He was the first lyricist to win the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, an honour that was more likely to be given to actors and filmmakers. He introduced an array of words that have gone on to be an integral part of songs composed in the industry even today.
It is not often that you find an exclusive tribute to a songwriter. But then again, Majrooh was not just another lyricist.
From Anil Biswas to A R Rahman, working with directors and composers across generations, the lyricist was a poet for all times.
However, Majrooh Sultanpuri’s repertoire of works and awards extend beyond that. Making an earnest attempt to cover all the aspects of the songwriter’s illustrious career, the show delivered.
Beginning with the Hemant Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar number saawre salone aaye din from Ek Hi Raasta, the Majrooh show audience seemed to take a plunge into the magical verses.
Singers Pramod Nair, Sinchan Dixit and Sarvesh Mishra alternated between numbers that illustrated the lyricists’ versatility. And it wasn’t an easy task. After all, Sultanpuri didn’t strike an exclusive collaboration with one particular composer.
If he gave the rueful melody sung by the legendary K L Saigal’s jab dil hi toot (Shahjehan), composed by Naushad and picturised on the iconic singer, he also penned the fun number aye dil hai mushkil (CID) sung by Mohammad Rafi for comedy actor Johnny Walker set to tune by O P Nayyar.
If he captured the sorrow of heart break in dil jo na keh saka ( Bheegi Raat), he could set the club mood with baar baar dekho( China Town).
Executing the variety with finesse, the singers and the orchestra replayed the magic of Majrooh’s words.
Rendering immortal numbers like teri aankhon (Chirag), maayi ri ( Dastak), chahunga mein tujhe (Dosti) and thaade rahiyo( Pakeezah) in their element, the artistes lived up to the expectation to execute a memorable show.
Was anyone wondering what stories could have marked the glorious journey? Providing the insights into the songwriters’ life and times, the host for the evening, Uday Meghani, engaged the audience with fascinating tidbits.
Some interesting anecdotes being the short-lived association with Naushad that took place between two films Shahjehan and Saathi, with a 16 year gap. Actor-filmmaker Raj Kapoor offered to help the lyricist after the latter was jailed for his Marxist leanings.
Meghani outlined Majrooh’s collaborations with different generation of filmmakers like Nasir Hussain and Mansoor Khan, music composers Chitragupt and Anand-Milind and Roshan and Rajesh Roshan.
Majrooh - The Evergreen Lyricist was a complete, all-encompassing event that presented the remarkable story of a master songwriter.