Tributes to Khemchand Prakash, one of the greatest Hindi film music directors, on his 112th birth anniversary.

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Tributes to Khemchand Prakash, one of the greatest Hindi film music directors, on his 112th birth anniversary.

The era from 1931 to 1950, in context to Hindi film music, is largely ignored. Khemchand Prakash was no lesser a legend than Naushad, Shankar Jaikishan or S D Burman. Unfortunately, we are deprived of his history and contribution. We remember his songs but not his name.
Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar and Naushad are considered gems of the Hindi film music world. It is not wrong to state that any essay or write-up on the music of Hindi cinema would be incomplete without the mention of the trio. However, very few people remember the person who played a major role in shaping their careers. That person was the late composer Khemchand Prakash.
It was Khemchand Prakash who gave Kishore Kumar his first break in Ziddi (1948) with the song ‘Marne Ki Duaen Kyun Maangu.’ Due to this, Kishore ji always considered Khemchand Prakash as his guru.
Khemchand Prakash also had a huge role to play in shaping Lata Mangeshkar’s career and in helping her acquire fame. Although Lata started her career in 1947 with Aap Ki Seva, the film that really made audiences realise her talent was Ziddi. It has such sweet songs by Lata. Later, Mahal (1949) that made her a star with ‘Aayega aane wala.’ It is unparalleled. The song is a challenge for all the forthcoming generations of composers. He created the mukhda (starting line) with just three words. You won’t find such a small mukhda ever.
Mahal, Tansen, Pardesi and Ziddi are just a few samples of Khemchand Prakash’s talent in the short span of his career. His timeless creations have been a part of our lives for over 65 years now.
Khemchand Prakash passed away on August 10, 1950 at the relatively young age of 42. His immediate family, consisting of his wife Sridevi and daughter Chandrakala, didn’t get the required support from the industry and went through tough times financially. Chandrakala, who was a very good dancer like her father, had to do some small dancing roles in films to earn an income.

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