MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA APRIL 30 , 2013 07.00 P.M.
April 14, 1919 – April 23, 2013
Shamshad Begum was one of the first playback singers in the Hindi film industry. She had sung over 6000 songs in Hindi , Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and Punjabi languages. Her songs from the 1940s to the early 1970s remain popular and continue to be remixed.
Shamshad Begum died this month on April 23 , 2013 at the age of 94 and I am forced to write 7th obituary in continuation in the month of April . Shamshad Begum , along with Noor Jahan and Amirbai Karnataki , dominated the pre-Lata Mangeshkar era in Indian playback singing .
Among female playback singers , She was blessed with a distinct voice with slight nasal twang and any lover of Hindi film music can immediately recognize her voice .
Since I was born and brought up in the Lata Mangeshkar era , I was not a fan of Shamshad Begum’s voice initially. But slowly , as my understanding grew , I started appreciating her voice .
The first song of hers , which caught my fancy , was ” Pee Ke Ghar Aaj Pyari Dulhaniya Chali ” . This ” Mother India ” [ 1957 ] song was immensely popular . Other songs of the same film ; ” Holi Ayee Re Kanhayi Rang Chhalke Suna De Zara Bansuri ” and ” Gadiwale Gadi Dheere Haank Re “ are also hit even today . Then I watched ” Mughal – E – Azam ” [ 1960] and its immortal qawwali is still fresh in my mind . ” Teri Mehfil Me Qismat Azma Ke Hum Bhi Dekhenge “ is a connoisseur’s delight . Then I watched ” Aan ” [ 1952 ] and I was permanently hooked to Shamshad Begum’s voice . All her popular songs , like ; ” Aag Lagi Tan Man Me Dil Ko Pada Thamna , Ram Jaane Kab Hoga Saiyyan Ji Ka Samna ” and ” Khelo Rang Hamare Sang Aaj Din Rang Rangeela Aaya “ are still my favourites . But ” C. I. D. ” [ 1956 ] was another revelation . ” Le Ke Pehla Pehla Pyaar , Bhar Ke Aankhon Me Khumar ” and ” Kahin Pe Nigahen Kahin Pe Nishana , Jeene Do Zalim Banao Na Deewana “ are just immortal . It is surprising that I heard her most popular song very late in my life . ” Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon Kiya Hai Wahan Se Telefoon , Tumhari Yaad Satati Hai “ . This song from ” Patanga ” [ 1949 ] is unforgettable and its several re-mixed versions are still extremely popular . ” Naya Daur ” [ 1957 ] film’s ” Reshmi Salwar Kurta Jaali Ka “ was a craze of its time . Her last hit ” Kajra Mohabbatwala Ankhiyon Me Aisa Dala “ from ” Kismat ” [ 1969 ] is one of the songs which was re-mixed again & again .
Shamshad Begum’s career was somewhat eclipsed with the advent of Lata Mangeshkar . She sang her first duet ” Dar Na Mohabbat Kar Le “ with Lata Mangeshkar in ” Andaz ” [ 1949 ] and her last duet with Lata Mangeshkar was ” Teri Mehfil Me Qismat Azma Kar Hum Bhi Dekhenge “ from ” Mughal – E – Azam ” [ 1960 ] . Within these 13 years Shamshad Begum’s career went downhill and after giving her last hit ” Kajra Mohabbatwala “ in 1969 , she bid adieu to playback singing .
Some Famous Songs of Shamshad Begum :
- Leke pehla pehla pyar, (CID 1956), (music: O.P. Nayyar)
- Milte hi aankhen dil hua, (Duet with Talat Mehmood), (Babul), (music: Naushad)
- Chali chali kaisi yeh hawa yeh, (Duet with Usha Mangeshkar), (Bluffmaster 1965), (music: Kalyanji Anandji)
- Kabhi aar kabhi paar lagathi re nazar, (Aar Paar), (music: O.P. Nayyar)
- O Gadiwale Dheere – Mother India – Naushad
- Kahin pe nigahen kahin pe nishana – CID (1956) – music O.P. Nayyar
- Boojh Mera Kya Naam Re – (1956) – music O.P.Nayyar
- Mere piya gaye Rangoon – Patanga – music C.Ramchandra
- Ek Tera Sahara – Shama – music Master Ghulam Haider
- Holi aayee re Kanhaai – Mother India (1957) – Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni, Music: Naushad
- Naina Bhar aye neer – Humayun – music Master Ghulam Haider
- Nazar Phero Na Humse -(Duet with G M Durani) – Deedar (1951) – music Naushad
- Chod Babul Ka Ghar – Babul – music Naushad
- Kajra Mohabbatwala Ankhiyon mein Aisa dala (Duet with Asha Bhosle) – Kismat (1968) – Music: O.P. Nayyar
- Meri neendon main tum, meri khwabon mein tum (Duet with Kishore Kumar) – Naya Andaz – Music: O.P.Nayyar
- Teri Mehfil Mein Qismat (Duet with Lata Mangeshkar) – Mughal-E-Azam
- Saiyan Dil mein aana re – Bahar
- Reshmi salwar kurta jaali da – Naya Daur
- Milte Hai Ankhen Dil Deewana Hua Kisika – Babul – with Talat Mahmood
- Kisike Dil Mein Rehna Tha – Babul – with Lata
- Dharti Ko Aakash Pukare – Mela – with Mukesh
- do teen aaja mausam hai rangeen – Awara
Shamshad Begum’s fans often allege that her career suffered because of the monopolistic politics of Lata Mangeshkar . I beg to differ . Shamshad Begum played her innings and retired gracefully . Her career suffered because of the changing times and changing taste of film-goers . Talat Memood’s career went downhill with the advent of Mohammad Rafi . Even mighty Mohammed Rafi , towards the end of his career , was confined in his home for many years without recording a single song and Kishore Kumar ruled that era . In the field of art such things happen .
Her distinct style , her nasal twang and her strong voice , which was her forte in the earlier years of her career , became her nemesis towards the end . It is not for nothing that towards the fag-end of her career , her voice was used for vamps and her last hit ” Kajra Mohabbatwala “ in ” Kismat ” [ 1969 ] was filmed on Vishwajeet , who was masquerading as woman in the said film .
On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters , I offer my condolences to the family of the iconic singer . Self-proclaimed most famous acting school of Mumbai , self-anointed most famous acting institute of India and self-appointed most famous acting academy of bollywood has no time for such courtesy .
May her soul rest in peace ! Her ephemeral body is gone but her perennial voice , the temple bell , will live on forever .
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
- Legendary singer Shamshad Begum passes away (thehindu.com)
- The ‘temple bell’ will toll for long (thehindu.com)
- Shamshad Begum & The Original ‘Katiya Karoon’! (tcrcindia.wordpress.com)
- Mesmerising voice of Shamshad Begum falls silent (thehindu.com)
- #RIP- Shamshad Begum: A song in her heart (kractivist.wordpress.com)
- Hindi thrush Shamshad Begum dies (variety.com)
- Legendary playback singer Shamshad Begum dies aged 94 (dailymail.co.uk)
- Hindi Singer Shamshad Begum Dead at 94 (variety.com)
- India Ink: Bollywood Singer Shamshad Begum Dies at 94 (india.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Bollywood singer Shamshad Begum dies aged 94 (guardian.co.uk)
Filed under: Obituary Tagged: | Aag Lagi Tan Man Men Dil Ko Pada Thamna, Aan, Aar Paar, Acting Institute, Acting Trainer, Amirbai Karnataki, Andaz, Asha Bhosle, Awara, Babul, Bahar, Bollywood, C. Ramchandra, C.I.D., Diction Trainer, Film, Gadiwale Gadi Dheere Hank Re, Ghulam Haider, Hindi Film Industry, Hindi Playback Singers, Hindi Teacher, Holi Aayi Re Kanhayi, India, Kahin Pe Nigahen Kahin Pe Nishana, Kajra Mohabbatwala, Kalyanji-Anandji, Kamal Nayan Chaturvedi, Kishore Kumar, Kismat, Lata Mangeshkar, Le Ke Pehla Pehla Pyar, Maharashtra, Master Ghula Haider, Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon, Most Famous Acting Academy of Bollywood, Most Famous Acting Institute of India, Most Famous Acting School of Mumbai, Mother India, Mughal - E - Azam, Mumbai, MUMBAI - MAHARASHTRA - INDIA, Naushad, Naya Daur, Noor Jahan, O. P. Nayyar, Obituary, OP Nayyar, Patanga, Pee Ke Ghar Aaj Pyari Dulhaniya Chali, Playback Singers, Qawwali, Qismat, Reshmi Salwar Kurta Jaali Ka, Shakeel Badayuni, Shamshad Begum, Talat Mehmood, Teri Mehfil Me Qismat Aazma Ke Hum Bhi Dekhenge, Vidur, VIDUR Acting Institute, Vidur Chaturvedi, Vidur on Twitter, Vidur's Blog, Vidur's Kreating Charakters, Vidur's Students