Qamar Jalalabadi was a famous Hindi film lyricist and writer who wrote more than 700 songs for nearly 160 films, from 1940 to 1980. Qamar Jalalabadi wrote some rare, beautiful lyrics of undying flavor. Qamar Jalalabadi was also an acclaimed writer for films. Some of the films for which he wrote either the script or dialogues were “Munimji” (1955), “Phagun” (1958), “Ujala” (1959), “Maya” (1961) and “Taj Mahal” (1963).
Qamar Jalalabadi was born as Om Prakash Bhandari in a Punjabi family in 1917 in the Jalalabad town near Amritsar. Right from the age of seven he starting writing poetry in Urdu. There was no encouragement from home, but a wandering minstrel poet named Amar met him in his hometown and encouraged him to write, recognizing his immense talent and potential. He also gave him the pen name of Qamar which means moon, and Jalalabadi was added for his native town.
After completing his matriculation from Amritsar, he embarked on his journalistic career journey by writing for Lahore based newspapers like Daily Milap, DailyPratap, Nirala, Star Sahakar. Qamar Jalalabadi came to Pune in the early 1940s. In 1942, he wrote lyrics for his first film Zamindar which was a Pancholi Pictures production and the songs of this film were very well received, especially the song sung by Shamshad Begum “Duniya me garibonko aaraam nahi milta, Rotey hain to hansne ka paigham nahin milta”. The songs were a big hit, and he found himself inundated with offers. This was the beginning of a career that was to span four decades.
He worked with S D Burman in 1946 in the film “Eight Days” where the comic song “O Babu Babu Re” became quite popular. He went on to work with music director Sardar Malik on many films. One of their hits was “Sunti Nahi Duniya” (“Renuka”, 1947).
However, the 1958 film ‘Howrah Bridge” propelled Qamar Jalalabadi to unparalleled heights of success. Set to OP Nayyar’s foot-tapping score, its ongs like “Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu” and “Aayiye Meherbaan”, were runaway hits.
His other notable songs include “Ik Dil Ke Tukde Hazaar Hue” (Pyar Ki Jeet, 1948), “Ik Pardesi Mera Dil Le Gaya” (Phagun, 1958), “Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu” (Howrah Bridge, 1958), “Dum Dum Diga Diga” (Chhalia, 1960) and “Main To Ik Khwaab Hoon Is Khwaab Se Tu Pyaar Na Kar” (Himalay Ki God Mein,1965).