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|May 8, 2001||
Lyricist Prem Dhawan no more
Padmashree Prem Dhawan passed away on May 7.
The lyricist par excellence was known for his patriotic zeal and was a freedom fighter.
Dhawan started his career in 1946 with the Bombay Talkies film, Ziddi. It was also the film in which Kishore Kumar sang his first number for Dev Anand and went on to become his voice.
The film had the very popular song Chanda re ja re ja re.
Dhawan was also a member of the People's Theatre, where he teamed up with a group of leftists. Some of the more prominent members were Chetan Anand, Shaukat and Kaifi Azmi, Ali Sardar Jaffrey, Dina Pathak and Pandit Ravi Shankar.
Prem Dhawan then learnt music from Pandit Ravi Shankar and dance from the breakaway Uday Shankar troupe.
His initiation into dance resulted in his choreography, notably in the song Ude jab jab zulfein teri (from Naya Daur) where he got Dilip Kumar to dance with Vyjayantimala Bali.
Gradually, he also started composing music for films like Shaheed and Pavitra Papi, among others. His best work, however, has been for composer Anil Biswas.
Songs like Zamaane ka dastoor and Ritu aaye ritu jaye, Rasiya re man basiya re, Nadir deem tana de re na (from Pardesi), are classics that will never fade. And who can forget numbers like Sab kuch lutaa ke hosh mein aaye to kya kiya, Chhodo kal ki baatein or even Aye mere pyare watan from Kabuliwala?
Dhawan worked with every composer of repute from Khayyam, Sardar Malik, Ravi, O P Nayyar, Madan Mohan, S D Burman to Shankar Jaikishen. He was awarded the Padmashree in 1970.
Recently, HMV released, for the first time in 50 years, a solo album on Prem Dhawan. The album was released by composer Naushad Ali. Strangely enough, Dhawan never did get an opportunity to work with him.
The album is a collection of gems like Seene mein sulagte hain armaan (from Tarana), Chanda re ja re ja re (from Ziddi) and the eternal Zamaane ka dastoor hai yeh purana (from Lajawaab).
The single cassette spans the 55-year-old journey of this lyricist, composer, choreographer.
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