Silhouette pays tribute to the legendary music composer Madan Mohan, with a delightful recall of the mast nagmein of the King of Ghazals – songs that thrive with fun and masti.
Sangeeta Gupta, the daughter of Madan Mohan adds her enriching observations (in red text) to join Peeyush Sharma as they build up the tempo of masti and great music. Enjoy the mast geet and hum along, remembering one of the greatest music composers ever to have graced the world of Hindi film music.
All pictures used in this article are courtesy madanmohan.in
Music director Madan Mohan is credited with some of the best filmi ghazals in the musical history of Hindi cinema. Who can forget Aapki nazaron ne samjha pyar ke kabil mujhe (Anpadh, 1962/ Lata/ Raja Mehndi Ali Khan) or Humse aaya na gaya yumse bulaya na gaya (Dekh Kabira Roya, 1957/ Talat/ Rajinder Krishan) or Jo humne daastan apni sunayi aap kyon roye (Woh Kaun Thi, 1964/ Lata/ Raja Mehdi Ali Khan), or Main yeh soch kar uske dar se utha tha (Haqeeqat, 1964 / Rafi/ Kaifi Azmi) – a huge list of truly endearing, sophisticated, unparalleled and immortal creations known as light filmi ghazals.
But today, we take you through a rocking journey of some of Madan Mohan’s music exploring his totally mast songs that are certainly not ghazals, but are some of our all time favourite happy songs. So, here we go:
Picturised on the young and handsome Vijay Anand, our first pick is a mast romantic song, zesty tune, full of excitement, superb Rafi delivery, a mood creator and an essential sing along, replete with humming and whistling, tingling and mouth organ.
( Haqeeqat , 1965) – Madan Mohan / Kaifi Azmi / Mohd Rafi
Watch the third verse to get the literal feel of imagination so beautifully executed by producer-director Chetan Anand on younger brother Vijay, all in anticipation. If it reminds you of the third brother, Dev, well, one cannot forget that these are the styles of execution that Vijay as a director had given to Dev to enact too, in his films.
Mukhde se zulf zara sarkaunga, Suljhega pyar ulajh main jaaunga,
Paake rihai bahut pachhtaunga, aisa sukon kahan phir paaunga,
Aur nahin hai thikana koi dil ka, aaj lutayega khaana koi dil ka.
This song could have been picturised on Madanji as Chetan Anand had roped him into acting for the film. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions the flight he was to take to Ladakh where the shooting was being held could not land for 10 days and he returned home disappointed, especially since he had been an army man and would have loved to star in this film which was very close to his heart.
(Hanste Zakhm, 1973) – Madan Mohan / Kaifi Azmi / Mohd Rafi, Balbir and Chorus
I would immediate jump a decade to the total mast mood enhancer by Rafi and Balbir and chorus executed in a qawalli style with a modern touch from Chetan Anand’s Hanste Zakhm (1973). With the same Kaifi Azmi-Madan Mohan-Rafi team again, the scene has Chetan Anand’s nephew-in-law, Navin Nishchal leading a bunch of enthusiastic actors of all sizes. It is one of the last best qawallis of the Hindi Film world, before qawalli totally vanished from the scene.
The madness of masti starts with a bhangra beat to set the mood. There is a sudden quiet pause in the party as Priya Rajvansh enters and then Rafi’s introductory lines flow as a exultant welcome, Dil ne is tarah pukara tumhen aana hi pada…
Each of the mast songs the duo created became a pure delight for music lovers. For sheer energy and uniqueness and a favourite of many including Madan Mohan himself is the Sharabi (1964) number Sawan ke maheene mein, ik aag si seene mein. Written by Rajinder Krishan, picturised in three parts on Dev Anand, it was a massive hit in its days and even in a re-run, coins were thrown at the screen when this song started.
(Sharabi , 1964) – Madan Mohan / Rajinder Krishan / Mohd Rafi
Rafi excelled in romantic renderings under Madan Mohan’s baton. Sample a few of those pearls:
Enjoy this Madan Mohan-Rafi immortal melody:
(Dulhan Ek Raat Ki, 1966) – Madan Mohan / Raja Mehdi Ali Khan / Mohd Rafi
Actor, producer and director, Om Prakash collaborated with close friend Madan Mohan in Gateway of India (1957), Chacha Zindabad (1959), Sanjog (1961) and Jahan Ara (1964). None could be a hit at box office, so to say. But all had memorable music that has ever since been selling.
(Chacha Zindabad, 1959) – Madan Mohan / Rajinder Krishan / Kishore Kumar
From actor, producer and director Om Prakash’s 1959 comedy with Kishore Kumar and Anita Guha, Cha Cha Zindabad, this Kishore song is a lyrical beauty, melodious and naughty, written by Rajinder Krishan.
Raahi hoon main apni dhun ka,
ik roz chala jaunga,
dhundhoge mujhe ro ro ke,
main haath nahin aaunga.
(Man Mauji, 1962) – Madan Mohan / Rajinder Krishan / Kishore Kumar
Curiously with Kishore Kumar as an actor-hero, Madan Mohan scored music for seven films, namely, Ilzam (1954), Bhai Bhai (1956), Mem Saheb (1956), Chandan (1958), Cha Cha Zindabad (1959), Man Mauji (1962) and Ladka Ladki (1966).
For singer Kishore Kumar, Madan Mohan composed 38 songs in 17 films. Yet while recollecting Madan Mohan’s music creations we tend to overlook this duo. Among the songs that they did together, some favourites are;
Not many know that Kishore Kumar and Madanji shared a friendly bond from the time that they joined the industry as youngsters. Kishore Kumar’s brother legendary actor Ashok Kumar was an integral part of Bombay Talkies and Madanji’s father Rai Bahadur Chunnilal was the administrative partner. The two youngsters used to spend masti times in the canteen and all over the studio.
Zaroorat hai or Simti si sharmayi si are very popular songs from this duo.
(Bhai Bhai, 1956) – Madan Mohan / Rajinder Krishan / Geeta Dutt
This quintessential bindaas number with the rare combination of Geeta Dutt and Madan Mohan has remained evergreen even after all these sixty years. It is a supreme pleasure to listen to this full throated fabulous rendition anytime and enjoy the uplifting ‘dil-se’ effect that only Geeta could have brought to the song. Needless to say, this one song has has also made Shyama immortal!
Another Geeta Dutt–Madan Mohan gem that was shot on Helen in Night Club (1958) comes to mind:
Kahan phir hum kahan phir tum kahan wo raatein,
dhadakte dil se ho jayen zara do batein.
One is also reminded of Shaam ka anchal dhalka from Fifty Fifty (1956) and Yeh raah badi mushkil hai from Gateway Of India (1957).
Another delightful number that starts with humming and whistling, Asha Bhosle this time, this song from Aakhri Dao (1958), has been my top favourite from the day I heard it first. The whistling does remind one of Hum hain rahi pyar ke humse kuchh na boliye from Nau Do Gyarah, released an year earlier.
Sparkling with verve and almost singing through her eyes is Nutan accompanied by ever jubilant Shammi in a taxi cab with Shekhar at the steering wheel. Directed by Mahesh Kaul and co-produced by Shekhar’s wife, Santosh Shekhar and shot very well by cameraman Ratan Lal Nagar, this song is a sheer delight to ears and eyes.
(Aakhri Daao, 1958) – Madan Mohan / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Asha Bhosle
Two timeless, romantic beauties that are outstanding feathers in the cap of Madan Mohan are from Bank Manager (1959) and Akeli Mat Jaiyo (1963). Both songs were enacted on screen by Minoo Mumtaz and rendered by Asha Bhosle.
Bank Manager, a film from the producers of Aakhri Dao had Shekhar as the hero again. They had brought in real time non-film shayars to write the lyrics. Anwar Farukhabadi and Jalaal Malihabadi shared the honours while Indiwar wrote one song for this film too. Notice these love laden lines written by Jalaal Malihabadi.
Yeh kaun aa gaya dil ko karta ishare,
ke mehki saba muskuraye nazare,
Kadam badh ke tu choom le ae mohabbat,
ke dil ko bahut unpe pyar aa raha hai.
Minoo Mumtaz dances to this song for the hero Shekhar this in a mehfil packed with gangsters.
( Bank Manager , 1959) – Madan Mohan / Jalaal Malihabadi / Asha Bhosle
From the prestigious production house of Ranjit, Akeli Mat Jaiyo had Chandulal J. Shah and Gohar K Mamajiwala share the honours as the producers and renowned Nandlal Jaswantlal handle the direction. Meena Kumari and Rajendra Kumar were both top bracketed stars and Majrooh wrote the lyrics.
Hits from Akeli Mat Jaiyo include Woh jo milte the kabhi humse diwanon ki tarah (Lata), Yeh hawa yeh mastana mausam (Lata/Rafi) and Yeh to kaho kaun ho tum, meri bahar tumhin to nahin – a duet by Lata and Rafi where Rafi endearingly croon ‘yes my darling, yes my darling’!
Akeli Mat Jaiyo was a watchable film with an interesting story line (written by Chandulal Shah) with charged dialogues by Akhtar Ul Iman. Unfortunately, the director Nandlal Jaswantlal passed away before he could complete the film which affected quality of the film. Watch the sensuous Meena Kumari’s wordless reactions to the evocative song by Minoo Mumtaz in Asha’s voice.
( Akeli Mat Jaiyo , 1963) – Madan Mohan / Majrooh Sultanpuri / Asha Bhosle
Any list of Madan Mohan’s masti songs cannot be complete without Jhumka gira re, the chartbuster hit from Raj Khosla’s blockbuster Mera Saya (1966). Every song of this film was a masterpiece composition but this desi dance number sung by Asha Bhosle and picturised on an electrifying Sadhana caught the fascination of the audience like none other. The song unspooled a story, the words painting a graphic imagery and the intermittent prompt ‘phir kya hua?’ followed by Asha’s ‘Phir daiyya’ added a spicy dash of mischief to the song.
( Mera Saaya , 1966) – Madan Mohan / Raja Mehdi Ali Khan / Asha Bhosle
Asha Bhosle has gone on record to say that she has sung nearly as many songs as Lata Mangesher for composer Madan Mohan, emphasising “Maine lakhon kamaye hain is gaane pe jo hai jhumka gira re”.
Well, beautiful and elegant Sadhana, the suave Sunil Dutt, an intriguing storyline and efficient direction and of course the trio of Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Rafi teaming up with lyricist Raja Mehdi Ali Khan and Madan Mohan – Mera Saya had everything in perfect synchronisation. All songs are etched in the memory of music lovers even today.
I would like to add one of my favorites of this combination – Shokh nazar ki bijliyan from the film Woh Kaun Thi which was picturised on Parveen Chaudhry.
I love the song Mere piya chede jiya…dheere se aake thandi hawa from the film Chacha Chowdhry (1958), written by the legendary lyricist Rajinder Krishenji.
Another beauty is Mere ishq mein lakhon latke from the film Mausam (1975) which was picturised on the natkhat version of Sharmila Tagore. The film released a few months after Madan Mohanji passed away and was dedicated to his memory.
Madan Mohan’s masti in mast duets by Asha and Rafi is our next focus. Quite a few of them, mostly unsung but, each a gem and real mast romantics. Among my favourite masti duets are Dekh Kabira Roya duet, Hum bulate hi rahe tum jalate hi rahe, o sanam ye kahan ki mohabbat hai.
From Adalat, Zameen se humen aasman pe bitha ke gira to na doge.
Another one was from Ek Shola, the melodious beauty, Kahin chal na de raat ka kya thikana idhar aao zulfon mein tumko chhupa lein.
And the treasure chest is studded with gems:
Oozing with romance and masti and dillagi, each of these songs is a gem, a sing along in lighter mood but full of melody. There are movies or song picturisations that may not appeal to us now and they did not appeal to the audience when they were released. But Madan Mohan never let his listeners down. His quality never suffered and his creative genius was very much alive till his last composing day.
Another qawaali that remains a classic in Hindi films is the one rare delivery by Lata from 1966 film Dulhan Ek Raat Ki. Again a highly reputed director, D D Kashyap based this film on Thomas Hardy classic, Tess of the D’Urbervilles with excellent acting by Nutan, supported by Dharmendra and Rehman. Hit songs include, Sapnon mein agar mere tum aao to so jaaun (Lata), Ik haseen sham ko dil mera kho gaya (Rafi), Aane apna banaya, meherbani aapki (Lata/Mahendra), Maine rang lee aaj chunariya sajna tere rang mein (Lata), all lyrics by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan.
Not for nothing is huge credit attached to the creative genius of Dr. Iqbal (remember Sare jahan se achha Hindustan hamara?) It was his nazm that was tuned as a qawaali here, elegantly and masterfully by Madan Mohan.
Na bacha bacha ke tu rakh ise, tera aaina hai wo aaina
Ke shikasta ho to azeeztar hai nigahe aaina saaz mein,
Kabhi ae haqeeqat-e-muntazir nazar aa libaas-e-majaaz mein,
Ke hazaaron sajde tadap rahe hain meri jabeen-e-niyaaz mein.
Super poetry, shaayari and great thoughts by Dr. Iqbal.
(Dulhan Ek Raat Ki, 1966) – Madan Mohan / Dr. Iqbal / Lata Mangeshkar
Chetan Anand’s Hindustan Ki Qasam had released in Calcutta on 31st December, 1973. Hai tere saath meri wafa main nahin to kya (Lata) and Har taraf ab yahi afsane hain, hum teri ankhon ke diwane hain (Manna Dey) had already gained popularity. The Bangladesh war of 1971 was still fresh in memory and a war movie touched a chord instantly. The star cast comprising Rajkumar, Balraj Sahani, Vijay Anand and Chetan Anand and Priya in a double role was impressive.
With a few friends I had watched the matinee show on the first day of the film’s release. The song Har taraf ab yahi afsaane hain was initially performed on screen by actor Gautam Sareen. The song became popular and as an afterthought, it was reshot with the hero of the film Rajkumar. The song was replaced when the film was running its third week. We watched the film again just to see how the song looked in its new avatar.
Either way, the beautiful romantic song, excellently delivered by Manna De and written by Kaifi Azmi retained its popularity ratings.
(Hindustan Ki Qasam, 1973) – Madan Mohan / Kaifi Azmi / Manna De
(Bawarchi, 1972) – Madan Mohan / Kaifi Azmi / Manna De in the lead with Kishore Kumar, Lakshmi Shankar, Nirmala Devi, and Harindranath Chattopadhyay
One can never have enough of that peppy good morning number from Bawarchi. Madan Mohan worked with Hrishikesh Mukherjee in just one film. The alliance reportedly happened on the recommendation of Gulzar who was working with Madan Mohan in Koshish those days. Whatever be the reason, we have a unique, one-of-a-kind song that is not only a visual treat, but also a delightful masterly composition, with a huge ensemble of singers that included, Manna Dey in the lead with Kishore Kumar, Lakshmi Shankar, Nirmala Devi, and Harindranath Chattopadhyay.
On screen for record, we see Rajesh Khanna, Jaya Bhaduri, Maneesha, Asrani, Harindranath Chattopadhyay, Durga Khote, Usha Kiran, A K Hangal, Kali Banerjee and Master Raju.
Written by Kaifi Azmi, it is an intriguing and curious song, in a film that lacked traditional hero-heroine plot and had a large variety of central characters.
I remember Harindranath Chattopadhyayji coming a couple of times about 6 a.m. and ringing the doorbell impatiently to find out if the recording for this song had been scheduled…so excited was he to be participating in this different kind of song!
Some masti-bhare songs by Madan Mohan featured the legendary Shamshad Begum:
Jo tum karo main kar sakta hoon badhke – (Ada, 1951) Prem Dhawan / Shamshad Begum and Kishore Kumar
Pagdi pahanke thurredar akadta kyon hai – (Madhosh, 1951) Raja Mehdi Ali Khan / Shamshad Begum and S.D.Batish
Dil jale hawa jab chale – (Ilzaam, 1954) Rajinder Krishen / Shamshad Begum and Kishore Kumar
Tu hai meri chandaniya gori main hoon chanda tera – (Ilzaam, 1954) Rajinder Krishan / Shamshad Begum and Sundar
O Madam ..O O O Madam – (Ashiana, 1952) Rajinder Krishan / Shamshad Begum, Kishore Kumar
(Madhosh, 1951) Madan Mohan / Raja Mehdi Ali Khan / Shamshad Begum and S.D.Batish
Lots of light romantic songs and semi-classical songs too featured in Madan Mohan’s repertoire but unfortunately he got typed as ghazal specialist as these presumably became more popular. There was so much more on display in his work if one just moved away from the hit songs which one keeps on hearing most of the time.
* Baiyan na dharo – Dastak
* Jiya le gayo ji mora – Anpadh
* Balma anadi mangade ghoda gadi – Pocket Maar
* Naino mein pyar dole – Sheroo
* Mori atariya pe kaga bole – Ankhen
* Yeh nai nai preet hai – Pocket Maar
* Ladi ankh se ankh – Pocket Maar (such a fun song this if you have not heard it yet)
* Hum panchi mastane – Dekh Kabira Roya
* Dil unko utha ke de diya – Baap Bete
* Khanak gayo hay beri – Rishte Naate
* Kai din se jee hai beqal – Dulhan Ek Raat Ki
* Jab dekh liya to chupenge kahan – Chirag
* Chaayi barkha bahar – Chirag
* Milo na tum to hum ghabrayein – Heer Ranjha
* Hey dil gaya dil gaya dekho dekho – Kishore Kumar
* Chhadi re chhadi – Mausam
The list is long. And the masti flows on…!
(Mausam, 1975) – Madan Mohan / Gulzar / Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd Rafi
We will come up with a special on Madan Mohan’s songs for Lata Mangeshkar very soon. Watch this space!
More to read on Madan Mohan
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