The Unforgettable Musical Legend – Madan Mohan

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There are some personalities in Bollywood whose works have brought a change in the industry. Such a name is of Madan Mohan, the music composer. Madan Mohan is considered one of the finest composers of Hindi cinema. His evergreen compositions which created magic even after his death, holds testimony to the wonderful work he created.

Madan Mohan was born in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan on 25th June, 1924. His father was working as an Accountant general there. Madan Mohan spent his childhood in the Middle East and later moved to Pakistan with his family after which Madan Mohan’s father shifted to Mumbai and became a partner in Bombay and Filmistan studios.

Madan Mohan developed an interest towards music because of his mother who loved music and was a poet herself. After shifting to Mumbai he became friends with people like Raj Kapoor, Nargis and Suraiya. He joined an army school but quit it because of his interest in his music. He started singing in All India Radio Lucknow where he sang with other Ghazal singers like Ustad Faiyyaz Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Begum Akhtar, and Talat Mahmood. After this he made his way to the Bollywood industry success was waiting to embrace him.

His first major break came with the movie Aankhen (1950). Then movies like Adaa and Sharabi saw the rendition of songs by Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi. In fact songs like ‘Sawan ke maheeney mein,’ ‘Kabhi na Kabhi koi na koi toh aayega’ filmed on Dev Anand from the movie Sharabi became very popular numbers.

The industry saw a profound and a long musical partnership between Madan Mohan and the legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar. In fact he was criticised for composing songs which suited only female voice. But it was not a fact. In 1957 he composed a song ‘Mere Man ke Dwaare’ in the movie Dekh Kabira Roye for which Manna Dey gave his voice and then Talat Mahmood sang the song Hum Se Aaya Na Gaya from the same movie.

Next venture for Madan Mohan was Chetan Anand’s Haqeeqat in 1964 where he employed Mohammed Rafi to sing songs like ‘Kar Chale Hum Fida’, ‘Main Yeh Soch Kar.’ ‘Hoke Majboor Mujhe Usne Bulaya Hoga’ from the same film saw some star singers coming together. For this particular song Mohammad Rafi, Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, and Bhupendra gave their voices.

He composed music for the movie Who Kaun Thi directed by Raj Khosla. Lata Mangeshkar sang three solos for this particular movie which included super hit songs like ‘Naina barse rim jhim rim jhim’ and ‘Lag ja gale.’ Then there was a stream of movies that had Madan Mohan compositions during the late sixties and early seventies. Mera Saaya, Adalat, Anpadh, Haste Zakhm, Heer Raanjha, Mausam are some of the films that featured Madan Mohan’s compositions. Rajender Singh Bedi’s Dastak in 1970 where he composed music based on ragas won him the National Film Award in 1971 for Best Music Director category.

Almost after twenty nine years of his death, Madan Mohan’s son Sanjeev Kohli recreated his father’s unused tunes for the the movie Veer – Zara in 2004, directed by Yash Chopra.

Lata Mangeshkar titled Madan Mohan as the Prince of Ghazals for he was known for the Ghazals he composed. In fact he entered into the music field as a Ghazal singer and then went into composing music. Madan Mohan was known for blending the essentials of Indian classical music with the light Hindi music and created his own style of music.

He had a history of tough struggle in film industry and did not receive the fame and love what he deserved when he was alive. But no one can deny the talent this music director had and the immortal music which he has given to the Bollywood. He died on 14th July, 1975 but engraved his name in the history of Hindi film music.

Some Evergreen songs composed by Madan Mohan:

1) Lata Mangeshkar was down with a bad throat around the time the song was to be recorded. And the recording could not be pushed because the shooting schedule of the song couldn’t. Madan Mohan sang this song for shooting purpose himself and Sadhana lipsynched it during the shooting.

2) This masterpiece will never go out of fashion and memories


3) A song filmed on the soldiers from the movie Haqeeqat

4) A classic song from the movie Anpadh


5) A romantic song in the voice of Kishore Kumar.

6) The Melodious track of Woh Kaun Thi

7) A song from the award winning movie Dastak



Passionate about watching movies and loves listening to songs.

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