Khemchand Prakash

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Khemchand Prakash
Khemchand Prakash.jpg
Khemchand Prakash
Background information
Born (1907-12-12)December 12, 1907
Died August 10, 1950(1950-08-10) (aged 42)
Genres Hindustani classical music, Indian film music
Occupations composer, music director
Years active 1935–1950

Khemchand Prakash (12 December 1907 - 10 August 1950) was a music composer in Hindi film industry. Born in Sujangarh, Rajasthan he got his first training of music and dance from his father who was a dhrupad singer and a Kathak dancer in the royal court. In his teens, he joined Bikaner Royal court as a singer performer and later moved to the royal court of Nepal. But the destiny landed him in Kolkata and he joined New Theaters in Kolkata as an assistant of Timir Baran. He was assistant of Timir Baran in Devdas (1935 film). He made his debut in 1939 with the Supreme Pictures Meri Aankhein and was soon signed up by Ranjit Film Studio. He had few peers in 1940s, the best decade for Indian film music. Lata Mangeshkar had fruitful association with him (in films Asha, Ziddi, Mahal) when she started making a name.

Khemchand's brother, Basant Prakash, was also a film composer.


His initial years had a few more significant films like Pardesi, Holi, Fariyaad, etc. Khursheed was his leading singer and both of them gave many hits of early 40s. But it was in 1943 that pushed Khemchand Prakash much ahead of other music directors of that era with the film Tansen. Songs like "Diya jalaao jagmag jagmag", "Rumjhum rumjhum chal tihari", "More balpan ke saathi", "Sapt suran teen gram", "Hath sine pe jo rakh do to karara aa jaaye" were hit.

1948 marked yet another significant film of his career, Bombay Talkies’s Ziddi. He gave first major break to Kishore Kumar as a singer for the song “Marne ki duaaen kyun maangu”.[1] Ziddi featured a beautiful song of Lata Mangeshkar “Chanda re ja re ja re”.

But what followed Ziddi was another hit film Mahal (1949 film). Mahal made Lata Mangeshkar a popular name. Prior to Mahal, the records used to feature only the character name on the record. Hence the first lot of records had “Aayega aane wala” credited to Kamini. The first time when the song was played on All India Radio many calls were received by AIR to know the singers name. AIR had to in turn ask the record company and announce Lata Mangeshkar's name on air.[1]


Khemchand Prakash died at an early age of 42 on 10 August 1950.

According to author and musicologist Rajesh Subramanian Kamal Amrohi wrote the opening lines 'Khaamosh hai zamaana..' while Naqshab completed the rest. The first tune that composer Khemchand Prakash played on the harmonium was approved by Kamal Amrohi. Sadly Khemchandji died at the Harikisondas Hospital on August 10, 1950 two months before Mahal released. His creation 'Aayega Aanewala' not only became a sensation but also was voted the best song of the millennium. Javed Akhtar quoted Khemchand Prakash's name in his maiden speech in Rajya Sabha on May 17, 2012 by mentioning that Khemchand Prakash's wife had to beg to be able to survive in her last days.

Partial filmography as Composer[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Birth Centenaries" (PDF). Press Information Bureau. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 25 Dec 2011. 

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