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Strict Standards: Non-static method MagicWord::get() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /homepages/41/d451402188/htdocs/Tarang/includes/Parser.php on line 2152

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Andaaz Teraa Mastaanaa


The year is 1949. The song starts in a dance club, where Premnath, the reckless lover flirts with a dancer singing patli kamar hai, tircchi najar hai. This, while Nimmi, his faithful love stands at the door of a cottage, her eyes lost in his quest singing aa, aajaa mere man chaahe baalam, aajaa teraa aakhon mein ghar hai. The interlude before the first stanza is typical of music one would hear in a club, before Premnath starts singing in Mukesh’s voice. Lata’s melancholic cry of tum bin nainon ki barsaaten rok na paaoon is preceeded by music and orchestration perfectly apt to show Nimmi’s plight. Two completely different emotions brought together in the same song with the words and music smoothly sailing between the two shores. A duet, which though not as popular as the other songs from the film, but which nevertheless manages to showcase the genius of two young composers composing in their maiden venture. Shankar Singh Raghuwanshi and Jaikishan Panchal started their careers with Barsaat, and literally drenched music lovers over the next two decades with a mesmerizing blend of melody and orchestration to create a timeless legacy of musical magic.


Shankar was born in 1922 and could play several instruments like the piano, dholak, tabla, pakhwaaj, accordion and harmonium. He had a strong grounding in classical music before he left Andhra Pradesh and came to Mumbai to live his dreams. He found the perfect Godfather in Prithviraj Kapoor and started working in his studio. Jaikishan was born in 1929 in Gujrat. He was musically inclined too and could play the harmonium well. He came to Mumbai too to become an actor and began working as a timekeeper in a factory, though the dreams of making it big in the world of films occupied most of his own time. The two met by accident and Shankar, seeing the young man’s interests and drive, took him to Prithvi studios. They worked with Ram Ganguly in Raj Kapoor’s first production Aag. The news soon reached Raj that SJ had played a significant role in the music of Aag and when he started working on Barsaat, he was convinced the two were the men for the job. Thus began a journey of several personalities, who would change the face of Hindi film music forever. SJ brought in two fresh lyricists – Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri to write for their compositions. Shankar had heard Lata sing once before and in spite of there being other established female voices, he decided Lata’s would be the voice for Barsaat. Mukesh too, was struggling to break free from the shadows of K.L. Saigal at the time. Mohammad Rafi was perhaps the only established name in the music cast. In Raj Kapoor, they had the perfect producer with more than a keen ear for music and they had little trouble getting the elaborate orchestra, which was unheard of in films of the time. Barsaat, an all-hit album pioneered the idea that music could be as important a commercial aspect as the film itself.


The years that followed confirmed that the SJ magic was far from a one-off phenomenon. Awaara and Nagina in ’51, Daag in ’52, Aah, Boot Polish and Patita in ’53 and then Seema and Shree 420 in ’55 firmly positioned the duo at the top of their trade. Music was the integral part of almost every RK Productions film, so much so that SJ had to keep several tunes ready for each situation and Raj would then personally handpick one for the picturization. Grand sets, dream sequences, theme songs, lost love – RK films had it all. Here was a generation pregnant with dreams in an independent India and here was a young director who could use extravagance to sell the common man his own dream. Shailendra penned the pulse of the common man with lines like muTThi mein hai taqdeer hamaari and us des mein tere pardes mein sone chaandi ke badle mein bikate hain dil. Shankar and Jaikishan composed tunes that were potent enough to portray the protagonist flawlessly, but easy on the ears to be hummed by generations to come.


Even given the number of talented composers in the business then, there was hardly anyone who could match SJ in terms of popularity and prolificity. If there were critics, they were ones who felt SJ could not handle classical music with the same finesse, as they could do the lighter stuff. All that was to change with Basant Bahar in ‘56, a film with which they proved they could not just effortlessly tread into the territory, which till then was Naushad’s bastion, but even conquer it effortlessly. Nain mile chain kahaan, duniyaa na bhaaye mohe, badi der bhayi, ketaki gulab juhi, bhay bhanjanaa, sur naa saje, kar gayaa re, main piyaa teri and jaa jaa re jaa baalamawaa made up an album as classical and as original as one could imagine. In the same year, they delivered Chori Chori, Halaku, New Delhi and Rajhath too. Chori Chori went on to win them their first Filmfare award and there was no looking back.


With several hits under their belt, the work started increasing manifold and the duo had to distribute the work to keep up. Shailendra, who had the penchant for writing sad melancholic songs, started writing mostly for Shankar and Hasrat, good at the light romantic stuff wrote for Jaikishan’s compositions. The aficionado could distinguish Shankar’s work from that of Jaikishan, though they always maintained to the last day that every song was nothing less than a SJ composition. They had Sebastian D’souza and Dattaram (who also composed music individually) as their music arrangers. Besides these two stalwarts, the SJ orchestra had many names that would go on to become popular in the times to come – Ali Akbar Khan, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pannalal Ghosh, Enoch Daniels, Prabhakar Jog, Arun Paudwal, Anil Mohile being a few of them.


SJ won their second Filmfare award for Anadi in 1959, another all-hit music score. The same year saw them come up with such hits as Chhoti Behen, Kanhaiyya, Love Marriage, Main Nashe Mein Hoon, Sharaarat and Ujaalaa. The audience would start dancing and would throw money when jhoomtaa mausam mast mahinaa started playing. More importantly, Ujaalaa formed SJ’s partnership with another star who would go on to rule the 60’s with his dashing looks and inimitable style. If the fifties had seen Raj Kapoor’s steadfast loyalty towards SJ, the sixties was to see his younger brother Shammi, also insist for the popular duo to compose for his films. After films like College Girl, Singapore and Boyfriend, the Shammi-SJ combination served a big hit with Junglee in ’61. They followed it with Dil Tera Diwaanaa, Professor, Rajkumar, Jaanwar, An Evening in Paris, Brahmachari and Andaaz among others. The transition from B&W to color cinema was seamless given Shammi’s persona and SJ’s lilting tunes.


From the early sixties, talks were rife about the strife between Shankar and Jaikishan. The weight of the SJ name however, was not lost on them and they put on a united front for the world. Insiders believed they distributed the work and composed tunes completely independently in the last few years of their association. The final straw probably came with Shankar’s insistence for Sharda, while Jaikishan was firm it would be Lata, who would be the singer of choice as she had always been. Even in this period of contention, the quality of their music never suffered. Success was still a loyal companion, till Jaikishan left us for another world in 1971 at the age of 39. Shankar, who had been paralysed just a few years ago by the loss of his chief lyricist Shailendra, could no longer conjure the same magic now. He continued to compose under the Shankar-Jaikishan name, but he had lost all but his own genius. The change in fortune only highlighted the fact that the weight behind that hyphen in the Shankar-Jaikishan label was far more than the hype created by the media, thanks in part to their larger-than-life images. The elaborate orchestra, which was a feature of SJ songs was withdrawn by most producers after Jaikishan’s demise. Even Raj Kapoor, who had built the RK dynasty with no mean contribution from SJ, turned towards R.D. Burman and Laxmikant Pyarelal for his forthcoming films. Shankar breathed last on April 26, 1987, exactly two decades ago.


I consider myself fortunate to have been exposed to great music at a very early age. Even to this day, many a tune easily brings me to tears, regardless of the composer. I cannot definitively choose between the great composers of that age, each was an institution in his/her own right. What strikes me though about Shankar-Jaikishan is the sheer versatality of their compositions. The Orient and the Occident blend magically in their tunes. Spanning all of four minutes, they could compose a manmohanaa baDe jhooThe, which flows more like a classical bandish than a film song, sans any fancy orchestration. And then they could compose an almost two-minute long prelude with trumpets, cello, violin, guitar, saxophone, ghungroos and what not to create the perfect atmosphere for Lata's divine voice to splash andaaz teraa mastaanaa, maange dil kaa nazraanaa, zaraa sochke aankh milaanaa, by which time, it's humanly impossible for the dil to not be diwaanaa. Whether it be the folk tunes in films like Teesri Kasam or the tunes to color the lush locales of Love in Tokyo or An Evening in Paris, it seemed like everything came just as naturally to the two.


aaj do phoolon ki khushboo se mehek uthaa chaman, gungunaatee hain fizaayen raks karti hai pawan

har kalee ke lab pe naghmaa hai mubaarak baat ka, ban gaye padmashree Bharat mein Shankar Jaikishan


This was written by the great composer Naushad when the Padmashree was conferred upon them in 1967. They won nine Filmfare awards, a feat unparalleled in the industry. More importantly, their music has lighted the hearts of many a music lover and continues to do so. When ajeeb dastaan hai ye starts playing, my daughter doesn’t want it to stop. I can only marvel and ponder kahaan shuru kahaan khatam, ye manzilen hain kaunsee, na wo samajh sake na ham

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