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‘Bade Achchhe Din Thhe, Bade Pyare Saathi, Aur Guni Bhi’ – In Conversation with Majrooh Sultanpuri

October 1, 2015 | By

“Burman Sahab would reject his own tune. He would say, ‘Chhodo, this is not sounding good.’ Then he would create another tune and start. Producers and directors would also come and sit with him. He would keep singing in full flow and creating tunes. Whichever tune was selected, he would get Pancham to write the notations right there and then.”

Dada Saheb Phalke award winning poet-lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri talks about the legendary music directors he has worked with in an exclusive conversation with Peeyush Sharma.

A Silhouette never-before-published Special on the birth anniversary of Majrooh Sahab and SD Burman. The two stalwarts who created such everlasting musical gems share their birthday.

The conversation with Majrooh Sultanpuri as it unfolded in Hindi-Urdu language, in the sidelines of the felicitation ceremony in Bangalore following the Dada Saheb Phalke Award.

To read this conversation in translated English, please click here.

Naushad, Majrooh Sultanpur and Madan Mohan

Three Legends: (L to R) Naushad, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Madan Mohan
(Pic courtesy: madanmohan.in

Peeyush Sharma: Majrooh sahib main un logon mein se hoon jisne ek signature campaign chalaya tha apko Dada Saheb Phalke samman dilwane ke liye, 1986/87 mein.

Majrooh Sultanpuri:  Bas ye ap chahne walon ki duaon ka nateeja hai.

Peeyush Sharma: Kuchh baten poochhni hain apse, sangeet aur filmon ke vishaye mein, agar apko kuchh achha na lage to mat bataiyega. I would like to ask you about some films and music.

Majrooh Sultanpuri: Nahin, nahin, puchhiye kya janana chahte hain?

Peeyush Sharma: Aap shayad akele aise geetkaar shayar hain jisne do mukhtalif peedhion ke saath kam kiya hain, wo bhi bahut successfully.

Majrooh Sultanpuri: Haan maine kai baap bête music directors ke saath kam kiya hai. Maslan, Burman dada aur Pancham, Roshan sahib aur uke saheb zade, Chitragupt aur unke bête Anand aur Milind. Waise maine senior music directors jaise Anil da, Naushad sahib wagairah ke saath kam shuru kiya tha, aur ab nayee peedhi ke saath bhi kar raha hoon.

Peeyush Sharma: Aur aap shayad akele aise fankaar hain jo sabhi ke saath successful  bhi rahe hain.

Majrooh Sultanpuri: Bas upar wale ka karam hai.

Gham diye mustaqil (Shahjahan, 1946) Naushad / Majrooh / K L Saigal

Peeyush Sharma: Majrooh sahib, bahut baar sunane main aata hai ki Naushad sahib ki falaan dhun Ghulam Mohamed ya Shafi sahib ne banayi hai, ya Burman dada ki dhun Jaidev ya Rahul dev ne banayi hai, ye kahan tak sahi hai ? Yani assistant music director ka kirdar kahan tak ahmiyat rakhta hai ?

Majrooh Sultanpuri: Dekhiye, ye utni ahmiyat rakhta hai jitni ki music director ahmiyat deta hai. Main samjhaata hoon.  Kisi bhi assistant ya, chele ka kya kaam hai ? Usse to ustad se sikhna hai. Ustad assistant ko jumla dedete hain, ya situation ya scene dete hain ya mukhda dete hain, ke is par aage kaam karo. Phir us kaam ki pareeksha hoti hai. Kai kai din ek hi jumley par kaam hota rehta hai.

Kabhi ustad ko kuchh achha lag gaya to apne gaane me jod leta hai. Is se koi ye to nahin keh sakta ki gaana assistant ne banaya hai. Haan, apni badhaayi mein wo chela khud kahta phirta hai ke ye falaan dhun meri hai taaki us ko koi producer kaam dede. Ustad bhi is ka bura nahin maante.

Hai hai hai yeh nigaahein (Paying Guest, 1957) – SD Burman / Majrooh / Kishore Kumar. This was Majrooh Sultanpuri’s first film with SD Burman

Peeyush Sharma: Naushad sahib aur Burman dada ke mamle mein, ye baat zara aur khulase se batayen, kyon ki aise to kai gaane hain jo sunte hi Ghulam Mohamed ki dhun lagte hain, jabki wo Naushad sahib ki film ke hain. Bade saaf tarike se yeh samajh mein aata hai. Phir kai gaane poori tarah se Mohammed Shafi ke lagte hain. Par hain Naushad Sahib ke.

Majrooh Sultanpuri: Dekhiye, phir wohi baat hai. Naushad sahib orchestration aur har vaadya ke poore ustad rahe hain. Wo apni notation hamari paddhati mein bhi likh lete the aur Angrezi mein bhi. Jab unko koi assistant ka kaam achha lagta tha to wo usse waise hi poora kabool kar lete the, kabhi jod-tod bhi karte the, haan, sirf orchestration aur recording khud karte the.  Singer ko bhi wo khud taiyyar karate the.

Aur Ghulam Mohamed sahib bhi kam fankaar to nahin the, badi umdaa aur achhi dhunen banaate the, sangeet ke ache jaankaaron mein se rahen hain.  Bas, Naushad sab ko jab unki dhun mein koi khaami nahin dikhti, to wo poori dhun waise hi le lete the, phir pher badal nahin karte the.  Kisi bhi assistant ki kaam mein kitni dakhalandaazi kabool karni hain aur kitni nahin, ye ustad ki marzi aur mijaaz par rehta hai.

Hum hain mataayein koocha-o (Dastak, 1970) – Madan Mohan / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Lata Mangeshkar. Madan Mohan won the National Award for this film

Thoda sa aapke sawaaal se hat kar bataaun is baat ko, Nayyar sahib ke saath aur Madan Mohan ji ke saath bhi maine kaafi kaam kiya hai. Nayyar ke assistant Kohli rahe hain. Lekin Nayyar ki koi dhun Kohli ne banaayi ho, aisa mujhe nahin lagta. Kohli apna kaam karte the, vaaadyon ka arrangement, orchestra ki  tuning aur placement, singer ki shuru ki training waghairah. Bas itna hi rehta tha unka.

Udhar Madan Mohan ke saath Ghanshyam aur Master Sonik rahe hain. Har jumla, har murki, har dhun, unki apni hi thi. Kuchh assistant ka unhe kabool nahin tha. Atak jaate the sur tayyar karte karte to phone utha kar mujhse kehte ki main ye alfaaz badal raha hoon, meter mein nahin baith raha hai. Bade particular the apne kaam ke, unke assistant notation jaroor banaate the, wo khud nahin likhte the.

Listen to this audio clip where Majrooh Sultanpuri speaks about Madan Mohan (Audio courtesy: madanmohan.in)

 

Hum hain mataa-e kucha-o, bazaar ki tarah / Dastak (1970) / Madan Mohan / Lata Mangeshkar

Just as traditional ‘shaayars’ sign their name in the last couplet of the ghazal, Majrooh wrote, “Majrooh likh rahein hain, woh ahl-e-wafa ka naam‘ – perhaps the first time such an attempt was made in a film song (‘Hum hain mataa-e kucha-o, bazaar ki tarah / Dastak (1970) / Madan Mohan / Lata Mangeshkar

Burman sahib ke saath aur unke bête ke saath bhi meri badi achhi setting thi. Yun kahiye ghar ka sa mamla tha. Dada ko shayari ki achhi jaankaari bhi thi. Koi jumla chahe unki samajh mein na bhi aaye, lekin poori ghazal ya nazm ya geet, wo bahut achhi tarah samajhte the. Bade bhaav vibhore ho kar baith kar araam se dhun banaate the, koi jaldi nahin thi unko. Keh bhi dete the, Muzroo, mujhe Muzroo keh kar bulaate the, ke yahan ye line tune mein nahin baith raha hai, isko change karo.

Ham ghanton ek saath baith kar kaam kiya karte the, aur ek geet par na jaane koi beeson dhunen bana daalte the baithe baithe. Chai bhi, coffee bhi aur paan bhi chalta rehta tha. Cigarette nahin peete the, unke sahib zaade Pancham shauk farmaate rahe.  Aur apni dhun khud hi reject kar dete the, kehte, chhodo ye achha nahin ban raha hai. Phir doosri dhun pakad lete. Producer ya director log bhi aake saath baith jaate, wo apni lay mein gaate rehte aur dhun banaate rehte. Jo tune select ho jaati, uski notation Pancham se banvaa lete, haath ke haath.

Teri bindiya re (Abhimaan, 1973) – SD Burman / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Mohd Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. Both SD Burman and Majrooh Sahab won the Filmfare award for this film. SD Burman used three male voices – Mohd Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Manhar Udhas for Amitabh Bachchan in Abhimaan who played a popular singer in the film.

Recording aur orchestration se zara ghabraate the, zyada saaz aur saazinde unhe pasand nahin the, jitney kam se kaam chal jaata wohi unhe theek lagta. Pancham ne isse sambhaal liya tha, lekin wo recording mein jaa kar bhi aksar kai saazinde hatwa dete, kehte gaane par itna zevar chadhaaoge to gaana dhikega hi nahin. Hataao, yahan violin kam karo, do percussion hataao, wagairah. Singer ko wo khud taiyar karaate the.

Unke saath Jaidev bhi rahe hain aur Pancham to rahe hi hain. Us  se pehle Datta sahib bhi the. Jaidev shadow composing karte the, yaani jo dhun Dada ne banaayi, vaisi ek aur dhun Jaidev ko kehte the banaao. Phir usme pher badal bataate the, ke ye theek hai ye theek nahin. Ussi tarah Pancham ke saath bhi tha. Kisi geet ka mukhda ya ek line ya thoda hissa Jaidev ya Pancham se banvaa liya ho to ho, par poora gaana to unka hi hota tha. Bataa bhi dete the, ke dekho Pancham ne kitna achha banaaya hai, isko yahan aise le lenge to bahut jamega.

Dada shaahi parivar ke khandaani admi the, wo dikhate to nahin the, par wo raub ka asar to tha hi unki shakhsiyat mein. Bade khuddar kism ke insaan rahe hain, kabhi kisi se kuchh bhi charity kabool nahin karte. Chai bhi har kisi ke saath nahin peete the, kisi assistant ka poora gaana wo le len, ye to mumkin hi nahin tha. Unki khuddari ko dhakka lagta tha. Phir wohi baat, kitni dakhal andaazi assistant ki kabool karni thi, ye line unhone bana ke rakhi thi. Badi himmat afzaai bhi karte the, Jaidev ki bhi aur Pancham to khair apna khoon tha to pyar se sikhate bhi the.

At this moment we had a volunteer come and remind us that the show is now going to resume, so we should go in the auditorium. He actually went around putting the lights off in that seating area.

Majrooh sahib, said, “Haan aap chaliye, bas aate hain.” And kept sitting.

Saathi na koi manzil (Bambai Ka Babu, 1960) – Naushad / Majrooh / K L Saigal

Peeyush Sharma: Aradhana ke gaanon ke bare mein log kehte hain ke Pancham ki dhunen hain, aur Pancham ne Kishore da se record karvaye hain.

Majrooh Sultanpuri: Dekhiye, Aradhana mein main unke saath nahin tha. Lekin jitna main unki shakhsiyat se vaakif hoon, aisa ho nahin sakta. Recording aur orchestration ki baat digar hai, magar, Dada ki khuddari mein kabhi kisi aur ki dhun apne naam se film mein aa jaye, ye to mumkin hi nahin tha.

Peeyush Sharma: Majrooh sahib, yahan ye bhi sunane mein aata hai ke, Dada kuchh beemar the to Pancham ne Kishore da se gaane gavaa liye, jo shayad Dada ne Rafi sahib ke liye soche the.

Majrooh Sultanpuri: “Arre na na, har singer ko Dada har gaane ke liye khud taiyyar karte the. Ghanton lagaa dete the rehearsal karaate karaate, ke aise nahin aise karo, ye effect laao.Gaa gaa kar sikhaate the.  Kaun sa singer kis geet ko gaayega, kis andaaz mein gaayega, ye poora unke control mein unke mijaaz ke mutabik rehta tha. Recording room mein Pancham ne joda toda hoga, mujhe to ye bhi khaas mumkin nahin lagta, wo apne Baba ki shakhsiyat se achhi tarah vaakif tha.

Talaash ek film thi hum dono ki , ek duet tha usme Rafi sahib aur Lata ji ka, Palkon ke peechhe se kya tumne keh dala. Usme Rafi sahib ki thodi si humming hai… Ummmm…. is tarah apni line shuru karne se pehle. Kitni baar wo humming hogi aur har bar Rafi sahib kis tarah usse gaayenge, is par koi char din nikal gaye perfect karte karte. Bahut hi zeyada dhyan dete the perfection par. Koi doosra unka gaana kya hi unki tarah record karvayega. Yeh sab fizul ki afwahen hain, chhodiye.

Chalen kya andar?

Rahein na rahein hum (Mamta, 1966) – Roshan / Majrooh / Lata Mangeshkar

Peeyush Sharma: Ek baat aur. Kai baar suna hai ke jab Dada gaate the to unke jaisa koi singer nahin gaa sakta tha.

Majrooh Sultanpuri: Haan, ye to theek suna hai. Bahut hi achha gaate the aur badi kabliyat se gaate the. Kai kai baar wo gaa kar singer ko sikhaa rahe hote aur singer, Lata ya Asha ya Rafi sahib jaise bhi unki tarah nahin kar paate, to wo dhun thodi aasaan kar dete the. Kehte lo ab gaao. Unka koi jode nahin tha gaayiki mein.

Yahan yeh bhi bataun, wo khud zameen par Kaleen par baith kar gaana banate they, to hum bhi sab neeche hi baith jaate. Rafi to ghanton tak unse seekh seekh kar rehearsal karte the, kehte the ye to sangeet ki university hai, yahan ka seekha har recording mein kaam aata hai. Bada samman karte the.  Dada bhi poora prem rakhte the Rafi se. Lata bhi, jaise hi koi dhun ko wo asaan karte, to wo zid karti ki nahin main phir koshish karti hoon.

Talash hi ke gaane par, ‘Khayi hai re humne kasam sang rehne ki’, pehle din theek se nahin kar payi to phir do, teen, char din aa aa ke practice karti rahi, jab tak man mutabik na ho gaya. Sab jante the ke Dada Burman bahut superior singer hain aur baki kisi ko bhi match karne mein dikkat hi pesh ayegi.”

Peeyush Sharma: Waise, Majrooh Sahib aapke geeton par to baat hui hi nahin.

Majrooh Sultanpuri: Arre kya baat karnge, ye apni hi to baaten theen.

Koi humdum na raha (Jhumroo, 1961) – Kishore Kumar / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Kishore Kumar

Peeyush Sharma: Aapki bahut kaamyaab teaming rahi hai kai mausikaaron ke saath, Dono Burman baap aur bête ke saath to aapne kamaal hi kiya hai, saath hi, Nayyar sahib ke saath, Roshan ji ke sang, Chitragupt ji ke sang, sab geet bahut hi umda bane hain. Dada ke last phase mein bhi, Abhimaan, Talaash, Sagina, Arjun Pandit, Phagun, sabhi mein aapki Jodi ka wahi kamaal hai jo fifties aur sixties mein tha.

Majrooh Sultanpuri:  Wo producer ko keh dete the, ke falaan subject hai to Muzroo hi likhenge, aur unki baat industry mein to koi unsuni kar nahin sakta tha. Mukherji sahib ko keh diya ke Abhimaan ke subject ke liye Muzroo hi theek hain, aur mujhe phone kar diya ke maine tumhaara naam bata diya hai, kal aa jao aur composing shuru karte hain. Yahi andaaz tha unka. Sagina ke waqt bhi, producer ko to main bahut peechhe mila hoon, gaane hamne pehle hi banaa liye the. Abhimaan ke geeton ke liye bahut izzat mili thi hum dono ko, unko kai samman mile the. Kafi khush the Dada.

Baki sab bhi, Chitragupt ya Nayyar ya Madan Mohan ya Roshan, sab ka apna andaaz tha, apne tarike se kaam karte the. Maine sab ke andaaz ko samajh kar hi kaam kiya hai. Pata rehta tha ke agar ye mausikaar hain to is kism ki cheez baith sakti hai. Subject ka bhi khayal rakhna laazmi rehta tha.

Mamta

Jab Mamta mein likha ‘jaise mandir mein lau diye ki’ to jhoom uthe Roshan Saab, kaha bas yahi chahiye tha

Jab Mamta mein likha ‘jaise mandir mein lau diye ki’ to jhoom uthe Roshan Saab, kaha bas yahi chahiye tha.  Dastak ke gaano ke liye to, Madan bhai ne Rajinder Singh Bedi (Producer/Director) ko keh diya ke har gaane ka pehla credit aur payment aur award Majrooh ko milna chahiye, Madan bhai ka badappan tha.

Nayyar saab ko jumle pasand aate the, koi nai cheez jo unke rhythm ke saath baith jaye to bade khush,’ Banda Parwar’ to bas itna pasand aaya, kaha koi phikr nahin agar Urdu hai ya nahin, sun ne mein zabardast lagta hai. Rafi sahib ko gaana bata rahe the Chitragupt, Oonche Log ka, Jaag dile diwana, to kehte hain, dekho subah subah uth kar naram mijaaz ke saath, halki dhoond mein Majrooh sahib ne bade mood se likha hai, usi mood aur andaaz mein isko gaana hai, Majrooh ki izzat ka sawal hai. Bade ache din the, bade pyare saathi, aur guni bhi.

Saba Sultanpuri, (daughter of Majrooh Sahab) with her husband Raju Naushad

Saba Sultanpuri, (daughter of Majrooh Sahab) with her husband Raju Naushad (son of Naushad Sahab) at the Rooh-e-Majrooh, organized by Ibaadat Foundation

Majrooh Sahab held my hand again, and started to rise from his seat. “Come, let’s go inside now. Or they will come looking for us,” he said.

I thanked him for the time spent and the information he had shared. He said, “Arre, phir milenge, aur baaten hongi.”

We re-entered the hall and he got busy with VIPs. This was all of my enlightening conversation with one of the greatest lyricist of Hindi cinema. The “phir milenge” was never destined.

To read this conversation in translated English, please click here.

Zulf ki chhaon mein (Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon, 1963) – O P Nayyar / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Mohd Rafi and Asha Bhonsle

More to read

Majrooh Sultanpuri: Film Poet Of The Millennium
The Incomparable Music Of S D Burman Transcends Generations
‘The Music Director Knows which Voice would do Full Justice to his Composition’ – In Conversation with Hemant Kumar
Kishore Kumar, The Master of his Craft – Amit Kumar Remembers his ‘Baba’

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Consulting Editor Learning and Creativity and Silhouette Magazine. To talk of a few passions of Peeyush, one must start with music. He is known to be a collector of music and information pertaining to Indian cinema (majorly Hindi) spanning a period from early 1930s to 1980s. He has a large collection of Bengali and Punjabi music and material as well. He also boasts of a huge library of related material. Peeyush has delivered talks and lectures on music appreciation, contributed write ups in numerous news papers and magazines. He has co-authored a tribute publication on Anil Biswas. He has co-hosted radio talk shows on music and met and interviewed a number of personalities. Occasionally, he delivers talks even now. Peeyush has been the founder secretary of the prestigious, Vintage Hindi Music Lovers Association in Bangalore that honored Anil Biswas in 1985. He is known as a storehouse of old Hindi music and information regarding music and movies. Peeyush is well read in Vedic culture and literature and is invited in various centers to deliver enlightening lectures on Vedic values. His range spans from four Vedas to Upanishads and Darshans as well as Bhagvad Gita. He has delivered talks on Yog Darshan in Yoga schools and large gatherings. He currently lives in Oshawa, Ontario in Canada.
All Posts of Peeyush Sharma

7 thoughts on “‘Bade Achchhe Din Thhe, Bade Pyare Saathi, Aur Guni Bhi’ – In Conversation with Majrooh Sultanpuri

  • Ajit Nanda

    The beauty of that era lay in paying critical attention to every tiny nitty-gritty, the details, the nuances.

    That spirit to offer the viewers the finest of the fine quality comes through in this conversation. It was this keen sense of achieving perfection that propelled these people to reach such a level of excellence. How many times they have rejected their own creations till they reach the point where they feel good about what has emerged and then, only then, do they offer it to the audience. You are my audience, you deserve the best, I have a duty towards you – that made the difference.

    You cannot now hope to hear words that say, the first credit and payment and award should go to Majrooh.

    And this spirit is what makes people now pine for those days, those people and those achchhe din.

    I must also congratulate you for asking penetrating questions that elicited such answers.

  • Vijay Kumar

    First read the original conversation and thereafter its English rendering. Superb. So engaging, so enjoyable; upgrades one’s take on the two geniuses Majrooh and SDB.

    Thank you Peeyush ji

  • M V Devraj

    This is a very enlightening interview.The real ‘Muzroo’ comes through very eloquently. It once again highlights, as if that is required, that those were musically heady days when respect and appreciation of each and every fraternity member was the order of the day! Thank you, Antara and Peeyush for this sumptuous food for thought.

  • Peeyush Sharma

    Thank you MV Devraj,
    I truly wish I had more time to speak with him, there is so much to this great man. And you have rightly said; respect and appreciation of each and every fraternity member was the order of the day! true professionalism.

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