Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Bittersweet Symphony of Life

This piece was written for Sangeet Ke Sitare, a music group on Facebook, for the theme - “Film songs where the lyrics attempt to answer the question - What is Life?”

Meri zindagi hai naghma, meri zindagi tarana, wrote Shevan Rizvi in 1969 for Madam to croon. Two years later, Ian Andersen called life a long song but with a caveat that the tune ends too soon for us all! Then more than a decade later life turned into a love song emerging from Sawan Kumar’s pen. It took another decade and a half, to turn life into a full-fledged symphony. Not just any symphony, but a bittersweet one.

Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
Try to make ends meet
You're a slave to money then you die…

Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve (1997)

Written by their lead singer Richard Ashcroft, this 1997 song by English group The Verve was immensely popular around the time of its release, but soon ran into a controversy for plagiarism and quite literally turned into a bittersweet symphony for the group. It remains the biggest hit for the group, licensed and used by multiple companies, but they don’t get any royalties out of it.

The Story of Bitter Sweet Symphony

The main instrumental hook of the song is so catchy that it has made a permanent home in my mind ever since I first heard it in the summer of 1998.

It is quite ironic that since 2008 this song is being used by ITV as the background music to the opening sequence for England's international football matches, whereas in my mind this song is inextricably linked to England’s shocking ouster from the FIFA world cup in 1998.

ITV Sport - England Football Team Highlights Intro

In June of 1998, I was on a 3 week-long visit to the United Kingdom. There were only two things one heard on TV and in pubs in the UK those days – this song and endless debates on how England was sure to win the FIFA world cup that year. When England lost a nail-biter to Argentina and crashed out of the tournament, people took to the streets creating a ruckus, with all their ire directed at one man – David Beckham. The nation-wide anger was so intense that David Beckham soon became the most hated man in the country and he chose not to return to England immediately after the defeat. And all this while, the catchy instrumental hook of this song, which was used in a TV commercial, continued to play all over the place. So every time I hear this song, I recall England’s unfortunate defeat that summer. A bittersweet symphony indeed.

Vauxhall Astra - TV Commercial (1998)
Nike - I Can - TV Commercial (1998)

The song was later used to underscore the reversal of fortune of the lead characters in the closing scenes of the 1999 film Cruel Intentions.

Cruel Intentions (1999) - Closing Scenes

Sunday, April 17, 2016

‘Agar Main Poochhoon Jawaab Doge…’ - Remembering G. S Kohli

I had co-authored this piece along with Ramaswamy Narayanan for the Guzra Hua Zamana series on Sangeet Ke Sitare, a music group on Facebook.

G S Kohli CollageGursharan Singh Kohli, better known as just G. S Kohli, was born in 1928 in Punjab. Hardly any information is available about his early years. His journey in Hindi films started in 1952 when Dalsukh M. Pancholi gave O. P Nayyar a break in ‘Aasmaan’, and G. S Kohli was brought in as his assistant. Being an accomplished Tabla and Dholak player, he became an indispensable part of O. P Nayyar’s team. He assisted O. P Nayyar in more than 40 films, many of them along with Sebastian D’Souza, who was known to O. P Nayyar since his Lahore days. There were, however, many films of O. P Nayyar where G. S Kohli was the sole assistant. Prominent among such films are ‘Naya Andaaz’, ‘Naya Daur’, ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’, ‘Howrah Bridge’, ‘Phagun’, ‘Basant’, ‘Ek Musafir Ek Haseena’, ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’, and ‘Kismat’.
lambe haathG. S. Kohli’s first film as an independent music director was ‘Lambe Haath’ (1960). The Rafi solo ‘Pyar Ki Raah Dikha Duniya Ko’ became very popular. Anjaan wrote the lyrics for all the songs in this film, which gave Anjaan his first major hit after having been the industry for more than 6 years. Thus began a fruitful partnership between G. S Kohli and Anjaan, who went on to write almost 50% of all songs composed by G. S Kohli in Hindi films.
Although ‘Lambe Haath’ did not do very well, G. S Kohli’s work in it was appreciated and more offers started coming his way. His association with Anjaan continued but was limited in his next film ‘Mr. India’ (1961). All the songs of ‘Mr. India’ were written by Jaan Nisar Akhtar except ‘Mat Poochch Mera Hain Kaun Watan’ and ‘Nazar Ye Teri Teekhi’, which were by Anjaan. G. S Kohli’s compositions in this film give an impression of what G. S. Kohli and O. P Nayyar meant to each other.
Dekha Na Jaaye - Mr. India (1961) - Geeta Dutt - G. S Kohli - Jaan Nisar Akhtar
The next film, ‘Faulaad’ (1963), brought in a partnership with another lyricist – Farooq Qaiser, even as the association with Anjaan continued. Asha sang four of the five songs in the movie. The songs which stand out are ‘Jaan-e-Jaana Yoon Na Dekho Aaj Nafrat Se Mujhe’, and ‘Paaon Mein Jhanjhar’, which was quite popular.  shikari
Then came the movie which made him stand out and even now he is remembered for the songs from this movie. The film was ‘Shikari’ (1963). Surprisingly after having Anjaan as his lyricist for his previous films, ‘Shikari’ had four songs written by Farooq Qaiser and two by Qamar Jalalabadi. Be it ‘Tumko Piya Dil Diya’ sung by Lata and Usha or the two Rafi-Lata duets viz, ‘Agar Main Poochhoon Jawaab Doge’ and ‘Chaman Ke Phool Bhi Tujhko’, this film established G. S. Kohli as a talented composer.
One of the outcomes of the tremendous success of the Lata-Usha duet in ‘Shikaari’ was that it became almost like a G. S Kohli trademark. Most of his films after Shikari had a mandatory female-female dance duet, mostly by Mangeshkar sisters. Consider these – ‘Tadpa Le Jitna Chaahe’ (Chaar Darvesh -1964, Asha-Usha), ‘Majnoon Sa Aashiq’ (Naujawan – 1966, Lata-Usha), ‘Humre Sajan Ghar Aaye’ (Do Matwale – 1966, Lata-Usha), ‘Badi Kaafir Tumhari Nazar Nikli’ (Sangdil – 1967, Lata-Usha), ‘Hans Ke Shararat Karna Na’ (Jung Aur Aman – 1968, Krishna Kalle – Pushpa Pagdhare(?)), ‘Toot Gaya Kangana’ (Gunda – 1969, Asha-Usha), ‘Tujhe Kiya O Kitna Mana’ (Jaalsaaz – 1969, Suman-Krishna Kalle).
Female duets composed by G. S Kohli
For his next film after ‘Shikaari’ i.e. ‘Chaar Darvesh’ (1964), G. S Kohli again went to his favourite lyricist Anjaan, while also using Raja Mehdi Ali Khan’s lyrics for the first time. Jaani Babu Qawwal and Rafi sang a wonderful qawwali ‘Tere Karam Ki Dhoom’ for this film. This was followed by another musical success in ‘The Adventures of Robinhood’. One of the romantic songs sung by Rafi - ‘Maana Mere Haseen Sanam’ - was the highlight of this film.
Maana Mere Haseen Sanam - Adventures of Robinhood (1965) - Mohd. Rafi - G. S Kohli - Yogesh
Mukesh sang for the first and last time under Kohli’s baton in ‘Namaste Ji’ (1965) - ‘Bahaaro Thaam Lo’, a duet with Lata Mangeshkar. Although Anjaan was the lyricist for most of the songs, Anand Bakshi wrote two songs, out of which ‘Humein Kya Jo Har Soo Ujaale Hue Hain’ will be remembered as one of the best sad songs of Rafi.
The sweet success that G. S Kohli had tasted with ‘Shikaari’ was extremely short-lived. ‘Namaste Ji’ can be termed as his last musical success as the films that came later are hardly remembered by music lovers.
naujavanThis phase of G. S Kohli’s career saw him working with more lyricists beyond the ones he had already worked with. Naqsh Lyallpuri came in with one song in ‘Naujawan’ (1966) and then went on to write most of the songs in ‘Sangdil’ (1967). However, the more popular song of ‘Sangdil’ – Rafi’s ‘Din Bure Hote Hain Haalaat Bure Hote Hain’ – was written by Anjaan though. ‘Jung Aur Aman’ (1968) also had the trademark one song written by Anjaan, while Hasrat Jaipuri and Prem Dhawan wrote two songs each. Then came ‘Gunda’ (1969) for which Dev Kohli and Shadab wrote lyrics along with Anjaan. The association with Anjaan continued in ‘Jaalsaaz’ (1969), which also had lyrics by Farooq Qaiser and Naqsh Lyallpuri.
After ‘Jaalsaaz’, G. S Kohli’s career appears to have come to a standstill. He had no films as an independent composer, while his association with O. P Nayyar, who he had continued to assist even during the period when he worked as an independent composer, also ended.
Many years later, he composed for a small film called ‘Mahadaan’ (1984). This was the last film where he was the sole composer. Interestingly, like his very first film, all the songs of this film were also written by Anjaan. And all the songs were sung by his favourite singer - Asha Bhosle. Although there are two songs which have the typical G. S Kohli/ OPN flavour (with a 'sound' more in tune with the 80s), the other songs were very different, both in terms of tunes and orchestration.
Mere Dil Chal Chalen - Mahadaan (1984) - Asha Bhosle - G. S Kohli - Anjaan
paighaamAfter ‘Mahadaan’, G. S Kohli’s name appeared for one last time in the credits of ‘Paighaam’ (1988), where he composed just one song, while the others were by Yunus Malik. It was fitting that his very last song was of a type that had almost defined him post-Shikaari – a female-female dance duet by Anuradha Paudwal & Hemlata
G. S Kohli passed away on July, 25, 1996.


  1. Lambe Haath (1960)
  2. Mr. India (1961)
  3. Faulaad (1963)
  4. Shikaari (1963)
  5. Char Darvesh (1964)
  6. The Adventures of Robinhood (1965)
  7. Namaste Ji (1965)
  8. Naujawan (1966)
  9. Do Matwale (1966)
  10. Sangdil (1967)
  11. Jung Aur Aman (1968)
  12. Gunda (1969)
  13. Jaalsaaz (1969)
  14. Mahadaan (1984)
  15. Paighaam (1988) – with Yunus Malik

List Of Lyricists Who Worked With G. S Kohli (in order of number of songs)

  1. Anjaan
  2. Farooq Qaiser
  3. Naqsh Lyallpuri
  4. Jaan Nisar Akhtar
  5. Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
  6. Shadab
  7. Qamar Jalalabadi
  8. Hasrat Jaipuri
  9. Anand Bakshi
  10. Prem Dhawan
  11. Yogesh
  12. Dev Kohli
  13. Hasan Kamaal
  14. Saba Fazli


  1. Film Sangeetkar Suvarnayugwaale by Yogesh Yadav
  2. Dhunon Ki Yatra by Pankaj Rag
  3. Hindigeetmala, myswar, etc. for song listings

Friday, March 25, 2016

Phir Wo Bhooli Si Yaad Aayi Hai … Remembering Sapan - Jagmohan

This piece is written by Shankar Iyer. It first appeared as part of the Guzra Hua Zamana series on Sangeet Ke Sitare, a music group on Facebook.

Sapan Jagmohan Collage GHZ
Picture Courtesy Kaustubh Pingle; Posters Sourced from osianama.com and other online sources

Some composers in Hindi Film Music (HFM) have not had the privilege of being associated with large or well-known banners. Music composer duo Sapan - Jagmohan would fall in that category; although they did work with B R Ishara, who cannot easily be called “low-profile”. That said, with more than 70 films across Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali and Bhojpuri languages, their music output deserves a closer look, greater appreciation and better representation amongst connoisseurs and masses.

Sapan - Jagmohan began their career as duo in the early 1960s. Theirs was an interesting mix - the lilting rhythms of Punjab (Jagmohan Bakshi) with soft melodies of Bengal (Sapan Sengupta). Their overall style evolved, occasionally imbibing from various sources, but inherently built around their individual music backgrounds and erudite abilities.

SapJagBorn on 17 July 1932, Sapan Sengupta spent his childhood as neighbour to renowned composer and singer Pankaj Mullick. The influence was evident; Sapan regarded Pankaj-da as his guru, getting to learn and draw inspiration from the man’s work and prevailing musical atmosphere. Pankaj Mullick‘s son was Sapan’s friend and that too helped. On the other hand, the love of singing and music brought Jagmohan Bakshi (born 29 July 1929) to Bombay. Graduating from Lucknow University, Jagmohan was known to be fond of dancing and singing as a child.

Bombay welcomed Jagmohan in 1952, while Sapan arrived on its shores in 1957. They started off as chorus singers and were part of the “Bombay Youth Choir” group formed by noted composer Salil Chowdhury. With love for music and partition memories being common, they soon became good friends. While Sapan also composed for All-India Radio when in Bombay, Jagmohan Bakshi’s individual singing attempts trace back to the very early “Mujhse aapko shikwa hai”, a song recorded for HMV (His Master’s Voice) under Dhaniram’s music. Then came two duets with Asha Bhosle, one in Chham Chhama Chham (1952) under O. P Nayyar’s baton, and another in Taxi Driver (1954) under S D Burman’s music. “Dekho maane nahin roothi haseena” from Taxi Driver became popular during its time. There were two other songs that Jagmohan sang and they were for composer Ramesh Naidu: (“Ghir ghir aaye badarwa” with Mohd. Rafi, Hamlet, 1954) and “O saathi re tu aa bhi jaa” (with Lata and Usha Mangeshkar, Piya Milan, 1958).

Ghir Ghir Aaye Badarwa - Hamlet (1954) - Mohd. Rafi & Jagmohan Bakshi - Ramesh Naidu - Hasrat Jaipuri

While all this was happening, both youngsters realised the challenges of becoming (and further remaining) established mainstream singers. They moved their aspirations to becoming composers someday. In this regard, an early opportunity to record for a film China Bridge did come their way and a song (“Chand se pyaara hai”) is said to have been recorded in Asha Bhosle’s voice. Alas, the film never got completed!

Take-off happened with the Punjabi film Jijaji in year 1961 starring Nishi, Karan Devan, Achla Sachdev, Sunder and Tun Tun. Film - maker Poonam Prakash takes credit to have given the break to them. And the duo made good use of the offer. Two songs from the film “Oye oye oye main ta jhaali aan” (Asha Bhosle) and “Aavo loko nas ke” (Mahendra Kapoor) became hugely popular. The other songs that had the audiences swaying were “Tu sun meri raaniye” (Rafi & Asha), “Main kundal waaliyan zulfaan nu” (Rafi & Suman Kalyanpur) and “Ni chittiye kabootariye” (Rafi, Shamshad Begum & Chorus). The film had lyrics by Naqsh Lyallpuri, Naresh Paul and Manohar Singh Sehrai.

Oye Oye Oye main Ta Jhalli Aan - Jija Ji (Punjabi, 1961) - Asha Bhosle - Sapan-Jagmohan - Naqsh Lyallpuri/ Naresh Paul/ Manohar Singh Sehrai

The first released Hindi Film in Sapan – Jagmohan’s music was Begaana, in year 1963, produced and directed by Sadashiv J Row Kavi. It brought them in the news straightaway. The song “Phir woh bhooli si yaad” (thanks also to Rafi’s heartfelt rendition) was included in HMV’s “Yaadon Ki Manzil” collection released to commemorate hits of the 1961-63 period. The movie’s other songs sounded nice too, especially the haunting Mukesh solo “Na jaane kahaan kho gaya” and the folksy “Saagar ka jhilmil paani” (Asha, Manna Dey). It is important to add here that the film had 2 solos by Asha Bhosle (“Pyar nibhana bhool na jana” and “Tose nazar ladi sajna re”). That was start to a partnership which stayed for many years and dominated the Sapan - Jagmohan output. Asha Bhosle was soon to become their favourite singer!

Phir Wo Bhooli Si Yaad - Begana (1963) - Mohd. Rafi - Sapan-Jagmohan - Shailendra

Despite the promising beginning, no Hindi film came the duo’s way immediately. On the other hand, Shokan Mele Di (released in year 1965) was instrumental in establishing them in Punjabi films. “Jaach mainu aa gai gham khan di” with Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s stirring lyrics and Rafi’s soulful vocals (note the powerful Saxophone playing in the interludes) hit top resonance with listeners. Another song from the film that wooed masses was “Main kandiali thor ve sajna” by Asha Bhosle. A truly stunning tune!

zimbo finda a sonThe sincere endeavour of Begaana did not usher in a movie-signing phase for Sapan- Jagmohan. In fact, their next Hindi film Zimbo Finds A Son only came three years later (1966). However, the fresh appeal in their music remained. Asha Bhosle’s “Kaiti kaiti neeli neeli” with its racy feel and “Dil jiske liye betab raha” were winners. There was also the nicely sung duet “Aye dil tere muqaddar ka” involving singers Bhupinder Singh and Mubarak Begum. Another Asha solo “Gungun gaoon hawa main lehraoon”, picturised on popular yesteryear TV Host Tabassum, had a distinct spirited feel to it. And so was the carefree Asha - Usha duet “Meri jaan yoon hi raho”.

While Begaana had songs written by Shailendra, Zimbo Finds A Son started a long partnership for the duo with poet Naqsh Lyallpuri in Hindi films, having already worked with him in Punjabi. The evocative title song in Asha’s voice and the waltz style Rafi solo “Khuli waadiyon ka safar hai” from Aayega Aane Wala (1967) are gems (although lost ones) as we hear them today. Year 1967 also had an incomplete film Gumbad (Sudarshan Babbar’s direction) with Sapan-Jagmohan’s music.

Their next venture Teri Talash Mein (1968) witnessed a couple of high impact songs. Firstly, the eerie title song (“Teri talash mein”) in Asha’s voice that sends shivers down the spine even today. Next - the quintessential, well-known Rafi solo “Teri aawaz ki jaadugari se” with an intense melancholic touch. The film’s interesting song, however, was the Rafi - Asha duet “Koi deewana tumhein chahega”. Interesting as the tune was re-used by Sapan-Jagmohan 12 years later as “Teri saanson mein kaisi khushboo hai” (Shaadi Se Pehle, 1980). That too was a duet and sung by the same pair of singers!

Teri Talash Mein - Teri Talash Mein (1968) - Asha Bhosle - Sapan Jagmohan - Naqsh Lyallpuri

Gustakhi Maaf (1969) too had some lovely melodies. The Asha solo “Sajna mera jiyara jale” stands out for its inspired feel, well adding to actor Tanuja’s expressive eyes on screen. Two other songs of contrasting nature “Tum door jaaoge kaise” (Asha) and “Aye jaan-e-jaan chali kahaan” (Asha, Rafi) add up to the score’s overall effect. Rafi’s poignant singing in “Shaayar to nahin hoon lekin” (Insaaf Ka Mandir, 1969) indicated that Sapan-Jagmohan were slowly beginning to augment their place as HFM composers.

The duo’s first crowning glory was, perhaps, the film Chetna released next year (1970). The movie, which in a way, started a new trend of bold and provocative themes in commercial cinema, had one of Mukesh’s all-time popular songs “Main to har mod par”. The emoting played perfect foil to Naqsh Lyallpuri’s hard-hitting poetry “Pyar ki raah mein, phool bhi they magar, maine kaante chune”. The movie also had the sweetly tuned “Jeevan hai ek bhool” by Suman Kalyanpur. Another 1970 release Gunaah Aur Kanoon had Asha and Rafi solos of which the breezy “Aisa to kabhi mumkin hi nahin” (Rafi) deserves a mention.

Main To har Mod Par - Chetna (1970) - Mukesh - Sapan Jagmohan - Nqash Lyallpuri

With the arrival of the 70s, a certain level of authoritative confidence began to show in Sapan Jagmohan’s music. Do Raha (1971), a film publicised as being made by young Film Institute of India graduates, had three very good solos in Asha Bhosle’s vocals (“Tumhi rehnuma ho” a pacy Cabaret style composition, “Meri bagiya ki kali” a flowing lullaby and “Dole jhumka mora” immersed in traditional folk). Moreover, the renewed feel in their orchestration, that could perhaps be attributed to Violinist and musician Uttam Singh’s entry as music assistant / arranger, brought pep and sparkle to their compositions. A small trivia for Do Raha: all its songs were written, for a change, by Indivar. The next film Man Tera Tan Mera (1971) also had some unforgettable compositions - “Kahin kaanton mein mehak hai” in Asha’s heart-rending voice was easily the best, followed by “Aye meri jaan main bhi hoon” and “Na main boli, na woh bole” (both Asha)

baazigarKankan De Ohle (Punjabi, year 1971) requires mentioning here for a couple of songs featuring Mohd Rafi and Usha Timothy as singers. Baazigar (Hindi) released in year 1972 had all its four songs by Asha Bhosle (solos) set to a folksy mood, though they had nothing to write home about. The movie did not do well and so did the score. Ramsay “Horror” brothers’ Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche followed that year and it saw Vani Jairam singing for them. Once again, neither the movie nor its music did well.

The two Rafi solos from Rocky Mera Naam (year 1973) viz. “Soja sanam teri jawaan” and “Dil kabhi tumne diya tha”, originally composed for the unreleased film “Tere Milne Ke Baad”, are remembered till this day for the soft and tender mood. Especially the former, ornamented with modern orchestration in the interludes. The Asha solo “Deewana dil hai pyaar ka” added further to the score’s appeal. Sapan - Jagmohan had now begun to blossom. Interestingly, “Soja sanam teri jawaan” was remade with a modern feel as “Pyaara lage” in Habari (1978). They are also said to have recorded a Mukesh solo “Ek chabi hai who naina mein” for a film Samarpan at around the 1973 period. That movie too never saw the light of the day.

Soja Sanam - Rocky Mera Naam (1973) - Mohd. Rafi - Sapan Jagmohan - Naqsh Lyallpuri

The peppy “Roop ka nasha hai” (Do Number ke Ameer, 1974) in Asha’s intoxicating voice, Mukesh’s “Do honth hile” and “Mujhe teri baahon Mein” (both from Nayi Duniya Naye Log, 1973) came as nice additions to the Sapan - Jagmohan magic. Further, scores like Call Girl (1974) with the tandem versions of “Ulfat mein zamane ki” (Kishore and Lata, sensitively written by Naqsh Lyallpuri) and Kaagaz Ki Nao (1975) with “Har janam mein hamara milan” (Asha, Manhar) and “Na Jaiyo Re” (Asha) endorsed their ability and lent further dimension to their creative output.

sajjo raniAll four songs of Mera Jeevan (1976) were good with Rafi’s “Tera jogi aaya, tera jogi aaya” and Kishore’s “Mera Jeevan kuch kaam na aaya” receiving good airplay around the film’s release. Sajjo Rani (1976) also had some good songs: “Jiya maane na” (Asha Bhosle) and “Saanson mein chandan sa” (Aarti Mukherjee)

Similarly, Abhi Toh Jee Lein and Aaj Ki Radha released in 1977 had some pleasant music. Kishore Kumar’s resounding voice was heard via two completely contrasting creations: “Na jaane agla pal” and “Yeh mehfil yoon hi sajegi”. And not to forget the ever popular duet “Tu laali hai saverewali” picturised on Jaya Bhaduri and Danny Denzongpa from the former film.

This was followed by two Hindi-Bengali bilinguals Lal Kuthi / Lal Kothi (1978). Laal Kuthi was perhaps the last score where Sapan - Jagmohan were seen in their essence. “Ke jaay re” by Asha (with its scary feel) probably ranks as one of their best ever creations. “Ta re bholano galo na” (Asha), “Karo keu noyko ami” by Kishore and the duet “Dhole jete jete” sound pristine even today. Their next venture Prohari/ Pehredaar (1979) was a valiant final attempt one feels, but only Asha’s “Jafrani rong akashe” / “Neel gagan ke panchhi’ carried a familiar infectious energy.

Ke Jaay Re - Lalkuthi (Bengali, 1978) - Asha Bhosle - Sapan Jagmohan - Mukul Dutt

The 80s saw Sapan - Jagmohan doing a couple of mythological films like Ganga Dham and Sheetla Mata, a few dubbed films, some Punjabi films including the very popular Mamla Gadbad Hai, a foray into Bhojpuri films with Pyari Dulhaniya, and some Hindi films, which are largely forgotten. There were, however, a few likeable tunes from some of the movies of the time viz. “Tujhe dil mein basa loon re” (Kishore in Siskiyaan, 1983), “Utre jo zindagi teri gehrayion” (Bhupinder Singh in Pratibha, 1984) and “Jhilmil sitaron ke naina” (Kishore in Amber, 1985). The duo composed more folk-based tunes in that period. However, continuous box-office failure of a lot of their movies and changing music tastes ensured that their best was behind them. A welcome spark, however, was the title song “Man ek seepi hai” sung beautifully by Amit Kumar for Television Serial Chunauti (1987)

Man Ek Seepi Hai - Chunauti (TV serial, 1987) - Amit Kumar - Sapan Jagmohan - Yogesh (?)

As with many of their notable predecessors, Sapan- Jagmohan started their innings trying to find feet during the formative years. Influences of other HFM biggies could not be avoided: “Bulati hai bahaar” (Begaana, 1963, Salil Chowdhury flavour), “Aaye gayo more man bhaaye gayo” {Lata, Usha in Begaana, the Shankar - Jaikishan (another S-J!) hangover), “Raaz-e-dil hum Se kaho” (Teri Talash Mein, 1968, O P Nayyar andaz ), “Nindiya kho kar nain hanse” (Insaaf Ka Mandir, 1969 showcasing some of the Jaidev-ian murkis) and “Sun pyaare sajna re” (Insaaf Ka Mandir, 1969 – listed in the Rare Gems – Duets compilation released by HMV – with typical S D Burman staccato phrasing). However, as years progressed, the self- confidence was seen in handling the different song moods: “Maate ang chola saaje” (bhajan from Alingan, 1974), “Chanda ki chhaon mein” (folk by Asha in Sajjo Rani, 1976) and “Nathaniya ne hai ram” (Mujra in Shobha Gurtu’s voice, Sajjo Rani, 1976). Under the name of experimentation, they dabbled well with songs like “Love can fly” (Ursula Vaz in Nayi Duniya Naye Log, 1973), “Main tumhare khayalon mein” (Asha in Kaagaz Ki Nao, 1975) and “I am a call girl” (Ranu Mukhejee, Call Girl 1974), to name a few.

I am a Call Girl - Call Girl (1974) - Ranu Mukherjee - Sapan Jagmohan - Naqsh Lyallpuri

One cannot also deny the R D Burman melody and style of orchestration (Percussion and Horn Section especially) heard in many of their songs: “Do nigahein teri” (Jeevan Sukh (1973), “Dil kisiko jo diya na ho” (Do Number KE Ameer, 1974); “Hum hain jahaan” (Call Girl, 1974), “Humse jo kaho” (Johnny Uska Naam, unreleased) , “Lo hamein baahon mein” (Darwaaza, 1978), “Khilta Hai Joh Raat Ko (Aaj Ki Radha , 1977) or even “Tumhi rehnuma ho” (Do Raha,1971).

Statistically, if one were to look at their films of the 60s and 70s only, close to 70 % of Sapan – Jagmohan’s Hindi output featured song-writer Naqsh Lyallpuri. With regards to the voices used, a whopping 40 + % of their Hindi songs is attributed to solos / duets involving Asha Bhosle. The numbers go up further if the Punjabi and Bengali outputs are brought in to consideration

When one looks at Sapan Jagmohan’s career as a whole, they emerge as strong and well-rounded composers. The fact that they were mostly relegated to B-grade movies and that seldom affected their enthusiasm proves what they were made of. As a result, their music, at least until the late 70s, rarely sounded indifferent. One wonders where they constantly drew their energies and motivation from. Yes, we all gained though!

Jagmohan passed away on 26 Feb, 1999. Sapan Sengupta lives in Bandra, Mumbai. Though Sapan - Jagmohan’s compositions form part of music sessions, discussions and internet threads, their complete work never gets the deserved due and respect. The unmistakable passion in them to create some glittering gems requires to be explored, celebrated and applauded. HFM and its admirers will live on and so must Sapan - Jagmohan’s music!


  1. Jeeja Ji (1961) - Punjabi
  2. Pardesi Dhola (1962) – Punjabi (with S. Mohinder)
  3. Begaana (1963) - Hindi
  4. Shokan Mele Di (1965) - Punjabi
  5. Zimbo Finds A Son (1966) - Hindi
  6. Aayega Aane Waala (1967) - Hindi
  7. Teri Talaash Men (1968) - Hindi
  8. Gustakhi Maaf (1969) - Hindi
  9. Insaaf Ka Mandir (1969) - Hindi
  10. Chetna (1970) - Hindi
  11. Dupatta (1970) - Punjabi
  12. Gunaah Aur Kaanoon (1970) - Hindi
  13. Haveli (1970) - Hindi
  14. Kankan De Ohle (1970) - Punjabi
  15. Kulli Yaar Di (1970) - Punjabi
  16. Doraaha (1971) - Hindi
  17. Man Tera Tan Mera (1971) - Hindi
  18. Baazigar (1972) - Hindi
  19. Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche (1972) - Hindi
  20. Jiwan Sukh (1973) - Hindi
  21. Nai Dunia Naye Log (1973) - Hindi
  22. Rocky Mera Naam (Tere Milne Ke Baad) (1973) - Hindi
  23. Aalingan (1974) – Hindi (with Jaidev)
  24. Call Girl (1974) - Hindi
  25. Do Number Ke Ameer (1974) - Hindi
  26. Dharam Jeet (1975) - Punjabi
  27. Kaagaz Ki Nao (1975) - Hindi
  28. Mera Jiwan (1976) - Hindi
  29. Raakhi Aur Rifle (1976) - Hindi
  30. Raees (1976) - Hindi
  31. Sajjo Rani (1976) - Hindi
  32. Aaj Ki Dhara (Aaj Ki Radha) (1977) - Hindi
  33. Abhi To Jee Len (1977) - Hindi
  34. Nachdi Jawani (1977) - Punjabi
  35. Nakhro (1977) - Punjabi
  36. Darwaaza (1978) - Hindi
  37. Habari (1978) - Hindi
  38. Laal Kothi (1978) - Hindi
  39. Lalkuthi (1978) - Bengali
  40. Udeekan (1978) - Punjabi
  41. Pehredaar (1979) - Hindi
  42. Ganga Dhaam (1980) - Hindi
  43. Johnny Uska Naam (Unreleased) (1980) - Hindi
  44. Shaadi Se Pahle (1980) - Hindi
  45. Ek Aur Sangram (1981) - Hindi
  46. Josh Jawani Da (1981) - Punjabi
  47. Sheetla Mata (1981) - Hindi
  48. Geet Ganga (1982) - Hindi
  49. Prahari (1982) - Bengali
  50. Mamla Gadbad Hai (1983) - Punjabi
  51. Siskiyaan (1983) - Hindi
  52. Duja Viah (1984) - Punjabi
  53. Dushmano Ka Dushman (1984) - Hindi (Dubbed)
  54. Milenge Kabhi (1984) - Hindi
  55. Munda Naram Te Kudi Garam (1984) - Punjabi
  56. Pratibha (1984) - Hindi
  57. Takraar (1984) - Punjabi
  58. Videsh (1984) - Hindi
  59. Amber (1985) - Hindi
  60. Prem Yuddh (1985) - Hindi (Dubbed)
  61. Gunehgaar (1986) - Hindi
  62. Maa Ki Saugandh (1986) - Hindi (with Rajesh Roshan)
  63. Swarthi (1986) - Hindi
  64. Pyari Dulhaniya (1987) - Bhojpuri
  65. Jyoti (1988) - Bengali
  66. Manimala (1989) - Bengali
  67. Prem Pujari (1991) - Bengali
  68. Mahashoy (1992) - Bengali
  69. Tara Rani Ki Amar Katha (1994) - Hindi
  70. Woh Chhokri (1994) - Hindi
  71. Ghar Ka Kanoon (1995) - Hindi
  72. Kumari Maa (1995) - Bengali
  73. Beyadap (1996) - Bengali
  74. Jiban Jouban (1997) – Bengali


  1. Dhunon Ki Yatra by Pankaj Raag
  2. Hindi Film Geet Kosh by Harmandar Singh ‘Hamraz’
  3. Suvarna Kaal - 1931 – 1960 by Isaak Mujawar
  4. 1960s write-up courtesy Kaustubh Pingle

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Tum Bhool Na Jaao Unko, Isliye Suno Ye Kahani… Remembering Kavi Pradeep

This piece is written by Archana Gupta. It first appeared as part of the Guzra Hua Zamana series on Sangeet Ke Sitare, a music group on Facebook.

Pradeep collage GHZ_1

When a man tells a prospective bride “Main aag hoon, paani ban kar rah sako to shaadi karoonga”, it should come as no surprise that at some point in the future, he will be best known as a firebrand, revolutionary poet and songwriter whose words shall have the power to inspire and instigate millions of cine-goers in pre-independent India, or that his best remembered poetic endeavors will be of patriotic nature and will be sung at national level programs long after he is gone, or that he will be awarded the title of “Rashtrakavi”! Indeed, the gentleman in question, is Kavi Pradeep, best remembered for his immortal song, “Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo” that is to date broadcasted over public address system as the Indian Prime Minister drives down Rajpath to pay homage to slain soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti before start of the Republic Day Parade, fifty three years after it was first sung at a slightly different function associated with Republic Day Celebrations.

Travesty is, as it often is the case for poets and lyricists, that while we remember their words and songs very well, we hardly ever think of crediting them for their songs – the songs are most often associated with the singers and then with the music directors in most people’s minds. Almost never do the people who write the songs get their due. That is the norm in our film Industry but there are a few notable exceptions to this norm like Gulzar and Sahir. Kavi Pradeep is also for most part a happier story and is well respected, decorated and awarded. But in his case also, we remember his songs far more than the man behind them. While not unexpected, it is alarming that he is still such an unknown, especially amongst the younger generation. Let’s take a look at what we know about the gentleman.

Early Years (1915 – 1938) – A Spark Flies, a Fire Ignites

Pradeep was born Ramchandra Dwivedi, on February 6th, 1915, to Narayanji Bhatt Dwivedi of Badnagar (बड़नगर), Malwa (in present day Madhya Pradesh). His father was the village priest and a reasonably well to do farmer. Ramchandra was his elder sister and brother’s pet and was lovingly called “Ramu” by the family. His mother was a good singer and Ramchandra inherited her musical talent. His early “education” in music came from listening to his mother sing bhajans. His temperament, on the other hand, was reportedly inherited from his father and the “fire” in him, which was apparent from an early age, caused considerable hurdles in continuity of his education. A well-known story goes that when Ramchandra was a student in the local primary school, he was once punished by the local school teacher. He refused to fulfill the condition of the punishment as he believed it was undeserved and left the classroom to never return. That decision did not change even after the teacher apologized!

stampSince his education was interrupted, he was sent to Ratlam to his maternal uncle’s place in an attempt to let his studies continue there. One fine day, his aunt spoke harshly to him and that hurt his self-respect. He left his uncle’s home also and walked back to Badnagar – a distance of about 42 Kms, as the crow flies! He then studied in Indore for a little while before deciding to complete his intermediate education in Allahabad. At this time, the whole country was engulfed in the struggle for independence and patriotic fervors were running high. Allahabad was also a center of major political and revolutionary activities that Ramchandra was naturally exposed to. It was in the backdrop of events like Gandhi’s Dandi March, Simon Commission Protest & Lala Lajpat Rai’s death, Chandrashekhar Azad’s assassination & Bhagat Singh et al’s bombing of Central Legislative Assembly and subsequent execution, that young Ramchandra’s thoughts and poetic endeavors started shaping up. The fire that was to become “Pradeep” was ignited and was quietly smoldering, biding its time.

He finished his Intermediate from Allahabad and then completed his Bachelor’s degree from Lucknow. He also trained to be a teacher for a while but finally decided against joining this profession. He himself told in an interview that in those days teaching was considered such a respectable profession that he was under tremendous pressure from the family to join this profession but did not personally think that there were enough prospects and the salary was also too low to attract him.

During his student days in Allahabad itself, he honed his keen interest in poetry by reading the works of the Chhaayavaadi poets of the time and started writing poems. “Drum Drum Goonj Uthi Shehnai” was his first poem. Subsequently, he adopted the nom de plume of “Pradeep” and started participating in kavi-sammelans. Soon he had to his credit some notable poems like “Panipat”, “Aaj Mat Jao Pravasi”, “Sneh Ki Ye Baat Ri Sakhi”, and “Murali Ki Chhed Sureeli Taan” etc. His impressive personality, melodious voice and expressive poetry combined to make him a very in-demand poet at these poetry gatherings. Amongst his notable admirers was the pillar of Chhaayaavaad – Suryakant Tripathi Nirala who even wrote an article in his praise in “Madhuri”, a literary magazine in 1938, in which he said (and I paraphrase) that even at this young age, Pradeep is probably the brightest of the newer Hindi poets. Great poetess, Mahadevi Verma, also considered him amongst the next custodians of the Chhaayavaad tradition.

Early Years in Films (1939 – 1947) – The Fire Rages and Blazes

punarmilanWhile Ramchandra Dwivedi “Pradeep” was still trying to figure out what to do career-wise, he came in contact with journalist, artist and art teacher Ravishankar Raval. This contact proved very significant in the young poet’s life. Raval ji brought him to Bombay in 1938 where Pradeep participated in a small Kavi Sammelan. Here, he was spotted by film director N. R. Acharya who was extremely impressed with his voice. Very next day he introduced Ramchandra to Himanshu Rai, co-founder of Bombay Talkies, who heard one of his poems and offered him employment as lyric writer. While Ramchandra was still trying to decide whether or not to accept, the matter was clinched by an offer that dazzled him! He was offered an appointment letter at a salary of princely sum of Rs. 200 per month for writing lyrics! At Himanshu Rai’s suggestion, Ramchandra Dwivedi “Pradeep” dropped Ramchandra Dwivedi from his professional name and simply became “Pradeep”!

His first film for Bombay Talkies was Kangan in 1939. He contributed towards six songs in this film – four as a lyricist and three as a singer, one of which was an Arti composed by another Ramchandra, Ramchandra Pal (“Main To Aarti Utaroon Radheshyam Ki Re”), that he both penned and sang. The very first song he wrote was “Hawa Tum Dheere Baho”, composed by Saraswati Devi and sung by Leela Chitnis, who was Ashok Kumar’s leading lady in the film. It is a very pleasant song sung by a young girl waiting for her lover to arrive. The language in the song, while simple and colloquial (e.g. “Mere hiyaa mein uthat hilor”) clearly had some literary influence. The other two songs penned by him were “Radha Radha Pyari Radha” and “Sooni Padi Re Sitaar Meera Ke Jeevan Ki”. The film, directed by Franz Osten was a super-hit and marked a silver jubilee. Success of the film meant success of the music as well and Pradeep’s place in the studio, already secure, was even better assured.

Hawa Tum Dheere Baho - Kangan (1939) - Leela Chitnis - Saraswati Devi - Kavi Pradeep

Kangan was followed by Bandhan the very next year. Pradeep wrote nine songs for the film and sang two. While all the songs became popular, one stands out, has special historic significance in the struggle for Indian Independence and is remembered well even today. The song was “Chal Chal Re Naujawan”. It was used in four parts in the film and while it is primarily a motivational song, very patriotic in nature, it is extremely cleverly penned and the message is well veiled. The first part is disguised as a romantic duet that uses the same refrain (and tune) “Chal Chal Re Naujawaan” and serves to set the stage for the following parts that are far more directly inspirational. The language and the message caught on instantly with the youth of the time and the song gained immense popularity amongst the cinegoers and the freedom fighters alike. On one hand, it was adopted by the “Vanar Sena” founded by Indira Gandhi as their anthem to encourage the kids to tirelessly engage in activities against the British Government, while on the other it was reportedly sung in the assemblies of the provinces of Punjab & Sindh where it was even proposed to make it our national anthem! While “Chal Chal Re Naujawaan” is the most notable song of the film, there are a couple more very mention-worthy songs. “Chana Zor Garam Babu” is an extremely fun song that if I did not know was penned by Pradeep, I would not have associated with him. “Ruk Na Sako To Jao, Tum Jao” is a beautiful and sensitive song of gracefully letting someone you love go. Sung by a colleague, it superbly portrays the feelings of both the students & colleagues of the departing school master (Ashok Kumar) as well those of the lady who loves him (Leela Chitnis) with masterfully chosen words like

प्यारा रत्न बिछुड़ता हो जब पंथी
किसका हृदय न भर आता तब पंथी
किन्तु हमारे आँसू से तुम
कमज़ोरी न दिखाओ, तुम जाओ

जाने कब फिर मिलें पुराने साथी
जाने कब फिर मिले प्रेम की पाती
आज बिछुड़ने के पहले तुम
एक बार मुस्काओ, तुम जाओ

Ruk Na Sako To Jao - Bandhan (1940) - Arun Kumar - Saraswati Devi - Kavi Pradeep

Success of Bandhan, especially Chal Chal Re Naujawan, clearly heralded the arrival of a revolutionary lyricist on the HFM scene! With this soundtrack, Pradeep had established himself very firmly and with Chal Chal Re Naujawan, he had sown the seeds of what was to later become not only his niche or trademark for several films to come, but almost his point of identification as a lyricist – the patriotic / nationalist songs!

After Bandhan came Punar Milan in 1940 and Naya Sansar, Jhoola and Anjaan in 1941. All these films had good music and Pradeep’s songs were well appreciated. Anjaan had another song that was very much inspirational in nature but very well veiled lyrics wise. Its words referred to as the clouds from the West (Britishers) that have cast a shadow over the East (India) and implored the youth to wake up. One has to listen to the words to appreciate the genius of the man who penned them.

आई पश्चिम से घटा नौनिहालो जागो
छाई पूरब में घटा नौनिहालो जागो

लो ज़माना जागा सारा आलम जागा
तुमने करवट भी न ली, नौनिहालो जागो

आज जो सोवोगे कल तुम्हीं रोवोगे
माँ मुसीबत में पड़ी, नौनिहालो जागो

Aayi Pashchim Se Ghata - Anjaan (1941) - Devika Rani - Panna Lal Ghosh - Kavi Pradeep

In 1943, came another film that proved to be a landmark success in Pradeep’s career – Kismet! In 1942, Mahatma Gandhi had initiated Quit India movement. In this period, World War II was at its peak, Japanese had advanced to Burma and Indian troops had been drawn into the war. Against this backdrop, Pradeep gave the country a song that, ostensibly, was a warning to Axis powers (mentioned not bowing to German or Japani by name) but in reality was also a strong and direct wake up call to the Indian population to unite and stand up against the British occupation of India, to join the struggle for Indian Independence, to openly stand in support of the Quit India movement! Read the words below and note the line “Shuru hua hai jang tumhara, jag utho Hindustani”, it purportedly referred to the Indian troops going to war against the Axis powers but was accurately interpreted by the public as a call to mobilize in support of “Quit India” movement.

आज हिमालय की चोटी से फिर हम ने ललकरा है
दूर हटो, दूर हटो, दूर हटो ऐ दुनियावालो हिन्दुस्तान हमारा है

जहाँ हमारा ताज-महल है और क़ुतब-मीनारा है
जहाँ हमारे मन्दिर मस्जिद सिखों का गुरुद्वारा है
इस धरती पर क़दम बढ़ाना अत्याचार तुम्हारा है
दूर हटो, दूर हटो, दूर हटो ऐ दुनियावालो हिन्दुस्तान हमारा है

शुरू हुआ है जंग तुम्हारा जाग उठो हिन्दुस्तानी
तुम न किसी के आगे झुकना जर्मन हो या जापानी
आज सभी के लिये हमारा ये ही क़ौमी नारा है
दूर हटो, दूर हटो, दूर हटो ऐ दुनियावालो हिन्दुस्तान हमारा है

Aaj Himalay Ki Choti Se - Kismet (1943) - Amirbai Karnataki, Pradeep & Chorus - Anil Biswas - Kavi pradeep

Millions responded to the message in the song. As Pradeep himself recounted in an interview, the film opened amidst tense political milieu where several political leaders were jailed. As the song played, it brought the hall to its feet and people sang along with fervor. When the song ended, the theatre was in an uproar with calls to repeat the song abound. The screening had to be paused to replay the song before the film could be resumed. And this became a norm in several cities around the country! The import of this was not lost on the British Government either. While the censor board had been fooled initially, soon an arrest warrant was issued against Pradeep and he had to go underground for a while in order to avoid being arrested!

Meanwhile, the film became a runaway success, in good part on the tails of the popularity of this song and others like “Dheere Dheere Aa Re Badal” and “Papeeha Re” but primarily Door Hato, all composed by the inimitable Anil Biswas. It broke several records of the time. It was screened on a single theatre in Calcutta continually for 44 months! The film, bought by the distributor at a cost of INR 60000, raked in profits of over a crore! Once again, Pradeep’s position, as a writer of successful songs in general and Patriotic lyrics in particular, was unmistakably underscored.

After the death of Himanshu Rai in 1940, Rai Bahadur Chunnilal and Devika Rani landed into several disputes and there were practically two rival camps within Bombay Talkies headed by the two. When all sort of compromises failed, finally in 1943, Rai Bahadur Chunnilal, Sashadhar Mukherjee & Ashok Kumar left Bombay Talkies to establish Filmistan. Pradeep was amongst those who left Bombay Talkies with them and joined Filmistan. By now, he was being compensated at the rate of Rs. 1500/- per month.

Filmistan’s first production was Chal Chal Re Naujawan in 1944. Pradeep wrote about ten songs for this film whose music was composed by Ghulam Haider. Despite some very nice songs that gained some popularity, the film flopped badly unlike the song from which it borrowed its title. While Pradeep was at the zenith of his popularity, he was under exclusive contract first with Bombay Talkies and then with Filmistan and wrote only about 67 songs for a grand total of 8 films! At this point Pradeep developed some differences with Rai Bahadur Chunnilal and was served a notice. Due to these contractual limitations, he assumed an alias of “Miss Kamal” and wrote a few songs for films of other production houses in order to keep the home fires burning. These films were Kadambari in 1944, Aamrapali in 1945, and Sati Toral and Veerangana in 1947 and he penned about forty odd songs for these.

Piya Mere Saath Rahenge - Amrapali (1945) - Amirbai Karnataki - Saraswati Devi - Miss Kamal (Kavi Pradeep)

Amidst these early professional successes, Pradeep also reached a couple of major milestones in his personal life. He met and married Bhadra Ben in January 1942 after she consented to be the water-like calming and balancing force to his raging fire in their personal life. It was a union that lasted till death did them part after over fifty five years of togetherness. In 1946, they were blessed with a baby girl whom they named Sargam.

Pradeep in Independent India (1947 – 1968) – The Fire Scorches and Burns

The fire that was Pradeep was still burning, quietly, but steadily even though he had gone through a few years of relatively quiet period due to reasons mentioned above. Though Pradeep’s beginnings in independent India were less than ideal, he had not given up by any means. He had actually decided to venture into film production himself, likely a direct consequence of the altercation with Rai Bahadur in which he had gotten the short end of the stick. In 1949 he teamed up with Gyan Mukherjee & Amiya Chakrabarty to create a production house named Lokmanya Productions and produced a film named Girls’ School. The film was directed by Amiya Chakrabarty and music was given by Anil Biswas & C. Ramachandra. Naturally, all nine songs were penned by Pradeep. This was the first time Lata gave voice to Pradeep’s words as well as the first time CR set them to tune, though all the three did not collaborate on any one song yet. The film had some lovely songs, some which were different from Pradeep’s well known and expected style. For instance, while “Kuchh Sharmaate Hue Aur Kuchh Saham Saham”, a perky Lata solo, perfectly describes the feelings of excitement, anticipation and apprehension of a young girl who has just taken that first step towards falling in love, “Tum Hi Kaho Mera Man Kyun Rahe Udaas Nahin”, gives expression to a woman’s confusion. “Gori Ek Baat Sun Badi Mazedar Hai” and “O Shahar Ke Baanke Babu”, especially the former, are out and out light & fun duets by Shamshad & Chitalkar. Despite some lovely music, the film bombed badly at the box office and Pradeep lost a lot of money. This cured him of his itch to produce films and he settled back full-time into doing what he knew best, i.e., writing songs.

O Shahar Ke Baanke Babu - Girls School (1949) - Shamshad Begum & Chitalkar - C. Ramchandra - Kavi Pradeep

In 1950, some of the old Bombay Talkies’ crowd tried to revive the now flailing company via a film titledMashaal Mashaal (Samar was an alternate title for the same). It was directed by Nitin Bose and S. D. Burman composed its music while Ashok Kumar was the leading man. Pradeep penned seven songs for this film. Amongst these, most notable are “Oopar Gagan Vishaal”, a Manna Dey solo that marvels at this world, the ultimate creation of the ultimate creator, “Mere Man Hanste Hue Chal”; a truly motivational Lata solo that drives home the point that life undergoes change at all times and one must face all hardships calmly, tirelessly and with good attitude if one desires to emerge victorious in this battle of life; and last but not least, the very sweet and innocent Lata solo, “Aankhon Se Door Door… Kaun Hain Mere Wo” that is also a personal favorite. Preet Ka Geet was another 1950 film that Pradeep wrote songs for working with Shyam Babu Pathak as the composer. This was also the year when Geeta Dutt rendered Pradeep’s words for the very first time.

Over next three years, he wrote ten songs only, nine for a film called Chamki and one for Kafila. Of these, Chamki’s Lata solo “Pyar Ko Mat Kaho Koi Pyar” is remembered even now. Then came 1954, a watershed year for Pradeep. While one of the films for which he wrote the songs i.e. Ritu Vihar did not find a release, he had four releases this year in the form of Baap-Beti, Chakradhari, Nastik and Jagriti. It is these last two that were very significant in his career albeit in different ways.

jagritiJagriti was sensitive film dealing with a wayward child, his relationship with an unconventional teacher and a handicapped model student. Its emotional appeal was tremendous but its most memorable feature was its songs. Pradeep wrote four songs for this movie, three of them the classic patriotic/inspirational songs that he had now come to be known for, and one mother-child song talking of a dreamland and all four of them went on to become classics. The first three are frequently played to date on National TV and in schools especially on National Holidays. “Hum Laaye Hain Toofaan Se Kashti Nikaal Ke”, “Aao Bachcho Tumhein Dikhaayein” and “Sabarmati Ke Sant” were all written to remind the younger generation of the tremendous sacrifices that various freedom fighters made to gain independence. While “Sabarmati Ke Sant” was dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi and extolled the virtues of the doctrine of non-violence, “Hum Laaye Hain Toofan” was more generic and focused mostly on how to operate and live so as to preserve the hard earned independence and develop the country, issues that were of paramount import at the time (and still are to date). “Aao Bachcho”, also sung by Pradeep, tried to instill National Pride and reinforce feelings of Unity in diversity by listing the distinctive features of India and recounting the innumerable sacrifices made by different communities for independence and honor at various points in history, glorifying different states and their contributions as well as recalling the shared pain of atrocities the people had borne.

The language and expression of these songs, much like Pradeep’s previous endeavors, struck a chord with the general population of the country whose wounds from the struggle of Independence, subsequent partition and then the Kashmir War were still fresh. These songs as well as the film, all became overnight successes, so much so that the film was copied/remade as Bedari in 1957 in Pakistan. Not just the film but all of its four songs were also copied. Hemant Kumar’s music was retained almost unchanged though it was credited to Fateh Ali Khan and Pradeep’s fiery lyrics were only slightly modified by Faiyyaz Hashmi by switching some words around to adapt them to Pakistani context while leaving a lot of the thought process and all central ideas intact! Examine this:

The Jagriti song by Pradeep reads:

पासे सभी उलट गए दुश्मन की चाल के
अक्षर सभी पलट गए भारत के भाल के
मंज़िल पे आया मुल्क़ हर बला को टाल के
सदियों के बाद फिर उड़े बादल गुलाल के

हम लाए हैं तूफ़ान से किश्ती निकाल के
इस देश को रखना मेरे बच्चो संभाल के
तुम ही भविष्य हो मेरे भारत विशाल के
इस देश को रखना मेरे बच्चो संभाल के

देखो कहीं बरबाद न होवे ये बग़ीचा
इसको हृदय के ख़ून से बापू ने है सींचा
रक्खा है ये चिराग़ शहीदों ने बाल के
इस देश को...

दुनिया के दाव पेंच से रखना ना वास्ता
मंज़िल तुम्हारी दूर है लम्बा है रास्ता
भटका न दे कोई तुम्हें धोखे में डाल के
इस देश को...

ऐटम बमों के जोर पे ऐंठी है ये दुनिया
बारूद के इक ढेर पे बैठी है ये दुनिया
तुम हर क़दम उठाना ज़रा देख भाल के
इस देश को...

आराम की तुम भूल भुलय्या में न भूलो
सपनों के हिंडोलों पे मगन होके न झूलो
अब वक़्त आ गया मेरे हँसते हुए फूलो
उट्ठो छलाँग मार के आकाश को छू लो
तुम गाड़ दो गगन पे तिरंगा उछाल के
इस देश को...

And the parallel Bedari song by Fayyaz Hashmi:

पासे सभी उलट गए दुश्मन की चाल के
खेले हैं हमने खेल कुछ ऐसे कमाल के
मंज़िल पे आई क़ौम हर बला को टाल के
बरसों के बाद फिर उड़े परचम हिलाल के

हम लाए हैं तूफ़ान से कश्ती निकाल के
इस मुल्क़ को रखना मेरे बच्चो संभाल के
बरसों के बाद फिर उड़े परचम हिलाल के
इस मुल्क़ को रखना मेरे बच्चो संभाल के

देखो कहीं उजड़े न हमारा ये बग़ीचा
इसको लहू से अपने शहीदों ने है सींचा
इसको बचाना जान मुसीबत में डाल के
इस मुल्क़ को...

दुनिया की सियासत के अजब रंग हैं न्यारे
चलना है मगर तुमको तो क़ुर’आँ के सहारे
हर इक क़दम उठाना ज़रा देख-भाल के
इस मुल्क़ को...

तुम राहत-ओ-आराम के झूले में न झूलो
काँटों पे है चलना मेरे हँसते हुए फूलो
लेना अभी कश्मीर है ये बात न भूलो
कश्मीर पे लहराना है झंडा उछाल के
इस मुल्क़ को...

Déjà vu? Well, the story repeated in the other three songs as well. Since imitation is the highest form of flattery, this was certainly a great compliment for Pradeep that a so called bitter enemy nation inadvertently paid him, especially when these songs gained immense popularity in Pakistan as well.

The other film of note in 1954 was Nastik with music by C. Ramachandra. Three songs of this film are noteworthy – “Gagan Jhanjhana Raha”, a Lata-Hemant duet, devotional/motivational combo, “Kanha Bajaye Bansuri” a sweet Radha-Krishna solo by Lata and last but not least “Dekh Tere Sansar Ki Haalat”, a dejected and glum but accurate analysis of the society and country of the time that is even more true and relevant today than it was then with words like:

आया समय बड़ा बेढंगा, आज आदमी बना लफ़ंगा
छल और कपट के हाथों अपना बेच रहा ईमान,
राम के भक्त रहीम के बंदे, रचते आज फ़रेब के फंदे

... and the para that expresses not only the pain of partition but rings true for every incident that has been a result of racial, class-based or communal violence in India - then and now

जो हम आपस में न झगड़ते
बने हुए क्यों खेल बिगड़ते
काहे लाखों घर ये उजड़ते
क्यों ये बच्चे माँ से बिछड़ते

… A song, and one of many similar ones in this phase of Pradeep’s career, that has stood the test of time, has proved that this man’s pen was timeless and forever relevant.

Dekh Tere Sansar Ki Haalat - Nastik (1954) - Pradeep - C. Ramchandra - Kavi Pradeep

Unfortunately or fortunately, Nastik also gave Pradeep a second label beyond Patriotic – that of a religious / devotional lyrics writer and this was a label that sort of relegated him to B-Grade films over next several years. As the landscape of the Hindi Film Music evolved rapidly, Pradeep somehow seemed to lose pace though the flashes of earlier brilliance showed throughout in the form of one or two substantial and expressive songs per soundtrack or so.

Amongst his notable creations in later half of fifties are “Tere Dwar Khada Bhagwan” from Waman Avtar (’55), “Koi Laakh Kare Chaturai” from Chandi Puja (’57), “Tune Khoob Racha Bhagwan Khilauna Maati Ka”, “Aaj Nahin To Kal Bikharenge Ye Baadal” (mukhda similar to earlier Mashaal song), “Pinjre Ke Panchhi Re, Tera Dard Na Jane Koy” (I find this one particularly moving) all from Naag Mani (’57), “Bigul Baj Raha Azadi Ka … Kahni Hai Ik Baat”, an early warning against internal terrorist and corrupt elements from a far-sighted poet from Talaq (’58), “Jhuk Jhuk Jhola Khaye Re”, “Mukhda Dekh Le Prani” and “Main Natkhat Ik Kali” all from Do Behnen (’59), “O Dildaar Bolo Ek Baar” and “Taar Taar Baj Raha Dil Ke Surbahar Ka” from School Master (’59).

O Dildaar Bolo Ik Baar - School Master (1959) - Lata Mangeshkar & Talat Mahmood - Vasant Desai - Kavi Pradeep

One film of this period, that deserves special mention, is Paigham (’59), composed by C. Ramchandra. The film featured a couple of really nice songs like “Badla Saara Zamana”, a hard-hitting comment on how much social and moral degradation had occurred in the society in the first decade after independence disguised as comic song, and a lovely romantic duet by Asha-Rafi “Jawani Mein Akelepan Ki Ghadiyaan Humko Na Bhaayein”. However, the real gem in the soundtrack that once again set the general public’s sentiment ablaze and proved Pradeep still had his finger on people’s pulse was this Manna Dey song “Insaan Ka Insaan Se Ho Bhaichara”. Full of hope and desire for social justice and equality for all in a class-less society with strong basis in kinship & solidarity amongst its citizens, this song once again brought Pradeep to forefront of cine-goers and film music listeners’ mind.

Insaan Ka Insaan Se - Paigham (1959) - Manna Dey - C. Ramchandra - Kavi Pradeep

aanchalEarly sixties continued in the same vein with a number of average films and songs peppered by a few hits and some songs of substance. A few that warrant a mention are “Sanwariya Re Apni Meera Ko” – a sweet love song with parallel from Krishna-Meera by Suman K, “Gaa Rahi Hai Zindagi” – a supremely sweet duet, “Tu Har Ek Museebat Ka Muqabla Kar” – an inspirational number, all from Aanchal (’60), “Aaj Ke Is Insaan Ko Ye Kya Ho Gaya” and “Laakhon Log Chale Hain Bilakhte”, both expressing the pain of partition and events that followed, both from Amar Rahe Ye Pyar (’61), “Kateeli Kateeli Nasheeli Nasheeli”, “Na Jaane Kahan Tum The”, both from Zindagi aur Khwab (’61), “Jagat Bhar Ki Roshni Ke Liye”, “Main Ek Nanha Sa, Main Ik Chhota Sa Bachcha Hoon”, “Meghva Gagan Beech Jhaanke”, all from Harishchandra Taramati (’63), “Jhuk Gayi Re Palak Aayi Ang Mein Lachak”, “Main Tum Pe Teer Chala Doon”, both from Veer Bhimsen (’64), etc. He wrote for six more films between 1965 and 1968 but none of the songs really stood out in any significant way.

Meghva Gagan Beech Jhaanke - Harishchandra Taramati (1963) - Lata Mangeshkar - Laxmikant Pyarelal - Kavi Pradeep

Most of the sixties would have passed more or less uneventfully except for two spectacular honors that got bestowed on Pradeep. In 1961, Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama recognized Pradeep’s immense contributions to films and conferred Sangeet Natak Akademi Award on him. It is the highest recognition given to practicing artists in India!

Pradeep-Lata-CRIn 1962, when the country was in the midst of a war with China, Pradeep was very impacted by stories of valor of service men. He himself mentioned being so moved by news items about martyrdom of Brigadier Hoshiyar Singh on Sela Pass and Param Vir Major Shaitan Singh Bhati in Laddakh that he thought he must write about them. One day, while he was walking in Mahim, Mumbai, a half-line came to him, “Jo Shaheed Hue Hain Unki Zara Yaad Karo Qurbani”. He noted that half line on the foil of a cigarette box by borrowing a pen from a passerby. And that was the humble beginning of this iconic song that we know as “Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo”! A few weeks later, he was approached to write a patriotic song for a special show in Delhi that was being organized around Republic Day (1963). The main purpose was to re-instate a nation’s wounded pride due to the lost war and music seemed like a reasonable way to provide a salve. Pradeep roped in longtime associate, C. Ramachandra to provide music and was extremely keen to have Lata Mangeshkar render it. According to one of his interviews, he wrote rest of the words of the song keeping Lata’s voice and persona in mind. This was the time when Lata & CR were not even on talking terms with each other so getting them to agree to work together was certainly no piece of cake. While CR agreed readily, it took a lot more to get Lata to agree and she only agreed on the condition that Pradeep would be present at all rehearsals. The song was written, composed and was ready to be sung and the D-Day arrived. Tragically, Pradeep, the man who got the song to the point where it was ready for show time, was not even invited to the show! The song was performed on January 27th, 1963, in the presence of several luminaries and dignitaries including then President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, then Prime Minister Pt. Nehru, several film industry stalwarts like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Hemant Kumar etc. and as is well known now, moved Pandit Nehru to tears. When he met Lata after the show, he enquired about the lyricist of the song and was disappointed to not find him there! He later met with Pradeep in Bombay on March 21st, 1963 and even had him perform the song at a meeting that evening. For writing this song Pradeep was conferred the honor of "Rashtriya Kavi" (National Poet) by the government of India and thus Ramu became Kavi Pradeep! At the same time, Kavi Pradeep decided in consultation with Lata & CR to donate all proceeds from this song to the War Widows fund. Lata and all the musicians worked for free to prepare a recorded track of this song and gave the track to HMV on the condition that all royalties forever would be donated to War Widows Fund! In my mind there is no doubt that this is the one song that even by itself would have been enough to secure Kavi Pradeep’s position as a Patriotic poet of the highest order had he done no other work at all in his life! Such is the power of his words in this song.

Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo - Non-Film (1962) - Lata Mangeshkar - C. Ramchandra - Kavi Pradeep

After the 1965 war also Kavi Pradeep and C. Ramachandra created a song dedicated to war widows “Pranaam Un Dulhanon Ko” that was sung by Asha Bhosle at then Prime Minister, Sh. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s residence. While it is a very nice song, it suffers from comparison with “Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo” and that magic could not be recreated. Not unexpectedly, this song never caught the public’s imagination and is now all but lost in oblivion.

On the personal front, by this time Kavi Pradeep and Bhadra Ben were parents of two baby girls. Their younger daughter, Mitul, was born in 1956.

Later Years (1969 – 1988) – The Fire Smolders, Embers Glow

In 1969, Sashadhar Mukherjee brought Kavi Pradeep and O.P. Nayyar together for the first time. This pairing of a “romantic” music director and “serious” lyric writer clicked and worked defying all odds. The result of this pairing was the soundtrack of Sambandh featuring twelve songs. Multiple songs in this soundtrack focused on parent-child relationships – both mother-son and father-son. Amongst all the twelve songs, one song, the very first one that they had created together, simply stood out. The song was “Chal Akela Chal Akela, Tera Mela Peechhe Chhoota Raahi, Chal Akela” prodding one to keep going even if they are left alone in their journey of life and no one is there to support them. The words certainly reflected some of poet’s own feelings as by this time he also, like many others of his generation, was slightly disillusioned with conditions prevalent in India, especially the moral degradation of the society in the post-independence era. Once again, Kavi Pradeep’s simple but heartfelt words resonated with the audiences. The song became a super hit and brought Kavi Pradeep back to limelight.

Chal Akela Chal Akela - Sambandh (1969) - Mukesh - O. P Nayyar - Kavi Pradeep

In 1971, Kavi Pradeep wrote couple more philosophical songs, namely “Samay Ke Haath Ka Kathputla”, and “Kabhi Dhoop Kabhi Chhaon”, both from film named Kabhi Dhoop Kabhi Chhaon, that gained some popularity. Otherwise 1970s were a time that Kavi Pradeep spent engulfed in a wave of religious films. He must have written songs on scores of Hindu Gods and Goddesses during this time. While this trend started right with Nastik, 1971 onwards Kavi Pradeep was almost exclusively a lyric writer for religious films only. Unprecedented success of Jai Santoshi Ma’s songs like “Main to Aarti Utaroon Re”, “Madad Karo Santoshi Mata”, and “Yahan Wahan Jahan Tahan” etc., further ensured that this trend continued through the 1980s too.

Madad Karo Santoshi Mata - Jai Santoshi Maa (1975) - Usha Mangeshkar - C. Arjun - Kavi Pradeep

From 1971 to 1985, Kavi Pradeep wrote songs for only 22 films out of which 17 were religious or mythological and in one of the remaining five, he only contributed one song and that too a bhajan! Mid-eighties saw the rise of Disco and lewd lyrics. From 1985 to 1988, Kavi Pradeep wrote lyrics for 6 films of which four of them only featured one song each by him. It was fairly obvious that Kavi Pradeep was not the right fit for writing lyrics in these times. balram shri krishna

If one examines the songs that Kavi Pradeep wrote for various films, especially the religious ones, two things become amply clear. Firstly, he was very deeply entrenched in the Hindu traditions and mythology. This is apparent from the varying references to different mythological tales and characters that find their way into his lyrics. Some of it, of course, must have been a function of the story lines and situations in the films, but his words leave a distinct impression that he knew the intertwined stories well and once in a while, these references come up in non-religious films’ songs as well. Secondly, it appears that he was basically a storyteller. He has told so many mythological and historical tales in detail in the songs he wrote. For instance, “Kuchh Yaad Karo Apna Pawansut Wo Baalpan” from Bajrangbali (‘76) recounts various childhood exploits of Hanuman, “Dekho Logo Ye Leela Lalaam” from Balram Shri Krishna (’68) tells the tale of Sudama’s visit to Sri Krishna in great detail, “Suno Sunaoon Tumhen Ek Kahani” from Chandi Puja (’57) is obviously a song that tells a tale, and then there is the almost 12 minute long Ramleela sequence in verse form from School Master (’59), all bearing a testimony to his propensity as well as mastery in telling tales through songs.

zindagi aur khwabConsidering that Kavi Pradeep has this huge (and well deserved) association with patriotic lyrics, one tends to overlook his pen’s versatility. In his half a century long career as a film lyricist, he has penned songs of varying moods and hues. Other than patriotic, inspirational, philosophical and devotional songs that have already been discussed at length above, one also finds songs of romance (“Mere Jeevan Ke Path Par” - Anjaan ,“Na Jaane Kahan Tum The” - Zindagi Aur Khwab, “Taar Taar Baj Raha” – School Master, “Gaa Rahi Hai Zindagi” – Aanchal), songs characterizing familial affection (“Apne Bhaiyaa Ko Naach” – Bandhan, “Ae Maa Too Kahan”,” Ae Meri Aankhon Ke Taare” - Aankh Ka Tara, “Apni Mata Ke Dulare Bachche” - Sambandh), and light-hearted or comic songs (“O Meri Saas Ke Ladke” – Chakradhari, “Gori Ek Baat Sun Badi Mazedar Hai”, “O Shahar Ke Baanke Babu” - Girls School) including satires like “Badla Sara Zamana” from Nastik in Kavi Pradeep’s oeuvre. There are even a couple of mujra or nautanki like songs thrown in for a good measure though his lyrics remain fairly restrained in those numbers as well.

Kavi Pradeep’s language generally remained simple, what one would call ‘bol-chaal ki bhasha’ with only ever so slight tilt towards sanskritized Hindi. His lyrics occasionally showed a slightly stronger chhayaavaadi language influence, especially in the earlier songs (check “Runak Jhnak Chapal Charan” from Amrapali) but not overtly much. His lyrics never relied on any unusual or hard Urdu words either – “Saral” and “Saras” is how I would describe his language.

In his almost half a century long career, he wrote about 525 songs for about 75 films and sang fifty odd songs.

After 1988, though Kavi Pradeep did not write any more film songs, he continued to write poetry. His poetry as usual reflected what he absorbed from his surroundings. In an interview, he recited this one piece that seems to be his call to people in positions of eminence to examine their own behavior and values and is universally applicable to all of us.

कभी कभी ख़ुद से बात करो, कभी कभी ख़ुद से बोलो
अरे अपनी नज़र में तुम क्या हो, ये मन की तराज़ू पे तोलो

हरदम तुम बैठे न रहो शोहरत की इमारत में
कभी कभी ख़ुद को पेश करो आत्मा की अदालत में
केवल अपनी कीर्ति न देखो, अपनी कमियों को भी टटोलो

अपनी नज़र में तुम क्या हो ये मन की तराज़ू पे तोलो
कभी कभी ख़ुद से बात करो, कभी कभी ख़ुद से बोलो

It is an absolutely natural message from a man who, by his own admission, never asked for anyone else’s opinion on his work. He once recounted that he has another “Pradeep” inside him whom he brings out whenever he is ready with a new piece of poetry. He reads the piece to his alter ego and figures out from his reaction whether the piece is ready or needs more thought – what a personification of a conscience at play! In all there are about 500 – 600 non-film poems of his with his daughter Mitul Pradeep, some of these have been previously published in magazines but there is no book or compilation yet.

In 1997, Kavi Pradeep was honored with Dada Sahib Phalke Award in recognition of his lifetime achievements and contributions to Indian Cinema. It is the highest award in cinema in India as of today! I believe Kavi Pradeep is amongst very few individuals who have received both the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award as well as the Dada Sahib Phalke Award!

This extremely proud and principled poet breathed his last on December 11th, 1998 at the age of 83 leaving behind his wife of almost fifty seven years and two daughters. His younger daughter, Mitul Pradeep, set up and manages Kavi Pradeep Foundation. An award, Rashtriya Kavi Pradeep Samman, has also been constituted in his memory and veteran poet Gopaldas Neeraj was its first recipient on March 24th, 2015.

On his 99th Birth Anniversary in February 2014, a crossing in Ville Parle, Mumbai was also dedicated to him and is now known as Rashtriya Kavi Pradeep Chowk.

May the memory of this inimitable poet live on forever via his rich and meaningful legacy.

List of Composers Kavi Pradeep Collaborated With

1. Ajit Merchant
2. Anil Biswas
3. Avinash Vyas
4. Bappi Lahiri
5. Bhola Shreshtha
6. Bhupen Hazarika
7. Bulo C. Rani
8. C. Arjun
9. C. Ramchandra
10. Chitragupta
11. Dattaram
12. Gaurang Vyas
13. Ghulam Haider

14. Hari Prasanna Das
15. Hemant Kumar
16. Jamal Sen
17. Kalyanji Anandji
18. Laxmikant Pyarelal
19. Manna Dey
20. N. Dutta
21. Nadeem Shravan
22. Neeta Sen
23. O. P Nayyar
24. Pannalal Ghosh
25. Prem Dhawan
26. Rahul Dev Burman

27. Ramchandra Pal
28. Ravindra Jain
29. Roshan
30. S. D Burman
31. S. N Tripathi
32. Salil Chowdhury
33. Sanmukh Babu
34. Saraswati Devi
35. Shivram
36. Shyam Babu Pathak
37. Sonik Omi
38. Usha Khanna
39. Vasant Desai


1. Kangan (1939)
2. Bandhan (1940)
3. Punarmilan (1940)
4. Anjaan (1941)
5. Jhoola (1941)
6. Naya Sansaar (1941)
7. Kismat (1943)
8. Chal Chal Re Naujawaan (1944)
9. Kadambari (1944)
10. Aamrapali (1945)
11. Shikari (1946)
12. Sati Toral (1947)
13. Veeraangana (1947)
14. Girls School (1949)
15. Mashaal (1950)
16. Preet Ka Geet (1950)
17. Chamki (1952)
18. Kafila (1952)
19. Baap Beti (1954)
20. Chakradhari (1954)
21. Naastik (1954)
22. Ritu Vihar (Unreleased) (1954)
23. Jaagriti (1955)
24. Waaman Avtaar (1955)
25. Basant Panchami (1956)
26. Dashera (1956)
27. Lalkaar (1956)

28. Ram Navami (1956)
29. Chandi Pooja (1957)
30. Naag Mani (1957)
31. Talaaq (1958)
32. Do Behnen (1959)
33. Paigaam (1959)
34. School Master (1959)
35. Aanchal (1960)
36. Amar Prem (1960)
37. Amar Rahe Ye Pyaar (1961)
38. Zindagi Aur Khwab (1961)
39. Harishchandra Taaraamati (1963)
40. Veer Bheemsen (1964)
41. Shankar Seeta Ansuya (1965)
42. Shri Ram Bharat Milan (1965)
43. Netaji Subhaash Chandra Bose (1966)
44. Veer Bajrang (1966)
45. Balraam Shrikrishna (1968)
46. Har Har Gange (1968)
47. Sambandh (1969)
48. Kabhi Dhoop Kabhi Chhaanv (1971)
49. Tulsi Vivaah (1971)
50. Hari Darshan (1972)
51. Agni Rekha (1973)

52. Mahasati Saavitri (1973)
53. Baal Mahabharat (1974)
54. Har Har Mahadev (1974)
55. Kisan Aur Bhagwan (1974)
56. Jai Santoshi Maa (1975)
57. Bajrangbali (1976)
58. Raksha Bandhan (1976)
59. Aankh Ka Tara (1977)
60. Bolo He Chakradhari (1977)
61. Chhath Maiya Ki Mahima (1979)
62. Krishna Sudaama/ Krishna Bhakt Sudama (1979)
63. Naagin Aur Suhagan (1979)
64. Baba Taraknath (1980)
65. Karwa Chauth (1980)
66. Mangalsutra (1981)
67. Anmol Sitare (1982)
68. Sati Aur Bhagwan (1982)
69. Jai Baba Amarnath (1983)
70. Rusvai (1985)
71. Veer Bheemsen (1985)
72. Badla Naagin Ka (1987)
73. Diljala (1987)
74. Saamri (1987)
75. Shiv Ganga (1988)


  1. Hindi Filmon Ke Geetkar By Anil Bhargava
  2. Various interviews and documentaries available on Youtube specially Unki Nazar Unka Shahar
  3. myswar.com