Article Hindi

8 superlative compositions by Jaidev – Birth anniversary special

On the National award-winning composer’s 98th birth anniversary, we look at some of his outstanding compositions.

Sonal Pandya

Nairobi-born music composer Jaidev had a short stint as actor in the films of Wadia Movietone, in which he was seen alongside the legendary actress Fearless Nadia. Born on 3 August 1919, Jaidev appeared in films like Hunterwali (1935) and Miss Frontier Mail (1936). But his first love, music, won in the long run and the Hindi film industry is the richer today because of it.

Jaidev assisted composer Ustad Ali Akbar Khan on Aandhiyan (1952) and Humsafar (1953) and SD Burman on Taxi Driver (1954) and Devdas (1955). Director Chetan Anand was the first to offer him an opportunity to work as an independent music composer with Joru Ka Bhai (1955), but Jaidev made his big breakthrough with Navketan’s Hum Dono (1961), starring Dev Anand in a double role.

Despite his outstanding work on Hum Dono, Jaidev’s filmography isn’t as lengthy as it could have been. But lack of opportunity could not prevent him from bagging three National awards for his compositions in Reshma Aur Shera (1971), Gaman (1978) and Ankahee (1984).

On what would have been his 98th birthday, we look at some of the eternal tunes composed by Jaidev.

1. ‘Allah Tero Naam' – Hum Dono (1961)

Hum Dono brought Jaidev into the limelight, with all the songs on the soundtrack going on to become classics. In partnership with lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi, he created melodies that touched the heart and brought a smile to one’s face. The tone of the album veered from sadness (‘Kabhi Khud Pe Kabhi Haalaat Pe’) to romantic (‘Abhi Na Jaao Chhodkar’) to moving (‘Allah Tero Naam’). The last of these, sung by Lata Mangeshkar and backed by a subdued chorus, is a meditative devotional melody that has endured the test of time.

2. ‘Main Zindagi Ka Saath’ – Hum Dono (1961)

Another song from Hum Dono, ‘Main Zindagi Kaa Saath’ had the quintessential Dev Anand. The easygoing tune features the star as Mahesh, who joins the army to prove himself to the father of the woman he loves, Mita (Sadhana). Dev Anand makes Mahesh’s carefree attitude look effortless. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Jaidev turned the song into a classic with singer Mohammed Rafi. However, acclaimed and popular as the album was, Jaidev did not work with the Navketan banner again. More’s the pity.

3. ‘Nadi Naare Na Jao Shyam’ – Mujhe Jeene Do (1963)

For Sunil Dutt’s second film as producer, the actor approached Jaidev to compose the music. One of the early films to revolve around the subject of dacoits versus the law, the film was shot in the Chambal valley. Jaidev’s compositions lifted the movie. His songs, based on classical tunes and divided between sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, fit perfectly within the storyline. In particular, ‘Nadi Naare Na Jao Shyam’, written by Sahir Ludhianvi, showed off Bhosle's range as a singer in the difficult song picturized on Waheeda Rehman.

4. ‘Tu Chanda Main Chandni’ – Reshma Aur Shera (1971)

Working again with Sunil Dutt’s banner, Jaidev won high accolades for his compositions for Reshma Aur Shera, set in Rajasthan. He won his first National award for Best Music Director for his mastery on songs like ‘Ek Meethi Si Chuban’ and ‘Tu Chanda Main Chandni’. Sung by Lata Mangeshkar, the latter used minimal instrumentation allowing the singer’s voice to shine through. The song was filmed against majestic sand dunes, adding extra romance to the melody.

5. ‘Ye Dil Aur Unki Nigahon Ke Saaye’ – Prem Parbat (1973)

Director Ved Rahi’s film Prem Parbat may have been forgotten, but the song, ‘Ye Dil Aur Unki Nigahon Ke Saaye’, written by Jan Nisar Akhtar, is indelible in the memories of listeners. Oft repeated on the radio, ‘Ye Dil Aur Unki Nigahon Ke Saaye’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar, is remembered as fond melody. Unfortunately, the instances of Mangeshkar collaborating with Jaidev later on were few. This song became another of their masterpieces.

6. ‘Ek Akela Iss Shahar Mein’ – Gharaonda (1977)

Jaidev worked sparingly during the mid-1970s but bounced back strongly in the latter part of the decade with a run of projects. One of these was filmmaker Bhimsain’s Gharaonda, for which the composer produced three exemplary songs, one each sung by Bhupinder Singh and Runa Laila and the third, a duet, by both. ‘Ek Akela Iss Shahar Mein’ was written by Gulzar, who also wrote the film’s screenplay. The song expresses the despair of the working class that struggles to get an affordable roof over its head.

7. ‘Aapki Yaad Aati Rahi Raat Bhar’ – Gaman (1978)

For Muzaffar Ali’s Gaman, Jaidev picked up his second National award. New singer Chhaya Ganguly won her first for the song ‘Aapki Yaad Aati Rahi Raat Bhar’ written by Makhdoom Mohiuddin. A Hariharan made his debut as playback singer with this film while Suresh Wadkar was given a prominent solo song, ‘Seene Mein Jalan’. Gaman brought to light the harsh realities faced by migrant workers in big cities which, over time, overwhelm them.

8. ‘Zindagi Mere Ghar Aana’ – Dooriyan (1979)

Jaidev gave opportunities to quite a few upcoming singers, Bhupinder Singh being one. Singh was to sing many of Jaidev's future compositions. He sang the duet, ‘Zindagi Mere Ghar Aana’ with Anuradha Paudwal. Written by Sudarshan Fakir, the song was picturized on Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore. Like Sunil Dutt before him, filmmaker Bhimsain repeated Jaidev for this film's soundtrack.