Photo & citation by
Lakshmi K. Tummala
Photo & citation by
Lakshmi K. Tummala
श्री द्वारका प्रसाद खाम्बिया
सामान्यतः कम फिल्मों में अच्छा संगीत देना संभव है परन्तु अधिक से अधिक फिल्मों में लोकप्रियता की बुलंदियों वाला संगीत अविराम व सतत 21 वर्षों तक देना ईश्वरीय वरदान है कहा जा सकता है। ऐसे वरदान से ईश्वर ने संगीतकार शंकर जयकिशन को नवाजा था। अपने नायाब संगीत द्वारा देश के साथ विदेशों में भी धूम मचा देने वाले वे प्रथम संगीतकार थे।
लोगों में सदैव जिज्ञासा बनी रही कि आखिर इतनी लोकप्रिय धुनों मे से कोन धुन किसकी है। यह जिज्ञासा जयकिशन जी की मृत्यु के बाद शंकर जी विरोधी समूह ने और बढ़ा दी। वे सिद्ध करना चाहते थे कि धुन जय किशन ही तैयार करते थे । लोगो में भी यह जानने की इच्छा प्रबल होने लगी कि आखिर जयकिशन की रचनाएं कोन सी है। कुछ पुष्ट जानकारियों के आधार पर ज्ञात होता है कि निम्नांकित कुछ लोकप्रिय धुनों को जयकिशन ने ही रचा था –
1 जीना यहां मरना यहां(मेरा नाम जोकर)
2 तुम जो हमारे मीत न होते ( आशिक)
3आजा सनम मधुर चांदनी में हम( चोरी चोरी)
4 आवाज दे के हमें तुम बुलाओ(प्रोफेसर)
5 इस रंग बदलती दुनियां में (राजकुमार)
6 तेरी प्यारी प्यारी सूरत को (ससुराल)
7 ए मेरे दिल कहीं और चल ( दाग)
8 सनों छोटी सी गुड़िया की ये कहानी(सीमा)
9 दिल अपना और प्रीत पराई (दिल अपना और प्रीत पराई)
10 देखा है तेरी आंखों में प्यार ही (प्यार ही प्यार)
11 आए बहार बन के लुभा के (वसंत बहार)
12 दिल के झरोखे में तुझ को (,ब्रम्हचारी)
13 ओ मेरे शाहे खूब ओ मेरी (लव इन टोकियो)
14 कहे झूम झूम रात ये सुहानी ( लव मैरिज)
15 अजी रूठ कर अब कहां जाइएगा(आरज़ू)
16 रसिक बलमा (,चोरी चोरी)
17 ये मेरा प्रेम पत्र पढ़कर(संगम)
ये गीत जयकिशन की संगीत रचनाओं की झलकी मात्र है।
परन्तु आम जनता श्रोता उन्हें उन्हें एकीकृत रूप में देखता है। भारतीय हिन्दी फिल्म संगीत के गौरवशाली
इतिहास के पृष्ठों पर जिन महान संगीतकारों के नाम स्वर्णिम अक्षरों अंकित है उनकी जगमगाती पंक्ति में शंकर जयकिशन का नाम निर्विवादत: सर्वत्र मुख व अग्रणी रूप से परि गणित किया जस सकता है।
उनके जादुई संगीत ने जहां एक ओर परंपरा और आधुनिकता के मध्य अभूतपूर्व सेतु का निर्माण किया वहीं दूसरी ओर अपनी विलक्षण प्रतिभा द्वारा वाद्ययंत्रों के कुशल इस्तेमाल,नूतन प्रयोगों,भावानुकूल गीतों के संयोजन तथा शास्त्रीय व पाष्छ्यात संगीत के बेजोड़ तालमेल द्वारा जून अनगिनत सरस,मधुर, कर्ण प्रिय व मनमोहक कालजयी गीतों का सृजन किया।वे न केवल भारत वरन् समूची दुनियां में फैले बेशुमार संगीत प्रेमियों के लिए सचमुच बेहद अनमोल धरोहर है।
बहुत कम प्रतिभा ऐं ऐसी होती है जिनको कालजयी होने का सौभाग्य नियति प्रदान करती है।शंकर जयकिशन का शुमार ऐसी ही कालजयी प्रतिभाओं में किया जा सकता है।वे न केवल अपने समय के सर्वाधिक लोकप्रिय संगीतकार रहे बल्कि यह कहना किंचित भी अतिशयोक्तिपूर्ण न होगा कि उनका मधुर संगीत आज भी प्रासंगिक होकर अपनी लोकप्रियता को बरकरार रखे हुए है।उनके द्वारा रचित बेमिसाल गीत आज भी दुनियां भर के संगीत प्रेमियों के कानों में रस घोलते है।
एक लोक प्रसिद्ध कहावत है कि जोड़ियां ऊपरवाला ही बनाता है ।शादी के संदर्भ में ख्यात यह कहावत संगीतकार जोड़ी शंकर जयकिशन पर सौ फीसदी खरी उतरती है। निः संदेह यह जोड़ी संगीत की नैसर्गिक प्रतिभा से संपन्न थी और नियति ने ही दोनों को मिलता भी। शंकर जी जहां नृत्य कला,सितार,पियानिं एवं अकोर्डियान बजाने में पारंगत थे तो वहीं जयकिशन जी हारमोनियम वादन में सिद्ध हस्त थे।हिंदी फिल्म संगीत की दुनियां में इस जोड़ी का मिलन ‘ मणि कांचन ‘ सिद्ध हुआ। उल्लेखनीय है कि जयकिशन दाया भाई (4 नवंबर 1932) मुंबई काम की तलाश में आए थे जहां उनकी मुलाकात दक्षिण आंध्र प्रदेश(तेलंगाना) से आए शंकर सिंह रामसिंह(15 अक्टूबर 1922)से गुजराती फिल्म निर्माता चंद्रवदन काम के सिसिले में हुई।शने: शने: यह मुलाकात प्रगाढ़ मेत्री में तब्दील हो गई।विपरीत स्वभाव इसके इन दो व्यक्तित्वों का संगीत के प्रति समर्पित भाव उभयनिष्ठ था। गठीले बदनवाले शंकर जहां धीर गंभीर स्वभाव के थे तो वहीं जयकिशन जी मस्तमौला प्रकृति के
आकर्षक व्यक्तित्व के धनी इंसान थे।,
शंकर जयकिशन के बृहद संगीत के कई आयाम है जो उनको अन्य संगीतकारों स्की तुलना में विशिष्ठ स्थान आसीन करते है।उनके बेमिसाल संगीत को कतिपय शीर्षकों के तहत वर्गीकृत करते हुए सुगमतापूर्वक समझा जा सकता है। ये शीर्षक इस प्रकार ही सकते है जैसे शास्त्रीय रागों पर आधारित गीत,लोक संगीत आधारित,सुकुमार भावाभिव्यक्ती प्रधान गीत,प्रेम व रूमानी भाववाले ,विरह दर्द वाले गीत,समूह गीत,नृत्य प्रधान गीत,ग़ज़ल शैली गीत,कव्वाली शैली गीत,भारतीय संगीत आधारित नृत्य गीत,पाध्छ्यात संगीत आधारित नृत्य गीत,भजन रूपी गीत, बाल गीत,प्रश्न/पहेली नुमा गीत, छेड़ छाड़ वाले गीत,हास्य प्रधान गीत,अनोखे/अटपटे बोल वाले गीत,भारतीय व पाष्छ्यात फ्यूजन गीत आदि।
समग्रहतः यह सुस्पष्ट होता है कि शंकर जयकिशन के बहुरंगी गीतों का एक व्यापक अत्यंत और विस्तृत संसार है जिसने विविध भावों को अनुकूल संगीत धुनों के साथ कुशलता पूर्वक संवारा गया है।इं मनमोहक व कर्णप्रिय गीतों का कलेवर सजाने संवारने में इस संगीत निपुण जोड़ी के दक्ष निर्देशन की भूमिका प्रमुखत : रही है।
लेकिन विविध का संगीत नियोजन करने में दत्ता राम व अरेंजर सेबेस्टियन की भूमिका भी अहम हुआ करती थी साथ ही विभिन्न वाद्ययंत्र वादकों का महती योगदान रहा है,जिनके वाद्यों ने शंकर जयकिशन के गीतों की प्राण वान बनाकर लोकप्रियता के बेमिसाल आयाम प्रदान किए
शंकर जयकिशन के विशाल ऑर्केस्ट्रा में एक से बढ़कर कुशल वाद्य यंत्र वादकों का शुमार रहा । कुछ के नाम उस प्रकार है –
1 पन्नालाल घोष (बांसुरी)
2 लाला गंगवाने ( ढोलक)
3 उस्ताद अली अकबर खां (सरोद)
4 पं राम नारायण (सारंगी)
5 उस्ताद रईस खां (सितार )
6 एस हज़ारा सिंह(इलेक्ट्रिक गिटार)
7 मनोहारी सिंह ( सैक्सोफोन)
8 चिक चॉकलेट (ट्रंपेट)
9 वी बलसारा (हारमोनियम)
10 गुडी सिरवाई( अकिर्डियान)
11 सुमित मित्रा (अकोर्डियान) आदि इत्यादि।
कुल मिलाकर यह कहा जा सकता है कि शंकर जयकिशन का ऑर्केस्ट्रा अत्यंत समृद्ध था उसके भीतर विलक्षण प्रतिभा वाले तथा अपने अपने वाद्यों के वादन में दक्ष कलाकार शामिल थे। इन अति निपुण व दक्ष कलाकारों के समन्वय व सहभागिता से शंकर जयकिशन ने अनगिनत अमर गीतों का सृजन किया।
This feature by
Lakshmi K. Tummala
It was one Sunday afternoon, during my school days, that the telephone rang. It was Mr. T. Prakasa Rao, our neighbor in Chennai, my father’s contemporary in the movie industry and a family friend, asking to speak to my father. I told him that he was on location at a hill station, shooting a couple of songs for his upcoming movie. Prakasa Rao uncle, as I called him, told me that we were invited to a private screening of his new movie that evening. I ran to my mother to tell her of the exciting news. But, immediately, I fell into a big dilemma since I had promised to help my friend, Rekha, with a project which was due the next day.
I called Rekha and told her about the invitation to the movie. She immediately had a solution to my problem which at that time seemed major. She suggested coming over to my home after I returned from the movie. We could then work on the project as long as we can and that she would then take it home and complete it. What a great idea, I thought. But then, I felt very guilty to have her work late into the night to finish the assignment. I told her that and Rekha, being an angel that she is, told me not to worry about it, but to go and enjoy the movie. She knew how much I liked Vyjayanthimala and SJ music. We had already heard the songs of the movie before and loved them a lot. I couldn’t wait to see them in the movie.
We reached the preview theater and were warmly greeted by Prakasa Rao uncle. A few more friends of his had also arrived. Soon the lights were turned off and the movie began. Personally, I never cared much for non-social movies, but then this is not one of them. It had lots of twists and turns which didn’t bother me at all. I only had eyes for my favorite Vyjayanthimala and ears for SJ songs.
I must say that the music in this movie is outstanding. SJ composed a great album. There are seven songs in all with each one being a gem. The two by new singer, Sharda, are by Shailendra and the other five, by Hasrat. SJ covered a wide range of composition styles and achieved great success. Although I heard them before, the songs sounded much better in the preview theater with great acoustics. I thought Vyju looked fabulous, especially in the songs. “Baharon phool barsao…” sounded so very romantic. “Titli udi..” had already taken the country by storm, but I personally liked “Dekho mera dil machal gaya..” better. “Kaise samjhawoon…” in a semi-classical style, by Rafi and Asha, was superb! “Itna hai tumse…” by Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur was also very good. Rafi sounds too good in the frolicsome number, “Chehre pe giri zulphein..” and last, but not the least, ” Ek baar ati hai…” with Rafi, Asha and chorus is a very delightful song.
Suraj was a musical treat for me. At the end of the movie, Prakasa Rao uncle asked me how it was. “Uncle, you have a winner” I said. He raised his eyebrows. I told him the movie was very entertaining and the music was sure to win a FF Award for Best Music Director. I went home humming one song after another. Rekha came over. We sat through the night and completed the project. She spent the night with me and we went to school the next morning. Believe it or not, I later saw this movie two more times in the theater which tells something about it. When the FF awards were announced, Prakasa Rao uncle was so happy that he sent a big box of chocolates for me with a note saying, “You were right Papa, we won!” I was very happy to know that the movie won SJ, Hasrat and Rafi, Filmfare Awards for Best Music Director, Lyricist and Singer, respectively. As for me, I had already voted for the music in the affirmative. You go, SJ!
Shankar composed music for more than 170 movies in his career spanning 39 years , starting from Barsat in 1949 till Gori his last movie. His brand Shankar Jaikishan won 9 Filmfare Awards and how many movies celebrated jubilees is not available. I am sure, the number must be more than 60.
As composer , Shankar was very particular about having rich orchestra, perhaps an habit he picked up from his patron film maker Raj Kapoor, who visualized movies larger than life. To substantiate my point, I wish to cite the example of a few songs from Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai.
Here is a movie, Shankar felt had no scope for music at all, and later scored one of their finest albums for a movie shot mostly in a dacoits den. This movie has 9 songs, and each song is such a rich experience in audio experience. This movie was released in 1960, which means the recording was done before that.
With such primitive recording equipment and facilities, they created such priceless gems, that one fails to visualize what magic they could have created in modern times.
Let’s take a look at the songs :
1 . Mera naam raju gharaana anaam..Movie opens with this song, shot in the vast expanse of Ganga in Haridwar . Just listen to the orchestra, melody and the energy. What a way to open the movie.
2.Begani Shaadi Mein Abdulla Diwana: Here is a fun song which has almost become a popular idiom. Absolutely energetic music and fun filled flow of melody.
3. Hoton pe Sachaai rehti hai: Here is one of the finest songs which portrays the ethos of what India is all about. The prelude for this song begins with a rich play of dafli..and then begins the song on a quite note..picks up with use of Sitar which pull at your heart strings..
4. Kya hua ye mujhe kya pata jaane kyun…A super energetic dance number for Padmini and Chanchal..what can I say about this song. Accordion and rhythm with bongos and percussion of maracas,
5.Ho Maine pyar kiya hoye hoye kya zulm kiya: Here is another very high voltage sensuous number, picturised on Padmini.
6. O Basanti pavan pagal : This pathos number has exceptionally rich orchestra especially, in the end, when Raj Kapoor returns and Padmini dances in front of Goddess Bhavani..My God, simply unbelievable and beyond words .
7. Hai aag hamare seene mein: This is a song with perhaps the maximum number of leading playback singers in one song. Full of energy and a flow which goes up in scale as it progresses. The use of rhythm and mandolin notes is exceptional, to say the least.
8. Pyar Karle nai te phaansi chad jaayega: Here is a classic song which sums up the essence of the story which preaches surrender of arms, and leading a life of honour. Simple and very touching song.
9. Aa Ab Laut chale: This song is the mother of all large screen songs. So much has been written about its orchestra and chorus, that I need not add anything more.
This is music, which elevates a simple story to the skies and makes it a super duper hit.
If this is not larger than life, then what is! This is not the only movie, there are 10s of such great movies with simply out of the world music !!
Shankar The Great !!
This tribute by
Born:* 29 January 1906, Reis Magos
*Died:* 9 March 1998
Ask who is Sebastian D’Souza and you may get as many answers as the number of people who venture to give it. Footballer ?,Electrician ? School teacher ? Fr.. Sebastian?? anything but music arranger.
Sebastian D’Souza is easily the most prolific arranger in all of Indian film music. Spanning a career from 1952 – 1974 much of it with the famed duo of Shankar Jaikishan Sebastian created scores for over 125 films and over 1000 songs.. No musical arranger of popular American music let alone Hollywood films of that period can match his output. Sebastian should have been in the Guiness book of records.Instead a search on google hardly throws up his name.
Volume of output apart, for sheer imagination and variety of orchestrated music Sebastian stands head and shoulders above them all. Sebastian had an imagination not equaled by the same men on whom books have been written and whose names occupied the marquee in the same period Sebastian’s development of harmonic concepts extended across a wide range of Indian, Latin and western instruments to create a unique effect. While Anthony Gonsalves started that trend, Sebastian carried it on enlarging and embellishing the concept He is largely responsible for changing the entire harmonic structure of the hindi film song to create an extremely listenable full body of sound behind the voice of the singer .And hence a major influence on that era. If you thrill in the songs of that period from ‘Aawara’, ‘Boot Polish’, ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai’, ‘Sangam’,,’Mera Naam Joker’ all from the RK banner and want to hear them over and over again it is invariably because Sebastian was the hidden hand behind their creation.
It is said that Mukesh who playbacked Raj Kapoor had Sebastian select the instruments, provide the counterpoint in Shankar Jaikishan’s melodic structure and create the music behind the star crossed lover portrayed by Raj Kapoor Together with him and his rhythmic partner Dattaram the SJ duo created history. Raj it is said, was close to Sebastian and was present in every recording because Raj believed that what Sebastian did was key to his role. Take away that background music from the RK films and you will plunge into a huge void.
Till the late 40s, background music to the singers voice was merely a narrow range of instruments playing the same tune as sung by the singer.There was no concept of counters, fills or cadences. Rhythms employed were very limited. The effect was sonorous. Beginning the 50s, Anthony and Sebastian changed that all.
And how did that happen? Brought up on a staple diet of operas and symphonies of Mozart, Schubert, Haydn,Tchaikovsky which he absorbed, Sebastian employed harmonic variation with telling effect on to hindi film music. Sebastian came to Bombay in search of work from across the border post 1947 and stumbled into hindi films. Before that he was a big band leader in hotels from Allahabad to Mussorie to Lahore where he earned a name for leading the most popular orchestra of that time at the Stiffles hotel.
Starting as a violinist he moved up rapidly. O P Nayyar gave him his break as an arranger with C H Atma’s “Pritam Aan me lo” and later in the film ‘Aasman’. With O P he forged a super relationship and what followed is still on many lips ;the songs and the music from ‘Aar Paar’ ( Sun sun sun sun jalim’), Mr & Mrs 55’( Udhar tum hasin ho idhar dil jawa hai’), Howrah Bridge (‘ Mera naam chin chin choo,chin chin choo’) and so many more….each a classic not equaled fifty years after their time.
Creativity such as this is genius and geniuses are sometimes known to be irregular, erratic and difficult with time being their first victim. Not so with Sebastian who was known to be regular, consistent, methodical and disciplined. With strong writing skills, he invariably created and translated what was going in his head into written scores on the spot in the studio for the orchestral sections and the soloists and adjusted them while
rehearsing. Usually, one song took a day .But it is said that on one occasion Sebastian created 5 songs in a day traveling to different studios across the city .
But these are just snippets. Take another glance at his history sheet .Consider these; ‘Aaja sanam, madhur chandni mein hum’;,’Yeh raat bheegi bheegi’ from Chori Chori. ‘Teri yaad dil se bulane chale hum’ from ‘Hariyali aur Rasta’. ‘Dost dost na raha’ from ‘Sangam’, ‘Aae malik there bande hum’ from ‘Do Aankhen Bara Haath’, Aaja re.. pardesi’ from Madhumati.’Aansoo bahri hain yeh jeevan ki raahen’
From N Dutta’s Chandni ki Deewar’ listen closely to Talat’s song ‘Ashkon ne jo paya hai’. The violins play in three sections, embellished by a vibraphone and cellos behind Talat’s voice. The sadness of the lyric is captured in one of the most poignant violin solos in the annals of hindi film music.
It is said that Jaikishan was so taken up with Sebastian’s counters and fills he put together all of those and hey presto he had created a brand new song.
Sebastian worked tirelessly till 1974. The advent of Bhappi Lahiri and styles of that kind did not call for his skills. A self effacing man who spoke less and did more, he quietly retired to Goa and began a new life teaching children, away from the stars and the greats whom he had helped create .Little did the children whom he taught quietly, know that they had the wisdom and experience of an all time great. Shocked they were, when journalists, musicians and aficionados of the music world would descend on Sebastian’ s modest home to sit at the feet of the man and reminisce. As the children grew up they were amazed that he was the same person behind all those wonderful songs.
When he died, he instructed that no money be spent on his funeral and all that was saved should go to charity; such is the modesty of greats. Sebastian left behind a rich musical legacy which will live into generations after his time.
As so often happens to modest, silent and quiet achievers in India, he received no honours from the city of Bombay where he lived created and worked but a belated award from his home state of Goa.
That sad Wednesday afternoon, a little after he died, the radio sang :
“Aye mere dil kahin aur chal
gham ki duniya se dil bhar gaya
dhoondle ab koi ghar naya“.
It was Shailendra’s own lyric from `Daag’. He, too, had just told his weary heart : “I am full of the world’s sorrows. Let me seek a new home!”.
At the nursing home where he lay, we, his close friends, tried vainly to hold back our tears. Twenty years is a long time to know anyone, particularly in the film industry where “friendships” are made and broken easily, too easily.
Twenty years ago, we – a small group of people – had started from nothing. We had dreams, and nothing else, to sustain us. We had stood together, to the surprise and possibly dismay of many, and together we had worked out a common destiny. And today, without warning, death has laid an icy hand on one of us.
“Dhoond le ab koi ghar naya.”. He had done it.
For “Teesri Kasam” his own production, he had written :
“Sajan re jhoot mat bolo, khuda ke paas jana hai, na haathi hai na ghoda hai, vahaan paidal his jaana hai.”
True enough. We all have to go on foot. There will be no elephants to carry us, no horses, no Impalas. Poets have to go there when the call comes and ordinary men too.
But do the poets of the world, true creative artistes, really die?
Born and brought up a man of the people, Shailendra remained that all his life. His lyrics, like he himself, were simple, and had depth. And what a variety! He could dash off a frothy love lyric, he could compose a deeply philosophical poem. He wrote of sadness, gaiety, resignation, despair, hope.
“Ye poorab hai, poorab wale, har jaan ki keemat jaante hain“, he said, in the theme song of `Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai’. That was the pariot. “Awara hoon“, he sang, in a manner at once, light-hearted and serious. The song became world famous. And it was the same patriot who laughingly wrote “Mera joota hai Japani” in `Shri 420′.
When Shailendra joined our fold – at the time of Raj Kapoor was making “Barsaat” – it was with two lyrics he had ready – “Barsaat mein humse mile tum” and “Patli kamar hai“. He said goodbye to the R.K. Banner, again with two lyrics, for “Mera Naam Joker”. In between, from his work done not only for us – Shanker and myself – but for other composers, I can name scores of lovely lyrics, songs which have been on everyone’s lips.
By the way, Shailendra has written lyrics for all films for which my partner Shanker and I have composed the music with the exception of `College Girl’ and `Aarzoo’. In the latter film, he didn’t work with us because he was ill.
Shanker and I met Shailendra for the first time twenty years ago. Raj Kapoor introduced us at his office which was then at Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi. Shailendra had a job in the railway workshop at Parel. He wrote poetry in his spare time. One of his poems – “Jalta hai Punjab” – moved Raj Kapoor so much he wanted to put it in `Aag’. But Shailendra was then not keen on contributing lyrics to films. He later changed his mind and joined us for `Barsaat’.
The last time I ever saw him in good health was at Rajkamal studios about a month ago where I was doing some back-ground music recording. And you know what he was saying? Despite all the difficulties he had experienced in producing `Teesri Kasam’ he wanted to launch another film!
In the early days, Shailendra was living in a one room tenement at Parel. After `Barsaat’, my partner had been offered our first contract outside R.K. ( the film was Mr. Dalsukh Pancholi’s `Nagina’) and wanting to persuade Shailendra to write the lyrics, I visited him for the first time at his home. Like us, he was quite needy then, but his work caught on quickly and he became much sought after. His address had a few changes – from somewhere, Parel, to `Rim Jhim’, his own home at Khar, but all along the man himself never changed.
He was intelligent, very gentle, full of knowledge and very sensitive. His love of poetry and literature was paramount. Tagore was an early favourite as also Khalil Gibran. He was always nice company, whether you were discussing poetry or politics. He was very emotional and wept when something moved him. When he was composing a lyric, he would walk restlessly about the room. He loved writing on the beach. From the early days, he smoked incessantly – I wish he had been more careful.
He was young – only 43. Why did he have to go that early and with so much mental suffering?
In the music room of Shanker-Jaikishan at our homes where he was so welcome, there will be a void. There will be a bigger void in our hearts.
“Dhoond le ab koi ghar naya…”.
Goodbye, my friend.
`FILMFARE’ – JANUARY 20, 1967
This is courtesy : Jay Subramanyam who composed it on Jan 12, 2009 at 1:54 PM
Shankar Jaikishan – the 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.
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 youtube.com 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!
Written by Singer
The height S J had reached is too far. beyond anyone else’s’ reach… no question about that…
It is all before everyone eyes.. & ears…..Great, great personalities have accepted the fact.
The music pieces, the range, the varieties of tunes, the orchestration, the use of the violins & other instruments are mind-boggling.
They were the aadi & anth of a glorious height in music …
They brought the biggest orchestra to Indian scene ….how they managed it & how they recorded the magnificence with 4/ 5 mikes & limited facilities in recording technics is beyond imagination.
The height of the popularity & the volume of adoration they earned, simply by merit, at a time when there were no boosting & bombarding media, is also unheard &unseen & beyond anyone’s grasp.
They didn’t need any support from anyone, ..no big banners , no superstars were needed to take their music sky high ..Their merit was enough to take not only themselves to great heights but lift everyone who was associated with them to the same heights along with them
Sebastian & Dattaram were among those who zoomed high riding on the wings of S J.
When SJ started with Barsaat , which became a musical toofan , with all songs becoming super duper hits, competing with themselves, pushing one another to reach the sky . all of them,
there was no Sebastian or Datta ram ..
They had brought in their first movie only many new technics, setting a new trend.Thereafter raising & higher brought many variations, second track music, counters & fillers, showing India what is a true orchestra..At that period when there were only ‘sa re ga ma pa dha ni music in all the songs, they brought the new western music arrangement to India …They brought the chord arrangements, the counterparts, the backings, the fillers, obligatos & Overtures.
The first, second music, overlapping alaaps, countermelodies arrived in their first movie only .. check with ‘Chodgaye Balam & other songs.
No assistants & arrangers were needed… The macho music has landed in India!
.There were no such backings in the orchestra,………till S J appeared in the music scene.
People knew only simple straightforward music pieces, till S J entry.
Seb & Dattaram came as arranger & assistant after S J had already reached the glorious heights in music arrangement…
Sebastian was lucky that Shankerji chose him to be his arranger & now he has got an important place in the music history of India… Any arranger would have got this place if Shankerji had chosen him… It is the S J music that took him to giddy heights & gave him the exclusive boon to shine…
As I had written earlier that Shankerji’s harmonium would bring out aaaal the new, modern pieces, the new patterns, the heart pulling pieces ..& what Seb had to do was just write them down in the music sheets & place them in the song…..
Slowly & gradually Seb grasped the S J style & became nr one arranger.
When someone asked O P ji that how come Sebastian’s work is so great in only S J music, whereas he worked with many other M DS.
I heard or read somewhere that O PJI had replied, that ‘ You have the answer in your question only… It is S J music that makes Sebastian come out great ..’
What a wonderful reply! A great music director to say this about another great… Only a genius can give praise to another genius in this manner…
If Sebastian had any hand in the grandeur of S J music, how come he did not bring it out in other MDs music, with whom he worked ..?..He could have made those other MD s also give hundreds of hit songs & demand 5 lacs per movie .. right ..? How come he didn’t do that?
Sebastian was an arranger, not music maker ..If he was capable of that, we would be having another S J in the name of Sebastian with another sack full of hit songs .. But, no, we are not having that, because Sebastian was no composer. He cannot create music & he had nothing to do with the creations of S J, other than just writing the music & arranging what was already composed.The magnificent pieces & the arrangement of the magical notes are all SJ creations, every bit, A to Z …… No one,s hands were there, no one,s hands could do anything & no one was needed.Actually, who could go near S J caliber? SJ themselves could give the whole world an ocean of music marvels & much much more to so many others..
All the counters, the seconds, obligatos will come flooding out of Shankerji’s hands . Seb only had to pick those pieces & write them down in the same tempo as Shankerji’s hands.
Gone piece will be gone piece .. it wont come again ….thousands of other pieces are coming out bursting ……….Seb will nowhere lag behind .. Quick in picking up the right piece, written down in a jiffy , he is ready to pick another piece …then to place them all in the song in the right place.
If he had wanted, Sebastian could have become a music director himself.He had offers… But he knew his limits, he declined the offers he got, saying,’ that is not my job.
If you have the talent of composing, you cannot leave the composing offer.You will jump up &definitely take it .. Means Sebastian did not have the creative instinct in him. He can do a great job in arranging the music which the M D had composed & that is it. He cannot go beyond that. That is why he could not do anything great in his job with other M D s & came out great with only S J.
And he grew with the magic of S J.
Whereas Sebastian grew with S J music to greater heights, Dattaramji was zigzagging all thro ..
Dattaramji was just a rhythm player in S J orchestra .which you can see in this photograph in which Jai sab is conducting the rhythm section where Dattaramji is seen playing a rhythm instrument.
It is again Shankerji’s magnanimity that raised him from a rhythm player to rhythm conductor.
Like always, like with so many other people he had lifted, Shankerji lifted Dattaramji also.
Not only that, he gave him chance to give music in movies with Rajkapoor.
So gracious & big hearted was Shankerji to give such a chance to an assistant … Couldn’t he have taken the movie himself?Have any other M D done like this anytime?
.Many of the M D s of those times had Hindu assistants who were familiar with classical & light music. Some M Ds might have been telling their assistants to make the music for their songs.Arrangers were mostly Goan Christians & they wrote notations .. not make music .
. But most of our great mds not only just composed all the music but worked for a long time making different pieces & checking, bringing out best music.I have read somewhere Naushad sab saying that he worked more hard in the music than the song. As for S J, sawaal hi nahi uthta hai .. .with the undrying ocean of music roaring within them, where is any chance for any arranger to get in? They had everything composed in excellence, the intro, interval, counters, seconds, fillers, all complete, each & every piece ready for the arranger to write & fix the chords.They had the most brilliant excellent magical music flowing from their hands & they built an ethereal heaven of music which will go on shining in the world forever.
Who was needed to put char chand in their music? They have fixed pacheeson Chands in their hand…No arranger was invited to fix char chand in their compositions …Who could even come close to their melodies & music pieces?
Seb was required to control the sea of musicians in SJ orchestra, which was growing bigger & bigger all the time. Plus he had to write western notations for the musicians who read western notations.They all have to play at one time & since there were no track recording facilities at that time, conductors were needed to manage the huge orchestra.Seb, s job was to write all the music, place them in the right place as main music or counters, give the sheets to the musicians & lead them to play in unison .
Dattaramji was also lucky that Shankerji gave him this chance .. Shankerji’s loyalty & steadfast sincerity made him stick to Dattaramji all thro ….though Dattaramji ‘s style slowly was lagging behind & not reaching to the level of the grandeur of S J music.
SJ brought new styles & variations in rhythm, but they all did not come out due to the lack of a proper rhythm arranger. Shankerji used to play & sing all the patterns while composing the song. The music pieces come out with Sebastian writing down most of them, but rhythm patterns which Shankerji would demonstrate with audiation sounds , by uttering the rhythm patterns by various sound combinations, went missing. You can watch in some interview videos how Shankerji demonstrate rhythm patterns.
While his tabla dholak arrangements were quite fantastic, Dattaramji was not as fantastic in the beats as to the most modern, rich, new wave music of S J in all those western style modern songs…
With the passage of time & their hit parade raising higher & higher, S J music went on leaping to new heights But Shankerji, let Dattaram conduct the rhythm section in his style which was not rising to the level of the brilliance of S J music & lagged way behind S J magnetism.His tadipas & Dattu tekas were getting outdated & not suitable for the changing times & the latest, futurish music S J went on creating… The new crop of Disco Diggers mushrooming all over wanting to rock with the beats, the drums had to take over the reigns.
If Shankerji had taken another new young rhythm arranger for his western style songs the rhythm would have been much more matching with their magnificent level
But Shankerji is Shankerji .. he will not hurt anyone .. he will take the hurt himself
He cannot let his associate down ……….& he compromises…
It would have been so much the merrier if Dattaramji was little more innovative & brought new variations matching those zinging zooming S J tunes instead of sticking to the tadipas…
.There was a Himalayan scope in all those brilliant vibrant melodies of S J, for the rhythm arranger to come out with out of the world beats, variations, styles & patterns.
But sadly Dattaramji stuck to his old style which made some S J lovers turn to other directions..
Anyway, the power of the high volume magnetism & machoism in S J music is so enormous that it will not be affected by the lack of modern pattern beats. New wave rhythm or old wave rhythm S J dhuns will go swinging all over the world. No one notices or realizes the missing fireworkbeats in the songs.
Many new crops of rhythm players & conductors would have given the world to get to work with Shankerji.. but with Dattaramji around they would not dare coming close to Shankerji.
We all respect Sebastian & Dattaram.We respect them because they worked with the greats whom we love & respect…Shankerji,s & Jaikishenji.s association have given them this love & respect …who would bother about them if they did not work with SJ & worked with some other MD s? The love for S J is so enormous in all their chahnewale’s hearts that they will love anyone connected with them in any capacity. Does anyone bother about the arrangers & assistants of any other M D ?
I cannot go praising any persons unjustly ,unduely saying that someone had their hands in S J marvels & give credit to people saying they had inputs in S J music.
I have a conscience, … for God’s sake!
I have watched, the composing, the notation writings, the rehearsals & recordings…………and I can say with my head high before God that S J are the limit in creations & they did everything by themselves & no one did anything in their creations & none had any inputs in their creations ……
Sure . the credit for doing a great job in arranging S J music in grand manner goes to Sebastianji .The understanding , the inner vibes& tuning he developed with S J made him dear to them ..That is all .. No credit for any creative job or having a hand in their music .if I did that to go along with the crowd I will be doing something wrong .
I don’t know when, how & why Dattaramji left …
But I knew when Sebastian left
. Shankerji tells me, with a heavy heart that Sebastian is leaving.
I am shocked. I ask ‘ Why? What happened?
He says ‘ He is retiring .. Going to Goa ‘
I could not believe it .. How can a professional retire? How will his talent take a bow?
That too leaving Shankerji at this time .. after Jai sab left him?
‘ Noooo.’ I say .. Don’t let him go ..’
He says, ‘ I am telling him… He is not listening ‘
I felt that Seb should not have left Shankerji at this crucial time…
I could not forgive him…How did he have the heart ?…
At least he could have waited until Shankerji found some suitable person.
He was also like one of all those …who let Shankerji down ……..when he was going thro his dark time…This is not the best time for Shankerji to go & try new associations in his work.
True, it will not affect him, whichever arranger he worked with. But the longtime association, understanding & the rapport Seb shared with Shankerji are something which will not be easy to get from somewhere else, all of a sudden at a testing period of his career.
Shankerji takes this one & that one for arranging his music …with no proper result or full satisfaction … fighting his battles like a warrior without his chariot or weapon… .
No doubt all those arrangers were brilliant in their jobs … but Shankerji,s extraordinary style is way beyond anyone to cope up with.Gradually all Shankerji’s new creations which were full of verve & vigor suffered without proper handling, accurate arranging & rhythm setting.
..Before he could get the new young talents get acquainted with his magic & come up to match his creativity .. he had to leave this world…
People say. ‘ Oh . some songs are loud, some songs are not so great ‘
Tell me have you seen anywhere in this whole world any MD who have given nearly 2000 songs . all great & all hits?
If you compose thousands of songs, surely some of them will be little less sparkling…
See the percentage of hits & the number of star-making songs… matchless!
India is richer in music because of S J . If you imagine the music world without S J songs, you will see a bleak picture.
All artists, stars or singers, dancers or M D s, they all lose their charm after a particular period, though they cannot leave & retire because of their ego or greediness & they go on dragging forcing themselves upon the public with aged faces & voices. The public takes them because of the feelings it has developed for them during the past.
But Shankerji was not anyone. He was the specially created special genius, with an endless flow of divine music in his hands & brain.
You have not seen the full real glory of his music! What you have seen is not even 1/10nth of his marvels.
How can I tell you what I had witnessed during his composing & notation writing time?
Which pen has the capacity to describe the glory ?
Against all odds, handicapped with the lack of proper understanding assistants, he goes on with his marvelous creations. After Jaikishen, bearing his grief within himself , he comes out in his full charisma continuing the legacy of S J Janda . Left alone in disconcerting times with all sathis leaving him, his musical genius did not leave him. Being his lifeline , it lived with him as long as he lived.
. Whatever, kami some feel, had come in his creations after Jai sab , is not in his creations, It is due to the grade of movies & work of the assistants. His work was as magnificent as ever .
Many M D jodis finish off if one person leaves, K A, LP, Sonic Omi, Nadeem Shravan & as such.
With Shankerji, it was as if Jaikishenji never left him. Shankerji’s music Ganga never stopped flowing…………until end came ………the hands stopped playing & the voice was silenced ………
(15 October 1922 – 26 April 1987)
I know, I am a day late in posting for this great man, but, in 1987, we also got the news a day later…
As I was growing up, I developed an interest in palmistry for a brief period of my life… It was a known ‘fact’ in Palmistry, that if one had long, slender fingers with shapely nails, one was creative and artistic… When I looked at my own hands, I saw that I fit the description to perfection !
When people complimented me on my fingers, I would blush …. ( With my skin colour, I turn maroon when I blush )
One day, I don’t really remember why, but I was at Famous Mahalaxmi Studios and went into Shanker Jaikishen’s music room… He was talking about his memories of my father and he had his harmonium in front of him… Suddenly, he started playing the introduction music of this song from ‘Barsaat’ and played the whole song, humming along…
IT WAS PURE MAGIC !!!
Then I noticed his fingers… short, stubby fingers !
In all these years, so many Music Directors have come and gone…
Nobody has even come within miles of Shanker…
HE WAS A GENIUS…
P.S. I stopped believing in Palmistry … 😀