच्चाई रहती है, जहाँ दिल में सफ़ाई रहती है, हम उस देश के वासी हैं, जिस देश में गँगा बहती है’ स्वयं में एक दर्शन है।‘भारतीयता’ को उसकी अपूर्व प्राचीन पारम्परिक, आध्यात्मिक, सांस्कृतिक स्थापनाओं तथा पुष्ट अवधारणाओं के आलोक में यह गान वर्तमान समय में शंकर-जयकिशन, शैलेन्द्र और मुकेश की कालजयी प्रतिभा को स्पष्ट रूप से मुखर करता है। यह ‘दर्शन’ आयातित नहीं है और न ही किसी कपोल कल्पना से उकेरा गया है अपितु यह तो ‘ज्ञान एवं सत्य’ के संयुक्त रूप से व्यवहारिक कसौटी पर परख कर सिद्धान्त रूप में स्थापित किया गया एक परम सत्य है।
शैलेन्द्र की लेखनी से उपजा यह दर्शन गीत जिस ‘राष्ट्रीय चरित्र’ के मानक को शब्द दे गया है उसकी ‘कालजयी’ परिणिति का श्रेय यदि प्रथम किसी को दिया जाना चाहिए तो वह भारत के प्रथम वैश्विक संगीतकार शंकर-जयकिशन हैं। जिस गीत-संगीत में सम्पूर्ण कथानक ही समाया हुआ हो, जो एक ‘दर्शन’ का जीवन्त रूप हो, जिसमें पुरातन एवं आधुनिकता का विज्ञान निहित हो तथा जो वैश्विक पटल पर अपने भीतर के अनुनाद को सहज ही मुखर कर रहा हो वह विराट एवं विहंगम तो होगा ही।
शंकर-जयकिशन की परिकल्पना का मूर्त रूप इस गीत के प्रारम्भिक संगीत (Prelude Music) से ही प्रारम्भ हो जाता है। ढोल, नगाड़ा, मजीरे तथा अन्य भारतीय पारम्परिक वाद्य यन्त्रों से किसी उत्सव सा दृश्य प्रस्तुत करने वाले इस संगीत अंश में सामूहिक रूप से हृदय के भीतर उठ रहे वैचारिक द्वन्द का जो निरूपण हुआ है वह अन्ततः किसी ‘सागर मन्थन’ की तरह परिणामी फल के सदृश्य उस दर्शन को मुकेश की वाणी में प्रगट करता है जो मूल रूप से ‘भारतीयता’ का वैश्विक दर्शन लिए हुए है – होठों पे सच्चाई रहती है, जहाँ दिल में सफ़ाई रहती है, हम उस देश के वासी हैं, जिस देश में गँगा बहती है। यह गीत असाधारण है। पाँच अन्तरों का यह गीत एक ओर जहाँ ‘भारत’ के गौरवशाली परम्परा को अपने में समोये हुए है तो दूसरी ओर यह कालान्तर में आये नैतिक एवं चारित्रिक पतन को भी इंगित कर गया है पर आशा के जिस सूत्र को थामे यह गीत भविष्य के संकल्प को जिस प्रकार प्रतिपादित करता हुआ ‘गँगा’ के प्रवाह सदृश्य सुनहरे परिदृश्य को गढ़ गया है वह अभूतपूर्व है। सत्य अपने स्थायी भाव के संग किस प्रकार अनिवार्य रूप से स्थायित्व को परिलक्षित करता है उसी का बिम्ब-प्रतिबिम्ब है यह अमर गान। एक विशेष तथ्य जो गीत के उतरोत्तर गति के क्रम में प्रत्येक अन्तरे के शब्द-शब्द में निहित भाव के अनुरूप उसी के संग-संग आगे बढ़ता है वह इसका मध्य संगीत (Interlude Music) है। अन्तरे में जब मुकेश का स्वर शब्द-शब्द के भाव को प्रभावी रूप से प्रक्षेपित कर रहा होता है उस पल भी पार्श्व में वाद्य यन्त्रों का सूक्ष्म संगीत अत्यन्त ही अनोखे रूप से ध्वनित हो कर अन्तरे के परिणामी भाव और सन्देश को द्विगणित करता हुआ अत्यन्त ही मनोरम प्रतीत होता है। ‘अतिथि देवो भवः’ का भारतीय दर्शन लिए ‘मेहमां जो हमारा होता है वो जान से प्यारा होता है’ के साथ ही ‘साईं इतना दिजे जामे कुटूम्ब समाय’ का तत्व लिए ‘ज़्यादा की नहीं लालच हमको थोड़े में गुज़ारा होता है’ का आत्मिक कथ्य लिए मुकेश जब इसे अपनी वाणी से अभिव्यक्त कर रहे होते हैं तब सहज ही इस पर इसलिए भी विश्वास हो जाता है क्योंकि इस वाणी में निहित पवित्रता और सच्चाई स्वतः ही इसे प्रमाणित कर देती है। किसी कथ्य-तथ्य को व्यक्त करते हुए अपनी वाणी से उसकी सत्यता को भी साथ-साथ स्थापित करते जाना अत्यन्त ही कठिन कार्य है जिसे इस गीत में मुकेश किस प्रकार सरलता और सहजता से कर गए हैं यह आज भी अबूझ पहेली बनी हुयी है। ‘होठों पे सच्चाई रहती हैं, जहाँ दिल में सफ़ाई रहती है’ की तरह ही मुकेश का स्वर भी सत्य एवं पारदर्शिता का पर्याय है, इसे आप इस गीत को श्रवण करते हुए पल-पल अनुभूत कर सकते हैं।
इस गीत के दूसरे अन्तरे के पूर्व का मध्य संगीत (Interlude Music) आत्म गौरव तथा भारतीय अवधारणा को वाद्य यन्त्रों की ध्वनि से जिस दृढ़ता के साथ तरंगित करता हुआ शब्द-शब्द की पृष्ठ भूमि में भी विद्यमान रहता है उससे ‘ये पूरब है पूरब वाले हर जान की क़ीमत जानते हैं’ का उद्घोष और भी प्रभावी रूप से मुखर हुआ है। वास्तव में स्वर और सुर के संग वाद्यों को शब्द-शब्द की छाया में ध्वनित करने का उपक्रम शंकर-जयकिशन की एक ऐसी महत्वपूर्ण विशेषता रही है जिस पर अभी भी बहुत कुछ लिखा जाना एवं शोध किया जाना शेष है। उनके इस कृत्य की अनुगूँज यूँ तो उनकी प्रत्येक संगीत रचना में दृष्टिगोचर हुयी है पर इस सूक्ष्म अनुभूति को शब्द देना अभी तक किसी संगीत समीक्षक द्वारा क्यों नहीं सम्भव हो पाया है वह भी पृथक से शोध का विषय हो सकता है पर मैं इस शोध में अपना समय व्यय करने के विपरीत शंकर-जयकिशन के संगीत की ऐसी ही और भी ढेरों विशेषताओं पर लेखन एवं विमर्श करना चाहूँगा।
गीत का तीसरा अन्तरा ‘जो जिससे मिला सीखा हमने ग़ैरों को भी अपनाया हमने’ का उद्घोष करता हुआ जब आगे बढ़ता है तो वर्तमान परिदृश्य में यह इसके प्रत्युत्तर में एक टीस को भी जन्म दे जाता है। सनातन परम्परा के जिस दर्शन के हम सदियों से वाहक-सम्वाहक रहे हैं उसके विपरीत आयातित अवधारणा को ओढ़े हुए जो समूह और समुदाय इसे धूमिल करने की कुचेष्टा कर रहे हैं वो वास्तव में अपने इस कृत्य से सनातन धर्म की उदारता, सहिष्णुता एवं व्यापकता पर प्रश्न चिन्ह नहीं लगा रहे अपितु स्वयं की ही आयातित एवं ओढ़ी धारणा-अवधारणा पर ग्रहण लगाए बैठे हैं। सम्भवतः इसी कारण ‘अब हम तो क्या सारी दुनियाँ सारी दुनियाँ से कहती है, हम उस देश के वासी हैं, जिस देश में गँगा बहती है’ के अनुरूप समस्त जन भारतीय दर्शन को वैश्विक मान-सम्मान प्रदान करने के प्रति कृतसंकल्प है। सत्य एवं व्यावहारिक ज्ञान के चिन्तन-मनन-विमर्श से उपजा दर्शन प्रत्येक काल-परिस्थिति में शाश्वत ही रहता है। शैलेन्द्र की लेखनी ने इस गीत के माध्यम से जो कुछ परोसा है वह दर्शन उनका एकमात्र स्वयं का नहीं है अपितु इसमें अनगिनत महर्षि-ऋषि, सन्त-महात्मा, ध्यानी-ज्ञानी और विचारकों के मर्म का सार निहित है।
अपने चौथे एवं अत्यन्त ही महत्वपूर्ण अन्तरे में आत्म अवलोकन करते हुए आत्म विश्लेषण का जो तथ्य प्रस्तुत किया गया है उसमें प्रयुक्त मध्य संगीत (Interlude Music) उस कथ्य विशेष की स्वीकृति से उत्पन्न आत्म ग्लानि को जिस वाद्य यन्त्रों से ध्वनित कर गया है वह किसी भी भारतीय के अन्तः करण को झकझोरने के लिए पर्याप्त है। ‘ये लूट खसोट ये डाकाज़नी भाई की भाई से न बनी’ की टीस लिए जब मुकेश की वाणी ‘ये धरती क्या कुछ सहती है उस देश में ये भी होता है जिस देश में गँगा बहती है’ का दर्द लिए प्रगट होती है तब इस स्वर में प्रयुक्त चीत्कार का आर्तनाद हर किसी के हृदय को छलनी कर जाता है। इन पंक्तियों में आप मुकेश के स्वर में निहित उस सूक्ष्म कटार को भी अनुभूत कर सकते हैं जो असिधार पर पग रखते हुए किसी प्राणी की वेदना से उत्पन्न होता है। यहाँ मैं आप सभी को यह बताता चलूँ कि मुकेश की वाणी में निहित स्वाभाविक रूप से ‘खरज’ का तत्व जब उद्वेलित हो कर उच्च सप्तक में प्रवेश करता है तब स्वर के उठाव से उसमें एक ऐसा खिचाव आता है जो सामान्यतः गायन की शास्त्रियता एवं उसके व्याकरण के परिप्रेक्ष में उपयुक्त नहीं माना जाता परन्तु आश्चर्यजनक रूप से गायन की त्रुटि समझी जाने वाली इस ज्ञात अवधारणा को मुकेश ने जिस प्रकार झुठला कर अपने गायन की एक सशक्त उपलब्धि के रूप में इसे स्थापित किया है उसने गायन के क्षेत्र में गायकी की सर्वथा नूतन परिभाषा को ही गढ़ दिया है। मुकेश की यह अनोखी उपलब्धि अपने आप में उस इतिहास की शृंखला की ही एक कड़ी है जिसे कभी बैजू बावरा, तानसेन, अमीर खुसरो जैसे संगीतज्ञों ने रचा था। मुकेश इस सदी के एकमात्र ऐसे गायक रहे हैं जिन्होंने संगीत के अब तक के स्थापित एवं प्रचलित व्याकरण, मानदण्डों के उन तत्वों को अपनी विशिष्ट विशेषता में परिवर्तित कर दिया है जिसे प्रायः संगीत में त्रुटि माना जाता है। मुकेश के स्वर में निहित खरज का अद्भुत प्रभाव उनकी वाणी को आश्चर्यजनक रूप से वह चुम्बकीय तत्व प्रदान करती रही है जिसके वशीभूत हो कर हर कोई उनके स्वर के प्रगाढ़ आलिंगन में आज भी बँधा चला आता है।उच्च सप्तक पर पग रखती मुकेश की वाणी एक स्थान पर जब अकस्मात् टूटती है तो मूल स्वर के बिखराव से ढेरों सूक्ष्म स्वर लहरियाँ उत्पन्न हो कर गीत में निहित भाव को स्वाभाविक रूप से द्विगुणित कर जाती है। किसी समय में शास्त्रीय गायन के पुरोधा बड़े ग़ुलाम अली खाँ ने लता मँगेशकर को एक बार सुनते हुए कहा था कि ये ससुरी कभी बेसुरी नहीं होती। पर मेरे मत के अनुसार बड़े ग़ुलाम अली का यह कथन हर उस गवैये के लिए सत्य है जिसने शास्त्रीय सहित गायन के प्रत्येक पक्ष को विधिवत सीखा है तथा उसे भली-भाँति साध रखा है। इसी क्रम में मुझे यदि मुकेश गायन का आँकलन करना हो तो मैं कहूँगा – ‘विधिवत सीख कर तथा विशेष प्रशिक्षण ले कर कोई भी गवैया सुर को साधने में दक्ष हो सकता है पर मुकेश की गायकी इस प्रकार स्वाभाविक रूप से सिद्ध हस्त थी कि बेसुरा सुर भी उनके कण्ठ से निकल कर स्वतः ही सुर में आ जाता था। मुकेश वाणी में सहज उपस्थित मींड उनके गायन को शब्द विशेष के सन्दर्भ में इतना प्रभावी एवं आकर्षक बना गया है कि उसे मैं उनके गायन की उपलब्धि का चरमोत्कर्ष मानता हूँ। एक ऐसा चरमोत्कर्ष जो यत्न करके, श्रम से अथवा अभ्यास से नहीं प्राप्त होता अपितु किसी किसी के ही स्वर में यह स्वाभाविक रूप से विद्यमान होता है। मुकेश इस सदी में ऐसे ही एकमात्र स्वाभाविक गायक रहे हैं जिनके कण्ठ में स्वर-माधुर्य का चरमोत्कर्ष प्रकृति प्रदत्त रहा है। मुकेश की इन गायन विशेषताओं के समकक्ष यदि मुझे कोई और नाम लेना होगा तो मैं बेगम अख़्तर का नाम लूँगा। उनका भी स्वर स्वाभाविक रूप से टूट कर श्रोताओं को सहज ही अपने आकर्षण में बाँध लेता था। पर कण्ठ में निहित मींड का तत्व और सन्तुलित अनुनासिक स्पर्श तथा भाव को प्रक्षेपित करने की अपूर्व क्षमता मुकेश को अन्य गायक-गायिकाओं से सर्वश्रेष्ठ एवं विशिष्ट बनाता है।
गीत के पाँचवें और अन्तिम अन्तरे के पूर्व में प्रयुक्त मध्य संगीत शंकर-जयकिशन की सुर परिकल्पना के साहचर्य में निराशा से आशा, अन्धकार से प्रकाश, जड़ से चेतन एवं शिथिलता से गति की ओर बढ़ते जाने का प्रभावी उद्घोष है। ‘हम कल क्या थे हम आज हैं क्या, इसका ही नहीं अभिमान हमें, जिस राह पे आगे बढ़ना है, है उसकी भी पहचान हमें’ पंक्ति मध्य संगीत (Interlude Music) के पश्चात् और भी मुखर हो कर प्रगट होती है। यह अन्तरा शब्दों के पार्श्व में सूक्ष्म रूप से ध्वनित होते वाद्य यन्त्रों की ध्वनि की संगत में उस परिणामी फल को सफलता पूर्वक स्थापित करता है जिसके लिए इस गीत की परिकल्पना की गयी थी। ‘इस धारा को किसने रोका, ये बँध के भला कब रहती है’ की ही तरह शंकर-जयकिशन के संगीत और मुकेश के स्वर-सौन्दर्य की युगलबन्दी के नेतृत्व में इस गान की ही तरह इन दोनों ने वैश्विक सम्राट के रूप में कालजयी गीत-संगीत का जो वैभव अर्जित किया है वह आज भी किसी के रोके नहीं रुकी है। शाश्वत सत्य के प्राकृतिक नियम के अनुसार ऐसी विलक्षण प्रतिभा ‘बँध के भला कब रहती है’ !
इस कालजयी गीत के पाँचों अन्तरे एक साथ एक ही स्थान पर साथ-साथ कभी भी उपलब्ध नहीं रहे। फ़िल्म में मूल गीत से विलग चौथा अन्तरा एक दृश्य विशेष को प्रभावी रूप से साकार करने के लिए पार्श्व में ध्वनित हुआ है तथा पाँचवाँ अन्तरा फ़िल्म के अन्त में प्रयोग में आया है। यहाँ पर दिये गये सूत्र (Link) पर आप इस दस मिनट तैंतिस सेकण्ड के गीत को उसकी सम्पूर्णता में सुन सकते हैं। कोलकाता निवासी भाई कमल बेरिवाला ने आप सबके लिए यह अत्यन्त ही दूरूह एवं श्रमसाध्य कार्य को एक नूतन कलेवर के संग प्रस्तुत किया है। गीत का सम्पादन करते हुए कमल भाई ने जिस कलात्मक दक्षता का परिचय दिया है उसे यह गीत सुनते हुए आप स्वयं ही अनुभूत कर सकते हैं। इस गीत के दो-एक अन्तरे तो बहुतों ने सुने भी नहीं होंगे पर आज इसे हम सब के लिए सर्वग्राह्य बना कर प्रस्तुत कर रहे हैं भाई कमल बेरिवाला, उनका विशेष आभार एवं धन्यवाद।
डॉ राजीव श्रीवास्तव
होठों पे सच्चाई रहती हैं, जहाँ दिल में सफ़ाई रहती है,
हम उस देश के वासी हैं, जिस देश में गँगा बहती है.
मेहमाँ जो हमारा होता है वो जान से प्यारा होता है,
ज़्यादा की नहीं लालच हमको थोड़े में गुज़ारा होता है.
बच्चों के लिये जो धरती माँ सदियों से सभी कुछ सहती है,
हम उस देश के वासी हैं, जिस देश में गँगा बहती है.
कुछ लोग जो ज़्यादा जानते हैं, इन्सान को कम पहचानते हैं,
ये पूरब है पूरब वाले हर जान की क़ीमत जानते हैं.
मिल जुल के रहो और प्यार करो एक चीज़ यही जो रहती है,
हम उस देश के वासी हैं, जिस देश में गँगा बहती है.
जो जिससे मिला सीखा हमने ग़ैरों को भी अपनाया हमने,
मतलब के लिये अन्धे हो कर रोटी को नहीं पूजा हमने.
अब हम तो क्या सारी दुनियाँ सारी दुनियाँ से कहती है,
हम उस देश के वासी हैं, जिस देश में गँगा बहती है.
ये लूट खसोट ये डाकाज़नी भाई की भाई से न बनी,
ये धरती क्या कुछ सहती है उस देश में ये भी होता है.
जिस देश में गँगा बहती है, उस देश में ये भी होता है,
उस देश में ये क्यों होता है जिस देश में गँगा बहती है.
हम कल क्या थे हम आज हैं क्या, इसका ही नहीं अभिमान हमें,
जिस राह पे आगे बढ़ना है, है उसकी भी पहचान हमें.
इस धारा को किसने रोका, ये बँध के भला कब रहती है,
हम उस देश के वासी हैं जिस देश में गँगा बहती है.
होठों पे सच्चाई रहती हैं, जहाँ दिल में सफ़ाई रहती है,
हम उस देश के वासी हैं, जिस देश में गँगा बहती है.
फ़िल्म: जिस देश में गँगा बहती है (१९६०), गीतकार: शैलेन्द्र, संगीतकार: शंकर-जयकिशन, गायक: मुकेश

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RK’s Music and Shanker-Jaikishen

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“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.”

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