Monday, July 21, 2008

Raj Kapoor and Shankar Jaikishan.

Raj Kapoor and Shankar Jaikishan.

One of the most legendary combination of director and composer in the history of bollywood include the combination of Raj Kapoor and Shankar Jaikishan. Raj Kapoor could experiment with music in most of his films due to the sheer magic of SJ. In Barsaat, in 1949, SJ’s composition for Lata including “jiya bekarar hai” and “hawa me urta jaye” made her the rising star in the late 40s.

Awara had dream sequence songs and SJ’s composition for Lata including “ghar aya mera pardesi” became trendsetter. Nargis and Raj Kapoor were sublime in the film. The same film had Mukesh’s song “awara hoon” which became extremely popular in India and Russia. In Aah, the duet song of Mukesh and Lata titled “aaja re” became super hit in the early 50s.

SJ made new experiments in the mid-50s in films like Shree 420. the duet song “mur murke na dekh” sung by Manna Dey and Asha Bhosle had westernized andaz, while the song “ramaiya vastamaiya” sung by Rafi, Mukesh and Lata had folk flavour. All the compositions of SJ in Chori Chori including “yeh raat bheegi bheegi”, “aaja sanam”, “jahan bhi jaati ho” sung by Manna Dey and Lata became successful.

In the late 50s, SJ provided melodious tunes in Anari, with songs like “kisiki muskurahaton pe ho nisar”, “sab kuch sikha humne”, etc. Their composition in Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai, including “aa ab latu chale” had chorus andaz where Lata and Mukesh had complimented each other. In Sangam, Rafi’s song “meherba likhoon” was totally based on westernized composition.

Even in the films where Raj Kapoor acted as hero, SJ provided landmark tunes including “ai sanam jis ne tujhe” from the film Diwana, “chale jana” from the film Around The World, “duniya bananewale” from the film Teesri Kasam, to name a few.

It is very difficult to highlight the contribution of RK and SJ in a small article as they were sublime over 25 years. It was a tragedy that Jaikishan died in 1971, after providing immortal tunes in Mera Naam joker, otherwise the legendary duo could have contributed more for the immortal films of Raj Kapoor. The films and the songs should be preserved.


shashank said...

In the film industry there was a team of Rajkapoors where Shankar-Jaikishan, Hasrat,Shailendra,Lata, mukesh, mannadey and others. Raj given break to this SJ duo and they made history. In every film SJ's music and mukesh songs. so it became hit from 50's to 70's.

Souvik Chatterji said...

I agree with Mr. Shashank that Raj Kapoor created a great team of genius creaters which included Hasrat Jaipuri, Shailendra, as well, even including cameraman like Radhu Karmakar. Among them Shankar Jaikishan were probably the most talented musical duo who composed folk songs, western songs, clasical songs which catered to the popular taste of musiclovers. Songs like "ramaiya vasta maiya" had folk effect an Shankar Jaikishan used Rafi, Mukesh and Lata to their fullest capability in shaping the song. Again the song "aa ab laut chale" in Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai had chorus effect and Lata and Mukesh contributed well in the song. The list can go on. Raj Kapoor even used LP and Ravinder Jain very well in the years after death of Jaikishan, but the innovative capabity of Shankar Jaikishan was not present in compositions of the 80s.