Naushad Lives On Through His Compositions

May 11, 2006 by  


By Nilofar Suhrawardy , Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)

NEW DELHI—Naushad Ali, better known as Samrat or Emperor of Indian music is no more, but his musical compositions shall continue to reign hearts and minds of music lovers for years to come. With an haunting as well as rhythmical impact, Naushadís compositions for Prakashís Baiju Bawara (1952), Mehboobís Mother India (1957), K. Asifís Mughal-e-Azam (1960), Kamal Amrohiís Pakeezah (1967) and countless other movies continue to be hailed as having made 1950s and 1960s the golden age of Bombay film industry.

Born in Lucknow (December 25, 1919), Naushad Ali grew up loving music. In quest of music, Naushad abandoned formal education after high school. Stepping into the professional arena as a local clubís music maestro, he moved on to form his own club, the Windsor Music Entertainers which became the Indian Star Theatrical Company. However, as this spelt hard times for Naushad and his group, even penury, leading them to make do after selling off musical instruments and theatrical props, they abandoned this move. When Lucknowís film industry spelt no luck for Naushad, he moved on Bombay in 1937. He began work as a pianist in Mushtaq Hussainís film orchestra. Though the initial years were hardly easy ones, he carried on. He first got credit as ìmusic directorî in A.R. Kardarís Nai Dunya (1942). From then onwards, there was no looking back for him. He was perhaps the only music composer of his time, whose name appeared before the actors of the movies.

With Hindustani classical music his forte and a command over popular Indian music Naushad loved experimenting with sounds and voices. He is credited for having introduced western style orchestra in songs. With no devices available in those years, to create an echoic effect in Mughal-e-Azamís song, ìPyar Kiya To Darna Kya,î Naushad made Lata Mangehkar sing a portion of this song again and again in a bathroom till he was satisfied. He was a perfectionist to the core.

He was among the few early composers who gave Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar chance to sing in films.

Naushad was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1982 for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema and the Padma Bhushan in 1992.

Though known for his mastery over seven notes of Indian classical music, as a poet, Naushad is remembered for his book of Urdu poetry ñ ìAthwan Surî (Eighth note), a collection of eight ghazals penned by him.

The legendary composer, admitted to Nanavati Hospital on April 20 after complaining of uneasiness, succumbed to heart failure on May 5. He is survived by three sons and six daughters.

His end came just a month before release of Mughal-e-Azam in Pakistani cinema halls on June 2. Preparations were on to take Naushad to grace the premier of this classic movie. Naushad is no more, but his music lives on, marking cultural unity, bringing together people across the world.

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