melodious music maker: Khemchand
The film ‘Mahal’ released in the year- 1949 will be remembered for all times to come. It is not because that it was directed by legendary Kamal Amrohi; neither owing to the fact that Ashok Kumar and Madhubala acted in the film, nor because of the reason that Bimal Roy was its editor. But, the fact remains that the film is still recalled in view of its grand background music and immortal melodious songs.
How can one forget – ‘Aayega aney wala’, ‘Mushkil hei bahut mushkil’, ’Dil ney phir yaad kiyaa’ sung by upcoming Lata Mangeshkar; ‘Ghabra key jo humsar ko’, ‘Ek teer chalaa’, ‘Mein wo haseen hoon’ sung by acclaimed Rajkumari; and ‘Chhun chhun ghungharwa’ sung by famed Johrabai and Rajkumari.
collection of choicest Indian cine music will be certainly incomplete
without one of the songs of film ‘Mahal’ and any music performance of
Lata Mangeshkar is just not possible without ‘Aayega aney wala’ and
or ‘Mushkil hei bahut mushkil’.
melodious music maker of these fascinating melodies was
Khemchand Prakash, who was born at Sujangarh, a small town in
Rajasthan on 12 December, 1907. His
father Pt Govardhan Prakash was a court musician of the then
with his singing talent, Timir Baran, the famous music director of New
Theatres took Khemchand Prakash in his fold.
view of his deep understanding of classical music (including the most
intricate dhrupad style); Khemchand Prakash directed music for most
of the singers of his time. As such, when celebrated Prithviraj Kapoor
the annals of singing (classical and non-classical) the music of film ‘Tansen’;
has no substitute. What better captivating singing in classical ‘dhrupad’
style, one can expect, when Saigal effortlessly sang- ‘Sapt suran
teen gram’ and ‘Diya jalao’. It was in a way the
beginning of pure classical singing in Indian cine music.
depth of feelings in singing expressed by Saigal in his another number- ’Binaa
pankh ke panchhi hoon mein’ cannot be phrased in words. Then listen
to the duet sung by Saigal & Khurshid– ‘Morey balapan key
saathi’. The beauty of
delivery of sentiments expressed is simply superb. The other numbers viz ‘Ghataa
ghunghor ghor’, ‘O dukhia jiyara’, ‘Ab raja bhaye morey balam wo
din bhool gaye’ and ‘Barso rey’ sung by Khurshid, though
have been forgotten with the passage of time and also conveniently
non-availability of the recordings. But,
the fact remains that the musical super-hit film-‘Tansen’ will
be remembered all time to come for its fabulous melodies.
film ‘Bhanwara’ (1944), as well the maestro composed some
unforgettable songs sung by Saigal viz
‘Muskaratey huye youn aankh chuaraya na karo’ and ’Thukra
rahee hei ye dunian’.
Some other immortal melodies he yet again created for other films viz - ‘Gazi Salaudin’ & ‘Meri Aankhein’ (1939), ‘Aaj Ka Hindustan’ & ‘Pagal’ (1940), ‘Holiday In Bombay’, ‘Pardesi’, ‘Pyaas’ & ‘Shadi’ (1941), ‘Khilona’, ‘Dukh- Sukh’, ‘Fariyaad’, ‘Mehmaan’ & ‘Chandni’ (1942), ‘Chirag’, ‘Vishkanya’, ‘Gauri’ & ‘Qurbani’ (1943), ‘Mumtaz Mahal’, ‘Shahanshah Babar’, ‘Bhanwara’ & ‘Bharthari’ (1944), ‘Dhanna Bhagat’ (1945), ‘Mera Suhag’, ‘Chalte Chalte’, ‘Mulakaat’, ‘Samaj Ko Badal Dalo’ & ‘Sikandar’ (1947), ‘Asha’ & ‘Ziddi’ (1948), ‘Sawan Aya Re’, ‘Rimjhim’ & ‘Mahal’ (1949), ‘Muqaddar’ & ‘Bijli’ (1950) and ‘Shree Ganesh Janam’ (1951).
1948 for film ‘Ziddi’ (based on the story of celebrated urdu writer-
Sahadat Hasan Manto) produced by Bombay Talkies; Kishore
Kumar sang his first and foremost film solo song- ‘Marney ki duayein
kya mangoo’ followed by- ‘Ye kaun aaya re’ (duet with
Lata Mangeshkar). The music for these two bewitching numbers was
composed by Khemchand Prakash. These notable melodies have
certainly enriched two vocalists and
subsequently shaped their destiny.
well, Talat Mehmood and Geeta Roy sang ‘Armaan bharey dil ki lagan
kis key liyey hei’ for the film- ‘Jaan Pehchaan’ (1950 which is
yet another master-piece
composition of Khemchand Prakash.
peculiar feature of the music
of the maestro was that he deployed
minimum musical instruments and thereby created finest ambiance through
the vocal cord of the singer. This was one of the most captivating
features of his brilliantly created immortal melodies.
this context, listen to
Shamshad’s fascinating & melodious song-‘Naa tum aayey naa
neend aayee’ for the
film ‘Rimjhim (1949); ‘Dil ney phir yaad kiya’ and ‘Mushkil
hei bahut mushkil’- Lata’s numbers for
film ‘Mahal’, which are some of the classic examples of his minimal
usage of instruments while composing some of these bewitching songs.
musical tradition of the maestro was carried by his noble assistant- Bulo
C. Rani in his films. One such all time classic film was ‘Jogan’.
produced and directed by luminary Kidar Sharma and starring
Dilip Kumar and Nargis. What an exceptional quality music was produced
through the songs of emotionally chocked voice of Geeta Roy for Nargis,
starring in this unforgettable film.
days before the release of all time classic ‘Mahal’, on 10 August,
1950 Khemchand Prakash expired
at the age of just 45 years, leaving behind a wonderful legacy of
music for all times to come.
is a sheer coincidence that other two greats of his time in the field of
music- Kundan Lal Saigal and Gulam Haider as well died in their forties in
the years- 1947 and 1953 respectively..
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