Anandji Bhai: A musical, joyful, and melodious raga that cannot end

Had he been Anandji Virji Shah, who followed in his father's footsteps and remained a grocery merchant, he would have lived like an old and retired man in his dhoti

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Had he been Anandji Virji Shah, who followed in his father's footsteps and remained a grocery merchant, he would have lived like an old and retired man in his dhoti, kurta, and turban sitting in a swing with his wife, children, and children's children. Slowly telling them about Ram-Sita and Krishna-Radha, Veer Mangadawala and fairies and saints and sinners and gods and goddesses and other stories. But Anandji Bhai was not born to live such a dry life nor was it written in his destiny. He was born with seven notes on his lips which resided in his heart and soul and lived in him for 80 years.

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Anandji along with his elder brother Kalyanji Veer ji Shah has named a school of music which has been his best time and it will live as long as the music is alive in life, when Anandji Bhai was asked about music and what life is. So he says, “I think that God first created musical notes and created his world on those notes.” His unique way of thinking about music has been the only source of inspiration for a person who has lived and who has dedicated his entire life to music!

Anandji Bhai started his career (or rather his passion or devotion) as a musician with his mentor and elder brother Kalyanji Bhai. He started exploring music for films made in Hindi and within no time, he came to be known as the master of raga and continued to create music that is alive even after 50 years and will live as long as the music.

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It would take more than a book or a thesis to write about the music of Kalyan ji-Anand ji, but I will feel more satisfied when I pay my tribute to these two finest masters of Indian cinema. I would like to take this opportunity to remember all that Anandji Bhai has achieved (how can one forget?) and also all that he can still achieve at the age of 87. His command over all types of music in the world is extremely admirable and challenging for all musicians and instrumentalists. He is now in his 80s but he is still so full of life and music that he can keep young men and women and boys and girls in his shadow. At a time when the new breed of composers are proud of the innovations they have made when it comes to instruments and new sounds of music, if they remember that it was Kalyanji Anand ji's team that first introduced new instruments in Hindi films. And started the trend of bringing in tunes and voices and brought a big change, which is still done today by those who claim to have changed the trend of music in Hindi films.

Maestro of Hindi cinema: Anand Ji

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The contribution made by Anandji together with Kalyanji can be estimated by the maestros of Hindi cinema for whom he has composed music, such as Vijay Bhatt, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, Firoz Khan, Sanjay Khan, Subhash Bhai, Manoj Kumar. And many others.

Anandji: A Man of many talents

Anandji was responsible for identifying singing talent and giving them a break. Would Alka Yagnik, Sunidhi Chauhan, the Udhas brothers, and countless other singers have become such big names without being discovered and guided by Anand Ji? And if Anandji Bhai had not supported and inspired the king of comedy, Johnny Lever, where would he have been now?

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Kalyanji Anandji was probably the one who started the trend of organizing big musical concerts in different parts of the world with stars like Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, and later Amitabh Bachchan. His shows with Amitabh Bachchan were probably the most successful in the history of music programs.

Both brothers were doing a series of music concerts with Lata Mangeshkar in Canada. There were too many shows and the crowd was beginning to dwindle and the organizers were worried until Anandji came up with an idea. He composed a parody song for Amitabh in the film 'Laawaris', which became a super hit song all over India and Pakistan, and was mainly responsible for the film becoming a hit. Anandji asked the organizer to invite Amitabh to Canada for just one evening and the organizer and even the great Lata Mangeshkar agreed. Amitabh took the flight and lakhs of people came to see him across Canada and Lata ji's music concert became a hit again. This was the magic of Anandji who knew the pulse or weakness of his audience. This was the beginning of many more successful shows of Kalyanji Anandji with Amitabh.

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Life was certainly not the same for Anandji after Kalyanji Bhai's death. Today's generation has no work for them as they believe that musicians like Kalyanji Anandji have become old, obsolete, or obscure, but this generation and many generations to come will be inspired by his music and even the music, Magic and Endless Kalyanji will be forced to bring Anandji back again.

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Incidentally, Laxmikant-Pyarelal Kalyanji had been Anand ji's junior assistant. And when Dilip Kumar decided to direct his first film 'Kalinga', there were all the leading composers were ready to score the music for his film, but his first and last choice was Kalyanji Anand ji.

And what should I or anyone say about Kalyanji Bhai and Anandji Bhai? His work has said so much that people will remember him and sing his praises for thousands of years to come.



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