In simple words, poet Shailendra wrote great poetry with deepest thoughts, feelings, and emotions. His ‘shikva’ meaning complaint to God is one of my favourite compositions. “Duniya banane wale kaya tera mann main samai, kahe to duniya banai.”

Shailendra was a poet par excellent. He weaved the words in the language of common man expressing his sorrows and joys, struggles and hopes, awareness and inspiration. “kisi ke muskuraahato pe ho nisaar, kisee ka dard mil sake to le udhaar, kisee ke vaste ho tere dil me pyaar, jeena isee kaa naam hai.”

Born into a Dalit family of Chamaar at Rawalpindi, Pakistan, he was brought up in Mathura when the family moved to India. His ancestors were from Bihar, and Bhojpuri was his mother tongue. His lyrics in Bhojpuri was his exclusive forte. “Ab Ke Baras Bhej Bhaiyya Ko babul.”

When Urdu was the hype in the Bombay film industry, Shailendra’s entry as a Hindi poet gave meaningful diversity that related very well with ordinary people’s ethos, including the rural folks.   

Shailendra, Raj Kapoor, Mukesh, and Music director duo Shanker-Jaikishan became the most dominating combination in the golden era of Hindi film music of the ’50s and early ’60s.

Shailendra (August 30, 1923 – December 14, 1966) was perhaps the most decorated lyricist in the Hindi film industry. His talent got recognition with the release of a postal stamp in 2013.

-Promod Puri

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