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When cabaret made its debut in Hindi cinema…

When cabaret made its debut in Hindi cinema…
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Interestingly, this week we have a collection of celebrities who were trendsetters in their own way in Hindi cinema. Jaikishan Panchal (1929-1971),...

Interestingly, this week we have a collection of celebrities who were trendsetters in their own way in Hindi cinema. Jaikishan Panchal (1929-1971), (of the Shankar-Jaikishan music director duo) died on September 12, 46 years ago.

Closely following him are two more big names, Anjaan (1929-1997), whose real name was Lalji Pandey, who died a day later, 20 years ago and Hasrat Jaipuri (Iqbal Hussain) born in 1922 and passing away on September 17, 18 years ago.
The musician duo, known by their acronym S-J, began with the maiden directorial venture of Raj Kapoor, with whom they had struck a working relationship.

It was with ‘Aag’ (1948) the pair started working together, with Jaikishan’s domain expertise being the harmonium. Virtually everyone, from the lyricists to the playback singers like Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh were new to the field and the fresh team came up with a series of firsts in Hindi cinema – the first title song for the film – “Barsaat Mein Humse Mile Tum”- and a cabaret number- “Patli Kamar Hai”.

It is not for nothing that the era from the ‘50s to the ‘70s is considered a golden phase for Hindi cinema. Talent abounded every square inch in the Bombay movie world, with a collection of top names dotting every genre which was being exhibited onscreen.

In this phase, S-J kept up the pole position beating competition from a collection of names, which in itself was not something to be trifled with – Naushad, Madan Mohan, SD Burman, Roshan, C Ramchandra, OP Nayyar, Salil Chowdhury, etc.

Another interesting tidbit that emerges is that with Jaikishan’s untimely death, Raj Kapoor continued the association with his living partner and also used their compositions in the later films of his, though other music directors like Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Ravindra Jain were given credit for those numbers! A very unique development indeed.

Who can forget the 1978 number “Khaike Paan Banaraswala” from the humongous hit ‘Don’ starring Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman? The lyricist of this super-duper hit is none other than Anjaan. A very successful lyricist, whose Bhojpuri-laced lines reflected the region he hailed from, he hit the big time in the ‘70s and carried on till the ‘80s. He had to his credit, a book, a collection of poems released by Amitabh Bachchan before he died.

Bus conductors seem to be successful as legends in Indian cinema. In Hindi cinema, it was Sunil Dutt and the lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri and closer home, it has been Rajinikanth who hit big time despite being a transport sector employee. Like the two, Jaipuri too, facing the internecine politics of the film industry, which played havoc with his career in the final phases of his life, remained relatively insular from financial ruin as he had invested in property and stayed afloat.

A Raj Kapoor campwala till 1971, he was part of the team, which was involved in the songs of his films released till 1971. His last film was ‘Hatya’ in 2004, released five years after his death, which had Akshay Kumar as its hero with music by Nadeem-Shravan.

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