Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Remembering Shankar Singh Raghuwanshi on his anniversary.

Immortal combination of Shankar Jaikishan with Mohammad Rafi. Great composer Shankar Singh Raghubvanshi is remembered on his death anniversary on 26th April, 2015. He was one of the genius composers of the famous duo Shankar Jaikishan. In the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s a number of composers dominated Bollywood films. Naushad Ali, Roshanlal Nagrath, Madanmohan Kohli, OP Nayyar, all had the class of their own. Shankar Jaikishan composed music in almost 195 films in that golden age. One of the great reasons of Shankar Jaikishan’s huge success was due to the great combination with immortal singer Mohammad Rafi Sahab. If Rafi’s stylish andaz relating to westernized compositions are adequately it is Shankar Jaikishan who had used it to perfection. They had used Rafi for singing romantic songs with Japanese orchestration in Love in Tokyo, released in 1966 including songs like “aja re aa zara aa”, “Japan, Love in Tokyo”, “ o mere shahekhuba”, etc. In Biswajeet’s April Fool, released in 1964 SJ’s composition for Rafi including “aa gale lag ja” had westernized background. At the same time Rafi’s song “tumhe chaha” with Suman Kalyanpur was a great rendition in pensive mood. SJ’s composition for Rafi in Shammi Kapoor’s An Evening in Paris, in 1967, like “akele akele kahan ja rahe ho”, “raat ke humsafar”, had loud French music with echo effect and Rafi’s intonation was also westernized. Shankar Jaikishan gave a completely different style of music to Rafi in Rajender Kumar’s Aarzoo, released in 1965 with songs like “aji ruth kar ab”, “chalke teri aankho se”, “ai nargisi mastana”, etc. SJ had given songs addressing children to Rafi including “nanne munne bache teri mutthi me kya hai” in Boot Polish which was produced by Raj Kapoor and released in 1954, “hai na bolo bolo”, “re mamma re mamma re” in Shammi Kapoor’s Andaz, released in 1971 and “chakke p chakka” in Brahmchari, in 1969. Rafi pronounced the words with childish accent and SJ used the orchestration to attract children. There were ghazals also given by SJ for Rafi including “rukh se zara nakab”, “kya kya na kahe” in Jeetender’s Mere Huzoor, “unke khayal aye to” in Raj Kumar’s Lal Patthar, “saaze dil ched de” in Pradeep Kumar’s Rajhaath, etc. Besides SJ’s creation involving Rafi in somber mood had created great impact including songs like “teri zulfon ki judai to nahi maangi thi” in Dev Anand’s Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai, “ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar” in Shammi Kapoor’s Junglee, “yaad na aye” in Rajender Kumar’s Dil Ek Mandir. Shankar Jaikishan had used Rafi’s classical andaz in the songs “radheke tune bansoori churai”, “ajahu na aye”, etc., and combined the ragas with devotional andaz. SJ has given music in almost 200 films within the span from 1949 to 1971, and at least each year they composed music for approximately 10 films. As Rafi was given predominance over other male singers SJ had use him in regular intervals even without doing injustice to Mukesh, Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, Talat Mehmood and others. Songs like “kaun hai jo sapno me aya” from Jhuk Gaya Aasman, “to bura maan gaye” from Ayee Milan Ki Bela, “yeh ankhen” from Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai, “tujhe jeevan ki dor se” from Aasli Nakli, “dheere dheere chal” from Love Marriage, “badan pe sitaren lapete hue” from Prince, “mai kahin kavi na banjayun” from Pyar Hi Pyar, “mai gayun tum so jao” from Brahmchari, had not lost their flavour even 40 years after their creation due to sheer brilliance of Shankar Jaikishan. It is really tragic neither Shankar Jaikishan had received the accolades that they deserved nor Rafi’s association with them had been glorified but history says that the combination of Rafi with Shankar Jaikishan had produced invaluable creations which had become immortal over the period of time.

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