Posts tagged ‘hasrat’

Rare photo of Uttam Kumar at the recording of Chhoti Si Mulakat

Uttam Kumar with SJ

Jaikishan, actor Uttam Kumar, Hasrat Jaipuri and others at recording of a song for film Chhoti Si Mulaaqat


Shankar Jaikishan – Interview (1957)

Courtesy :

A Decade of Hits

WHAT makes a song last? It is almost ten years since we began composing songs for films—all kinds of songs for all kinds of films. Even this year—the year in which we have won the “Filmfare” Award for the Best Music Direction—we have composed strikingly different types of scores, ranging from “Seema” and “Chori Chori” to “Shree 420” and “Basant Bahar”.

In this long period the overall impression we have gained of the taste of picturegoers is that only an Indian song can survive on Indian soil.

We do not propagate any antagonism against the integration of Indian and foreign music. What we are opposed to is the wholesale plagiarism of foreign musical compositions.

How long does it take to compose a song ? We, on our part, take anything from a week to a year. To illustrate the labor involved we would cite the example of the musical score of the now famous dream sequence of “Awaara”.

Nobody had thought of a dream sequence for this film. The situation required two songs, “Tere bina aag ye chandni” and “Ghar aaya mera pardesi”, each of which was composed independently of the other. One day we were sitting in Raj Kapoor’s office—we had no separate music-room in those days. It was a friendly gathering. Suddenly we began making “ghost sounds” for sheer fun—shrill screams, yells and weird cries! Now an idea struck Raj.

“Why not make it a part of the music ?” Raj Kapoor exclaimed. There and then we decided to have a dream sequence, and link the two songs by a third one.

“There will be three songs,” Raj said. “A girl calling her lover, the boy caught in the grip of evil, and the final song of reunion.”

That very evening Raj brought Nargis to listen to those weird sounds we had made, and we all decided to have one full reel of musical sequence—what eventually turned out to be the longest musical sequence in Indian films.

The recording began at 9 a.m. and went on to become the most memorable one of our lives. We were all working ourselves up into a state of frenzy. Raj flitted from one end of the music-theatre to the other, inspiring one and all with his zeal. Day turned into night but all of us went on—musicians, singers, sound recordists, and Raj himself. Midnight struck—we were still at it.

From “Barsaat” to “Chori Chori” our story has been linked with the story of Indian film making. It has been an exciting time for both of us.

Once, Shanker visited the H.M.V . Gramophone Company and heard a song sung by a little-known singer. He was so impressed that he asked Raj Kapoor to get her to sing just one song of “Barsaat” instead of any of the established singers. Afterwards she sang all the songs of “Barsaat”. Her name is Lata Mangeshkar.

When we began composing tunes for “Barsaat” we used to play them to Raj Kapoor. So impressed was he with them that he was determined to use them in the film. But he said, “I cannot promise to announce your names as music directors since I have already signed up someone else.”

Still, we continued because of our love for the work. We were surprised and elated when, towards the completion of the film, Raj told us that we would after all get official billing as the music directors of “Barsaat.”

He had confidence in our work and his confidence was vindicated by the sensational success the songs achieved.

The days when we were recording the song “Ay Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal” for “Daag” also come to mind. The financier heard the song and was so disappointed that he told the distributor, “It is a most disappointing song. No one is going to like it. If I had known that the picture had such poor music, I would never have financed it!” Little did he know then that the song was going to become a best-seller.

We feel that while retaining the basic form of Indian music, one can always experiment with new instruments, Indian or foreign, to widen the scope of film music.

The use of the accordion in “Mera Juta Hai Japani” and of the trumpet in “Mur Mur Ke Na Dekh” (both from “Shree 420”) illustrate this point. However, what is essential is the basic Indian melody. Thus even in the puppet song of “Chori Chori,” there are “alaaps” and “taans.” For that matter, the entire music score of “Chori Chori” is based on familiar Indian “raags” and folk melodies.

On the day Amiya Chakrabarty died he discussed with us the songs of “Kath Putli”. The first line of a song we recorded for the film after Amiya’s death is “Manzil Wohi Hai Pyaar Ki, Rahi Badal Gaye” (“The path of love is the same, only the travelers have changed”.) Amiya Chakrabarty took a keen interest in our work.

Of the many scores composed by us, we would particularly like to refer to four songs: “Ay Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal”, “Awaara Hun”, “Mera Juta Hai Japani”, and “Ichak dana Bichak dana”. While the first became widely popular in India, the other three also won recognition abroad. We are told that “Awaara Hun” has been translated into many languages and is today sung and played in almost every part of the world. Its success has confirmed our belief that Indian film music can be appreciated abroad if we refuse to imitate foreign tunes.

We are sure that symbols of encouragement, like the “Filmfare” Award, will continue to inspire music directors to bring to the screen original and popular compositions (This interview was conducted in 1957).

When Lata Mangeshkar saved a song and the day

Still from the movie
Still from the movie
Lekh Tandon’s historical biopic ‘Amrapali’ (1966) was India’s official entry for the 39th Oscars in the Best Foreign Language category. It didn’t go far because, as its 84-year-old director explains, Indian cinema didn’t have any standing in the world arena then. But years later, his costume designer, Bhanu Athaiya, became the first Indian to win an Oscar, sharing the award with John Mollo for another biopic, ‘Gandhi’ (1982).Back in the ’60s, to ensure that Vyjayanthimala looked the part of a royal courtesan from 500 BC who later becomes a disciple of Buddha, Bhanu visited the Ajanta caves to find references in the frescoes. While art director M R Acharekar found his inspiration in a centuries-old stone temple in Mysore.

“Raj Kapoor had planned a film on Ajanta and Achrekar saab had made 125 designs for him. Experts in London agreed they could be replicated and we replicated some of them,” says Tandon who himself took his album of stills to Yogesh Mishra, an authority on Amrapali, who reassured him that this was how Vaishali and its locals would have looked when Magadh Emperor Ajatshatru waged war, first to further his ambitions and then for the woman he loved. “Those war sequences were filmed by Dwarka Divechi at Saharanpur, with the army supplying the horses and soldiers. Many were actually wounded and one horse had to be shot. It frightened me to see jawans and horses tumbling to the ground,” adds Tandon.

He also recalls the first song that almost didn’t happen because when Raj Kapoor learnt on the morning of the recording that Shankar-Jaikishen had given ‘Kaate na kate raina’ to Tandon, he refused to part with it saying he had decided to use it in ‘Mera Naam Joker’ (1972). Cancelling the recording would be an inauspicious start so Lata Mangeshkhar urged the composers for an alternative. They had one mukhda, ‘Jao re jogi tum jao re, yeh hai premiyon ki nagri, yahaan prem hi hai puja’. “Lataji called for a harmonium and sat down with Shankar-Jaikishan to set it to tune while Shailendra was sent off to write the antaras,” says Tandon.

“Shailendra returned to Mahalaxmi Studio after a few hours saying he could come up with just three antaras instead of the usual five. Lataji assured him they were enough and Amrapali got its first song in the shortest time possible,” reveals Tandon.

Courtesy :

some interesting facts about Gunahon ka devta……..

some interesting facts about Gunahon ka devta……..

Shri Pradeep Kr. Gupta writes :

“Let me share some interesting anecdote about this movie. Jitendra was a new comer and not salable. Rajshree had become a big name by that time and was working with lead actors including Raj Kapoor and his brother Shammi Kapoor. Devi Shamra, who produced the movie based on a novel written by Dharmveer Bharti, a famous Hindi novelist who also worked as the chief editor of a famous Hindi weekly Dharmyug published by the Time of India group, Mumbai. Devi Sharma had finalized SHANKAR-JAIKISHAN who were at the peak of their career as star composer leaving all their contemporaries and juniors way behind. Jitendra’s remuneration was cut to meet the expenses incurred on sound score and Rajshree’s fee. I read some where that Jitendra eventually worked free of cost as the producer- director were adamant to work with the duo despite their low budget. It was a well known fact that the music duo used to charge even higher remuneration than the lead actor of the film for their music score, but this was the unique case when the lead actor of the movie worked free of cost to meet the end. That was the impact of SHANKAR-JAIKISHAN those days and they commanded highest regard among the film fraternity for their sheer brilliance.

SHANKAR-JAIKISHAN at their zenith in this song! The song is an unusual one in the sense that interludes in all three antaras (stanzas) are different. Normally in a three stanza song, as this was in the vogue those days, first and third stanzas had mostly same interlude while second one had a different one barring a few exceptions with all leading composers. The song starts with prelude played on violin chorus to give a feel of western classical music of Johann Sebatian Bach, Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Franz Schubert (all Austrian composers) and Chopin. With this brief prelude the song starts in the deep baritone voice of Mukesh. The rhythm is played on drum. then comes first stanza with violin chorus coupled with cello to create an ambiance. Second stanza has saxophone followed by solo violin beautifully played. Now comes the third and last stanza with violin chorus for counter melody followed by solo violin to evoke pathos. Electric organ is another salient feature which could be heard even between the lines leaving no vacant space throughout the song. It’s rightly said in the post by Lakshmi Didi that the song gives a symphonic feel. Salil Chowdhury, a doyen of Hindi and Bengali film music once commented on the duo that the way they used violin chorus no body else could have ever used and the duo proved this statement as true on occasions. This song is also not an exception to what was vouched by Salil Da.

 Continuing with the same thread I would like to quote Pyarelal Sharma the gentler half of Laxmikant-Pyarelal as saying “SHANKAR-JAKISHAN ke gaanon mein tune bhi gungunana padta hai. Bina tune gungunae gaane ka maza nahin ata.” Then he took the title song of Awara “Awara hoon ‘tararara’ played on harmonium by Vistap Ardeshir Balsara in the sthaayi (mukhda). Readers will be surprised to know that the piece they feel to have played on piano accordion was actually played on harmonium by the maestro.”


Shri Ajay Dagaonkar ji writes :

“This is majority correct but not what Jeetendra told in his TV interviewAs per him some other composer was to be signed and Jeetendra got frightedJeetendra despite Shantaram films was no starHe wanted big composer like SJ or Naushad and he approached Jaikishanji and to pay SJ fees Jeetendra fee was cutFor heroine he approached Rajashree who as rightly said has become big and her mom asked for a fee and to pay that Jeetendra fees was cut and he perhaps got in return A grade star status but no money but this sacrifice made his lifeA great business decision”

Nostalgia from Filmfare (courtesy Shashank Chickermane)



Written by Shri Shashibhushan Hegde

Crtsy-Sudarshan Talwarji

This photo courtesy; Sudarshan Talwar, Kolkata

               An ardent Shankar Jaikishan fan is invariably in love with the early fifties.  At least I am. 

                   Their compositions in the early fifties immediately remind us of the following things:

1.      Lots of Lata Mangeshkar (Films like Poonam, Aurat, Mayur Pankh, Kali Ghata etc feature Lata in each and every song!)
2.      Lots of Raag Bhairavi – SJ were so much influenced by the Raag and they brought out the glory of this ‘Sadasuhagan’ Raag like no one else has been able to do. (6 songs in Barsaat were in Bhairavi, 5 out of 9 songs in Aurat were in Bhairavi….these are just two examples)
3.      Very very rich in melody with minimal orchestration.
The orchestration for these songs was very limited considering the huge orchestra that SJ used during most of their lifetime.  These songs would have at the most half a dozen violins, mandolin, some times a Sitar or a Piano, flute and of course the glorious Dholak. 
Raag Bhairavi was employed in unbelievably wide range that is astounding.  They would come up with a sad song, a peppy song, a devotional song, a philosophical song……..all in Raag Bhairavi.
I am definitely not brash when I say Lata Mangeshkar’s career took off because of SJ.  There is no other composer who gave so many songs to her early in her career in the early fifties.
Presenting a few select songs in different moods and shades but all are based in Bhairavi and sung by Lata.
1.       Hum se na poochho koi pyar kya hai – Film: Kali Ghata(1951) Lyricist: Hasrat Jaipuri.
You haven’t heard this song if you haven’t heard the prelude of this song, which is GORGEOUS!  The Grand Piano prelude is definitely one of the finest of all time.  The mandolin, flute pieces and the Dholak stand out as usual.
2.       Taqdeer ka shikwa kaun kare – Film: Poonam(1952)  Lyricist: Hasrat Jaipuri.
If the previous song was a peppy one, this is an out and out sad song in Bhairavi. But what a composition! Years back, in 1988, HMV had brought out a 2 cassette set “All time Greats – Shankar Jaikishan).  This was the opening song of the album. (The first three songs that I am featuring in this article featured in that album)
The Sitar and violins pieces in the prelude and the fabulous couplet “Chand poonam ka khila…..” and the short mandolin link line that precedes the song create a totally apt ambiance for the song. Pay heed to the Dholak… much in sync with the singer.
3.      Mohabbat ki dastan aaj suno – Film: Mayur Pankh (1953), Lyricist: Hasrat Jaipuri
I would rate this as one of the best song ever written, composed and presented.  What a beauty in Bhairavi that depicts an ode of love.
This composition is as smooth as silk, as pure as milk and as delectable as honey!  The mandolin, harmonium, flute, minimal violins and the Dholak drift you off to the world of melodious trance in a jiffy! Ulfat ka saaz chhedo chanda suhana hai – Film: Aas (1953), Lyricist: Hasrat Jaipuri
A fabulous, evergreen beauty the tune of which has been copied by a Greek band years later!  Interestingly as in all songs in this category, the mandolin has an imposing presence in addition to the accordian and Dholak never fails to catch attention. Ja ja ja re ja re ja – Film: Naya Ghar (1953), Lyricist: Shailendra
A song which I consider 24 carats of pure bliss! Look at the pace, speed and the pep the composition delivers.  The Dholak, mandolin, accordion compliment Lata word to word.  If there was ‘Happiness Quotient’ for songs, this would score 10 out of 10 – good enough to drift anyone into happiness.  

6 Mori bipda aan haro – Film: Pooja (1954), Lyricist: Shailendra

 Though rarely heard, this in my opinion is one of the finest bhajans created in film music.  By SJ standards, this is a very simple composition orchestration wise.  But the mimimalistic music with the flute, mandolin, Dholak and absolutely adorable tune along with Lata’s excellent rendering make this a really special song. tunes and music apart, it is the verses of Hasrat Jaipuri and Shailendra which have given tremendous value addition to these compositions as always.Though there are many dozens of songs that fall in to this category, I have chosen half a dozen covering different moods and shades, albeit the same Raag – the Sada suhagan ‘Bhairavi’ of which there was no better exponent than Shankar Jaikishan in Indian film music.

Raja ki aayegi baraat


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