Published: December 2021
Millions of people love old Hindi film songs, but many of them don’t know who wrote the vast majority of such songs, much less the meanings of words and imageries used in them. Majrooh Sultanpuri was a key lyricist in close to 2000 such songs, and his mind-boggling oeuvre examined just about every emotion you can think of in an awe-inspiring corpus that leapt over generations for well over half a century. This biography is an attempt to present the stunning repertoire of his work.
In this book can be found a dedicated chapter on ghazals that explains what the form is about, even as it explores Majrooh’s work in that area. There are chapters on other forms of poetry—the rubaayi, the nazm, free verse—as also on subjects like the words that he commonly used, the situationally-relevant lyrics he penned, the songs of inspiration that he wrote, the words he introduced into cinema, and on many diverse subjects such as sad songs, romantic ones, qawwalis, mujras, and so on. Not to forget his opus in Bhojpuri. Majrooh was a poet for all reasons and we have attempted to demystify a great deal of his work.
The book lists all his songs and the films they appeared in, but it also examines some of his non-film work. In addition, we have looked in some detail at his personal journey. In his extraordinary run, Majrooh worked with a few composers in well over a hundred songs; as such, discerning writers have contributed a chapter each on his work with such music composers.
These names are, alphabetically, Antara Nanda Mondal (SD Burman), Deepa Buty (RD Burman), Lata Jagtiani (OP Nayyar), Madhur Trivedi (Laxmikant Pyarelal), Monica Kar (Chitragupt), and Vijay Kumar (Roshan). Sundeep Pahwa has written on Majrooh and Nasir Hussain.