Rajendra Krishan and his Moonful Songs
Kuch iss tarah wo mere paas aaye baithe hain
Ki jaise aag se daaman bachaye baithe hain…..
The matla which was received with a thundering applause. The couplets which made the other shayars sit up and take notice of a young newcomer. A young shayar won their hearts with simple but remarkable shers. His use of language, both Hindi and Urdu, was outstanding.
Born in Jalalpur Jattan (now in Pakistan), on 6th June 1919, Rajendra Krishan was attracted towards poetry and shayari since his younger days. Under the disguise of studying, he read all the shayari booklets by hiding them inside the school books. He began writing couplets and poems while he was in 8th class and soon started attending various mushairas and gatherings. He was mere 15 years old when he recited for the first time ever in a mushaira at Shimla. From then on there was no looking back. Rajendra Krishan fits well in all the 3 categories – a shayar, a poet and a lyricist. Out of the 3, it was the 3rd one which became his bread and butter. He topped it by becoming a screenwriter and a dialogue writer as well. He moved to Bombay in mid 1940s and got a break as the screenwriter in Janta (1947) while Zanjeer (1947) became his first film as a lyricist. The versatile lyricist thereafter worked with all the stalwarts of the Hindi film industry. Even though Rajendra Krishan worked more with C. Ramchandra and Madan Mohan, he did not confine himself to this group only. Being a prolific writer/lyricist, he worked with almost all of them in the industry. Husnlal Bhagatram, Madan Mohan, S D Burman, C.Ramchandra, Hemant Kumar, R D Burman, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Shankar Jaikishan, Sajjad Hussain, Ravi, Chitragupt, Roshan, Kalyan ji Anand ji, Rajesh Roshan to name a few. A versatile artist that he was, Rajendra Krishan wrote songs on various subjects. From romantic numbers to patriotic songs, lullabies, philosophical, cabarets, devotional, etc. But looking at the repertoire of his songs it can be said that he had a penchant for writing songs about the moon. Like we have Gulzar now, earlier it was Rajendra Krishan who must have had the highest songs written about or on the moon.
Let’s have a glance of few such songs from 1950s and 60s, when he was at the peak of his career –
1. Ae Chand Pyar Mera – Khazana (1951) –
Rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and composed by C. Ramchandra, this song happens to be pathos driven. Starring Madhubala and Nasir Khan, Khazana was based on the novel King’s Solomon’s Mines.
2. Sitaron Chand Se Keh Do – Badi Bahu (1951) –
A melodious number sung by Lata Mangeshkar again and composed by Anil Biswas. The song has that old world charm.
3. Chand Ghatne Laga – Shart (1954) –
A club song composed by Hemant Kumar and rendered flawlessly by Geeta Dutt. It is picturised on a very young Shashikala. The movie has 3 ‘Chand’ songs, out of which this one is written by Rajendra Krishan and the other 2 are by S H Bihari.
4. Bahaye Chand Ne Aansoo – Lagan (1955) –
A brilliantly written song and Hemant Kumar has done a complete justice to this beauty.
5. Badli Mein Chhupe Chand Ne – Shatranj (1956) –
One of the sweetest romantic duets by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar, composed by C. Ramchandra. Just go through the entire lyrics, it has been written brilliantly.
6. Phir Wahi Chand Wahi Hum – Baarish (1957) –
A soft, romantic duet by Lata Mangeshkar and C.Ramchandra. The song is as soft as the gentle waves lapping on the shore.
7. O Raat Ke Musafir – Miss Mary (1957) –
A playful duet by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi and picturised beautifully on Meena Kumari and Gemini Ganeshan.
8. O Chand Jahan Wo Jaaye – Sharda (1957) –
A mesmerising song by the Mangeshkar sisters, Lata and Asha. Composed by C Ramchandra. Lyrics have been written seamlessly to convey the feelings of both the ladies.
9. Badli Se Nikla Hai Chand – Sanjog (1961) –
A poignant Lata Mangeshkar number composed by Madan Mohan.
10. Chand Jaane Kahan Kho Gaya – Main Chup Rahungi (1962) –
A romantic duet composed by Chitragupt and rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi.