Mumbai, May 5 (UNI) ''It took me 16 long years to cross the footpath," a tearful Naushad had said at the premier of his film 'Baiju Bawra'.
Literally a rags-to-riches story, Naushad had spent several days on the footpaths of Mumbai, before making it to the recording studios where he imparted a classical flavour to Indian film music through songs like 'Man tadpat hari darshan ko' from 'Baiju Bawra' and 'Mohe panghat pe nandlal chhed gayo re' from 'Mughal-e-Azam'.
The octogenarian composer often recalled how he cried when his film 'Baiju Bawra' was premiered in Mumbai. When the producer, late Vijay Bhat, asked him why he was crying, Naushad explained that when he used to sleep on the footpath across the theatre, he had dreamt to see the movies having his compositions screened in the prestigious hall.
The melody king of Bollywood's golden era, who passed away this morning at the age of 87, not only saw his dream come true but also etched his name in Indian cinema's history as one of the few composers who enriched its music with a classical touch.
In that sense, the death of the Padmabhushan and Dada Saheb Phalke awardee, after an over seven decades old association with the film industry, brings to an end an era of Classical Musicians in Bollywood.
Many of his compositions were inspired by ragas and he even used distinguished classical artistes like Amir Khan and D V Pulaskar in Baiju Bawra (1952) and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in 'Mughal-e-Azam' (1960), for 'Shubh din aayo' and 'Prem jogan ki sundari'.
Never shy of innovating, Nausahd used a chorus of 100 singers for the famous ''Ae Mohabbat Zindabad' in the movie to compliment the lead singer Mohammed Rafi.
If 'Baiju Bawra' demonstrated Naushad's grasp of classical music with songs like 'Duniya Ke Rakhwale' and 'Tu Ganga ki mauj', the rustic numbers like 'Nain lad jayee hain' from 'Ganga Jamuna' show his versatality in drawing from the country's rich folk heritage.
Born in November 25, 1919 in Lucknow, famous for its 'tehzeeb' and 'nazaqat', Naushad's love for music started at an early age when he used to repair harmoniums at a music instruments shop.
There, he started composing for amateur theatricals. He trained under Ustad Ghurbat Ali, Ustad Yusuf Ali and Ustad Babban Saheb.
However his decision to take up music as a career met with stiff resistence at home forcing him to run away to his dream land, Mumbai.
Recalling his days of struglle, Naushad once said music being a social taboo, even when he had started gaining recognition in Mumbai, his family while fixing his marriage, told the bride's family that the groom worked as a 'darzi' (tailor).
''During the marriage, all my tunes were being played and my blissfully ignorant father-in-law wondered about the person whose music was driving people, both young and old, crazy. Little did he know then that the person he was referring to was his own son-in-law,'' the veteran music composer had reminisced.
Naushad's first independent venture in film music was 'Prem Nagar' (1940), but he got noticed with 'Sharda' (1942), wherein 13-year-old Suraiya sang for heroine Mehtab and two years later 'Rattan' took him to the top enabling him to charge Rs 25,000 a film then.
'Ankhiyaan Milake' and 'Sawan ke Badalon' became the most popular songs of the day and Naushad's name itself was a guarantee for the box office success.
From then on, the talented musician churned out hit after hit in the 1940s, particularly in the films of A R Kardar, like 'Shahjehan' (1946), 'Dard' (1947), 'Dillagi' (1949), 'Dulari' (1949) and Mehboob Khan's 'Anmol Ghadi' (1946), 'Elaan' (1947), 'Anokhi Ada' (1948) and 'Andaaz' (1949).
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