Awards eluded my father, says Madan Mohan's son

By Ruchika Kher

New Delhi, June 27 (IANS) Madan Mohan, who created unforgettable Hindi film songs like "Aap ki nazron ne samjha", "Dil dhundta" and "Lag jaa gale", received much appreciation from fans and peers but this did not translate into awards, says the legendary composer's son Sanjeev Kohli.

"My father's songs were popular and appreciated by aficionados but awards eluded him as did big banners and star films. I am glad and proud that at least 30 years after his demise, he received his first popular award - the IIFA for 'Veer Zaara' in 2004," Kohli told IANS in an e-mail interview.

The music director's works were included in the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer's soundtrack and most of the songs became chartbusters.

"He never got to work with the biggest stars - he never did a Dilip Kumar film, and only did a couple of films of Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand with small banners that are not even remembered today. His biggest hits are not visually remembered - but the songs have indeed endured the test of time," he said.

On his 85th birth anniversary Thursday, Kohli unveiled a collection of 15 unreleased songs by the composer from his shelved films between 1964 and 1972.

Madan Mohan passed away at the age of 51 on July 14, 1975. In his composing career of 25 years, he created music for over 100 films. These included "Aashiana", "Adalat", "Anpadh", "Mera Saaya", "Woh Kaun Thi", "Heer Ranjha" and "Mausam".

Talking about the idea of launching his father's unreleased tunes, Kohli said: "When I stumbled upon various spool of tapes in his cupboard and heard them, I realised that there were many tunes that he had hummed while composing and kept aside for future use. These had remained unused.

"I felt what a waste it was if people could not hear them. So we recorded the songs digitally to ensure that quality does not suffer as they were recorded 45 years ago. My effort has been to bring back some memories of the golden era of film music," said Kohli, who is now director and senior consultant with Yash Raj Films.

Asked about Madan Mohan as a father, Kohli said the music great was very affectionate and an intensely emotional person.

"Madan Mohan the father is more etched in my memory than Madan Mohan the composer. He was a very affectionate father and an intensely emotional person. He showered us children with a lot of love and always said he would like to be more of a friend to us than a father," he said.

"I remember my mother telling me that he considered me very lucky for him since his first commercial hit 'Bhai Bhai' (1956) released in the same year that I was born," Kohli recalled.

"It is the father whom I lost very early who will be an indelible part of my life. And it is this memory I would like to cling to... of course his songs only help in such moments," he added.

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at ruchika.k@ians.in)

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