Shankar (Jaikishan) and Shailendra’s Songs Fading From the Memory: 1955 -1956 (Part)
Shankar (Singh Raghuvanshi) – B: 25 October 1922 | D: 26 April 1987 – was one of the genius composers of the famous duo Shankar Jaikishan. Shankar had a long stint of training in classical music. He was a tabla player at the core, but went onto learn several rhythm and string instruments successfully in the initial period of struggle He got the basic training in the nitty-gritty of film music composition as assistant to Ram Ganguli in Raj Kapoor’s maiden venture, Aag (1948)
When Raj Kapoor took up his next project, Barsat (194) he invited Shankar to take charge of the music direction. Shankar roped in Jaikishan as his partner. During the decades of 1940s, 1950s and 1960s several composers dominated Bollywood films. Naushad Ali, S D Burman, C Ramchandra, Vasant Desai, Salil Chowdhury, Roshan, Madan Mohan, OP Nayyar, Ravi etc. all had the class, and style of their own. Among these stalwarts, Shankar Jaikishan created their own space – with RK and other leading banners, critics as well as common fans – and went on to compose music in almost 195 films in that golden age.
Shailendra (a.k.a. Shankardas Kesarilal, B: 30 August 1923 – D: 14 December 1966) ‘s poetry and films songs reflected his temperamental proximity to the common man. In the famous quartet of Shankar Jaikishan Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri, Shankar and Shailendra worked as one part of the team with Hasrat Jaipuri, and Jaikishan made up the other half. Apart from the personal preferences and proximity related to friendship, this division of work was more in accordance with the inherent composition patterns of the two composers. Shankar always loved composing serious thematic songs with a lot of emotional content that only Shailendra could do justice to whereas Jaikishan was more into composing light- hearted romantic stuff that came so naturally to Hasrat.
To commemorate the birth anniversary of Shankar Singh Raghuvanshi, we have commenced the present series of Shankar (Jaikishan) and Shailendra’s Songs Fading From the Memory from October 2018 and have been covering their less familiar songs from the films released in chronological order of year.
Till now, we have covered the years
1949 – 1953 in 2018
1953 (Continued) in 2019.
1954 in 2020
Presently, we would listen to Shankar- (Jaikishan) and Shailendra’s Songs Fading From the Memory for 1955 and part of 1956. The variety of the film subjects and the corresponding song compositions, coupled with the steeply increasing the numbers of the films in a year clearly indicate the beginning of the upsurge in the wave that Shankar Jaikishan created in the ocean of Hindi film music. In fact, 1956 had as many as 7 films under the baton of Shankar Jaikishan with a staggering total of 61 songs, distributed between Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri as 46 and 15 songs respectively.
Seema had 6 songs, with Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri scoring lyrics for three songs each. Hasrat Jaipuri’s one song runs into two parts whereas Shailendra’s Tu Pyar Ka Sagar Hai appears twice, in different contexts, in the film. None of the songs from the film can ever be classified as the Fading from The Memory category. Therefore, I have picked up one song that I like more than other songs.
Man Mohana Bade Jhoothe, Haar Ke Haar Nahi Maane – Lata Mangeshkar
Based on Raag Jaijaiwanti, the song is all the way a Shankar Jaikishan song. The composition, though sounds so simple and pleasing, was so difficult to render that Nutan chose to attend the recording session to note the way Lata Mangeshkar negotiates the nuances of the song, so that she herself can truly reproduce these on the screen. Shailendra is at full simplicity blossom when he says –
Bane the khiladi piya, nikale anadi,
Mo se beimani kare, mujhse hi roothe
… … … … …
… … … … …
Tumhari ye bansi kanhaa, ban gai fansi
Taan sunake mora, tan man loote
Aside Trivia: One for more film with the title Seema was made in 1971, for which music director was Shankar Jaikishan!
Shree 420 (1955)
Shree 420 remains one of the most celebrated of RK Productions’ films, with seven of nine songs of the film remaining quite popular even today. Shailendra scored lyrics for
Shaam Gayi Raat Aayi Ab To Sanam Aa Ja , TaaroN Ki Barat Aayee Ke Balam Aa Ja – Lata Mangeshkar
The song opens with prelude that has faint resemblance with famous ‘Albela’ (1951) song Bholi Surat Dil Ke Khote, Gujarati folk dance garba based, notes before Shankar Jaikishan’s signature base rhythm of dholak picks up the song. Such a melodious song remained relatively less known as compared to other songs, perhaps because it has not been included in the film.
Directed by D D Kashyap, Halaku was a period film. It had Pran in the title role of emperor of Iran. The film revolves around his love for a common citizen beauty, who in fact is deeply in love with other young man. Halaku had 8 songs, of which Shailendra scored lyrics for 5 songs and Hasrat Jaipuri that for the other three.
Of the five songs of Shailendra, three duet songs – Aaja Ke Intzar Mein, Jaane Ko Hai Bahar Bhi (Rafi, Lata); Dil Ka Na Karana Aitbar Koyii, Bhule Se Na Karana Pyar Koyi (Rafi, Lata) and Aji Chale Aao, Tumhein AankhoN Se Dil Ne Bulaya Hai (Lata, Asha) – were quite popular.
Yeh Chand Yeh Sitare, Yeh Saath Tera Mera, Shab-e-Jhindagi Ka Na Ho Ab Savera, O Dilruba, O Dilruba – Lata Mangeshkar
In sync with the background of the story of the film, Shankar Jaikishan has composed the song mainly on the strength of the string instruments, both in the rhythm and in the interlude and obbligato orchestra support.
Teri Duniya Se Jaatein Hai Chhupaye Gam Apana., Liye Jaateein Hai AankhoN Mein Kisi Ke Pyar Ka Sapna – Lata Mangeshkar
Shankar Jaikishan once again follow different than their usual style of composition in the song.
The song was ultimately not included in the film.
Kismat Ka Khel (1956)
Kismat Ka Khel, directed and written by Kishore Sahu was so total failure as a film that its music also ha been packed off to a dust bin with its reels! Film had 7 songs, 5 of which were by Shailendra and two by Hasrat Jaipuri.
Aside Trivia: Kismat Ka Khel is a (just) the fourth film of Sunil Dutt’s career, the earlier three being, Railway Platform (1955) Kundan (1955) and Ek Hi Rastaa (1956).
Kismat Ka Khel Hai Janab-e-Ali…. Aapke Paas HaiN Moti Khazane Aur Apni Jeb Khali – Lata Mangeshkar
In those days, one would just a small opening to let in a song in the film. Here, the protagonists, Vyjayanti Mala and Sunil Dutt seem to be travelling in train, but obviously have no money for the ticket. On being asked to pay the penalty by the TTE, the lady proposes to sing a lilting dance song (in an obviously crowded train coach of those times!) to collect the required sum……!!!
Na Bure Na Bhale Hum Gareeb Gam Ke Pale, Tum Kya Jaano Basti Hamari Rajaa, Ladli Zindagi Apne AnsooN Mein Dhali – Lata Mangeshkar, chorus
The song is presented as a grand presentation of the basti, where Anokhi (Vyjayanti Mala) reigns and Prakash (Sunil Dutt) takes shelter, is the main arena for the film story. It is this situation that makes Shailendra to blossom out in the only stanza the song has:
hamari bhi gali me muskaraye chandani
badal jhumke gaye rasili ragini
tumhare mahal se kuch kam
nahi ye basti hamari
Arz Hai Aapse Aur Apse, Bhed Ki Baat Hai ApanoN Se Kahi Jaati Hai …… Balam Aayega…. – Lata Mangeshkar
The song is some occasion for Vyajayanti Mala to present herself as a damsel waiting the arrival of her beloved, of course in the form of a dance!
The song opens with a sakhi, which has harmonium in the obbligato support
Tu Maane Ya Na Maane Balam Anajaane, Bedardi Tere Liye… Nache Meri Zindagi – Lata Mangeshkar, chorus
The song is presented as a street-side tamaasa dance, but the appears very synthetic. The compositing seems to be set to mid-east Asian culture but lacks the melodious touch of SJ music.
Chalo Le ChaluN Mein Taaron Mein Rang Rangeele GulzaroN Mein – Asha Bhosle
The stage dance song begins with gorgeous prelude and then goes onto become a fast-paced song.
Basant Bahar (1956)
Shankar Jaikishan’s bag of variety of film subjects for the year 1956 had Basant Bahar as a major challenge since the subject revolved around the life and travails of a n astrologer’s son who is keenly interested in music. As such the film had to have songs based on either classical raags or should have a classical core.
The challenge was to stand up to the unprecedented success of music of Baiju Bawara. Success would have placed them in the first row of the then top class music directors and failure would have branded them as ‘also ran’ club membership. Shankar Jaikishan responded the challenge with as many as nine songs. Of these nine Shailendra scored lyrics for eight songs. Forcefully selecting one for the present episode, all other seven bore the class as well as mass popularity. These were: Ketaki Gulab Champak Ban Phoole (Manna Dey, Bhimsen Joshi); Sur Na Saje Kya GaooN Main and Bhay Bhanjana Vandana Sun Hamari (both, Manna Dey); Nain Mile Chain KahaaN (Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar); Badi Der Bhayi and Duniya Na Bhaye (both, Mohammad Rafi) and Ja Ja Ja Ja Re Balamwa (Lata Mangeshkar). Even the only one song by Hasrat Jaipuri, Main Piya Tori Tu Mane Ya Na Mane (Lata Mangeshkar) is not a shade less than the other eight.
Kar Gaya Re Kar Gaya Re Kar Gaya Mujhpe Jadoo Sanwariya – Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle
The dancing, outspoken, one lady spells out her feelings in the form of the second line of the song, Ye Kya Kiya Re, Gazab Kiya Re, Chor Ko Samaji Main Sadhu, which the other, rerved one, shuns to use is the subtle way to set the tone of two competing ladies for the love of Bharat Bhushan. Shankar Jaikishan has very deftly weaved in the two differing appeals in the form of Asha Bhosle singing a dance sequence and Lata Mangeshkar singing a pensive mood sequence. So has Shailendra, by so aptly choosing the lyrics for each mood.
We will foreclose the other four films – New Delhi, Rajhath, Chori Chori and Patarani – the year 1956 for continuation in the next (year) episode, because of sheer variety of each film and listening load of son=me very popular and some not so popular but meritorious songs.
We will continue remembering Unforgettable Songs that seem to Fading away from our Memories every second Sunday of the month next year too……..
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