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On Hasrat Jaipuri’s birthday, know the man behind Bollywood’s most loved songs

Sun Sahiba Sun, Ichak Dana, Ehsan Tera Hoga Mujh Par and more beautiful songs are all a gift from Hasrat Jaipuri.

music Updated: Apr 15, 2018 10:07 IST
Nivedita Mishra
Nivedita Mishra
Hindustan Times
Hasrat Jaipuri,Hasrat Jaipuri’s birthday,Old Bollywood Songs
Here’s recalling some of the warm and tender moments Hasrat Jaipuri gave us through his words.

Raj Kapoor, the greatest showman Hindi cinema has seen, would never have touched the dizzy heights he went on to achieve had it not been for the phenomenal team of creative people who surrounded him and with whom he collaborated all his life. Writers KA Abbas and VP Sathe (story and screenplay), music directors Shankar Jaikishan and co-actor Nargis were the essential clogs in his creative wheel of life.

However, there is another, important spoke that really completed Raj Kapoor as an artist and they were his lyricists. Two men shone9 brightest in the Raj Kapoor universe – Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri.

On his 96th birth anniversary, here’s recalling some of the warm and tender moments Hasrat Jaipuri gave us through his words.

For the millennial it may be really hard to recall Hasrat Jaipuri. However, if you heard the song, Sunn Sahiba Sunn from Ram Teri Ganga Maili, you should know that this song, like many other Raj Kapoor’s iconic songs, was written by Hasrat Jaipuri.

The year was 1951-52. My father was a 14-year-old, growing up in a dusty little small town in western Odisha called Bolangir. Recalling his days, he had told me once of how when Barsaat (1949) released that year, radio stations would play the songs from the film. A tea shop owner had installed a loud speaker in his place of work and connected it to his radio. Whenever Jiya Beqaraar Hai from the film would play, young teenagers like my dad would stop in the middle of the road just to listen to its haunting melody and yearnings of a young heart. Such was the magic of the golden era of Hindi film music and its reach!

It is true that these songs are best remembered today for the visuals we have of them in our minds – the popular faces from the silver screen, the golden voices that have sung them and the magical minds that have composed their haunting melody. Sadly, what many of us miss out on is the songwriter/lyricist who wrote them.

It is in this context that one makes mention of Hasrat Jaipuri (born Iqbal Hussain) who wrote many of the most iconic songs in the Raj Kapoor repertoire.

Jeeya Beqaraar Hai was his very first song. It is interesting to know how Raj Kapoor

and Hasrat Jaipuri got to work together in the first place.

Born and bred in Jaipur, Hasrat Jaipuri moved to Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1940. He worked for 10 years as a bus conductor. However, at a city mushaira, he was spotted by the legendary Prithviraj Kapoor, who immediately recommended his name to his son, Raj Kapoor, a major film personality by then. Thus, started a golden collaboration.

It may make sense here to recall some of his popular songs here. Ichak Dana Bichak Dana (Shree 420), Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana (Rajesh Khanna, Hema Malini’s Andaz), Teri Pyaari Pyaari Surat (Rajendra Kumar starrer Sasural), Ehsan Tera Hoga Mujh Par (Junglee of Shammi Kapoor’s Yahoo fame), Sayonara Sayonara (with Asha Parekh in a Japanese dress from Love In Tokyo), Duniya Bananewale (Raj Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman’s Teesri Kasam) and Badan Pe Sitare Lapete Hue (Shammi Kapoor starrer Prince) are some of best-loved songs even today.

Hasrat Jaipuri was an accomplished poet as well, with equal proficiency in Urdu and Hindi. In many of his lyrics, this fact becomes amply evident as it mixes not just words and usages but also sensibilities into a seamless whole. Take for example, in the song Bol Radha Bol from Raj Kapoor, Vyajanthimala starrer Sangam, Hasrat Jaipuri writes: Mere Mann Ki Ganga, Aur Tere Mann Ki Jamuna, Bol Radha Bol Sangam Hoga Ke Nahin. Consider another song from the same film, where Hasrat Jaipuri writes, ‘Ye Mera Prempatra Padh Kar Ke Tum Naraz Na Hona, Ki Tum Meri Zindagi Ho, Ki Tum Meri Bandagi Ho’ to understand how well he understood these two differing yet corresponding worlds.

What’s fascinating is that he could bring in a rather modern 20th century touch to his songs as well. Imagine the songs Badan Pe Sitarey Lapete Hue (Prince) or Aao Twist Karen (sung by Manna Dey in Bhoot Bangla) and you will know what one means.

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First Published: Apr 15, 2018 10:02 IST