Remembering legendary poet & lyricist Shailendra, on his 94th birth anniversary today.

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There was one poet in the golden era of hindi cinema who remained a quintessential lyricist all throughout, who used almost all his literary genius for writing great songs which were poems in themselves and he was second to none. His name was Shankardas Kesarilal Shailendra, for his countless admirers he was simply- Shailendra!

While the constant composition of songs based on the fragile conundrums of love reduced most lyricists to retail merchants of words, Shailendra’s songs always dazzled with their lyrical lustre. In more than 170 films, he wrote warm souled poetry. Like the straight-from-the-heart `Aaja re pardesi”, “main toh kab se khadi is paar’, Shailendra’s songs were in simple, yet extremely effective Hindustani.

Barring Naushad and O.P.Nayyar, Shailendra worked with almost all the leading composers of the era. As with Shankar Jaikishan, he also had a special rapport with Sachin Dev Burman for whom he penned such wonderful songs like O jaanewale ho sake to lautke aana (Bandini), Na main dhan chahoon, na ratan chahoon (Kaala bazaar) and Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai (Guide). But then he wrote beautiful lyrics for every composer, that’s why we got gems like Toote huye khwabone in Salil Chowdhury’s Madhumati, Haaye re woh din kyun na aaye in Pandit Ravishankar’s Anuradha and Kuchh aur zamana kaheta hai in Anil Biswas’s Chhoti chhoti baatein.

His songs with their rich human values will keep his memories lingering on. Maybe that’s what he meant when he wrote these lines in Anari:

Rishta dil se dil ke aitbaar ka,
Zinda hain hum hi se naam pyaar ka
Ke marke bhi kisi ko yaad aayenge
Kisi ke aansuon mein muskurayenge
Kahega phool har kali se baar baar
Jeena isi ka naam hai!

Courtesy: Shailendra : Man whose life was a song!

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