(KAVI SANTOSH ANAND KI AJEEB KAHANI) .. Ali Peter John
I have a very strange , close and even intimate relationship with the songs of Hindi films , especially those made in the 50s 60s and 70s . I remember every song and can say which song to expect from the time the first notes of a song is in the air . There are some songs which I had first heard when I was a little boy and still remember and when people ask me how , I have no logical or any other kind of reason.
I was very sure of getting my dinner whenever I sang this magical song
However , if there is one song that has become a part of my life , it is the song , ” ek pyaar ka nagma hai ” from Manoj Kumar’s “Shor” made 50 years ago . It had weaved its magic on me when I saw the film at the Akash theatre in a suburb called Kurla in Bombay and the magic of the song continued to hold me in its spell for years . It was like a prayer for me when I used to sing this song for the women in my slum who gave me my dinner after I had sung the song with or without their asking me to sing it . I was very sure of getting my dinner whenever I sang this magical song. I knew I couldn’t sing even a little like Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar had sung it in the film , but even the little I could sing the song brought tears to the eyes of all those who listened to me . I used this song to get my dinner and sometimes even my lunch till I finished college and the song has been a solace to me even when I am alone and disturbed and angry with the world ……
And it was during the painful lockdown that I heard the original version and the many others imitations of it on different videos and channels morning after morning and night after night . I was not the only one to be carried away by the song , my caretaker Pushpa who is from the hills of the North East also played the song the first thing in the morning after she had finished her prayers . It had become a part of my existence and the room I lived in .
Manoj Kumar who concived the song of which he was also an integral part
I have always associated the song with Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh , but more than them., I think about my “guru” of Hindi cinema , Manoj Kumar who concived the song of which he was also an integral part and I also think of the composers Laxmikant and Pyarelaal who gave life to the now immortal song .
I was always aware that the song must have been written by some poet or lyricist , but I am guilty of not trying to know who the lyricist was
Some years ago I was introduced to a sick old man outside a paan shop in Juhu and that man was Santosh Anand who I knew as the lyricist of “ek pyaar ka naghma hal” and other popular songs from the films of Manoj Kumar like Purab Aur Paschim” “Roti Kapda Aur Makaan” and” Kranti” and had also written the song of Raj Kapoors ” Prem Rog” besides many other films which had music by Laxmikant Pyarelal and Kalyanji Anandji. The poet Santosh Anand was in a very bad shape physically and financially and told me that he was looking for opportunities to write songs but no one was willing to take him seriously or even tried to remember him , forget respecting him as the lyricist who had a glorious track record . He left for Delhi after that chance meeting with me and I lost track of him.
It was only recently that I saw him again at the Indian Idol show and I realised the bitter truth about how the film industry respects people only till they are of use and are then thrown into the dustbin of oblivion . And it was only after this show that I realised the true worth of the poet .
He was a leading Hindi poet during the 60s and 70 s and was one of the leading poets who decided thier poems at the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi and recieved the most thunderous applause . Among his admirers were Atal Behari Vajpayee who was a noted Hindi poet himself .
One visit to Bombay changed the direction of his life and career . Manoj Kumar gave him all his important songs to write which was followed by many other filmmakers . His winning the Filmfare award twice established himself as a lyricist till ….
He lost his son Sankalp and his family in a train accident and then life was never kind to him again .
He is in his 80s now , but he still has the will to write poetry . But who will give an old , ailing and a forgotten poet any opportunity today when poetry has turned into so much of sound and fury signifiing nothing ? He is now only a shadow of what his name Santosh Anand means. There is no santosh and no anand, only dard and dard and memories of those glorious days which will not come back again .
ZINDAGI KUCH BHI NAHI , ZINDAGI SIRF TAB TAK SANTOSHMAY AUR ANANDSMAY HAI JAB TAK TUM YAA MAIN KAAM KE HAI NAHI TOH ZINDAGI NA TERI KAHANI HAI NA MERI KAHANI HAI