Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma Birthday Special: The unheard story of Laxmikant-Pyarelal

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By Bollyy
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Laxmikant Pyarelal, the composer duo are credited with being the most prolific music directors of Hindi films having scored music for around 635 films during the period 1963 to 1998. They worked with some of the most notable film makers, viz. Tarachand Barjatya, L. V. Prasad, Raj Khosla, Raj Kapoor, Manmohan Desai, J. Omprakash, Mohan Kumar, Yash Chopra, B.R. Chopra, Manoj Kumar, Shekhar Kapur, Subhash Ghai, Shakti Samanta, Feroz Khan, and Dev Anand. Laxmikant was born as Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar in a rather frugally embellished Maharashtrian family in 1937. He learnt to play Mandolin and Violin on his own and started playing the instruments at concerts and later in Hindi film song recordings. Pyarelal is the son of the renowned trumpeter Pt.Ramprasad Sharma (popularly know as Babaji) and was born at Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) in 1940. His father taught him the basics of music and later Pyarelal learnt to play Violin from Gonsalves of Goa at the age of just 8. At the age of 12, Pyarelal started playing Violin at concerts and film recordings.

When Laxmikant was about 10 years old, he once played Mandolin in a Lata Mangeshkar concert at Radio Club, Colaba. Lata was so impressed that she complimented him after the concert. Laxmikant and Pyarelal then met her at a music academy for children run by the Mangeshkar family. After she came to know about their financially poor backgrounds, Lata recommended their names to music directors, like Naushad, Sachin Deb Burman, and C. Ramchandra. Similar financial background and age made Laxmikant and Pyarelal very good friends. They used to spend long hours at the recording studios, sometimes getting work for each other and even playing together in recordings, whenever they got the opportunity. Pyarelal often used to frequent the Bombay Chamber Orchestra and the Paranjoti Academy, where he would perfect his skills in the company of Goody Seervai, Coomi Wadia, Mehli Mehta and his son, Zubin Mehta (the later day legend). Laxmi-Pyare were not content with the payments being made to them for their music, so they decided to go to Madras (now Chennai). But as it was the same story there also, they returned to Bombay. Once Pyarelal decided to leave India and go to Venice to play for symphony orchestras, just like Zubin.

However, he stayed back at Laxmikant's insistence. Some of Laxmi-Pyare's colleagues at that point in time included Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (Santoor) and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (Flute). Laxmi-Pyare worked with almost all reputed music directors of the 1950s. In 1953, they became assistants to Kalyanji-Anandji and worked with them till 1963. They worked as music arrangers for many music directors, including Sachin Deb Burman (in Ziddi) and also for his son Rahul Dev Burman (in his first film Chhote Nawab). Laxmi-Pyare and R.D. Burman remained very good friends, even when L.P. started giving music independently. Notably, R D Burman played Mouth Organ for all songs of Dosti. Laxmikant once made a guest appearance playing the role of himself as a composer of song "Dil ki baat" in Teri Kasam (1982), which had music by R.D. Burman.


The composer's first independent break as music director came about in Babubhai Mistry's Parasmani (1963) and they created a superhit score in their first film itself. They hit big time with the super-duper success of their second film Dosti (1964 - a low budget Rajshri "Quickie") and its music. The film brought the duo their first Filmfare Award (they eventually won 7 of them including 4 in a row, next only to Shankar Jaikishan's 9 awards and the rest is history. The most notable films of the duo include - Parasmani (1963), Dosti (1964), Sati Savitri (1964), Aye Din Bahar Ke (1966), Farz (1967), Milan (1967), Shagird (1967), Mere Humdum Mere Dost (1968), Raja Aur Runk (1968), Do Raaste (1969), Jeene Ki Raah (1969), Aan Milo Sajna (1971), Humjoli (1970), Khilona (1970), Mehboob Ki Mehndi (1971), Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971), Patthar Ke Sanam (1971), Shor (1972), Dushman (1972), Gora Aur Kala (1972), Daag: A Poem of Love (1973), Bobby (1973), Roti (1974), Roti Kapda Aur Makaan (1974), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Anurodh (1977), Pyasa Sawan (1977), Chacha Bhatija (1977), Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978), Sargam (1979), Karz (1980), Ek Duje Ke Liye (1981), Kranti (1981), Naseeb (1981), Prem Rog (1982), Hero (1983), Utsav (1984), Mr. India (1987), Tezaab (1988), Chaalbaaz (1989), Ram Lakhan (1989), Hum (1991), Saudagar (1991), Khuda Gawah (1992), Khalnayak (1993), and Trimurti (1995) etc. Known in the industry as L.P, or Laxmi-Pyare, their Filmfare Award winning scores were in Dosti (1964), Milan (1967). Jeene Ki Raah (1969), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978), Sargam (1979), and Karz (1980).

 

Among their memorable songs are "hasta hua noorani chehra" (Lata / Kamal Barot) / "Roshan tumhi se duniya" (Rafi) in Parasmani, "Chaahoonga main tujhe shaam savere" (Rafi) in Dosti "Tere pyar ne mujhe gham diya" (Rafi) in Chhaila Baboo, "Jyot se jyot jagate chalo" (Mukesh/ Lata) in Sant Gyaneshwar, "Mere mehboob qayamat hogi" (Kishore) in Mr. X In Bombay, "Kisi ko pata na chale baarka" (Lata) in Lutera, "Neend kabhi rahti thi aankhon mein" (Lata) in Aasra, "Khat likh de sanwariya ke naam" (Asha) in Aaye Din Bahar Ke, "Main dekhoon jis oar sakhir ni" (Lata) in Anita, "Kabootar Kabootar" (Usha) in Dillagi, "Bade miyan deewane hum se suno* (Rafi / I.S. Johar) in Shagird, "Hum tum yug yug se" (Lata/ Mukesh) in Milan, "Mast baharon ka main aashic" (Rafi) in Farz, "Nazar na lag jaaye" (Rafi) in Night in London, "Duniya ne sunli hai chhup ke™ (Lata) in Sharafat, "Ek banjara gaaye" (Rafi) in Jeene Ki Raah,"Bindiya chamkegi choodi khankegi? in Do Raaste, "Maar diya jaaye ya chhod diva jaaye" (Lata) in Mera Gaon Mera Desh. "Achchha to hum chalte hain" (Kishore / Lata) in Aan Milo Sajna, "Nigaahein kyoon bhatakti hain" (Lata) in Bahaaron Ki Manzil, "Oh ghata sanwari thodi thodi banwari" in Abhinetri, "Agar dilbar ki ruswai" (Lata) in Khilona, "Rhimjhim ke geet sawan gaaye" (Rafi / Lata) in Anjaana, "Jhimlil sitaaron ka aangan hoga" (Rafi / Lata) in Jeevan Mrityu, "Chal chal chal mere haathi" (Kishore) in Haathi Mere Saathi, "Itna to yaad hai mujhe" (Rafi / Lata) in Mehboob Ki Mehndi, "Aaj mausam bada beimaan hai" (Rafi) in Loafar, "Ek pyar ka naghma hai" (Lata / Mukesh) in Shor, "Mere dil mein aaj kya hai" (Kishore) in Daag, "Main jat yamla pagla deewana" (Rafi) in Pratigya, "Main na bhooloonga" (Lata / Mukesh) in Roti Kapda aur Makaan, "Kisi shayar ki ghazal dream girl" (Kishore) in Dreamgirl, "Ishwar Satya hai Satya hi Shiv hai" (Lata) in Satyam Shivam Sundaram, "Nindiya se jaagi bahar" (Lata) in Hero, "Dard-e-dil dard-e-jigar" (Rafi) in Karz, "Choli ke peechhey kya hai' (Alka Yagnik) in Khalnayak, and "Ek do teen chaar" (Alka Yagnik) in Tezaab, and numerous others. Laxmikant passed away on May 25, 1998. Pyarelal is still involved in musical endeavours.

Courtesy: Trinetra Bajpai and Anshula Bajpai
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