Shailendra – a poet of the common man. A Tribute by: Tejendra Sharma

Time:05:30 pm

When and Where

Date:06 September 2012
Time:06:30 pm
Organizer: ICCR
Location: London

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Raj Kapoor introduced Shailendra (1923-1966) - a progressive poet - to Hindi Cinema with his first block-buster Barsaat. In fact, with this film, Raj Kapoor inducted the entire team of Shankar Jaikishan, Hasrat Jaipuri and Shailendra into Hindi Cinema. Shailendra had this peculiar knack for writing simply worded, but very beautiful, poetry. Simplicity was the hallmark of his lyrics in films like Aawara, Shri 420, Boot Polish, Godaan, Bandini, Anuradha, Madhumati, Anari, Guide, Andaz, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai and Sangam. Shailendra’s genius as a lyricist was to understand the pain of the common man and successfully portray it on celluloid. Raj Kapoor’s common man’s persona was given depth by the sombre poetry of Shailendra.

The majority of Shailendra’s work was set to music by the duo of Shanker Jaikishan, but he also wrote lyrics for greats like Pandit Ravi Shankar, S.D. Burman, Salil Chaudhary, S.N. Tripathi and C. Ramchandra. The quality of his poetry in films matches that of any literary giant of that period. Shailendra won three Filmfare Awards during his life for Ye mera Deewanapan hai (Yahudi - 1958); Sab Kuchh Seekha hum ne (Anari - 1959) and Main Gaun Tum So Jaao (Brahamchari - 1968).

Tejendra Sharma, a story writer, poet, actor, Director and General Secretary of Katha UK has, in the past, produced power-point presentations on B.R. Chopra, Sahir Ludhianvi, Holi in Hindi Cinema and Hindi Poetry in Hindi Cinema. He pays tribute to this great lyricist and would attempt to establish the literary value of Shailendra’s poetry with the help of video screening of songs from Shailendra’s films.

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