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Art is not a luxury, but a necessity.

“Musical harmony and symphony are my life-lines,” insists eminent Bollywood composer Pyarelal (of ‘Laxmikant-Pyarelal’ iconic duo) , who recently celebrated his 80th birthday 

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Chaitanya  Padukone

Owing to the corona pandemic restrictions, eminent Bollywood composer-conductor-arranger Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma (of the legendary Laxmikant-Pyarelal duo)  celebrated his 80th  birthday quietly at home (earlier this month) with only  his family members, minus any party- fanfare.  But his legion of admirers and friends from the music and film fraternity ensured that he did not feel their physical absence. Smiles Pyare-bhai ( as he is fondly known) as he shares,” My caring wife Sunila and I were busy attending to a continuous flow of phone-calls and video-calls all thru the day, from our well-wisher-friends who called up to greet me and made me feel so special,” recalls the mostly-clad-in-starched-white composer who is a staunch devotee of both Maa Saraswati-Devi and Shirdi ke Sai Baba.

Two years ago, Pyare-bhai had even voluntarily composed a special devotional song for the ongoing mytho-drama Sony TV show ‘Mere Sai’ and visited the on-location shooting sets and met up with the lead cast. Even at this age, ace violinist-cum-piano maestro Pyare-bhai still has the passion and zest of a young new sangeetkaar. Enthuses the music-director, “ Who says I have retired ? In fact I am ever-ready to compose music-tracks if a reputed production house approaches me. Our live-show concerts silsila is going on, Despite the corona crisis, show-organisers are calling up regarding ‘live’ concerts during ( next year) 2021.

As legendary Raj Kapoor-saab would say, ‘the show must go on’, ” he justifies.  In the recent past, it was a matter of “national pride” for veteran Bollywood composer Pyarelal, when the music-savvy foreign audience at the prestigious Gewandhaus in Leipzig (Germany) gave him a continuous thunderous standing ovation They went ga-ga over two pure Western classical symphonies named ‘Om Shivam’, specially composed by Pyare-bhai, which were played by a large orchestra, conducted on stage by eminent musician Kristjan Jarvi. “There was a special Indian touch to the symphony which begins with sounds of actual ‘ghungroos’,”informs Pyare-bhai who was seated in the elite audience all through .

Deviating from his usual ethnic kurta ensemble, Pyarelal wore a formal suit to go with the European ambience. Melody-master  Pyarelal who collaborated with his partner-buddy Laxmikant has  over 475 plus movies and dozens of chartbusters tracks  to their credit. While chatting with guests at home,  the soft-spoken Pyarelal cajoles his ‘possessive’ singing-pet parrot ‘Mitthu’ not to  distract him, with sureelay whistles whilst he is speaking. The green-feathered bird dare not disobey the melody-master’s ‘pyare bol’ as he unplugs about why his partner Laxmikant was and will always be his ‘life-line’ . Reveals Pyare-ji, “It was Laxmi-ji, who, way back in 1957, stopped me from migrating to Vienna (Austria) for good and insisted that we team up together. Thus was born our ‘ek-duuje-ke-liye atoot sangeetkaar jodi’. Such was our mutual harmony that we never had any creative clashes during our sittings or recordings. Honestly, I always feel his motivating and guiding presence around me,” he says wistfully. 

With excellent team-work support from the talented musicians, , the Laxmi-Pyare duo is known for their ‘seven’ Filmfare Awards-winning evergreen variety of melodies ranging from classical-ragas based to western-themes and from folk-music to  qawwalis  Explains Pyare-bhai, “We always strived to achieve perfection to ensure full justice to the script and the film-maker’s vision. Keeping in  mind the subject, script, situations, the mood, the screen-characters— accordingly the lyrics and music was then created. Like in ‘Tere Mere Beech Mein’ we incorporated Tamil phrases sung by SPB, in ‘Haathi Mere Saathi’ title-song we had five trombones (brass wind instrument) replicating the elephants-trumpeting sound, or we had heavy-rhythm-based songs like My Name is Lakhan and Ek Do Teen. Or  that hatke conversational-verse song ‘Achha Toh Hum Chalte Hain’ . For ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ title-song recording, there were so many musicians and ‘six’ different persons ‘conducting’ them and supreme playback singer Lata-didi herself was also actively involved in the process,” recalls Pyare-bhai .          

Laxmi-Pyare ‘Top 12’ musical milestone movies                  Dosti Milan  Ek Duje Ke Liye Bobby Satyam Shivam Sundaram                                        Khuda Gawaah Farz Shor Tezaab Hero Karz Amar Akbar Anthony !!