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April has a special list of greats…

April has a special list of greats…
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April is indeed a memorable month. These are the 30 days in which many unforgettable legends of Indian cinema were either born or died.  KL Sehgal...

April is indeed a memorable month. These are the 30 days in which many unforgettable legends of Indian cinema were either born or died. KL Sehgal (born April 11) and Dhundiraj Govind Phalke on whose name the Dada Saheb Phalke awards have been initiated (April 30) are two such. One more common point which binds both these icons is that both of them lived and died before India achieved independence.

While Phalke died in 1944 at the age of 73; 42-year-old Sehgal passed away in January 1947, barely a few months before India became a free nation. Of course, it does not have any special effect when seen in isolation as Sehgal had been a great source of inspiration for all those who began their careers in new India, beginning with Rafi to Kishore to Mukesh. 70 years and more since he died, he has a strong committed fan backing even till date among both the young and old Hindi film music lovers.

A clutch of equally notable names like film directors Baldev Raj Chopra, Shakti Samanta, actor/director Feroz Khan, lyricists Hasrat Jaipuri and Gulshan Bawra were also connected to the first month of the new financial year. While Chopra went on to live till a ripe 94 years of age, after being born in April 1914, the golden hit director Shakti Samanta too lived a long life of 83 years before passing away.

The stylish, swashbuckling Feroz Khan whose films had a certain pizzazz about them, however, did not live to see 70, even as his films and songs which were featured in them are remembered and re-mixed in the new releases. One example would be the eternally hummable “Har Kisi Ko Nahin Milta” from the film ‘Janbaaz’ released a good three decades ago!

As lyricists, Hasrat Jaipuri and Gulshan Bawra were two different poles as they were catering to two different markets, in fact, one which succeeded the other. If Jaipuri was known for his haunting tunes in the 1950s and 1960s, Gulshan Bawra’s songs with the inimitable RD Burman in the 1970s are the undying favourites of film music fans who are in their late 40’s to early 60s today.

One music director who was born in April was Shankar Singh of the famous Shankar-Jaikishan duo. What is of local interest is he hailed from Hyderabad and was credited to be the more active of the two, when it came to orchestration and overall composition of the songs, the indelible effects of which are still felt today.

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