Shailendra – a lyricist one will never ever forget

Singer Mukesh, Shailendra, Raj Kapoor and Jaikishan discussing a song

By Neena Badhwar

Shailendra is fondly remembered by Gulzar as the greatest poet and a lyricist, though Gulzar himself is no less having penned many well-known film songs.

Shailendra was spotted by Raj Kapoor when he was reading a poem in a mushaira in Mumbai. Raj Kapoor bought the poem ”˜Jalta Hai Punjab’ for his movie ”˜Aag’. From there on they became great friends as Raj Kapoor used Shailendra to write lyrics for just about all his movies. Shailendra died at a young age of 43 which happened to be Raj’s birthday when he said, “My soul has left me.” He cried on every birthday after that for Shailendra.

A poet will always be poet who is sensitive and can only express through his pen, pouring every emotion on a piece of paper.

In the days when composers would recommend lyricists to producers, Shankar-Jaikishan once promised Shailendra that they would recommend him around, but didn’t keep their promise. Shailendra sent them a note with the lines, Chhoti Si Yeh Duniya, Pehchaane Raaste Hain, Tum Kahin To Miloge, Toh Poochhenge Haal (“The world is small, the roads are known. We’ll meet sometime, and ask ‘How do you do?'”). Shankar-Jaikishan realised what the message meant and having said sorry, turned the lines into a popular song. The song was featured subsequently in the film Rangoli (1962) sung by and filmed on Kishore Kumar.

How can one forget songs such as ”˜Awara hoon’, ”˜Kisi ki muskarahaton pe ho nisaar’ and ”˜Wo chand khila wo tare hanse, ye raat ajab matwali hai, samjhane wale samajh gaye hain, jo na samjhe wo anadi hai’ and the famous ”˜Ajeeb dastan hai ye, kahan shuru kahan khatam’, Shailendra wrote close to 900 songs.

Although he made the movie ”˜Teesri Kasam’ based on the novel ”˜Maare Gaye Gulfam’ by Phaneeshwar Nath Ren und penned all the songs of the movie from ”˜Paan khaye saiyan hamar’ and ”˜Chalat musafir’, Shailendra unfortunately did not get to see the movie recognised for its classic appeal as it won National Film Award.

Another song that we all remember is ”˜Suhana Safar aur ye mausam haseen’ from the film Madhumati. All the songs in it were ready but one, this one. When Bimal Da asked Shailendra what was wrong. He replied that he was stuck on one line. The line was ”˜Ye gori nadiyon ka chalna uchhal kar’ and after that Shailendra was at a loss. After a few days Shailendra called Bimal Da ”“ when he completed the couplet ”“ the second line was ”˜Jaise alhad chale pee se mil kar’ – while travelling in a train he happened to see a beautiful young girl walking in a narrow lane and that is how he completed his song that became famous and was filmed on Dilip Kumar.

With these songs Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Kishore Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman and many more became famous. It is the writer or the poet in them which brings forth the emotions as they spend enormous amount of time in deep thought and their acute observation lends such memorable scenes that have been etched in our memory. The golden era of music was because of these exceptional writers who charged very little in those days when many movies became successful on the back of the songs written by writers like Shailendra. Though he died young, he is immortal due to beautiful lyrics he penned and so also the actors on whom they were picturised.

Here is a list of some of Shailedra’s famous songs:

  1. “Suhana Safar Aur Ye Mausam Haseen” ”“ “Madhumati
  2. “Yeh Mera Diwanapan Hai” ”“ “Yahudi
  3. “Tu Pyar Ka Saagar Hai” ”“ “Seema
  4. “Yeh Raat Bhigi Bhigi” ”“ “Chori Chori
  5. “Paan Khaye Saiya Hamaro” ”“ “Teesri Kasam
  6. “O Sajana, Barkha Bahar Aai” ”“ “Parakh (1960 film)
  7. Awara Hoon” ”“  Awaara
  8. “Ramaiya Vastavaiya” ”“  Shri 420
  9. “Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh” ”“  Shri 420
  10. “Mera Joota Hai Japani” ”“  Shri 420
  11. “Aaj Phir Jeene Ki” ”“  Guide
  12. “Piya Tose Naina Laage Re” ”“  Guide
  13. “Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya” ”“  Guide
  14. “Dost Dost Na Raha” ”“  Sangam
  15. “Sab Kuchh Seekha” ”“  Anari
  16. “Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Pe” ”“  Anari
  17. “Khoya Khoya Chand” ”“  Kala Bazar
  18. “Pyaar Hua Ikraar Hua” ”“  Shri 420
  19. “Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh” ”“  Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi
  20. “Jhoomti Chali Hawa” –  Sangeet Samrat Tansen
  21. “Jeena yahan marna yahan” –  Mera Naam Joker
  22. “Sajan Re Jhooth Mat Bolo” ”“ “Teesri Kasam
  23. “Raat Ke Hamsafar, Thak Ke Ghar Ko Chale” ”“ “An Evening in Paris



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