Broad minded, large hearted, devoted and god-fearing, that's what Jaikishan was. If he was great, as a man and human being, he was all the more so as an artiste.Too many memories of music director Jaikishan, the man and the artiste crowd one's mind just a year after his sad untimely death.
Jaikishan was extremely loyal to his colleagues and associates. He loved them all and was proud of them too. He sought the constant cooperation of all those instrumentalists whom he had brought under his wing right at the start of his career as a composer. "Oh he's our man. He must be called," -Jaikishan always used to say. Leave alone the instrumentalist, even the office boy and the tea server at the time of the recordings continued to be with the maestro throughout.
The feeling of togetherness was at the root of Jaikishan's sense of comraderie. "We have been working for the last 20-22 years, we must continue to work together in the future too" seemed to be his guiding motto.
It is difficult to retain a sense of gratitude or to remember old colleagues after reaching the top rung in one's professional career. But Jaikishan was an exception, possess as he did, the inborn qualities of friendship and gratitude.
I was struck by another rare quality that Jaikishan possessed. I never heard him speak ill of or belittle a fellow composer or a singer or an artiste. He had a distates for quarrels and misunderstandings. He never criticized or disparaged others.
He first came to the line, too many top composers were ruling the roost in the film world. Naushad. Shyam Sunder, Khemchand Prakash, Anil Biswas and C. Ramchandra were all composers of high calibre. They had occupied high places in the field of film music. Many of the songs tuned by them had acquired a place of pride in the hearts of music-lovers.
Under these circumstances, it was not easy to become known as music composers or to march ahead and attain an honourable position in the profession. But Shankar and Jaikishan, the twin composers succeeded in fulfulling that difficult task. Only one reason can be ascribed to their success. They showed and proved that they had something different, something fresh to offer to the public which was then under the hypnotic spell of the old masters.
This new team which breathed freshness received a hearty welcome from the people who raised them to a place of prominence. The new team was blessed with not only the love and affection of the people but was also wecomed and encouraged by the other music directors without any reservations. This was something unique and it must be atrributed to the liberal spirit that was in evidence at that time.
All the songs tuned by Jaikishan were primarily marked by simplicity, sweetness and a rare touch of melody. This indescribable sweetness and this ability to pierce and touch the hearts of listeners were to be invariably found in all his songs, irrespective of whether they were based on Indian classical music or light folk music or were set in the Western style or whether they were harbingers of a new experiment in composition. Tunes composed by Jaikishan not only offered to music lovers a different style in film music but also gave a different twist to film music itself.
Some raags were special favourites of Jaikishan as for instance Shivranjani, Bhoopali, Bhairavi and Yaman. He drew liberally on these raags in many of his compositions. However, he had an innate weakness for one raag -Bhairavi, which bewitched him and he always used to say , "Sada suhagan Bhairavi" (Bhairavi means eternal freshness) Many of the maestros most popular and melodious songs are in Bhairavi.