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How music director Shaukat Ali became Nashad

And how the change of name affected him more than the maestro it was meant to spite.

Sonal Pandya

Most Hindi movie buffs may be forgiven for confusing music composer Nashad with the maestro Naushad Ali. The story goes that Shaukat Ali aka Shaukat Dehelvi received his screen name on Nagma (1953) when the film's director, Nakhshab Jarachavi, couldn't get Naushad Ali to score the soundtrack. To spite the music director who had turned him down, Jarachavi rechristened Shaukat Ali Nashad. 

Prior to Nagma, Nashad had composed music for a few films like Dildar (1947), Toote Taare (1948) and Dada (1949) under his real name.

Nashad was born on 11 July 1923 in Delhi and relocated to Bombay, as the city was then known, in the early 1940s. In a short span of around 16 years, he arranged music for 29 films in India before migrating to Pakistan in 1964.

Nashad was fairly successful as a music director, earning around Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 a month. Pradeep Nayyer's Flying Man (1965) starring Ranjan, Helen and Iftekhar became his last film as a music composer in India. He continued composing for the Pakistani film industry under Jarachavi with Maikhana (1964) and nearly 60 other films until the mid-1970s.

One of Nashad's most memorable compositions is 'Tasveer Banata Hoon' from Bara-Dari (1955). Unfortunately, his stage name caused him more problems than he expected. His predecessor, Naushad, ended up being attributed for his work as most people assumed the name was printed in error.

Raju Bharatan, author of A Journey Down the Melody Lane, commented in an interview, "Talat Mahmood's 'Tasveer Banata Hoon' was composed by music director Nashad, but is attributed to famous composer Naushad of Mughal-e-Azam fame in almost every archive. The poor chap totally went unnoticed in spite of a decent composition."

Some reports have Nashad married to the singer Premlata (known for her duet 'Chup Chup Khade Ho' with Lata Mangeshkar) while others only specify that he was married to an Indian woman.

Nashad passed away at 57 on 14 January 1981, leaving behind eight sons and seven daughters. At least six of his sons followed him into the music industry.