याद रखने के लिए लम्हे गुज़श्ता वक्त के
अब किताब-ए-माज़ी के पन्ने टटोले जायेंगे
(guzra hua zamana)
SARDAR MALIK – THE UNSUNG COMPOSER
by Nikhil E Iyer
Born in 1925, Sardar Malik had learned classical music from Ustad Alauddin Khan. He also learned a variety of dancing skills from Pt.Uday Shankar. Some other stars like Guru Dutt and Mohan Sehgal too were part of the troop under Pt. Uday Shankar.
Here is a quote from an interview of Sardar Malik Saheb where he talks about his association with Pt. Uday Shankar.
“Being with Uday Shankar was an education in itself. He knew every student intimately. I remember he had predicted that Guru Dutt would enter the creative field but I would wake up only when I was old. When I asked him why he said so, he replied, ‘Because you are so lazy.’ Just to teach me the importance of time, I remember, he assigned to me the task of fetching Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s bath water on one of his visits to the academy. He knew that Panditji would not tolerate latecoming!”
Sardar Malik got his break as a Music Director in a movie called ‘Renuka’ which released in 1947. Sardar Malik also sang 4 songs in this movie – 2 solo songs and also 2 duets with Zohrabai. But the movie was not a big success and he remained unrecognized. In the same year, he also composed music for a movie ‘Rain Basera’, but that movie too was not successful. In 1949, only one movie released of Sardar Malik and that was ‘Raaz’. The movie had some wonderful numbers from Rafi, Amirbai and Binapani Mukherjee.
In 1951, Sardar Malik Saheb shared the credits with Husnalal Bhagatram and composed a few songs for a movie ‘Stage’, which had lovely numbers sung by Asha Bhosle like ‘Dil Machalne Laga’. Asha Bhosle had excellent control in her voice in the early 50s and her association with Sardar Malik Saheb was very special in this era when Lata and Geeta Dutt were at the top.
His next movie was ‘Laila Majnu’ which was a huge success. Sardar Malik Saheb composed only 3 songs for this movie ‘Baharon Ki Duniya Pukare’, ‘Tere Dar Pe Aaya Hoon’ and ‘Dekh Li Ae Ishq’. All the other songs were composed by Ghulam Mohammed but the songs showed his versatility and he gained recognition in the film industry. Thokar (1953) established Sardar Malik Saheb as a successful composer. Songs like ‘Ae Gham-e-Dil Kya Karoon’ by Talat and Asha Bhosle and ‘Hawa Ghungunayee Fiza Muskayee’ are evergreen numbers.
‘Aulad’ (1954) showed Sardar Malik Saheb’s overall class through his magical compositions. This movie had some great numbers like ‘Duniya Tasveer Ha’i (Talat Mahmood) and ‘Tum Salamat Raho Hazar Baras’ (Asha). The same year saw the release of ‘Chor Bazar’ (1954), which had some of the best songs rendered by Lata Mangeshkar. She sang 3 beautiful songs in this movie ‘Chalta Rahe Yeh Karvan’, ‘Huyi Yeh Humse Yeh Nadani’ and ‘Dar Dar Ki Thokrein Hain’.
In the mid-50’s Sardar Malik Saheb composed music for few movies like Ab-e-Hayat, Taxi-555, Chamak Chandni and Maa Ke Aansoo. All these movies had some nice songs. If we observe the decade of 50s, Asha Bhosle, Talat Mahmood and Rafi sang some of the best songs of Sardar Malik Saheb.
The decade of 60’s saw the release of ‘Saranga’ (1960), which can be considered as one of the best movie of Indian Cinema. This movie comprised of some of the best outstanding melodies. The title song of the movie sung by Mukesh and the sad version of the same sung by Rafi is still as popular as it was 50 yrs ago. Many veteran music composers consider this movie as the best movie composed by Sardar Malik ever. The same year saw the release of ‘Mera Ghar Mere Bachche’ which contained some great songs sung by Mukesh, my favorite song being the duet of Mukesh with Suman Kalyanpur ‘Baharon Se Poochho’.
Sardar Malik remained active in the first half of the 1960s and composed some outstanding music for second rung movies like Madan Manjari, Bachpan, Pick Pocket, Naag Mohini, Jantar Mantar, Maharani Padmini, Roop Sundari and Main Hoon Jadugar. It was destiny that most of the films he composed for were not box-office successes, but he never compromised on the quality of his music. His career appears to come to an abrupt halt in the mid-60s. The last movie of Sardar Malik Saheb was Gynaaniji which released in 1977. This movie had songs sung by Rafi, Asha, Jaspal Singh and Jagat Singh Jagga.
Sardar Malik Saheb had huge knowledge on all forms of Indian Music. He always depended on light background orchestration in many of his songs. He made the use of accordion and flute in many of his songs. As he was classically trained, he had excellent knowledge on various raagas too.
Married to noted lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri’s sister, Kausar Jahan (Bilqis), Sardar Malik had three sons – Anu, Abu and Dabbu Malik. Thanks to his father’s blessings, Anu Malik met with a lot of success in the 1990s and 2000s.
Sardar Malik Saheb passed away on January 27th 2006, but the legacy he has left behind will always remain with us.
Sardar Malik Saheb today is a lesser known composer compared to other giants of the film industry. But he has created some golden melody that needs to be explored in a vital way. Let’s unravel these gems composed by Sardar Malik Saheb.