|Birth name||Shankardas Kesarilal|
30 August 1923|
Rawalpindi, Punjab, British India (now in Pakistan)
|Died||14 December 1966(aged 43)|
Shankardas Kesarilal (30 August 1923 – 14 December 1966), popularly known by his pen name Shailendra, was a popular Indian Hindi lyricist. Noted for his association with the filmmaker Raj Kapoor and the composers Shankar-Jaikishan, he wrote lyrics for several successful Hindi film songs in the 1950s and the 1960s.
Career as a lyricist
The filmmaker Raj Kapoor noticed Shailendra, when the latter was reading out his poem Jalta hai Punjab at a mushaira (poetic symposium). Kapoor offered to buy the poem Jalta Hai Punjab written by Shailendra and for his movie Aag (1948). Shailendra, a member of the left wing IPTA, was wary of mainstream Indian cinema and refused. However, after his wife became pregnant, Shailendra himself approached Raj Kapoor in need of money. At this time, Raj Kapoor was filming Barsaat (1949), and two of the film songs had not yet been written. For 500, Shailendra wrote these two songs: Patli kamar hai and Barsaat mein. The music for Barsaat was composed by Shankar-Jaikishan.
The team of Raj Kapoor, Shailendra and Shankar-Jaikishan went on to produce many other hit songs. The song "Awara Hoon" from the 1951 film Awaara, written by Shailendra, became the most appreciated Hindustani film song outside India at the time.
In the days when composers would recommend lyricists to producers, Shankar-Jaikishan once promised Shailendra that they would recommend him around, but didn't keep their promise. Shailendra sent them a note with the lines, Chhoti Si Yeh Duniya, Pehchaane Raaste Hain. Kahin To Miloge, toh Poochhenge Haal ("The world is small, the roads are known. We'll meet sometime, and ask 'How do you do?'"). Shankar-Jaikishan realised what the message meant and having said sorry, turned the lines into a popular song. The song was featured in the film Rangoli (1962), for which the producer Rajendra Singh Bedi wanted to sign up Majrooh Sultanpuri as the lyricist. However, Shankar-Jaikishen insisted on Shailendra and the producer had to oblige.
Apart from Shankar-Jaikishan, Shailendra also shared a rapport with composers such as Salil Chowdhary (Madhumati), Sachin Dev Burman (Guide, Bandini, Kala Bazar), and Ravi Shankar (Anuradha). Apart from Raj Kapoor, he shared a rapport with filmmakers such as Bimal Roy (Do Bigha Zameen, Madhumati, Bandini) and Dev Anand (Guide and Kala Bazar).
In 1961 Shailendra invested heavily in the production of the movie Teesri Kasam (1966), directed by Basu Bhattacharya and starring Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman. The film won the National Film Award ( President's Gold medal) for Best Feature Film. However, the film was a commercial failure. The falling health resulting from tensions associated with film production and anxiety due to financial loss, coupled with alcohol abuse, ultimately led to his death.
Shailendra's son Shaily Shailendra also became a lyricist. In fact he was barely 17years of age when he was called in by Raj Kapoor to complete his father's song "Jeena yahan, marna yahan, iske siva jana kahan" for the film Mera Naam Joker. The contemporary lyricist Gulzar stated at many occasions that Shailendra was the best lyricist which ever happened to the Indian film industry.
Shailendra won the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award three times.
- 1958: "Yeh Mera Deewanapan Hai" (Yahudi)
- 1959: "Sab Kuch Seekha Hamne" (Anari)
- 1968: "Main Gaoon Tum So Jao" (Brahmchari)
Some of the popular songs written by Shailendra include:
- "Awara Hoon" – Awaara
- "Ramaiya Vastavaiya" – Shri 420
- "Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh" – Shri 420
- "Mera Joota Hai Japani" – Shri 420
- "Aaj Phir Jeene Ki" – Guide
- "Gata Rahe Mera Dil" – Guide
- "Piya Tose Naina Laage Re" – Guide
- "Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya" – Guide
- "Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega" – Sangam
- "Dost Dost Na Raha" – Sangam
- "Sab Kuchh Seekha" – Anari
- "Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Pe" – Anari
- "Dil Ki Nazar Se" – Anari
- "Khoya Khoya Chand" – Kala Bazar
- "Pyaar Hua Ikraar Hua" – Shri 420
- "Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh" – Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi
- Ashis Nandy (1998). The Secret Politics of Our Desires: Innocence, Culpability and Indian Popular Cinema. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-85649-516-5.
- "Teesri Kasam lands Bihar CM in trouble". The Times of India. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- Dinesh Raheja; Jitendra Kothari (1996). The hundred luminaries of Hindi cinema. India Book House Publishers. p. 68. ISBN 978-81-7508-007-2.
- Ashraf Aziz, "Shailendra", Light of the universe: essays on Hindustani film music, Three Essays Collective, 2003, pp. 37–76, ISBN 9788188789078
- Madan Gaur (1973). Other side of the coin: an intimate study of Indian film industry. Trimurti Prakashan. p. 69.
- Gulzar, Govind Nihalani, Saibal Chatterjee, ed. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. p. 556. ISBN 978-81-7991-066-5. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- Ashis Nandy (1998). The Secret Politics of Our Desires: Innocence, Culpability and Indian Popular Cinema. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 125. ISBN 978-1-85649-516-5. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- http://www.scribd.com/doc/58301564/Gulzar-on-Shailendra-in-Naya-Gyanodaya. Missing or empty