Remembering Shakeel Badayuni On His 101st Birth Anniversary.

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3rd August marks the birth day of one of the legends of Indian film music, Shakeel Badayuni, the shayar supreme Geetkar-e-Azam was born at Badayun in UP in 1916.

Shakeel moved to Bombay in 1944, to write songs for films. He met film producer, A.R. Kardar and music composer, Naushad Ali, who asked him to sum up his poetic skills in one line. Shakeel wrote, Hum Dard Ka Afsana Duniya Ko Suna Denge, Har Dil Main Mohabbat Ki Ek Aag Laga Dengey. Naushad immediately retained him for Kardar’s film, Dard (1947). The songs of Dard proved to be very successful, especially Uma Devi (Tun Tun)’s Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon. Only a few are so lucky that they attain success in their first film, but Shakeel deserved success which started with Dard and continued on over the years.

Together, he and Naushad became one of the most sought after composer/lyricist duos in the industry. Among the scores they churned out together, are those of Deedar (1951), Baiju Bawra (1952), Mother India (1957), and Mughal-e-Azam (1960), that stand out. Other films they scored together include Dulari (1949), Shabab (1954), Ganga Jamuna (1961), and Mere Mehboob (1963). Although Shakeel Badayuni worked most extensively with Naushad, he also collaborated with Ravi and Hemant Kumar as well. His lyrics for the song Husnwale Tera Jawab Nahin and Ravi’s music score both won Filmfare Awards for the hit film Gharana. His other notable film with Ravi is Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960), while Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) is his biggest hit with Hemant Kumar. The title song from Chaudhvin Ka Chand, rendered by Mohammed Rafi, won Badayuni the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist in 1961.

Shakeel penned numbers for around 89 films. In addition, he wrote many popular ghazals sung by Begum Akhtar, and which are still sung by vocalists like Pankaj Udhas and others.

The Indian government had honoured him with the title Geet Kar-e-Azam.

Association with Naushad

Shakeel shared a close friendship with Naushad, Ravi and Naushad’s former assistant, Ghulam Mohammed, with whom he enjoyed his life to the fullest. Naushad used Shakeel as the lyricist for his tunes for most of his films for a period of 24 years. Baiju Bawra, which was a milestone in both of their careers, was supposed to go to Kavi Pradeep. Vijay Bhatt, the director of the movie was insistent on using Kavi Pradeep as lyricist, since the film was supposed to have many devotional songs. Naushad requested Vijay Bhatt to hear the lyrics written by Shakeel. Vijay Bhatt agreed.

When Shakeel Badayuni was diagnosed with TB, he was put up in a sanitorium in Panchgani for treatment. Naushad knowing that his financial condition was not well, took 3 films to him, getting the lyrcis written in the sanatorium, and got him a payment of nearly 10 times more than his normal fees.

Association with Ravi

Shakeel also wrote a substantial chunk of his songs for music director Ravi Sharma. Prominent amongst those were Gharana (1961), Ghunghat,Grahasti (1963), Nartaki (1963), as well as Phool Aur Patthar and Do Badan.

Association with Hemant Kumar

Shakeel wrote for Hemant Kumar for movies like Bees Saal Baad, Sahib Bibi Aur Gulam, Bin Badal Barsaat.

Association with S.D.Burman

Shakeel penned lyrics for the tunes of S D Burman for movies Kaise Kahoon & Benazir.


C.Ramachandra — Zindagi Aur Maut, Wahan Ke Log. Roshan — Bedaag, Noorjahan.

There is so much that can be written about him, but words will not suffice. At last all we can say is “ये झिंदगी के मेले, दुनिया में कम ना होंगे….अफसोस हम न होंगे”

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Celebrating Cinema

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