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‘I could listen to Shamshad Begum sing all day long’

Veteran actor Shyama joins others from industry in mourning legendary singer’s passing

music Updated: Apr 25, 2013 18:52 IST
Dibyojyoti Baksi
Dibyojyoti Baksi
Hindustan Times
Shamshad Begum,Shyama,Shilpa Rao

Yesteryear actor Shyama on Shamshad Begum
I have always been a great fan of Shamshad Begum, right from the beginning of my career in the industry. I still remember her as one of the most gracious women I have ever met. It’s sad to hear that she is no more with us. This is very unfortunate because she used to stay in Mahim and I also live in the neighbourhood but we hadn’t met for decades. I don’t remember the name of the film, but I was featured in one of the songs that she had sung. The song was composed by OP Nayyar as far as I recollect. She used to sing mostly for OP Nayyar and Naushad. Personally, I used to admire her a lot as she was a great woman at heart, in addition to being a great singer. I used to go all the way to the Karjat recording studio where she used to record her songs. I was such a big fan of her voice that I could spend the whole day in the studio listening to her. I have no words to express my sorrow and grief at her passing. May God give peace to her soul.
—As told to Dibyojyoti Baksi

Shantanu Moitra, composer
“Shamshad Begum was one of the greatest playback singers of our country. I was really inspired by her. Her voice has been a part of my life.”

Anu Malik, composer
“I grew up hearing her songs Mere piya gaye Rangoon, Kabhi aar kabhi paar, Kajra mohabbatwala and liked all her songs. I wish I could have worked with her. It’s very sad that we are losing our great artistes one after the other. My heart goes out to her family.”

Sona Mohapatra, singer
“We’ve lost one of the pillars of Hindi film music. Her vocal style is still modern and her versatility was never at the cost of her personality. You always knew a Shamshad Begum song. We owe her a great debt for she always brought class to the masses.”

Shankar Mahadevan, composer

“I’ve had the good fortune of meeting Shamshad Begumji. A few years ago, one of her relatives called me to say that she wanted to meet me because she liked my music. She lived like a recluse, didn’t meet anyone and neither was anyone allowed to meet her. I was surprised and happy to hear that she wanted to meet me. When I went over, she told me that she liked listening to my work and encouraged me and gave her blessings, too. Her contribution to the industry was immense.”

Shilpa Rao, singer

“Her bubbly and vibrant voice will be missed. Her music played a huge part of my childhood. One line for her, kajre re ne le li meri jaan, hai re main tere kurbaan.”

-Shalvi Mangaokar and Anirban Das

First Published: Apr 25, 2013 16:41 IST