Roshan Lal Nagrath, known simply as Roshan, had some huge hits in the 1960s. Though he wasn’t as prolific as some of his contemporaries, some of his songs reached iconic status and are popular even today. With Roshan’s sense of melody, we heard some memorable music. Narendra Kusnur selects his ten best.
Roshan Lal Nagrath, known simply as Roshan, had some huge hits in the 1960s. Though he wasn’t as prolific as some of his contemporaries, some of his songs reached iconic status and are popular even today.
The father of music director Rajesh Roshan and actor Rakesh Roshan, and grandfather of Hrithik Roshan, the music director started off in the late 1940s. He had some early hits, but peaked over a decade later, and was known for his qawwalis. He passed away in 1967.
To mark his 104th birth anniversary on July 14, we choose 10 Roshan favourites. The list is chronological.
1 Khayalon Mein Kisike – Bawre Nain (1950)
This was Roshan’s first mega-hit, and it was filmed on Raj Kapoor and old-timer Vijaylakshmi. Sung by Mukesh and Geeta Dutt, it had lyrics by Kidar Sharma. The main lines were, “Khayalon mein kisike is tarah aaya nahin karte, kisiko bewafa aa, aa ke tadpaya nahin karte”.
2 Main Dil Hoon Ek Armaan Bhara – Anhonee (1952)
This was a gem by Talat Mahmood, and it was picturised on Raj Kapoor on a piano. Satyendra Athaiyya wrote the lines which went, “Main dil hoon ek armaan bhara, tu aake mujhe pehchaan zara”. The film also had the Lata Mangeshkar-Talat hit ‘Mere Dil Ki Dhadkan Kya Bole’.
3 Na Toh Karvaan Ki Talaash Hai – Barsaat Ki Raat (1960)
This was Roshan’s best-known qawwali as he stuck to the regular format. It segued into the part “Yeh ishq ishq hai”. Over 12 minutes long, it was sung by Manna Dey, Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Sudha Malhotra and Batish. Sahir Ludhianvi penned the words, “Na toh karvaan ki talaash hai, na toh humsafar ki talaa0sh hai”. Bharat Bhushan and Madhubala were among those on screen.
4 Aapne Yaad Dilaya – Aarti (1962)
This was a sad song, with Majrooh Sultanpuri writing, “Aapne yaad dilaya aur mujhe yaad aaya, ke mere dil pe pada tha koi gham ka saaya”. Pradeep Kumar and Meena Kumari appeared on screen, and Rafi and Lata sang the song with great control and finesse.
5 Laaga Chunari Mein Daag – Dil Hi To Hai (1963)
The popular Bhairavi composition was sung by Manna Dey, a master with classical numbers. Featuring Raj Kapoor with a dance by Padmini Priyadarshini, the words were by Sahir. The song began, “Laaga chunari mein daag chupaoon kaise, ghar jaoon kaise”. It’s popular at singing competitions today.
6 Jo Vaada Kiya – Taj Mahal (1963)
The film was based on the story of Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. This hit song, picturised on Pradeep Kumar and Bina Rai, was sung by Rafi and Lata. Once again, Sahir wrote the lyrics, which went, “Jo vaada kiya woh nibhana padhega, roke zamana chahe roke khudai tumko aana padega”.
7 Man Re Tu Kahe Na Dheer Dhare – Chitralekha (1964)
This masterpiece in raag Yaman Kalyan was sung by Rafi, with Roshan and Sahir combining once again. It was filmed on Pradeep Kumar and Meena Kumari. The opening lines were, “Man re tu kahe na dheer dhare, woh nirmohi moh na jaane, jinka moh kare”.
8 Rahen Na Rahen Hum – Mamta (1966)
There were two versions of this classic. The Lata version was a huge hit, and featured Suchitra Sen and Ashok Kumar. The duet version, sung by Suman Kalyanpur and Rafi, starred Suchitra and Dharmendra. Majrooh was famous for the lines, “Rahen na rahen hum, mehka karenge, banke kali, banke saba, baag-e-wafa mein”.
9 Hum Intezaar Karenge – Bahu Begum (1967)
This song was in two versions – a Rafi solo and a Rafi-Asha duet. Once again Sahir wrote the lines which went, “Hum intezaar karenge tera qayamat tak, khuda kare ke qayamat ho aur tu aaye”. The film’s main stars were Pradeep Kumar and Meena Kumari.
10 Oh Re Taal – Anokhi Raat (1968)
This Mukesh song is still a favourite party song. Sanjeev Kumar was shown singing it riding a bullock cart, with Zahida and Mukri sitting behind. Indeevar wrote, “Oh re taal mile nadi ke jal mein, nadi mile saagar mein, saagar mile kaunse jal mein, koi jaane na”. The back-up choruses were unique.
As is obvious from the list, Roshan and Sahir did some great work together, combining on five of these songs. Add the voices of Rafi or Manna Dey, and what you had was pure magic. With Roshan’s sense of melody, we heard some memorable music.