The month of September saw the birth and death of several top film personalities of Mumbai. This week I am going to tell you about three such personalities- singers Jag Mohan and G.M.Durani and a glimpse of P.L.Santoshi the lyricist.When Radio Ceylon used to follow its earlier format it would observe the death anniversaries of singer Jag Mohan ( (September 6),lyricist P.L.Santoshi (September 7) and singer G.M.Durani (September 9) but not Vividh Bharti which continues to ignore them even today.
I would like to first recall some of the beautiful songs rendered by Jag Mohan. He was associated with films too. And his song in ‘Meghdoot’, O varsha ke pehle badal mera sandesa lejaana’ has an everlasting haunting appeal.. He also gave music in film ‘Sardar’ that starred Bina Rai and Ashok Kumar. A song by Lata is unforgettable: ‘Pyar ki yeh talkhiyan’ He also sang a song in this film, ‘Kya maze ki baat hai’ I am told that he also sang duet with Kanan Devi in Jawab like ‘Dur des ka rehn wala aya’. But his name was not given on the disc because the song was released by Megaphone Gramophone company and Jag Mohan was an HMV singer. I presumed then that the voice could be of Kamal Dasgupta, who had rendered some beautiful bhajans with Juthika Roy and who was also the music director of Jawab.
But, I am sure that you too, like me, care more for his haunting non-film melodies. The foremost song of his is of course, ‘Dil ko hai tum se pyar kyon, ye na bata sakun ga main’. But others like ‘Meri ankhen bani diwani’, ‘Mujhe na sapnon se behlao’, ‘Sapnon me mjujh ko pyar mila’. Radio Ceylon once played a bhajan of his which I confess I had never heard before: ‘’Bhajo man Ram Ram raghuvar raghurai’.
Jag Mohan’s real name is Jaganmoi Mitra. But he became Jag Mohan by chance. It was at one of the famed sessions of Allahabad Music Conference that he got this name. He had rendered a song. He was cheered. The announcer, also carried away by his performance, mispronounced his name as Jagmohan. The next day newspaper headlines mentioned the rising singer as Jag Mohan. The name stood.Jag Mohan once narrated an interesting incident about his Lucknow visit. He said he had gone to learn thumri there from a specialist. A bespectacled man was also learning a thumri from the same ustad. After two or three days the bespectacled singer left. When Jag Mohan asked the Ustadji how many more days he will have to practice, he told him, ‘One month’. Taken aback, Jag Mohan told the Ustad, ‘But you let go that spectacled gentleman in barely three days’. The Ustadji then told him, ‘Do you know who that bespectacled singer was? He was K.L.Saiga!’
Jag Mohan may not have sung very many songs. But those that he recorded have everlasting appeal entitling him to a place of honor in the Hall of Fame of our musical heritage.
G.M.DURANI: Durani shot into limelight underbecause of the songs he rendered for Naushad in films ‘Sharda’ and ‘Namaste’ in particular. In Sharda (1940 I think), the solo he sang for Wasti became a big hit: ‘Duniya mein sab jorre jorre, ashiq phhire nigorre hae haere Rama jorre jorre’.In ‘Namaste’ Durani also sang a solo for the same hero: ‘Dil ke pat khol ke dekho to jawani kya hai, kaun ferhad thha majnu ki kahani kya hai’. But his duets with Parul Ghosh were big hits. One of these was, ‘Ambua pe panchi bawra, bolo bolo kya sunaye hai’, This line was rendered by Parul. Durani . He responds by singing, ‘Teri meri kahaniyan sara jahan gae hai’. There was a Bhajan in that film which he sang with Parul(for heroine Pratima Das Gupta) The song was, ‘Aan milo more shyam, sanwale sanwle, kaun gali tero dham , sanwale sanwale..’ There was a romantic duet by the two: ‘Mere dil mein saikron arma vo kya jaane, baat na mane, raat chandni, voh hon sath mein hath haath mein ha, phir dadda dadda daan’.But G.M. Durani had rendered some sad songs too such as the one in film ‘Chand’ : ‘Ai dil mujhe rone de’ or ‘Khel’, ‘Apni mefil meion phir ik bar chala ane de mujhe.’ However, I love to listen to Durani over and over again in that delightful romantic number he sang in Prabhat’s ‘Nai Kahani’: ‘Neend hamara khwab tumhare, kitne meethe kaise pyare..’
Durani sang at least two songs with Shamshad Begum. One was from film ‘Magroor’: Hum to tere dil ke bangle mein ana mangta’. The other was from ‘Deedar’, ‘Hamara nam bhi likh do muhabbat karne walo mein’. Incidentally, Durani ‘s very famous song with Lata was a chorus from film ‘Hum Log’: Gaye chala jaa, ik din tera bhi zamana aye ga’. The other famous song by the duo was from film ‘Shair’- ‘Do bichade hue dil apas mein gae mil’. In Aaiye too the two sang a famous duet. Durani’s duets with Suraiya too became famous. One was from Modi’s ‘Shama’ : ‘Ik yad kisi ki yad rahi’(also sung separately with Shamshad) The other was a sad, haunting number with Suraiya in film ‘Aj ki raat’: ‘Mere ansuo meri hasrato, meri zindagi ko ye kya hua, na hasi rahi na khushi rahi, na jahan mein apna koi raha’. But his most famous duet was with Noor Jehan in film ‘Muirza Sahiban’—‘Haath seene pe jo rakh do to karar aa jae’. There was another duet too—a sad one—‘Tum ankhon se dutr ho hui neend ankhon se door sathia beliya sajna ho…’ These songs have kept Durani alive till this day
P.L.SANTOSHI: Lyricist P.L.Santoshi created some of the most loveable and haunting lyrics for C.Ramchandra , which have become immortal. My most favourite one is from film ‘Nirala’ – ‘Mehfil mein jal uthi shama parwaane ke liye, preet bani hai duniya mein jal jaane ke liye’.Can you forget that delightful number by Lata in ‘Teen Batti Char Rasta’?, ‘Kitna mushkil hota hai kisi ke pyar mein kho jana,?’ The PL Santoshi-C.Ramchandra-Lata combination created a ravishing havoc in film ‘Sargam’ (Rehana and Raj Kapoor):’Koi kisi ka deewana na bane’
And how can you forget that superb Talat Mahmood song in film ‘Nadan’ ? ‘Aa teri tasveer banaloon main apni taqdeer banaloon, dil ke korey kagaz pe ulfat ki lakeer bana loon aa teri tasveer bana loon’.
There are many, many more songs of P.L.Santoshi. But I cannot help recalling one of them to end this article: It was sung for Rehana by Amir Bai Karnatki and tuned by C.Ram Chandra in film ‘Shehnai’:
‘Hamen kya pata tha ke dil ki kali ko masal denge voh,
Hamen kya pata tha ke rahat ko gham mein badal denge vo,
Muhabbat ke wade or jhoothi kha kasmen,
Kisi aur ke ho ke chale denge vo
Maar katari mar jaana ve akhiyan kisi se milana na ho milana na,
Kha ke zeher mar jaana ve man mein kisi ko basana ho basana na…’