TRIBUTE Five memorable musical pieces that director Raj Kapoor was associated with

The musical association between Raj Kapoor and composer Shankar Jaikishan that began during “Barsaat” went on till “Mera Naam Joker”. Though Shankar Jaikishan was his favourite, Raj Kapoor also did justice to the compositions of Salil Chowdhury, Khayyam, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Ravindra Jain, as both director and actor. December 14 was Raj Kapoor's 87th birth anniversary. Here's a look at the five musical pieces in whose creation Raj Kapoor had an important role and these gems still haunt music-lovers.


Shankar Jaikishan reproduced the waltz ‘Blue Danube' on the violin. It was played by Jaikishan and so impressed was Raj Kapoor that it became RK Banner's theme music. At Raj Kapoor's request, Shankar Jaikishan included a part of this piece in the first and third antaras of ‘Chod gaye balam' rendered by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar. The dance number ‘Barsaat Mein' by Lata Mangeshkar combined the sounds of dholak and tabla as the chorus sang ‘Tak dhina dhin' which was Raj Kapoor's idea. Also, rumba and samba beats were used in the hit number ‘Patli Kamar Hai'.

Jagte Raho

Raj Kapoor spent a lot of his childhood years in Kolkata, and knew Bengali well. An ardent admirer of Salil Chowdhury, he promised to work with him and did so in his most memorable acting venture, “Ek Din Ratre” (Bengali) and “Jagte Raho” (Hindi). To create the ambience of a serene sunrise, Salil Chowdhury created the haunting number ‘Jago Mohan Pyare' in raga Bhairavi, which is said to have brought tears to Raj Kapoor's eyes. When he requested Salil Chowdhury to compose some ‘popotiya' music for the film, the composer came up with the bhangra ‘Wahun Wahun'.

Phir Subha Hogi

In Ramesh Saigal's classic based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's “Crime And Punishment”, Raj Kapoor was said to have been part of the music recording. His sense of melody and rhythm was believed to have been instrumental in inspiring music director Khayyam to compose ‘Aasman Pe Hai Khuda', rendered excellently by Mukesh. It was Khayyam's experiment with Western music — with violins, cellos and the twelve-string guitar. Raj Kapoor supposedly fell in love with the tune, lip-synched the song in one take, and later even inspired Shankar Jaikishan to follow the same notations for ‘Kisi ki muskura hoton pe ho nisar' in “Anari”.


When Raj Kapoor was directing “Bobby”, Jaikishan had passed away. He worked with Laxmikant Pyarelal for the first time. The songs were a hit. One of the most memorable films on teenage love rocked the nation with numbers such as ‘Main shayar to nahin', ‘Hum tum ek kamre mein' and ‘Jhoot bole kauwa kate'. ‘Main shayar to nahin' remains a memorable number, also for its Shanker Jaikishan style of music — Laxmikant Pyarelal's tribute to their illustrious predecessors.

Ram Teri Ganga Maili

In his last directional venture, Raj Kapoor worked with Ravindra Jain. Raj Kapoor had asked Ravindra Jain to follow Shanker Jaikishan style for ‘Sun sahiba sun', sung by Lata Mangeshkar, and the talented, visually-challenged music director is said to have obliged. The song had influences of ‘O maine pyar kiya', from “Jis Desh Mein Ganga Bahti Hai”. The composer also created the the romantic ‘Mujh ko dekho' and the sentimental ‘Ram teri Ganga maili'.