SONG OF SERENDIPITY and Long-Playing Record
written by :Ajay Poundarik
It was in 1948, when Pyarelalji (Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma), an 8 year old living in modest chawl called Ahmed Mansion near Dadar Catering College, would occasionally play with young boys. As life would have it, right next to his house was Famous Studio where many musicians would visit for recording. Pyareji’s father Shri Ramprasad Sharma was known to most of them hence they would sometimes join in with the young boys for friendly game of cricket with stones. This is how innocent was his first meeting with Laxmikant who bowled his first stone to Pyare’s cricket bat. Laxmikant was just 11 and Pyarelal was 8 years old at that time.
Soon following that Laxmikant and Pyarelal again met at Sureel Bal Kala Kendra, a music academy for children, run by the Mangeshkar family. It was named after a gang of Sureela boys including Laxmiji, Pyareji, Lataji’s younger brother, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Laxmiji’s brothers, Pyareji’s brothers as well as few friends, totaling 15 young boys. The sureela boy’s gang hung around together at Lataji’s home, day and night absorbed in the notes of golden music, intoxicated by rhythm and melody.
Laxmikant would play Mandolin and Pyarelal would play Violin. Hence began the journey of two simple lads drinking from the same source of passion, being of almost similar ages as well as financial background which gave birth to blossoming bond between Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Not many are aware that till Laxmikant suggested that they team up as a due in films, Pyarelal’s ambition was to become a famous musician from India in Western music abroad, like his close friend Zuben Mehta.
Both Laxmikant & Pyarelal were musicians for many renowned music directors right from Bulo C Rani, Husnalal-Bhagatram, C Ramchandra, Naushad, S D Burman, Shankar-Jaikishan, Madan Mohan, Khayyam, Roshan, Hemant Kumar, O P Nayyar ,(Pyarealal never worked under O P Nayyar), to Kalyanji-Anandji. Even renowned maestros like Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia (flute) and Pt. Shivkumar Sharma (santoor) were their contemporaries and focus on playing music rather than composing. In 1958 LP became assistant music directors to Kalyanji-Anandji.
SOULFUL SYNERTY, When 1 + 1 = 11
A unique mesmerizing blend of talent, dedication and versatility gave Laxmikant-Pyarelal a lofty position for unparalleled 35 years in the Hindi Film Industry.
They had astute and acute sense of music that would appeal to one and all. They had a vast command over folk, Hindustani tunes. Laxmikant-Pyarelal , fondly called L-P, Laxmi-Pyare, excelled consistently, for more than three and half decades, in all forms of film songs such as classical, folk, qawwali, mujra, western, lori, bhajans, ghazals, cabaret. L-P were outstanding at optimizing several instruments, Indian as well as Western. They experimented with innovative creative compositions.
It is the part of Hind Cinema’s musical heritage that L-P used huge orchestras for even simple, raag-based or folk-based songs only because that many extra musicians could have their kitchen fires burning. It is also as well-known that L-P’s orchestra was called a langher (a holy Sikh community meal where every human being is welcomed and served food), where any needy musician could get the ‘food’ of livelihood.
The soulmates worked as one voice, one thought, one feeling, and one passion with two bodies. There were many instances that showed the similarity between them.
Factors like jealousy, greed and recognition can be the biggest hurdles in a partnership but not for Laxmikant-Pyarelal, their bonding was beyond all such constraints. They firmly stood by each other and created magical melodies year after year. LP tunes had simplicity, universality and sweet melody pouring from their bond of love and friendship.
AN LP ‘era’. LAXMIKANT-PYARELAL, united by Soul of Music
In 1962, noted film maker Mr. Babubhai Mistry gave a chance to Laxmikant and Pyarelal to score the music independently for the film “PARASMANI” which released in 1963. The LP era had now started. All the songs of the film became immensely popular. Songs like ‘Hasata Hua Nurani Chehara’( Lata-Kamal Barot), ‘Wo Jab Yaad Aaye’(Lata-Rafi),’Mere Dil Main Halki Si’, ‘Ooi Ma Ooi Ma Ye Kya Ho Gaya’(Lata), ‘Chori Chori Jo Tumse Mili’ (Mukesh-Lata) and ‘Roshan Tumhi Se Duniya’ (Rafi) are still being hummed by the people even after 50 years.
After that in 1964, LP got the “B Grade” films, to score the music. Films like, ”SATI SAVITRI”..’Tum Gagan Ke Chandram Ho’( Lata-Manna Dey), ‘Jeevan Dor Tumhi Sang Bandhi’, ‘Kabhi To Miloge Jeevan Sathi’ (Lata) and “SANT GYANESHWAR”..’Jyot Se Jyot Jagate Chalo’ (Mukesh) , ‘ Khabar More Na Lini’.. “HUM SAB USTAD HAI”..’ Pyar Batate Chalo’.’Ajanabi Tum Jane Pehachane Se’, ‘Suno Jana Suno Jana’ (Kishore Kumar) ‘Kya Teri Zulphe Hai’ Kishore-Asha) …”MR. X IN BOMBAY”..’ Mere Mehaboob Quayamat Hogi’ (Kishore Kumar), ‘Chali Re Chali Re Gori’ & ‘Khoobsurat Haseena’ (Kishore-Lata) ..) .. “SHRIMAN FANTOOSH” ..’ Sultana Sultana Tu Na Ghabarana’ (Kishore-Lata), ‘Yeh Dard Bhara Afasana’ (Kishore). ‘HAARISHCHANDRA TARAMATI”.’Suraj Re Jalate Rehana’ (Hemant Kumar), ‘Meghawa Gagan Bich Jhanke’ and ‘Main Ek Nanhasa Chhotasa’ (Lata) and many more songs. All these sweet and melodious songs became immensely popular.
Laxmikant-Pyarelal got their major breakthrough in Rajashree Films “Dosti” in 1964. ‘Chahunga Main Tuze’,.. ‘Janewalo Zara’,..’Meri Dosti Tera Pyar’,..’Mera To Jo Bhi Kadam’,..’Rahi Manawa Dukhti Chinta’ (Mohammad Rafi) and ‘Gudiaya Hama Se Ruthi Rahogi’ (Lata). All the songs became huge hit.
Music of “Dosti” brought Laxmikant-Pyarelal in prominence in hindi film music, in the era when all the big names like SD Burman, C Ramchandra, Shankar-Jaikishan, Naushad, O P Nayyar, Madan Mohan were still active.
This position of Laxmikant-Pyarelal remained unaffected and continued for 35 more years. The LP era had now begun even when other older and established music directors of the golden era were still very much active. “Dosti” film music gave name and fame to both LP as well as Rajashi Films
After this victorious feat LP and success went together without a break or loss of continuity, till 1998.
Truly speaking 1967 belongs to Laxmikant-Pyarelal, they not only confirmed their one of the top positions in Hindi Film Music, but also consolidated it with series of hits by one after another. Non star cast film “Farz” was LP’s first ‘golden jubilee’ musical hit, followed by big star cast films like “Anita”, “Shagird” (yet another ‘Golden Jubilee’ hit), “Patthar Ke Sanam”, “Night In London”, “Jaal” and another evergreen musical hit “Milan”. LP received their second Filmfare Trophy for “Milan” without any stiff competition.
Now this was the time that Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s music became an essential component of the every successful film. LP and their music were always special, ethereally and intensely melodious, rich, variegated, vibrant and everything that film music should be. Within 3 and half years of their 1963 debut “Parasmani”, their hard work had made them to become Hindi Cinema’s one of the most prolific, most enduring and the most versatile as well as the most successful composers of all time.
A TRAGEDY UNTOLD
After a joyful period of 50 years together, Pyarelal for the first time felt exquisite pain. The death of Laxmikant on 25th May, 1998, literally pierced Pyarelalji’s heart. The duo had spent their childhood, youth and old age together and literally found themselves through each other.
In his own words, Pyarelal remembers his late partner without any false melodrama..” We were like one, closer than brothers, so no one can even begin to understand our bond””..
Laxmiji’s voice guided him, his memories kept him going, he went through a roller-coaster of emotions. Although he misses Laxmiji terribly, music graces his life constantly.
According to LAXMIKANT’s words:- “”PYARELAL is a maestro, the only complete music director in Hindi Cinema who could read and write Indian and Western notations, compose, arrange, conduct and record song and knew all instruments like the back of his hand””.
ETERNAL LEGACY & L-P Lives On.
L-P have thousands of songs to their credit which have lifted our spirits for decades; they are continued to be played, enjoyed, remixed over and over again. Their tunes have healed many hearts, brought joy to many and softened many tough days for millions of fans over the world.
Pyareji is visionary in the field of music and comes up with unheard of possibilities. He has made it on the world stage already with his compositions. He envisions to hold Symphony world music with Bollywood music.
Very recently, Pyarelal, the composer, who is considered India’s one of the finest violinists, made his first unique experiment when he recorded three songs (with only basic rhythm and percussion) with popular playback singers singing the chorus and instrumental sections, while the chorus sang the solo portions that is in “Ek Pyar Ka Naghma Hai” in the album “AAWAZ DIL SE”.
“Indian Summer” two Symphonies composed by Pyarelal were published in London. Last year Pyarelal conceived a unique experiment of joining 20 Indian and 20 Western musician for a world music performance called ‘Absolute India’ , composed and arranged by Pyarelalji himself.
Very soon Pyarelal is conducting a World Music Concert in Germany, Austria. Also going to present his Symphony concert in USA, later this year. LONG LIVE L-P MUSIC.