MUSIC MAESTRO NAUSHAD
<<actually too too too many happy memories to categorize and put down in order. I, and perhaps millions of others, owe him a large debt of gratitude for making me "feel" the joy of Hindi music....>>
Indeed, the list of Naushad's immortal melodies is endless. The very first 'Film Fare' award in the 'music' category was won by Naushad for the film 'Beju Bawra' in 1952 (or was it 1954? Also no 'singer' award then or else Rafi would have definitely received it for 'Oh duniyake rakhwale...').
The other night watched Dilip Kumar and Sairabanu paying their tribute to Naushad. Saira reminisced those days of Dilip, Naushad, Shakil and Rafi. Then Dilip hummed Lata's 'uthayeja unke sitam...' and literally wept. So sad! Those were the days when the Indian Film Industry revolved around them.
Beny Ruben of 'Star & Style' in a feature on Naushad (in the 60's) had come up with some interesting revelations about him. On the occasion of Beju Bawra's 'Silver Jubilee' celebrations at Broadway Cinema on Dadar, Maestro Naushad's entry was greeted with applause by the onlookers. Overcome by emotions he momentarily turned around and stared fixedly at the footpath right opposite there where he'd spent his earlier days after his arrival from Lucknow.
I'll always cherish the 'Yaade Shakil Nite' that I'd attended at Shanmukhanand Hall (1969). After paying tribute to his pal Shakil, Naushad took command of his orchestra and then Rafi gently walked on to the stage to sing 'suhani raat dhal chuki' (Dulari), 'oh duniyake rakhwale' (Beju Bawra) and 'yeh zindagike mele (Mela), all of them penned by Shakil. There was pin drop silence and Shanmukhanand vibrated with Naushad's soulful music and Rafi's lilting voice.
In the annals of 'black & white' films (40's & 50's) the name 'Naushad' symbolizes music. The success of films like Anmolgadi, Andaz, Beju Bawra, Deedar, Dulari, Dillagi, Mela, Shabab, Amar, Mughle Azam and many more was mainly due to his divine music. Mehboob Khan's Aan which was the first Indian film in colour had also music by Naushad. Mother India, Gunga Jumna, Mere Mehboob, Paalki, Dil diya dard liya, Aadmi and others including Pakiza (initially composed by Ghulam Haider but Naushad providing its final touches) followed and will also be remembered for their tuneful music. Anyhow, the critics of classic music term Naushad's earlier films more melodious than the later ones.
The passing away of Naushad calls to mind the good old days when on Saturday afternoons the Zanzibar gullies and lanes vibrated with the 'Aapki Farmaish' songs presented by Zarina Patel and Faruk Sheikh. Mostly the songs that received the great number of farmaish were tuned by Naushad and repeated week after week - tu gangaki mojme (Rafi/Lata, Beju Bawra), do sitaroka chaman (Rafi/Lata, Kohinoor), dekhliya maine (Rafi/Lata, Deedar), tu kahe agar (Mukesh, Andaz), jawa hai mohabbat (Noor Jehan, Anmol gadi), meri kahani bhulnewale (Rafi, Deedar), ho durke musafir (Rafi, Uran khatola), uthaija unke sitam (Lata, Andaz), janewalese mulakat (Lata, Amar), gaija geet milanke (Mukesh, Mela), tu mera chand mai teri chandni (Shyam/Suraya) and many more.
Similarly the theatres played again and again the classic musicals. I remember seeing Beju Bawra at Sultana, Uran Khatola at Majestic and Kohinoor at Empire. The film would begin with its titles and Naushad's tuneful background music amid deafening cheers from the audience.
If I'm not mistaken even BBC World Service in the 50's at times to cover the time gap played the tune 'dekh liya maine sajan tera wada' (Deedar) for a minute or so at around midnight before the World News. I've its vague recollection and could be wrong.
Naushad visited Dsm in the late 60's and had put up at the late Ahmed Husain Bawlo's place. Beny Ruben in that feature on Naushad quotes the maestro as saying that Ahmed had the most distinct collection of his.
Time flies, generations elapse but the memories etch on mind forever. Just in remembrance of Naushad,
Yeh zindagike mele,
Duniame kam nahoge,
Afsos ham nahoge.
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