Tag Archives: Shankar jaikishan

Tribute to Jaikishan by Sharda

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

No photo description available.

Trivial facts about Shanker Jaikishan Part-I

Taken from different compilations of trivials by

Lakshmi K Tummala
Abhay Acharekar

1) Asrani can be seen in the first row of chorus in the song, “Ab kahan jayen hum..” in’Ujala.’ He also appears in the movie, “Hare Kaanch ki Chudiyan” but we always think of his debut as “Umang”2) Subhash Ghai lip-synched on several songs partially in ‘Umang’ but also “sang” the Rafi song completely in the same film, “Baabul kaun ghadi..”3) Jaya Bhaduri never had the opportunity to sing a song of SJ. However, Jaya acted on the Asli Naqli song “Tujhe jeevan ki dor se” in Guddi with Dharmendra.4) Amitabh never had the opportunity to sing a song of SJ. BUt Shankar’s favorite dummy words “Tandana Tandana..” became a mukhda of his (LP) song where he mimicked Mehmood.”Tandana Tandana..” words were first heard in “MayurPankh” and later in “Gumnaam”5) “Gumnaam” becomes the only film ever that had music influenced by a Hollywood film and that influenced a Hollywood film in return! The two films are “Charade” and “Ghost World” respectively.6) “Gumnaam” had Mehmood singing “Bhai Battoor..” which later became a song in Padosan.Mehmood also sang “Lal ghoda..” in “Shatranj” which became a full-fledged song in “Kunwaara Baap”7) “Ram Teri..” song “Sun Sayba..” is influenced by “I love you..” from “Sangam”8) The tune for “Jaane kahan gaye woh din…” was first heard in background music of “Jis Desh mein…”9) The Goan tune for “Na maagoo sona chandi..” was first heard in background music of “Awara.” It was played just before the song “Dum bhar jo udhar moonh phere”10) “Jaaon kahan bata ai dil” from “Chhoti Bahen” was influenced by the title music of “New Delhi”11) “Mora nadaan balma” from “Ujala” was influenced by the title music of “Mayurpankh”12) “Kisiki muskuraton pe” from “Anari” was influenced by the background music of “Shree 420″13) “Sambhal ke karna..” tune from “Ek Phool Char Kaante” was used in the background of “Golmaal” by RDB very often. SDB also used a tune from the same movie in “Chupke Chupke”14) Besides Rajendra Kishan who wrote lyrics for “College Girl,” SJ also utilized the service of lyricist Deepak in “Boot Polish” when Shailendra was alive.15) Though Shailendra was associated with Shanker, it was Hasrat Jaipuri who wrote the lyrics in Shanker’s solo venture, “Street Singer” produced by Chandrashekhar. Hasrat Jaipuri also appears in the movie. Shanker did so under the pseudonym, Suraj. The other movie he composed music for, under this name was the Marathi, “Tee Mee Navhech.”16) Jaikishan appears in “Main Sundar Hoon” with Anand Bakshi, his only film with SJ.17) Gulshan Bawra appears in two songs of SJ in “Beimaan” and “Jungle Mein Mangal.” He did not write lyrics for these movies but wrote lyrics for other SJ films like “Chori Chori,” (new) “Jaane Anjaane,” and “Aan Baan.”18) Neeraj acted on the song “Paise ki Pehchan..” in the film “Pehchan” and also wrote the lyrics for the same.19) Neeraj and Hasrat Jaipuri teamed together for SJ in the film “Dil Daulat Duniya” for a song. Later they also wrote all the lyrics for all songs of “Jungle mein Mangal.” The results weren’t great. I like the song “Tum Kitni khoobsoorat” They also wrote lyrics for Usha Khanna’s “Paani mein jale mera gora badan..” in “Munimji” (1973).20) “Kismat Ka Khel” had a Lata song with dummy words that sounded like “Echo Echo..” Years later, Shanker used similar words in a song in “Naari” which happened to be the only SJ song sung by Yesudas (with Amit Kumar), “Neeche zameen, upar gagan..”21) Director Prayaag Raaj yelled “Yahoo..” in the “Junglee” song whereas Shanker was responsible for “Ayaya Sukoo Sukoo..” Prayag Raaj later acted in “Bombay Talkie and also directed “Insaniyat” starring Shashi Kapoor and Madhu.22) Dattaram lip-synched for the song, “Tum mere pyar ki..” from “Bombay Talkie” acting as a playback singer.23) SJ were responsible for Usha Iyer’s first film songs in “Bombay Talkie” and this was about two years before her success in “Hare Rama Hare Krishna.”24) Ustad Ali Akbar Khan played the sarod in “Suno Chhotisi Gudiya ki..” Pannalal Ghosh played the flute in “Main piya teri..”Hazara Singh played the electric guitar in “Tera teer..”Manohari played the saxophone in “bedardi Balma..”25) Bappi Lahiri’s father Aparesh Lahiri sang an SJ song in “Badshah” (I have not heard this one.)26) Famous classical singer Bhimsen Joshi sang a jugalbandi in “Basant Bahar” with Manna Dey.27) Anuradha Paudwal, Alka Yagnik, Chandrani Mukerjee, Sharda, Dilraj Kaur all sang “Ari o sakhi..” for SJ together in “Kaanch ki Deewar.” Lead Stars Sanjeev Kumar, Smita Patil and Shanker all died within months after the release of the movie.28) “Gaya Bachpan..” from “Ankhon Ankhon Mein” was the last song recorded by Jaikishan.29) The movie “Preetam” has title music that is the same as that of “Mere Sanam” of OP Nayyar. The movie was released just a few months after Jaikishan died. Does anyone have an idea why? The producer of the movie was Bhappi Sonie.30) The first SJ movie without a Lata song was “Boot Polish.” It was also the only movie of SJ with RK without a Mukesh song!31) Aarti Mukerjee sang a song for SJ in “Boy Friend” in 1960 and the next SJ song that she sang was in 1974 for “Neelma.”32) Joy Mukerjee had SJ music only in two movies: “Love in Tokyo” & “Love in Bombay”33) The first RK Films movie to win a Filmfare Award was ‘Mera Naam Joker,” the last SJ movie of SJ with Raj Kapoor was the hero!34) Omprakash, the actor, directed the Raj Kapoor starrer “Kanhaiyya” produced by his brother, Pachhi. Pachhi also produced “Around the World” and “International Crook” in which Omprakash got to sing songs on screen!35) SJ had the privilege of composing music for the only complete original color film starring Madhubala, “Jwala.”36) The first color film for which SJ composed music was “MayurPankh” starring Kishore Sahu.37) SJ composed music for several films shot on foreign locations and provided music to suit the mood: Sangam, Pyar Mohabat, Naina, Dharti, An Evening in Paris, Love in Tokyo, International Crook, Singapore, Around the World, Saazish.. International Crook was shot in Alaska.38) SJ composed music for the first 70mm film in India: “Around the World.”39) “Dream Girl is coming” was what the posters said when “Sapnon Ka Saudagar” was about to release. SJ were amongst those who chose her for the role.40) The last SJ film to have multiple songs played on Binaca Geetmala was “Sanyasi.”41) “Krishna Krishna” is the only mythological film for which SJ composed music.42) Shammi Kapoor heads the list of SJ leading men. Rajendra Kumar comes a distant second. Vyjayanthimala heads the list of SJ leading women.43) The only Dev Anand song sung by Kishore Kumar for SJ was “Dooriyan Nazdikiyan” in “Duniya.”44) “Zindagi Ek Safar hai suhana..” from “Andaz” has three voice versions: Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsale and Mohd Rafi.45) Hemant Kumar’s daughter Rano Mukerjee sang a few songs for SJ in the mid seventies in “Saazish,” “Resham Ki Dori,” and “International Crook.” The song that she sang for”International Crook” was not used in that film but instead found its way in the film, “Eent ka Jawab Patthar.” The song was “Poochha jo pyar kya hai..” with Kishore Kumar.46) The film “Dur Nahin Manzil” was first assigned to Roshan who died. Later SJ were signed for the same and Jaikishan died during its making. Suman Kalyanpur had sung the title song for Roshan. She also sang for SJ in the film: “Bezuban dil shor na..” The heroine was originally Nutan. She had acted in producer Hari Valia’s earlier venture, “Laatsaab” but due to a misunderstanding with Sanjeev Kumar, she stepped out and was replaced by Bindu’s sister (and Laxmikant’s sister-in-law) Reshma.47) Mohd Rafi sang two non-film English songs for SJ. They were uploaded on the site earlier.48) SJ’s first HMV LP Album had a picture of them with their two 1959 White Impala cars with fins and also their Filmfare awards.49) HMV had released a Lata LP in which all songs were composed by SJ. The songs included: “Bol ri Kathputli..” “Mohabat ki Daastan..” “Jeevan ke do rahe pe khade..”50) Anuradha Paudwal did a cover version of Lata songs for SJ for T-Series. Later, HMV released a cassette with almost the same original songs.51) Almost all SJ films were from HMV. SJ’s first movie album to be released for Polydor (now Music India) was “Love in Bombay.” “Archana” was also on Polydor. “Chorni” was with INRECO.52) There is a chowk (street junction) called “Shanker Jaikishan Chowk” close to Eros Theatre in Mumbai.53) Some of the lead dual roles in SJ films:Shararat Kishore Kumar An Evening in Paris Sharmila TagoreBhai Bhai Sunil DuttChhote Sarkar Shammi KapoorMahfil SadhanaAtmaram Shatrughan SinhaYakeen DharmendraGaram Khoon Vinod Khanna54)Some non Hindi words in SJ songs:Kali Ghata: Il ya Belle…Shree 420: Rammaiyya vastavayya…Singapore: Rasa Sayang re…Junglee: Yahoo!…Sangam: I love you…Love in Tokyo: Sayonara…Pyar Mohabat: Hooray Hooray.. Aman: Puru sato Japan..Shatranj: Badkamma Ikkad po tora..Garam Khoon: Penelope…Eent Ka jawab Patthar:

6Jagadish Tc, Tamal Kanti Pal and 4 others1 Comment1 Share

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source :


Shankar Jaikishen : Range of their talent


Monica Kar

Monica Kar

Perhaps the oldest established of the three composer duos, Shankar Jaikishan got their break in Barsaat in 1949. Having worked under the very first composer duo of Hindi films, Husnlal-Bhagatram and, later, with Ram Ganguly, these two had no conventional education. Perhaps it would be correct to say that the generation of listeners born in the early ’60s were a lucky bunch who grew up on a cocktail of the compositions this duo created!

Shankar Jaikishan (Pic: Google Image Search)

There are many websites devoted to their music, millions of fans who have, perhaps, a better handle on the intricacies of their music. Perhaps musicologist Manek Premchand’s arrow hits closest to bull’s-eye when he talks about them “Keeping one eye on newness and the other eye on simplicity. Trying variations, reversing taals, reversing the start of the sthayi into avroh. Using counter-melody, taking the saxophone here, positioning the accordion elsewhere. But with all this, never losing focus of the fact that the songs just had to be listener-friendly. S-J didn’t want to compose complex melodies that were made for the sangeet gharanas. They wanted to make, and always managed to compose, tunes that you and I could listen to and sing and enjoy long after they themselves had left the film scene. This they achieved so well.”

I admit that I have never been able to classify S-J into any mold. Nor have I been able to explain to myself what it is that defines their music. If I were to put it simplistically, I’d say they are known for a truly unique combination – a teaspoon of classical music thrown in with a pinch of melody, garnished with a lilt – and voila! Another winner! Or their orchestration. Or their simply mind blowing preludes, interludes, postludes…Or… I could go on and on. But when I became enamored of their music, I knew none of this. I knew only that I loved a lot of their songs.  And even though they worked with both Hasrat Jaipuri and Shailendra together in most movies, I have chosen songs written by Shailendra, simply to reduce the variables while trying to display

the range of their talent.SJ, Raj Kapoor, Hasrat, Shailendra

Hasrat Jaipuri, Jaikishan Raj Kapoor, Shankar and Shailendra (Pic: Cinema Sangeet)

In 1963 they had four releases: Hamrahi, Ek Dil Sau Afsane, Asli Naqli and Dil Ek Mandir. All of them with their favorite poets Hasrat Jaipuri and Shailendra doing the honors. I do think it’s important here to note that none of these were RK Films. Let’s see if we can unearth the genius that was S-J using their 1963 releases as a sample of their work.

Here is more than a teaspoon of classical music: Lata’s Mann re tu hi bataa kya gaaun in Hamrahi is the cry of a forlorn heart unable to contain itself and as incapable of sharing her grief. A semi-classical touch with the mellifluous sitar prelude devoid of any other instrument, joined by a few chords and Lata’s piercing address to her “mann” starts the song. In fact after each verse, the comeback to the “mann re” is devoid of any music except these guitar chords in the background. It’s almost as if the “mann” cannot take the weight of any instrument, lest it break completely. Lata’s voice, sans any melody or percussion makes a deeper impact. The tabla, the sitar, the violins, those guitar chords, used so prudently by the duo here. To end with that plaintive cry to the “mann” – just fabulous! Shailendra’s words? Haunting.

Mann re tu hi bataa kya gaaun (Hamrahi, 1963) Shankar-Jaikishan / Shailendra / Lata

To show the melody that their music is so full of, here’s an unusual Rafi-Raj Kapoor combine from Ek Dil Sau Afsane! This duet is a shock to watch for the first time as one doesn’t associate Rafi’s voice with the Showman at all. In complete contrast to the sitar and high notes in Mann re, hear how softly this one starts off! Soft and firm. Not tentative. How attractive the repeating sound of that brush on the drums is throughout the song! A simple love song, this one depends on the waltz beat and meter and the drums to slowly steal your heart. Uncomplicated, yet rich with little touches, like how the drums start up each time the mukhda starts. How the accordion flirts with the orchestra and peeks into each verse.

And Shailendra? He makes you smile here. Notice his play on words in the mukhda? One says “my world is full of you, like a garden is full of flowers.” Complete saturation. The other says “you’re unique for me, like the moon is unique in the sky.” Only one.  A delight of a song that never grows old. You start listening and long after the song is over, you’re still humming, Tum hi tum ho

Tum hi tum ho (Ek Dil Sau Afsane, 1963) Shankar-Jaikishan / Shailendra / Lata and Rafi

Let’s elaborate a little on their ‘eye on simplicity’. The song that instantly comes to mind is one from Asli Naqli sung beautifully by Lata. In a movie that boasted beautifully penned and composed, extremely popular songs like Tujhe jeevan ki dor se, Laakh chhupao chhup na sakega, Chheda mere dil ne tarana tere pyar ka, Kal ki daulat aaj ki khushiyan, this Lata-Sadhana combine comes like the freshest air of dawn, even as it has been filmed at night. A whiff of the purest air there is. A song that combines the jubilation of falling in love with the darr of being in love! Shailendra expressing this as only he can – simply, clearly.  Lata and Sadhana both elevating this simplicity to the sublime.

The heady excitement, with the fear of losing something as valuable as one’s life partner dogging at the heel of this whirlwind of emotion.

Chahat ka hai harsu asar, Tujhko dekhun, dekhun jidhar….
Chalti hun main taaron par, Phir kyun mujhko lagta hai darr…

Hear how S-J create the effect they want.  Do you know that the eye of a storm is quite still? This is how this song feels. The steadiness of this lady’s emotion, so believable because it is so steady; in tandem with the flourish of violins that start off the song! In the interludes, we have that accordion peeping again creating that little anxiety in the waltz-rhythm of the orchestra! The verses, where the orchestra fades to give way to the heartbeat – the tabla. The result?

Kya kaha hai chand ne, jisko sun ke  chandani
har lahar pe jhoom ke, kyun ye nachane lagi

To some, the two waltz songs above may seem similar, but their treatment sets them apart. While the duet is a private whispering of sweet-nothings, the Lata solo above is the sheer joy of being alive and in love with that intoxicating and oh-so-real hint of fear that doesn’t dampen the mood…that feeling of dancing on waves, or stars, remains long after the song is over.

Tera mera pyaar amar (Asli Naqli, 1963) Shankar-Jaikishan / Shailendra / Lata

By far, the most popular, the most classical-based album that S-J came up with in 1963 remains Dil Ek Mandir. A movie that could have just remained a tearjerker had it not been for its fine music and some wonderful performances that elevated it a notch. Meena Kumari, Raaj Kumar and Rajendra Kumar, all in their best tragic costumes. What elevates the story is the character of not only the doctor, his sacrifice, but the acceptance of this doctor’s role in his wife’s previous life by the husband, in my very humble opinion. Meena Kumari as the quintessential Indian wife, deeming her husband her devta is in her element. S-J give her two solos as the wife, both undying compositions. One that reveals a little of her struggle to accept this man as her husband, having loved another – a Hasrat Jaipuri-penned poem that adds a little shade to her cookie-cutter character, and is therefore a personal favorite.

Hum pyar ke gangaajal mein *balam ji* tan-mann apna dho baitthe

Panchhi se chhuda kar uss ka ghar tum apne ghar par le aaye
Ye pyar ka pinjra mann-bhaaya, hum jee bhar-bhar kar muskaaye
Jab pyar hua iss pinjre se, tum kehne lage azaad raho
Hum kaise bhulayein pyar tera, tum apni zubaan se ye na kaho
Ab tum-sa jahaan mein koi nahi hai, hum to tumhare ho baitthe
Tum kehte ho ke aise pyar ko bhool jao, bhool jao…

The addition of that ‘ab’, whether done to balance the meter or intentionally, is a stellar touch.  I confess- what endeared this song to a younger me was that phrase, so niftily tucked into the meter – the younger me actually waiting for the second verse to hear the balam ji-part! Sometimes it’s a small thing that leads to undying love – it doesn’t always have to be something grand! 🙂

Hum pyar ke gangaajal mein *balam ji* tan-mann apna dho baitthe.

The other, Ruk jaa raat, ttheher ja re chanda, beetey na milan ki bela, written by Shailendra, an audio-visual treat, is an entreaty and a commitment all at once. An entreaty for the night to last forever. A commitment to the husband that no matter what the morning brings, her bond with him will remain eternally.

Kal ka darna, kaal ki chinta, do tan hain, mann ek hamare
Jeevan-seema ke aage bhi, aaungi main sang tumhare…

The repetition of this last sentence, almost in a whisper without instrumentation, is a brilliant touch in a composition that is replete with violins, the piano, even a faint shehnai, and a beautiful tabla.

Hasrat Jaipuri writes a beautiful piece of poetry in the title song, giving a pure heart the stature of a temple, composed so beautifully with the high notes, sung with confidence by Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur. Ahh! What ideals we grew up with! These were songs that inspired way more than Moral Science lessons ever could.

Even in a feast full of satisfying courses and dishes, there is often times one that will top the others, even if by a hair’s breadth. Here it is the Rafi-crooned regret that makes my hair stand on end each time I hear it. Not only his voice and Shailendra’s poetry, but S-J’s treatment of both. Starting so unusually with a bulbul tarang that leads into the most unusual sound of the accordion – or is that an organ?-two completely opposing sounds here! The bulbul tarang is usually employed to express excitement, joy, or at least movement. The sounds of the organ/accordion here are foreboding, as if spelling doom! More than enough to get your attention toward this Raag Kirwani offering. The sound of the very same organ/accordion ends this song, maybe to denote that nothing has changed – the memories remain, as does the love. Rafi’s voice full of unshed tears, regrets, memories and a love that will not be forgotten. Shailendra’s words, unparalleled, his imagery of days past as birds that he wishes he could cage and feed pearls, keep close to his heart – Uff!

Yaad na jaaye beete dino ki (Dil Ek Mandir, 1963) Shankar-Jaikishan / Shailendra / Rafi

Is it any wonder that yaad na jaaye beete dino ki? When melody awakened us and melody put us to sleep. When life was maybe not as exciting as it is today, but it was rich. With the talent, the passion and the commitment of people like these film makers, actors, these composer duos, singers and these poets.

Such mein…din jo pakheru hote…seene se rehta lagaye….

Premchand, Manek (2003). Yesterday’s Melodies Today’s Memories. 2nd edition. Mumbai. Jharna Books.

Monica Kar

About Monica Kar

Monica Kar has her BA in English Literature from the University of Delhi. She now lives in St. Charles, Missouri, USA, where she wears many hats. While she has worked in Publishing, Retail, Education and Construction in various roles, she has been a free-lance editor since 1987, and is currently part time editor with Learning and Creativity-Silhouette Magazine. In 2015 she started writing about her first passion – Hindi film songs of the Golden Age for an online music group. She welcomes suggestions and critiques on her writing as it makes her learn and grow as a writer.

This article is taken from learningandcreativity.com/silhouette
it is part of a piece written to honor the music of 1963

Bombay Talkies (1970)

Photos and feature by

MN Sardana

Except for few exceptions, the movie had entirely Indian cast and had outstanding technical value ,but Bombay Talkies released in 1970 failed to carve out a niche with cine goers. The argument that as the movie was in English language , therefore could not succeed in India does not hold water , as movies from Hollywood are regularly screened here and people have been flocking to watch it at theaters . The movie was based upon a story/ screen play jointly written by Madam K Praver Jhabwala, a Parsee lady and Mr.James Ivory ,produced by Mr Ismail Merchant and directed by James Ivory, all based in U.K. Matinee idol and popular hero of Hindi films Mr Shashi Kapoor played the role of Vikram , hero of Hindi movies, who is philanderer and spoiled brat . Despite, he being married with beautiful Mala ( Aparna Sen) , he falls in love with a visiting journalist Lucia (Mrs Jennifer Kendall Kapoor). Extra martial affair, as we have experienced always ends with violence and in this case also the outcome was no different . Seems, the story of the movie did not appeal to the sensibilities and ethos of an average Indian person and so the movie could not be favored by cine-goers . The movie had many well known skillful artists of Hindi screen like Mr Utpal Dutt, Mr Pinchoo Kapoor, Nadira Ji, Mr. Iftekhar, Mr. Jalal Agha, Mr. Anwar Ali, Miss Helen etc .Brilliant photography by great camera man Subrato Mitra and art direction by A Ranga Raj gave a slick look to the movie . Mr. Zia Mohyeddin ,a British actor of Pakistani origin played a key role as a frustrated lover in the movie . Accomplished music composers Shankar Jaikishan provided the music for the movie . The way Hindi movies are shot and the Bollywood parties have been well captured by the director .To entertain the guest in the party sequence a mock fight between free style wrestler Mr Saudagar Singh and a masked wrestler was staged before the gathering ,which was hugely amusing. I must praise Mr Ivory ,the director of the movie ,who gave an interesting role to old time actor Mr Mirza Musharraf, who regaled Hindi audiences with his own brand of English. To find Mirza Saab in an English movie was a pleasant surprise . There were few more artists ,who had fleeting cameos in the movie and can be seen in the photographs shared below.

Photographs :- 1) Writer /director/actor and close friend of Mr Shashi Kapoor ,Mr Prayag Raaj ,played the role of a film director in the movie. 2) Mr Mirza Musharraf gladdened the hearts of viewers with his sudden appearance . 3) Yester year stars Sulochana Ji (Ruby Myers) also had a role in the film . Here she is seen with Mrs. Jennifer Kapoor. 4) In a sequence , recording of the song was filmed ,in which Mr Datta Ram , music composer was shown as singer . 5) In the party scene , popular junior artist Mr Darshan (Harbans Darshan) was also one of the guest . In this scene ,he is flanked by Mr Zia Mohyeddin & Mr Sukhdev (partly visible). Mr Sukhdev ,also known as S Sukhdev ,was a famous documentary films maker ,who made dozens of documentaries and many of his documentaries won national and international prizes . He also was directing Reshma Aur Shera for Sunil Dutt Saab. But due to creative differences with Mr. Dutt, Mr Sukhdev left the movie and Sunil Dutt Saab himself completed the movie after reshooting. Film makers are to be congratulated for recognizing the contribution made by Mr Darshan by including his name in the casting.

Image may contain: 1 person
Image may contain: 1 person, suit
Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage
Image may contain: 2 people

When ever I watch Helen Ji on the screen ,I recall the line written by Pt Bharat Vyas “bade mann se widhata ne tujhko ghada”. Miss Helen looked ravishing in Bombay Talkies.

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing