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Shankardas Kesarilal Shailendra (August 30, 1923 - December 14, 1966), popularly known as Shailendra, was a popular Indian Hindi lyricist.

Shailendra was born in Rawalpindi, British India. Shailendra started his career as an employee with Indian Railways. His job brought him to Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1947. He started writing poetry during these days.

Once, when he was reading out his poem Jalta hai Punjab at a public meeting, filmmaker Raj Kapoor noticed him. He offered to buy poems written by Shailendra and use them for his movie Aag (1948). Shailendra, a member of the left wing IPTA, was wary of mainstream Indian cinema and refused. However, after the birth of his son, Shaily, he needed money and himself approached Raj Kapoor.

Career as a lyricist

Shailendra's first project for Raj Kapoor was the movie Barsaat (1949). For Rs 500, he wrote two songs: Patli kamar hai and Barsaat mein. The music for Barsaat was composed by Shankar-Jaikishan. The team of Raj Kapoor, Shailendra and Shankar-Jaikishan produced many superhits.

In the days when composers would recommend lyricists to producers. Shankar-Jaikishan had promised Shailendra that they would recommend him around, but didn't keep their promise. Shailendra sent them a note with the lines, "Chhoti Si Yeh Duniya Pehchaane Raaste Hain Kahin To Miloge Phir Poochhenge Haal". Shankar-Jaikishan realized what the message meant and having said sorry, turned the lines into a well-known song.

Apart from Shankar-Jaikishan, Shailendra also shared a rapport with composers such as Salil Chowdhary (Madhumati), Sachin Dev Burman ( Guide, Bandini, Kala Bazaar), and Ravi Shankar (Anuradha). Apart from Raj Kapoor, he shared a rapport with filmmakers such as Bimal Roy (Do Bigha Zameen, Madhumati, Bandini) and Dev Anand (Guide).

Shailendra had invested in the movie Teesri Kasam, which was not successful. It is said that this was the ultimate cause of his death. His son Shaily Shailendra is also a lyricist.


Shailendra won the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award three times.
1958 Yeh mera deewanapan hai (Yahudi)
1959 Sab kuch seekha hamne (Anari)
1968 Main gaoon tum so jaao ( Brahmchari)

Shailendra's most popular songs

Ramaiya Vastavaiya (Shri 420)
Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh (Shri 420)
Mera Joota Hai Japani (Shri 420)
Aaj Phir Jeene Ki (Guide)
Gata Rahe Mera Dil (Guide)
Piya Tose Naina Laage Re (Guide)
Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya (Guide)
Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega (Sangam)
Dost Dost Na Raha (Sangam)
Sab Kuchh Seekha hamne (Anari)
Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Pe/Jeena isi ka naam hai (Anari)
Dil Ki Nazar Se (Anari)
Khoya Khoya Chand (kala bazar)


Sourced from wikipedia and meant for information only.
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