The Fabulous Lyricist and a
rey jhooth mat bolo, khuda key pass janaa hei, na hathee hei na ghorha hei
wahan paidal hi janaa hei’- was sung by Mukesh for the
film- ‘Teesri Kasam’ and composed by Shanker Jaikishan.
simple and straight forward words having profound and
meaningful thoughts immersed in the lyrics, which carried the feelings of
a common man in this fabulous melody will certainly be remembered for
years together. After listening to this soulful song, one can confidently
say- ‘The writer of the sonata must be Shailendra’, who is known for
his simplicity of expression in his lyrics.
the year 1949 Raj Kapoor produced and directed film -‘Barsaat’ and
introduced a large number of personalities, such as music director-
Shanker Jaikishan, story
writer- Ramanand Sagar, actress- Nimmi and lyricists- Hasrat Jaipuri &
Shailendra. It was indeed a big stake, since it was Raj Kapoor’s second
produced film after ‘Aag’. During
those days, songs of the film
was a prime factor for its success. The title song- ’Barsaat mein
humsey miley tum sajan’
written by Shailendra and sung by young Lata Mangeshkar became an instant
hit. It perhaps overshadowed all other popular songs of the film including
his own–‘Patli qamar hei tirchhee nazar hei’ and others
written by Ramesh Shastri, Qamar Jalalabadi and Hasrat Jaipuri.
soulful sonnet of Shailendra forming a thin and delicate veil between life
and death reflected the passion and obsession to dwell upon the brevity
and uncertain life and the finality of death. This was the beginning of
the success story of Shailendra. As a close associate for Raj Kapoor’s
films, he continued till ‘Mera Naam Joker’ not only as a lyricist but
also as a title song writer. Besides, in the future course, where ever
there was a song based on rain-theme, the success of the film came as an
the film ‘Barsaat’ was in making, C. Ramchandra, one of the greatest
music composers observed- “Apnee
nayee film mein, Prithviraj ke betey ne naye chehrey lekar jo juaa khela
hei, wo usko itnee mehngee paregee ki wo tasweer banaa bhool jayega’ (The
gamble played by the son of Prithviraj Kapoor (Raj Kapoor) in choosing all
new faces i.e music director/s, lyricists, and actors will cost him so
heavily that he will forget the task of film making).
predictions turned out to be false.
the contrary the trust, confidence and conviction in Raj Kapoor proved
otherwise and the selection of Shailendra and also of Shanker Jaikishan
became a milestone in the career of the brilliant showman.
some of his such songs to follow, depicting the pain of parting- ‘Do
din key liyay mehmaan yahan’ (Badal), ‘Janey naa haye yey
dunian dil ki lagee’ (Buzdil),
‘Ay merey dil kahin aur chal’ (Daag),
‘Ye shaam ki tanhaiyan’ & ‘Chhoti si ye zindgani
(Aah), ‘Mittee se kheltey ho baar baar kis liyey’ (Patita),
‘Rulaa ke chal diyey ik din’ - (Badshaah) ‘O
janeywale ho sakey to laut ke ana (Bandini); the lyricist in
Shailendra has simply and intimately explored such sentiments, which was
certainly a heavenly gift to the composers, the producers
and above all to the thoughtful
had best of his association with Shankar Jaikishan, but he shared an
equally pleasant rapport with musical giants of those days, like Salil
Chowdhry (Madhumati & Parakh), S.N. Tripathi (Sangeet Samrat Tansen),
S.D. Barman (Guide & Bandini), Pt Ravi Shanker (Anuradha) and Anil
Biswas (Chhoti Chhoti Batein)
Anil Biswas the master composer very boldly observed that the principal
factor for the success or failure of a song depends on the choice of its
lyrics. Then comes composer’s understanding of depth of thought and
capacity to explore the feelings immersed in the lyrics. Thereafter it is
the selection of
instruments to be deployed and the selection of the singer.
This is how according to the maestro a melody must be composed. His
observation that the prime factor for the success of an everlasting melody
goes to its lyricist- bears his conviction and a candid truth.
films produced during black and white era are primarily remembered for
their immortal melodies. The
success of a large number of films made during such period is generally
attributed to the star cast followed by the
composers and singers. But, it is an irony that rarely viewers, the
listeners and even the critics have adequately evaluated the role of the
this context a film named ‘Rattan’ produced in the year 1944, is a
classic example to discuss this vital aspect of recognition of the
lyricist. The film was an instant success in
view of its fabulous songs.
The nostalgic music lovers still have not forgotten the immortal melodies ‘Akhiyan
mila ke, jiyaa bharmaa ke chaley nahin janaa’, ‘Pardesi balamwaa
baadal aayey’, ‘Mil key bichharh gayee akhhiyan,’ ‘O jaaney wale
baalmawa laut ke aa, laut key aa’ &
‘Aayee diwali, aayee diwali, deepak sang nachey patanga’ -sung
by Zohra Bai Ambalewali for this film.
unforgettable songs for this
film were written by Dina Nath Madhok, who even prepared the tunes of all
these songs with a finger playing on a matchbox or his favorite ‘555’
the music director of this film once admitted that the total cost of the
film- ‘Rattan’ was a mere seventy five thousand rupees. However, the
first year’s royalty earned through the sale of its gramophone records
was over rupees three lacs. A 78 rpm disc used to cost rupees two. It was
a landmark. The fact remains that -‘The song writer never got his due
recognition!’ The destiny of lyricist Shailendra was not different,
stated, Shailendra entered the ‘film-music-arena’ in the year-1949 in
Raj Kappor’s film ‘Barsaat’. It was during the phase, when a galaxy
of eminent song-writers and favorites of the composers were already
available. Notables amongst were- Pradeep, Qamar Jalalabadi,
Kidar Sharma, J. Naqshab, Prem Dhawan, D.N. Madhok, Bharat Vyas, Pt
Indra, Shakeel Badayuni, Sahir Ludhianvi,
Rajender Krishan, Safar Aah, S.H. Bihari, P.L. Santoshi, Tanvir Lucknavi,
Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kaif Irfani, Behzad Lucknavi, Raja Mehndi Ali Khan,
Ehsan Rizvi, Khumaar Barabankvi, Aziz
Kashmiri, Jan Nisar Akhtar, Pt Bhushan and others.
few lines about the life and career-graph of Jan-Kavi
(people’s poet)- Shanker Kesrilal Shailendra (as he was known by
birth). He was born on 30 August, 1923 at Rawalpindi (now in Pakistan),
where his father Kesrilal was posted while serving Indian Army. His family
belonged to Bihar. After
retirement they settled at Mathura (U.P), where young Shailendra had his
early education. He studied at Govt School, Mathura.
He was a bright student and topped
in the school and had a first division in
the matriculation examination. He was also a good hockey player.
matriculation in the year 1941 he joined Indian Railways as a
‘welder’. Apparently, it
was in view of his family’s financial constrains that he could not
pursue his studies. In
the year 1947 he was sent to Bombay for training in G.I.P -later on known
as Central Railway.
serving Railways, he sustained his pursuit in poetry and used to write
verses inspired by leftist movement. He was also actively associated with
progressive Indian People Theatre Association (IPTA). In
the year 1947 in a symposium he read a poem- ‘Jalta
hei Punjab__Meri bagia mein aag lagaa gayo re gora pardesi’ where
Prithviraj Kappor and his son
Raj Kapoor were also present.
Kapoor was overwhelmed with his poetry. He was on the look out for a
lyricist for the climax
song of his maiden production- ‘Aag’. He considered Shailendra
as a appropriate song-writer; consequently asked Shailendra
to write theme-song for his film-in-making.
he out-rightly replied and added that he considers films have cheap
quality lyrics, thereby it is beyond his pride. However,
at the insistence of Raj Kapoor he kept his visiting card.
the destiny would have been, after about a year when Shailenra’s wife
was in the hospital for the delivery and their first child- Shaily was
born, he was short of funds even to pay the medical bill. At this juncture
he went to Raj Kapoor for financial assistance. At the studio gate, he was
forbidden by the gate-keeper to enter. It was raining heavily and at this
point of time Raj Kapoor came in his car. Shailendra on seeing Raj
uttered- “Barsaat mein tum se mile
hum sajan hum se mile tum!”
Kapoor took him alongwith. In an arrogant manner he told Raj Kapoor- “I
am in need of five hundred rupees.”
He got the desired money without any interaction. This
is how the two maestros met once again and rest is history.
trust and confidence of Raj Kapoor- in selecting Shailendra
for his film- ‘Barsaat’ for
writing the title song –‘Barsaat
mein humsey miley tum sajan, tumsey miley hum’ proved
distinctive. . The lyricist in the poet was fully equipped and came in
flying colours and established himself as an eminent song writer.
successful song carried some amazing lines which haunts the listeners time
and again. Just have a look at some of the lines in the lyrics-
mein tumse mile hum sajan,
se mile tum, barsaat mein
naa karnaa kahin yey aas toot jayey,
chhoot jaye, tum naa aao dil
ki lagee mujh ko bhee jalaye,
mein milaye, aakhree lafzon mein pukarey yun mera gam,
naa sakey hum, mil naa sakey tum!’
film comes to ‘The End’ with this song with a simply fascinating
impact and till date it is considered as one of the finest achievements of
Raj Kapoor and his duo composers- Shanker Jaikishan.
in the other song- a memorable a duet sung by Mukesh and Lata- the
lyricist wrote something which created a splendid impact on the listeners.
behte darya ka pani
kinaron se bandh jaoon
na paaon, naya nagar nit
dagar hai__patli qamar hei tirchhi nazar hei.
emphatically established himself as a lyricist with a difference.
His simplicity of expression
made his songs immortal. For the subsequent films, he wrote lullabies (‘lorees’),
songs of love, lyrical sagas on pain of parting, philosophy of life,
poetic devotions (bhajans) and on different aspects of humane.
Besides, he wrote all the title songs for R.K. films till ‘Mera Naam
wrote virtually all types of songs pouring therein some captivating
thoughts and expressions.
tradition of ‘loree’ is an oldest form of singing.
Mothers usually sing loree for putting a child to sleep. K.L.
Saigal sang a fabulous loree -‘So ja rajkumari’. While
continuing the tradition Shailendra wrote some memorable lullabies viz. ’Aa
ja ree nindiaa’ (Do Bigha Zamin) and ‘So ja so ja merey
his songs of devotions or bhajans and mystic songs have formed an
integral part of a large number of films. Just have a glance at some
of immortal bhajans for films-
‘Jago mohan pyarey’ (Jagte
Rago) and ’Tu pyaar ka saagar hei’ & Khan jar aha hei tu aye janey wale (Seema)
& ‘Matlab kee
duniyan pyarey’ (Chhoti Chhoti Batein).
child in the heart of the poet made him write some enthralling songs for
the young-ones. Listen to-
munney bachey teree muthee mein kya hei
mein hei taqdeer hamari
kismet ko bus mein kiya hei
teri mornee ko mor le gayey,
jo bachaa wo kaley chor le gaye (Masoom)
chhun kartee aayee chiriya
ka dana layee chiriya (Ab
Dilli Door Nahin)
baraa pyara, ammi ka dulara__
na rotiyon ka perh hum lagalein
torein roti torein
aam kha lein
karein roz roz
celebrated English poet P.B. Shelly wrote- “Sweetest are the songs, that
sing of saddest thoughts”. Shailendra in one of immortal lyrics wrote-
subse madhur wo geet jinhe
dard ke sur mein gaate hein.
have a glance at few of his songs of a class, with classic expressions,
coming straight from the heart –
re wo din kyun na aayey
‘Janey kaisey sapnon mein so gayee akhian. (Anuradha)
ker gamein dil, khuda se dua ker
bijli chamkti hei unke mahal per
kar lein tassali mera ghar jala kar. (Anarkali)
mein saagar ke kinarey (Nagina)
janey waley ho sakey to laut ke anaa
ghaat ye baat kahin bhool na jana &
ke baras bhej bhayia ko babul
mein leejo bulay re (Bandini)
aur Jamuna ki gehri hei dhaar
ya peechhe sabko jana hei paar.
kahe pukaar ke,
bichha le pyaar ke
kahani chhod ja
to nishani chhod jaa. (Do
na bhayey mujhe apna bana le (Basant
ajaa ghir ayey badraa sanwaria (Chhotey
lautaa de merey beetey huyey din (Door
Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein)
dhal jaaye haaye raat na ayey
to na ayey teri yaad sataye (Guide)
na kaisey meiney rein bitayee (Meri
Soorat Teri Ankhein)
jahaan ke andhey raaste (Patita)
walon se door, ja lney walon se door (Ujala)
aaye ik jaaye musafir
hei ek saraaye (Musafir)
ja rahaa hei tu ae jaaney waley (Seema)
sajnaa barkhaa bahaar aayee (Parakh)
kuchh seekha hamney na seekhee hoshiari
hei duniyan walo hum hein anari
jaana, dil ke armanon ka lut janaa (Anari)
sa ghar hogaa badlon ki chhaon mein (Naukri)
se khelte ho baar baar kis liye
khilon se pyar kis liye (Patita)
din ke liye mehmaan yahan (Badal)
jhan payal baje, kaise gaoun geet khushi ke (Buzdil)
dil ki dharkan kya boley, kya boley (Anhonee)
ji mora jiya churaye liye jaye
na jaanu dhaam na jaanu. (Naubahar)
sham ye tanhayian &
si ye zindgani, ye chaar din ki jawani meri (Aag)
gayee chandni, jag uthee bekali
sataney lage, tum mujhko aur bhi yaad aane lage (Aakash)
abto aaja, meri kismet ke kharidaar ab to aaja (Anarkali)
sa ghar hoga, badlon ki chhaon mein (Naukari)
na saje kya gaoon mein (Basant
list such heart throbbing verses is endless!
mein jhooth kya,
bhalla such hei kya__’
song was picturised on genius Motilal (Jagte Raho) who dominated the film
world for more than three decades. He had a greater than the greatest
image and was known for his splendid acting talent. But, with the passage
of time and changes of human values, the viewers have forgotten a lot many
faces of our bygone era. But the fact remains that as and when this song
is played, the image of Motilal comes alive. The song and the actor in a
way have became one.
produced and acted in his classic film ‘Chhoti Chhoti Batein’, but
before its completion he breathed his last. Once again Shailendra wrote
–‘Zindagi khwab hei’ as a tribute to the maestro, but here in
the lines to follow he wrote-
mein bhi pataa
hamein zindagi se bahut pyar tha
bhi the, dukh bhi the, dil ko gherey hue
jaisaa tha rangeen sansaar tha.
gayee thee shikayat labon tuk magar
kehte to kyaa kehte, kehnaa bekaar tha
parey dard si kar, to chaltey rahey
kar baith janey se inkaar tha
at the class of intellect in the lyricist particularly in the lines to
din ka basera hamara yahan
bhi mehmaan the
to us paar tha
safar ek din to bichharna hi tha
What better tribute
and compliment one can expect?
While commenting on these lines, my pen stops! I am completely short of
words to express my sentiments. But, I can merely add that the composition
sung by Mukesh and composed by Anil Bisaws, as and when played makes the
Anil Biswas, the
master composer of the film ‘Chhoti Chhoti Batein’, while remembering
Motilal and Shailendra once observed with choked emotions that both the
personalities were of the rarest of rare excellence.
Besides writing some
captivating lyrics for a large number of films, Shailendra wrote a number
of thought provoking poems. Here are a few extracts from his lesser known
zindaa hei to zindagi kii jeet mein yakin kar.
kahin hei swarg to utaar la zamin par.
his tribute to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, he wrote-
Singh na lena kaya (body) bharatwasi ki
bhakti ke liye aaj bhi sazaa milegi phansi ki
janata ki baat karoge tum gaddaar kahaoge
ki chhodo, bhaashan doge, pakde jaoge
hei kanoon naya, chutki bajte bandh jaoge
adalat ki mat poochho, seedhe mukti paoge
ka hukm, jarrorat kya warrant talashi ki
gayein hein kale par gore julmon ki gaadhi hei
riti hei, wahi niti hei, gore satyanashi ki
ahinsa ka shashan hei, Ram rajy phir aya hei
In his another poem, Shailendra has exposed the leaders-
jee, parnaam tumhein ham majddoron ka
nyotaa swikaar tmhein ham majdooron ka
baar in gandee galion mein aao
Delhi-Shimla, ghoom yahan bhi jao.
sawaal paida hoga- m kya tumhein khilayein
baajre ki roti ya bhaat khilaein?
to gehoon-hi-gehoon khate aye ho
baap ke bête, sab patey aye ho
bhhakri jwar ki kaise kha paoge
lagta hei tumhein na badhazmi ho jaye
ka kiriyakaram shithil par jaye.
In another poem, he
wrote his optimism-
zinda hei to zindagi ki jeet mein yakin kar
kahin hei swarg to utaar la zamin par
gum ke aur chaar din, sitam ke aur chaar din
din bhee jaayeinge guzar, guzar gaye hazaar din. (Tu
ke laal lahoo se, likha kathor ghatna-krm
hi aayega jab tak pidit dharti se
shasan ka nat nirbal ke shoshan ka
daag na dhul jayega tab tak eisa ghatna-kram
hi aayega-jayega yon hi aayega –jayega
(Nyota aur Chunoti)
jor julam ki takkar mein hartaal hamara nara hei.
karo bahane sankat hei, mudraprasaar inflation hei,
baniyon aur luteron ko kya sarkari kansession hei?
mat jhanko, do jawaab kya yahi swaraj tumhara hei?
samjho hamko yaad nahin hei june chheyalis ki dhatein,
kale gore baniyon mein chalti thi saude batein;
gayee gulami barkaraar hum samjhe ab chhutkara hei
samjhein samjhotaparast ghutnateku dhulmulyakeen
sab samjhotabajon ko ab alag kareinge been-been.
Jor Julam ki Takkar Mein- 1949)
Nath ‘Renu’ was an eminent fiction writer of Hindi literature. He
wrote some of the classics viz ‘Partee Parikatha’ & ‘Mailaa
Aanchal’ (novels) and a large number of short stories depicting therein
lifestyle of a cross section of society, mainly of illiterate and deprived
sect of inhabitants of Bihar.
The complexities of human character portrayed by ‘Renu’ in
his writings is a matter of captivating study. It requires a particular
bent of mind to understand his writings. Amongst his large number of
short-stories, there is one classic, named- ‘Teesri Kasam’, wherein he
has remarkably depicted the attractions mixed with illusions towards each
other of a village bullock-cart driver ‘Hiraman’ and a Nautanki dancer
‘Hirabai’. The short story in itself by all standards, can
be categorized as a world class piece of fiction.
being in the field of cinema for two decades, the reflections in the poet
and his personal friendship with Renu; deeply motivated Shailendra to play
the biggest gamble of his life. He
produced the film-‘Teesri Kasam’ based on aforesaid story with
super-star cast of his time- the legend Raj Kapoor and the exemplary
Waheeda Rehman. It was directed by Basu Bhattacharya, (who like his
father-in-law Bimal Roy) deeply understood the sentiments of the
respective characters depicted in the story-line and did the wonderful
portrayal and a perfect piturisation. As director, it was his maiden
attempt and so was of the producer.
was estimated that shooting of the film will be completed in six months,
but instead it took more than six years. The relations between the
director and the producer became strained. Besides
Basu had serious problems with his wife to be- Rinki and her father Bimal
Roy, which seriously effected the continuity of shooting of the film. This
certainly caused acute problems for the editors- Iqbal & S.P. Khol. .
Jaikishan provided the fascinating music based on most of the lyrics
written by Shailendra himself. In all, the film was a classic by all
once again wrote some heart-throbbing verses-
bananey waley kya terey mun mein samayee,
ko dunian banayee,
banay tuney maatee key putle,
banaya tuney dunia ka rela
banaya tuney dunian ka khela
tamasha dekhey jismein akela
ko dunian banayee__
the destiny of the maestro had some thing else to be inserted! The film
after its completion was released hurriedly and abruptly in a haste during
September, 1966. Before its screening there was hardly any publicity. It
was certainly in view of
shortage of funds and lack of experience. Consequently, it came out as a
complete box-office flop in the first week of its release. The viewers in
general were unable to appreciate the sentiments and depth of its story
Shailendra could not bear the agony of the failure!. His dreams were
borrowed-debt incurred for making the film and
his poor health further aggravated the woe. According to his scholar
friend Arvind Kumar, he started taking liquor much in excess which further
damaged his liver and proved disastrous and certainly suicidal.
the evening of 13 December, 1966 when he was taken to nursing home, he
desired that he should be taken via Chembur- an all together different
direction, so that he could see his much cherished
R.K. Studio. Shailendra breathed his last the following day- on 14
December, 1966 (at the age of 43 years) which coincides with the date of
birth of his mentor- Raj Kapoor.
Kapoor & Shailendra- Two greats of Indian Cinema)
After his demise, when the
cine- critics acclaimed ‘Teesri Kasam’ in a very high esteem, the film
received National Award. Then it became a grand success at the box-office,
as well. What an irony!
In a tribute to the genius Lata Mangeshkar once observed- “Shailenderji nahin rahe. Ek bhalaa insaan chala gaya. Aisa insaan jisne bade jatan se Hindustan ke aam aadmi ke dukh-dard apne dil mein sanjo kar rakhe the. Unke dil mein sadaa ek aag dhadhakti rehti thi Jo anyayi samaaj ki vyavashtha ko phoonk dena chahti thi. Filmi geeton ki hajar bandishon mein rehkar bhi yeh aag unke geeton mein spasht dikhai deti hei.”
(Shailendra is no more. A noble soul has passed away. He effortlessly adorned sorrow-happiness of a common man of India. A flame was always burning in his heart with which he aspired to burn the cruel system. Many of lyrics for films clearly portray such thoughts).
It is a sheer twist of fate
that three other geniuses in the field of music viz K.L. Saigal, Khemchand
Prakash and Ghulam Haider died in their early forties in
the years 1947, 1950 and 1953 respectively
Chopra, BA/26B Ashok Vihar-I, Delhi-110052 #