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7 things you didn’t know about lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri – Centenary special

The poet and songwriter was born on 15 April 1922 in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

A screenshot from an interview with Bollywood Dhamal, available on YouTube

Sonal Pandya

The prolific lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri was part of the stellar musical team that comprised composers Shankar-Jaikishan and lyricist Shailendra and created magic for filmmaker Raj Kapoor. They worked together as a unit until 1971, when the untimely death of Jaikishan, five years after Shailendra's passing, led to the team disintegrating.

With around 2,000 songs in more than 350 films, Hasrat Jaipuri made quite the name for himself in Hindi film music. He won the Filmfare award for Best Lyricist twice, for 'Baharon Phool Barsao' from Suraj (1966) and 'Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana' from Andaz (1971). He died after a prolonged illness in September 1999.

Hasrat Jaipuri’s 13 most popular songs – birth anniversary special

On the poet's birth centenary today, we look back on some trivia from the early part of his life that helped him grow into a famous songwriter.

1. Hasrat's real name was Iqbal Hussain and his interest in Urdu poetry arose from maternal grandfather Fida Husain Fida, who was a poet who mentored the young man. Meanwhile, his father was in the military and his mother disapproved of his choice of profession.

2. He had two brothers and two sisters. His elder sister Bilquis married composer Sardar Malik. His nephews are Anu, Daboo and Abu, all of whom followed their father in the industry as music director.

When he was 20, he wrote a poem for a neighbourhood crush, a young woman named Radha. It later became the inspiration for the hit number 'Bol Radha Bol' from Raj Kapoor's Sangam (1964).

3. When he arrived in Mumbai, then Bombay, Iqbal Hussain found work as a bus conductor. However, he got into trouble for letting pretty women ride free and was later let go.

4. He gained notice with thespian Prithviraj Kapoor thanks to his poem 'Mazdoor Ki Laash' about a labourer who died on a Bombay footpath. Kapoor recommended him to his son Raj, who was looking for some new blood for his next project Barsaat (1949).

5. His first recorded song for Barsaat was ‘Jiya Beqaraar Hai’, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, incidentally a love letter that he had written that was set to music by Shankar. His second song was a duet by Mangeshkar and Mukesh titled ‘Chhod Gaye Baalam’, which was composed by Jaikishan.

6. According to the book Yesterday’s Melodies Today’s Memories by Manek Premchand, the song 'Badan Pe Sitare Lapete Hue' from Prince (1969) was inspired from a visit to a Parisian nightclub with Jaikishan. He recalled, "A cabaret dancer dressed only in colourful lights came to me, sat on my lap and then left, and I recited a line on the spot, Badan pe sitaare lapete hue, O jaan-e-tamanna kidhar ja rahi ho. Jaikishan tuned the line on the spot.”

7. Another song ‘Teri Pyari Pyari Soorat Ko’ from Sasural (1961), sung by Mohammed Rafi, was inspired by the birth of his first son, Akhtar. He wrote the lyrics after he first laid eyes upon him.