Friday, March 1, 2013


A notable omission in my modest collection of gramophone records of Hindi film songs  was the LP record of the 1960 film  SARANGA  with music by the great, but largely unrecognised,  music director  Sardar Mallik. I have been searching for this LP album for the last several years and it was only recently that I could get it, from a regular source, to my utter surprise and pleasure. The record with the jacket intact  is in top condition without any scratches.  What made me and other music lovers to search for this  album of an otherwise  ordinary film starring Soodesh Kumar and Jaishri Gadkar is the beautiful pathos filled song ‘Saaranga teri yaad mein’ penned by Bharat Vyas and rendered by Mukesh in his inimitable voice and singing style in which only he can sing. It is considered to be one of the top songs of Mukesh when the composer, lyricist and the singer gelled  together to create an immortal song. The song was a big hit the moment it was heard on the radio  and was hugely popular in the campuses.

The memories of this song lingered in the heart even when it slowly vanished from the radio and the cassettes and MP3 discs containing the song became increasingly difficult to find. In none of the several  exclusive LPs of Mukesh  this song  was included to the utter disappointment of the admirers of Mukesh and the song. This and the fact that the song ‘ Saranga ter yaad mein’ evoked such nostalgia that the thrill of collecting this LP album became all the more ‘thriller’!The album also contained another beautiful song of Mukesh, ‘Hain diwana hun mein’ and the Lata Rafi duet,’Piya kaise milun tumse’. And a rare feature of the album is that it contained a version (not a full version)  of the song ‘Saranga teri’ by Rafi in a slightly different tune or rather in the form of a recitation. As I had not seen the film I do not know how  this version by Rafi was used in the film.

 Why was this talented music director, who started as a dancer and choreographer as well as a singer , not given due recognition in spite of the wonderful music he composed for film Saranga and several others?  Even before SARANGA there was the Shammi Kapur film THOKAR (1954) in which Sardar Mallik had given beautiful songs especially the ghazal ,’Ae gham –e-dil kya karun’ soulfully rendered by Talat Mahmood. This song is available in the LP Album of Talat  titled  IN A BLUE MOOD. Probably the film SARANGA could not boast of a big star cast and it was also not a box office hit. Again in  film  LAILA MAJNU(1953)  Sardar Mallik has composed another ghazal for Talat Mahmood, ‘Tere dar pe aaye  hun fariyad lekar’.Though both films had Shammi Kapur,  it was a pre Yahoo/ pre Rebel star Shammi Kapur who could not lift the films  on his own. There was again Hemant Kumar singing with his usual gusto Sardar Mallik’s composition 'Main garibon ka dil hun watan ki  zuban' in film  AB-E-HAYAT and this very popular song,’Mujhe tumse muhabbat hai’ of Rafi in film BACHPAN. Two duets of Mukesh and Suman Kalyanpur also come to mind. One is ‘ Sun more rasiya sun more basiya’ from film MADAN MANJARI and ‘Baharon se poochho mere pyar ko tum’ from film  MERE GHAR MERE BACHHE. In spite of these and several other  outstanding songs Sardar Mallik could not make it big in  Hindi films. Unfortunately his best compositions were for B grade films with B grade stars resulting  in their inability to sustain interest among filmgoers which is essential for making songs popular .Finally Sardar Mallik also had to slowly fade away like several others like N.Dutta, Dattaram. Iqbal Qureshi, G.S.Kohli, Robin Banerjee, Sonik Omi and so on proving once again that talent alone cannot guarantee success in film music industry.
Tail piece:- Though Sardar Mallik could not make it big, his son Anu Malick continues to hold his own in Hindi film music world.

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