Memorable Daastaan-e-Rajinder Krishan

Author: Dr. Mandar V. Bichu

Delhi-based Ibaadat foundation has carved a unique niche in the world of music shows. While most of the music events are themed around famous singers or composers; Ibaadat focuses on lyricists, the often ignored wordsmiths, who have enriched the songs with their impactful poetic words.

On January 5th, 2018, I had the privilege to attend ‘Dastaan-E-Rajinder Kirishan’, a show dedicated to the master lyricist Rajinder Krishan Duggal. By the way, these Ibaadat events are non-ticketed ‘Only by Invitation’ affairs, making sure of an aware, appreciative audience.

Held in Dubai’s Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, this ‘Daastaan’ captivated the audience from the beginning to the end. Over two and a half hours, this show portrayed Rajinder Krishan’s colorful life-story through anecdotes and songs. Born on June 6, 1919  in a small town Jalalpur Jattan (which is now in Pakistan), Rajinder Krishan showed a penchant for poetry right from his formative years. Leaving his clerical job in Shimla, he came to Mumbai in the mid-1940s to make a career as a screen writer in film-industry. In a career spanning four decades in post-Independence India, Rajinder Krishan wrote songs, scripts and dialogues for many blockbuster films. A man who came from a modest middle class family and who struggled a lot before settling down, Rajinder Krishan went on to become an uncrowned ‘King of Madras’ in the 60s for the hold he had on various South Indian production houses. To cap it all, in the early 1970s, he struck a 46 lac jackpot at the racecourse!

His prolific partnerships with music directors C. Ramchandra, Madan Mohan, Hemant Kumar, Ravi and Chitragupt are a stuff of legends. With multi-hued songs such as Chup Chup Khade Ho, Gore Gore O Baanke Chhore, Man Dole Mera Tan Dole, Yun Hasraton Ke Daag, Woh Bhooli Dastaan, Saawan Ke Maheene Mein, Aa Jaane Jaan, Tum Hi Ho Maata Pita Tum Hi Ho, Ik Chatur Naar and Kar Chale Hum Fida, Rajinder Krishan left an indelible legacy. He departed from this world on September 23, 1987.

This event was a welcome change from the typical ‘Stand and deliver’ kind of musical shows. It had an informal ‘mehfil in a drawing room’ kind of a setup with all artistes- anchors and singers giving an impression of casually conversing about the famed lyricist’s life and career, and breaking into impromptu songs. But believe me, a lot of thought and preparation had gone into the presentation. The anchors were knowledgeable and engaging. The song selection was immaculate, displaying the full spectrum of Rajinder Krishan’s poetic talent. The specially arranged music tracks almost recreated the original golden era ambience and all the singers poured their hearts and souls into the renditions. Participation of Rajinder Krishan’s son Rajesh Duggal and Madan Mohan’s daughter Sangeeta Gupta added a personal touch to the proceedings. Audio clips of Rajnder Krishan’s old interviews gave a peep into his fun-loving persona.

All in all, Dastaan E Rajinder Krishan was a memorable event honoring an exceptional artiste. Kudos to Prithvi Haldea, Sangeeta Bedi, Naveen Anand and all the Ibaadat team members for the honesty and sincerity with which they presented this unforgettable tribute!

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