Songs are the important parts of Indian movies. Songs give the feel and depth to all movie lovers. Songwriters pen their songs according to the situation and need of the movie. More than 100 years gone in Bollywood and many great songwriters came and penned their magical words on the silver screen. Today will talk about one such great writer of all time Shailendra Lyricist.

Shailendra Lyricist

There are other great Lyricists of Hindi cinema such as Hasrat Jaipuri, Gulzar, Shair Ludhianvi, Javed Akhtar, Anand Bakshi etc. They have given some great songs which are still alive in all movie lovers heart. But, what Shailendra had given will remain immortal and will be always remembered.

The simplicity of words with deepest thoughts what makes Shailendra different from others Bollywood Lyricists. The way he understood the situation no one other ever had. Penning simple words but if you understand the meaning it means a lot. One such example A song “Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwala” from movie Shree 420, 1955 starring Raj Kapoor.

“Chhote se Ghar Mein Garib ka beta
Main bhi hoon Maa ke nasib ka beta
Ranj-o-gham bachpan Ke Saathi
Aandhiyon mein jali Jeevan baati
Bhookh ne hai bade Pyaar se paala”

You must find this song in a fun way but understand what He is trying to tell. Every line describes the life of a common, ordinary person. This was the beauty of Lyricist Shailendra a common man can relate himself with his songs easily.

Early Life Of Shailendra Lyricist

Shankardas Kesrilal aka Shailendra born in Rawalpindi brought up in Mathura in a poor family. For bread and butter, he moved to Bombay now Mumbai and started working in Matunga railway workshop. There he started working as a welder.

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Career As A Lyricist In Bollywood

shailendra lyrical genius

Its said that talent finds his own way to the success. Shailendra uses to recite poems at Indian People Theater Association (IPTA). One such occasion when he was reciting his poem Jalta Punjab Raj Kapoor was in the audience and he was so impressed he came and approached Shailendra to write songs for his film. Shailendra rejected by saying I don’t write songs for money.

After days past Shailendra’s wife became pregnant and he was not having enough money for the treatment. He went to Raj Kapoor and asked for some money. Raj Kapoor without asking anything given Rs 500 to him. When Shailendra came to return the money Raj Kapoor asked him to write songs for his upcoming film Barsaat (1949). 

Shailendra Lyricist wrote two songs which are still considered as the greatest songs. The first song was the title song of the movie “Barsaat mei humse mile tum Sajan Tumse mile hum” this song is considered as the first title song of Hindi cinema. The second song was “Patli Kamar hai, tirchi Nazar hai” AFter this Shailendra Lyricist never looked back and rest is history.

Rise to Stardom

shailendra shankar jaikishan

Shailendra with Raj Kapoor and music director Shankar Jaikishan given songs which not only ruled India but all over the world. One such song came from the pen of great Shailendra “Awara Hoon” from the movie Awaraa (1952) ruled the soviet union, middle east, and China. The popularity of this song is such it is used in a scene from movie Deadpool (2016).

The song “Mera Joota Hai Japani” also ruled the world. Especially in Russia and the middle east, the people on the street use to sing and enjoy. Such was the popularity of the song even today on the radio this song is played.

While making film Awaraa Raj Kapoor took Shailendra to writer Khwaja Ahmed Abbas. Abbas started narrating the story of the film after 2 hours of narration Raj Kapoor asked Shailendra “kyu kaviraj Kuch samjha” Shailendra told “Gardish me tha. Aasman ka taara tha. Awaara tha.” K.A Abbas was shocked and can’t believe how Shailendra told the entire story of 2 to 3 hours in one line. That’s why Raj Kapoor uses to call him Pushkin and Kaviraj.

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Shailendra Lyrical Genius

Shailendra uses to understand the situations better than any other Lyricist. His simplicity of the words was a gift to the audience. As said the greatest writer is who can write in simple words so that audience does not need a dictionary to decode it. So was Shailendra. Let’s look some great songs which blend perfectly with the situation of the movie.

1. Freedom

aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai

“Kaanto se khinch ke ye aanchal
tod ke bandhan baandhee paayal
Koee naa roko dil kee udaan ko, dil wo chalaa
Aaj fir jeene kee tamannaa hain
Aaj fir marane kaa iraadaa hain”

This song was from blockbuster movie Guide (1965). The song is the feeling of A woman who got freedom after years of restriction. Music by great S.D Burman with the voice of Legendary Lata Mangeshkar song became immortal.

2. Truth Of Life


“Tumhare Mehel Chaubaare
Yahin Reh Jayenge Saare
Akad Kis Baat Ki Pyaare
Yeh Sar Phir Bhi Jhukaana Hai”

“Sajan Re Jhooth Mat Bolo
Khuda Ke Paas Jaana Hai”

One of my favorites of great Shailendra from movie Teesri Kasam (1966). How in simple words Shailendra demonstrated the whole life in this song.

3. Innocence

Anari 1959

“Duniya ne Kitana samajhaaya
kaun hai Apana, kaun paraaya
phir bhi dil ki chot chhupa kar
hamane aapaka dil bahalaaya
khud pe mar mitane ki, ye zid thi hamaari
sach hai duniyaavaalon ki ham hain anaadi”

One of the best movies of Raj Kapoor Anari (1959) this song demonstrates the whole movie. How an innocent and honest man telling the world he learned everything but still a fool.

4. Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai

“kisi ki muskuraahaon pe ho nisaar
kisi ka dard mil sake to le udhaar
kisi ke vaaste ho tere dil men pyaar
jeena isi ka naam hai”

Again from the movie Anari (1959). You can’t get enough from this song. The way Shailendra Lyricist has written it how once life should be full of helping and caring.

There are many such songs which Shailendra made it immortal by his writing. Great Gulzar told on many occasions Shailendra is the greatest Lyricist ever happened in Hindi cinema.

Immortal songs penned by Shailendra Lyricist
shailendra raj kapoor

1. Tu Pyar Ka Sagar hai (Seema)
2. Dost Dost Na Raha (Sangam)
3. Ramaiya Vastavaiya (Shree 420)
4. Ye Mera Deewanapan Hai (Yahudi)
5. Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua (Shree 420)
6. Ye Raat Bheegi Bheegi (Chori Chori)
7. Jhoomke Chali Hava (Sangeet Samrat Tansen)
8. Suhana safar aur mausam hansi (Madhumati)
9. Ruk Ja Raat, Thahar Ja Re Chanda (Dil Ek Mandri)
10. Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega (Sangam)
11. Tere mere sapne ek rang hai (Guide)
12. Jeena yaha marna yaha (Mera Naam Joker)

There are many more songs of great Shailendra which are marked as landmarks in Hindi cinema. After giving so much to the industry he never got his worth. We all are in debt of this great Personality until our last breath.