Monday, July 7, 2014



……………………….. ……….AEY RI JAANE NA DOONGI “

OR “ROSHAN ” ( 1917-1967 )

“ Sharma ji ! Mein Khudkashi Karnaa Chaahata huun OR Sharma Ji ! I want to commit suicide. ” so said Roshan lal Nagrath ( 1917 -1967 ) popularly known as ROSHAN ,to well known Producer , Actor ,Director , Photographer and writer Kedar Sharma (1910-1999) one day .
Roshan had a reason to say so . The very first movie “ Neki Aur Badi “ that Kedar Sharma had offered him as Music Director , had failed miserably . It was 1949 . Roshan had moved to Mumbai leaving his job at AIR New Delhi ( Joined AIR in 1939 )where he served as In house Assistant Music Composer . He had joined the station as a JALTARANG player . He also played SARANGI , SITAR and FLUTE. Recalling this Incident , kedar Sharma once said
“ I simply told him that he should decide where he would jump in the sea for his suicide . Jokingly , I suggested VARSOVA as water was deep over there . I told him that he should not Jump near HAJI ALI . The sea water was shallow at that place . I also suggested that he should wait for some time as I planned to give him one more chance . I had seen his talent and dedication as a composer . The first film failed for many other reasons .And then this film making is a gamble after all . Inspite of stiff opposition from distributors and my team , I offered him “ “Baaware Nain ”. It was 1950. He was desperately in need of work . He poured his heart and soul in this movie. Three songs composed by him like “ Khayaalon mein kissi ke “ ,“ Sun Bairi Balam Ibb Kya hoga “ and “Teri Duniya Mein Dil Lagtaa Nahin ” changed the fortunes in our favour . Sunn Bairi Balam was written by me . And I was right in my selection. The movie broke many records and with it Roshan had arrived. ”

At that time ,he had just married IRA MOITRA , his student at Delhi . She was a Bengali Girl and he a Punjabi. Both were intensely attached to music . Unable to afford a rented accommodation , they lived in the Garage of Hussan Lal ( Hussan lal Bhagat Ram ) .


Roshan Lal Nagrath belonged to a liberal and well off Punjabi Khatri family from Gujranwala ( Now in Pakistan ) . His father and uncles were Established contractors who kept changing places on account business interests. When his parents moved to Lucknow , Young Roshan ( who was drawn towards music from his childhood) was sent to learn music from the Great Baba Alla Ud Din Khan sahib ( 1862-1972 ) . A doyen of Maihar Gharana , Khan sahib was teacher to Ravi Shanker , Ali Akbar Khan ,Nilkhil Bannerji , Panna lal Ghosh , Anna Purna Devi ( His Daughter ) and many more stalwarts .Though a Sarod Player , Khan sahib could play any instrument with ease . He is credited with creation of at least 20 New Ragas for Indian classical music . BABA , as he was known to lovers of music , was a devout Muslim who also performed Durga Puja and kaali worship. To his students , khan sahib taught Everything that is best in Indian Classical Music .This is where Roshan landed for his initial training . He also Learnt Sarangi , Jaltarang ,Flute and Sitar . His other teachers were well known Sarangi player Bundu Khan , Pt. Ratanjanker of Lucknow. To polish his skills, he joined Lucknow’s Morris College of Music ( later on known as Bhatkhande College of Music) .


Now Coming back to his films ;

Success of Baawre Nain brought many offers and more work for Roshan . He now teamed up with Talat , Rafi and Mukesh and composed some memorable songs . He utilized the melodious voice of Rafi for all possible ranges . So did he use Mukesh , his old friend from Delhi days .

About lyricists he would say

“ There is an inherent music flowing in poems of some poets . Only a musician can feel it. I always like such poets . I also found Indeevar ,Neeraj and Anand Bakshi also fitting this frame . ”

And true to his words , Roshan gave breaks to Indeevar , Neeraj and Anand Bakshi .Sahir remained his first choice. He was equally comfortable with Majrooh. His teaming up with Sahir produced some memorable master pieces . I quote some songs..
(1) Mun re Tu Kaahe Na
(2) Mere Saathhi Khaali Jaam
(3) Lagaa Chunri Mein Daag
(4) Aey Ri Jaane Na Doongii
(5) Jo Vaada Kiya Vo Nibhana Parrega
(6) Jo Baat Tujh Mein Hai Teri Tasveer Mein Nahin
(7) Paaon Chhu Lene Di Phoolon Ko Inaayat Hogi
(8) Yuun Hi Dil Ne Chaaha Thha Rona Rulaana
(9) Garjat Barsat Saawan aayo Re
(10) Mayoos To Huun Vaade Se tere
(11) Tum Ek baar Mohabbat ka Imtehaan To Lo
(12) Maine Shaayad Tumhe Pehle Bhi Kahin Dekha Hai
(13) Bhule Se Mohabbat Kar Baithaa
(14) Tumhaari Mast Nazar
(15) Chura Le Na Tum Ko Yeh Mausam suhaana
(16) Sakhi Ri Mera Mun Uljhe Tun Dole
(17) Chha Gaye Badal Neel Gagan Pe
(18) Tum Agar Mujh Ko Na Chaaho to Koyee Baat
(19) Jurm e Ulfat Pe Hamein Log Sazaa
(20) Phool Gendawa Na Maaro
(21) Na Na Re Na Na Hathh Na Lagaana
(22) Chaand Taktaa Hai Idhar
(23) Duniya Kare Sawaal To Hum Kyaa jawaab Dein
(24) Hum Intezaar kareingay tera Qayaamat tak
(25) Sansaar se bhaage Phirtay ho
(26) Mayoos to Huun Vaaade se teray
(27) Mujhe mil Gayaa Bahaana teri deed ka
Sahir – Roshan Duo gave some exquisite Qawwalis to cinema. These Qawwalis have a timeless charm. “ Na to kaarwaan ki Talash hai ”remains the best Qawwali composed by any music director of Indian Cinema till today . In this qawwali Roshan brought everything like ,different tunes , different instruments , Taans ,Bol Taans and Alaaps. I quote some popular qawwalis of Roshan …
(1) Na To Kaarwaan ki Talaash Hai
(2) Ye Ishq ishq hai
(3) Chaandi Ka Badan Sone Ki Nazar
(4) Nigaahein Milaane Ko Ji Chaahta Hai
(5) Ab jaan Balab Huun
(6) Jee Chaahta hunn Choom Luun
(7) Nigaahe naaz Ke maaron Ka haal kyaa hoga ( Shanker Shambu )

As and when Sahir insisted on giving more space to Sudha Malhotra in his films , Roshan would reply in chaste Punjabi
“ yaar Sab da Chulhaa Balnaa Chaahiye da . Sab Nu Kumm Chahiyedaa . or Friend everyone should have something to cook in the kitchen . All need work. ”
Accordingly , he made Sudha Malhotra , S D Atish ,Balbir , kamal Barot, Suman kalyanpur, Uma devi, Mubarak Begum,Shamshaad Begum, Usha Mangeshkar , Geeta Dutt , Assa Singh Mastana ( Dooj Ka Chaand song Lo apna jahan Duniyawaalon), Minoo Purshotam, Mann Dey and Mahendra Kapur sing for him apart from Mohd Rafi, Mukesh , lata and Asha .

Rakesh Roshan (Roshan’s son and a well known actor , Producer and Director of Hindi cinema) once said ,

“ My father had a strange dedication towards his work. Quite often we would sleep together and then suddenly I would see that the lights in his bed room . Surprised , I would go to the room to find if all was ok. Mother would say that he got up from sleep suddenly as the tune for some song had come to his mind. There he was practicing on his Harmonium with my Mother sitting nearby enjoying and appreciating his music . And next day he would invite Majrooh sahib or Shailendra or Anand Bakshi sahib for writing lyrics . Sahir sahib too obliged him many times by writing songs on his tunes. You could catch him reading music and notations all the time ”

                                                ( Roshan with Mohd Rafi )

With Majrooh , he created some master pieces for Asit sen’s 1966 super hit movie “ MAMTA ” . He brought the core melody of Lata’s voice in some compositions that he created for this movie . Songs like "Chahe To Mera Jiya Lele" "Chhupa Lo Yun Dil Mein Pyar Mera" "Hum Gavanwa Na Jaibe "Rahte The Kabhi Jinke" from MAMTA touched new heights of popularity .Some songs that he composed with other lyricists ( Other than Sahir ) that come to my mind at the moment are
(1) O Re Taal Mile Nadi Ke jal Mein ( Indeevar )
(2) Mile Na Phool To Kaanton Se Dosti Kar Li ( Kaifi )
(3) Rahein Na Rahen Hum Mehka kareingay ( Majrooh )
(4) Chhuppa Lo Yuun Dil Mein Pyaar mera ( Majrooh )
(5) Vikal Mora Manwa Tum Bin haaye ( Majrooh )
(6) Bahaaron Ne mera Chaman Loot kar ( Annad Bakshi )
(7) Uss ko Nahin Dekha hum Ne kabhi ( Majrooh )
(8) Kaarwaan Guzar gaya Gubaar Dekhte Rahe ( Neeraj )
(9) Aaj Ki Raat Barri shokh Barri Natkhat hai ( Neeraj )
(10) Dil Jo Na keh Sakaa Vahi Raaze Dil Kehne ki raat aayi Hai ( Majrooh )
(11) Haye Ri Mein To Prem Deewani ( Shakeel )
(12) Bahut Diya Dene waale ne mujh ko ( Shailendra )
(13) Baar Baar Tohe Kyaa samjhaaye paayal ki Jhankaar ( majrooh )
(14) Kabhi To Milegi Kahin to Milegi Bahaaron ki Manzil Raahein ( Majrooh )
(15) Mein Dil Huun Ik armaan Bharaa (Shailendra )
(16) Aapne yaad dilaya tou mujhe yaad aaya ( Majrooh )
(17) Ab kya misaal doon, main tumhare shabaab ki ( Majrooh )
(18) Aaya hai mujhe phir Yaad voh zaalim Guzara zamaana Bachpan ka ( Anand Bakshi )
(19) Duniya Mein aisa kahaan sab ka Naseeb hai ( Anand Bakshi )
(20) Bahaaron ne Mera Chaman Loot kar ( Annad Bakshi )

As composer , he had some exceptional qualities . He could play melody on any instrument . He had mastered the basic grammar of Hindustani classical music with which he used to create different moods for his songs .
Roshan had a deep poetic sense and his characteristic hallmark was his simple, orderly and remarkable orchestration. He refined his song till it glittered with the sheer shine of flawlessness . He used a wide range of ragas in his compositions though YAMAN ( Mun Re Tu kaahe na, Dil Jo Na kah sakaa , chhupa lo yuun dil mein Pyar mera ,Nigaahein Milaane ko ji chaahta hai , Dil Jo Bhi Kahegaa maneigay duniya mein hamaara Dil Hi To Hai and Zindagi Bhar nahin Bhoolegi woh barsaat ki raat ) was his favourite . He also used BHAIRAVI ( laga chunri mein Daag and Phool gendava Na maaro ) and MALHAAR ( Garjat Barasat Saawan aayo re ) . I need to add that Yaman appears to be the favourite Raga of his son and musician Rajesh Roshan as well.

He made Rafi , Aasha ,Manna Dey , lata and Mukesh sing some classical mumbers which are unmatched to this day . I quote some “ Laaga Chunri mein daag “, Aey ri jaane na doongi , “Phool Gendawa na Maaro “, “Chhuppa Lo Yuun Dil Mein Pyaar Mera “ , “ Hum gavanwa na jaibe ho bina jhoolni “, “Sakal ban gagan pavan chalat purvaai re ” , “Chha Gaye badal neel gagan par ”etc. etc.

Salil Chowdhury in his interview once said

“ I admire him as a Great composer because of his use of melody through the instruments like sarengi, tabla, sexaphone, guitar etc. His genre was wide that included Mujras, qawallis, Ghazals, , sad songs , love songs , Bhajans and classical compositions. Almost all the singers including Asha , Rafi, Lata and others have worshipped him like a sage. He was fair to all. ”


Roshan was a patient of Hypertension with an old history of coronary Artery disease . The perfectionist in him only added to these problems. A massive heart attack on 16 November, 1967 ,snatched the maestro from his innumerable lovers . He was just 50 and too much remained undelivered to Music with his sudden death .

He left behind his first name-‘Roshan’, as surname for his sons- Rakesh , Rajesh , daughter in Law Pinki and  grandson- Hrithik .
For his family , ROSHAN proved more lucky than “NAGRATH ”, their original surname . This year on 14th july , this music genius would have been 97 years old. 


And we all know the quality of the music that is being served to us by films presently . The lesser said the better it is .

Saara Aalum Goshe bur Awaaz Hai
Aaj Kin Haathhon mein dil ka saaz hai
Chhupp Gaye woh Saaze hasti chheid kar
Ab to buss Awaaz hi Awaaz hai ………………………

( Autar Mota 07.06.2014 )

CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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1 comment:

  1. excellent, excellent, excellent pillar of Indian Commercial Music


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