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Obituaries

Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner and famous poet and lyricist MAJROOH SULTANPURI is dead. He was 78. The lyricist who penned innumerable unforgettable songs including: Chor do aanchal zamana kya kahega; chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko; chahun Majrooh Sultanpuri
ga tujhe main saanjh savere; Ham bekhudi mein tumko pukare chale gaye, and hundreds of other songs, died of lung ailment at the Leelavati Hospital in Mumbai on 24 May.


He was a great Urdu poet and penned scores of memorable Hindi film numbers for over five decades, Majrooh Sultanpuri was increasingly getting disillusioned by the eroding quality of lyrics being churned out in recent years. He some times ago had expressed disgust over the lyrics of the vulgar, if popular, number Aati kya Khandala in Ghulam. He had also serious reservations about the eroding quality of lyrics in offbeat songs also. 

The Dada Saheb Phalke Award-winner had every reason to get disillusioned with the poor quality of songs being written in the recent years. For Majrooh himself had become an institution of sorts, having penned over 3500 songs for 400 odd films. Hundreds of his songs are still a rage with old-time Hindi film buffs.

He began his carrier in 1946 by writing the all-time hit song Jab dil hi toot gaya, hum jee ke kya karenge, in Shahjahan. Legendary singer Saigal who sung this song was so moved by it that he wished that this song be sung at his funeral. It was renowned music director Naushad, who gave Majrooh a break in Shahjahan. The song was a great hit and became sensation. Form then onward, Majrooh-Naushad became a hit pair. They also set their own lyrics standards for the Hindi film industry. Both of them remained close friend ever since then.

The 78-year old Majrooh died literally with his boots on, having penned songs for the recent film Janam Samjha karo. His son Andaleeb also made his debut as film director. In his eventful career spanning over five decades, the lyricist of high repute worked with noted music composers like SD Burman, RD Burman, OP Nayyer, Laxmi Kant Pyare Lal, Usha Khanna, Anand Milind, Jatin-Lalit and latest music composers like AR Rahman. No wonder scores of songs have stood the test of time, even in the face of the changing tastes of the film audience over so many years.
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