Madan Mohan

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Date of Birth : 1924
Date of Death
: 1975
Birthname : Madan Mohan Kohli
Nickname : The Ghazal King

Mini Biography :

Madan Mohan was one of the most respected Hindi film composers. He was also one of the most overlooked – in a career spanning 25 years, he composed music for only over around 100 films, out of which only ten became box-office hits. This was due to his extremely fastidious nature and the number of tunes he composed for his films that were never used. Born Madan Kohli in 1924, he was the son of Raj Bahadur Chunilal, who worked in famous studios like Bombay Talkies and Filmistan. From his childhood he was seen as musically inclined and talented. In fact, during his lifetime, he amassed an amazing record of compositions, the majority of which were either unutilized for lack of appropriate films or were alternate tunes composed for his films.

He began working in Bollywood as an assistant to music director C. Ramchandra, and got his first major film with Aankhen (1950), a love triangle. The film was a success. Subsequently, a fair amount of work came to Mohan. Among his earlier films was a trilogy of movies with his childhood friend Raj Kapoor – _Aashiana (1952)_, _Dhoon (1952)_ and Paapi (1953). Unfortunately for Mohan, the films he chose to compose for did not create much impact, and it was only with Bhai Bhai (1956), which starred the legendary Kumar brothers, Ashok Kumar and Kishore Kumar, that he got some success. But from then on, things got rough; Railway Platform (1955), Gateway of India (1957), while with excellent music, weren’t huge hits. And to make matters worse, all of the top stars had already chosen a particular composer to work with (e.g. Dilip Kumar with Naushad the great composer), which left no room for a débutant, however talented.

Then, in the late 1950s and the 1960s, things changed for the better. His scores for Dekh Kabira Roya (1957) and Adalat (1958) showed that. And in the 1960s, he really began to be noticed with Anpadh (1962), with his songs becoming the rage all over India. It was with this film that he became to be known as the Ghazal King, even though he had already established his reputation for gossamer melodies with Adalat (1958). He acquired further commercial success with two films by Raj Khosla – _Woh Kaun Thi (1964)_ and Mera Saaya (1966). He also began to work with filmmaker Chetan Anand, for which he produced his most outstanding score in Haqeeqat (1964), a war film.

Although he brought out the best in his singers, special mention must be made of his work with Lata Mangeshkar, which showed both of them at their very best. This legendary combination was established in 1951 with Adaa (1951) and continued right up to (and after) his death. Mohan had this special talent of bringing out the best in Lata’s voice – she could sound seductive in Sanjog (1961), jaunty in Neela Aakash (1965) and perky in Mera Saaya (1966). However, it was in sentimental songs that they were at their best.

In the 1970s, when Western songs from films like _Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)_, Mohan still composed poetic melodies. His strict aesthetic sense caused him to be in great demand with sensitive if not commercially successful filmmakers, and he collaborated with respected names like Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Sampooran Singh Gulzar and Rajinder Singh Bedi, his collaboration with Bedi particularly standing out as it was with Dastak (1970) that he got the National Award for best music director – it was the only major award he got during his lifetime.

In 1975, at the age of 51, Mohan died from cirrhosis of the liver. Ironically, two films released soon afterwards – Mausam (1975) and _Laila Majnu (1975)_ – became resounding musical successes. However, three decades later, two films paid their tribute to Mohan. One was Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo (2004), a war film which, interestingly, took its title from one of his songs from Haqeeqat (1964). The film, however, didn’t do well at the box-office. The other film, a romance called Veer-Zaara (2004), paid a more fitting tribute for a composer – the director, Yash Chopra, took some of his unused compositions and used them in the film.

The spectacular success of Veer-Zaara (2004), especially its soundtrack (with a 75-year-old Lata Mangeshkar still as melodious as ever), established Madan Mohan as one of the elite composers of all time…


Filmography :
As Composer :

  1. Veer-Zaara (2004) (as The Late Madan Mohan)
  2. Chaal Baaz (1980)
  3. Jalan (1978)
  4. Saheb Bahadur (1977)
  5. Laila Majnu (1976)
  6. Sharafat Chod Di Maine (1976)
  7. Mausam (1975)
  8. Chowkidar (1974)
  9. Dil Ki Rahen (1973)
  10. Ek Mutthi Aasmaan (1973)
  11. Hanste Zakhm (1973)
  12. Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973)
  13. Prabhat (1973)
  14. Bawarchi (1972)
  15. Koshish (1972)
  16. Parwana (1971)
  17. Heer Raanjha (1970/I)
  18. Dastak (1970)
  19. Maa Ka Aanchal (1970)
  20. Maharaja (1970)
  21. Chirag (1969)
  22. Ek Kali Muskai (1968)
  23. Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1967)
  24. Ghar Ka Chirag (1967)
  25. Jab Yaad Kisi Ki Aati Hai (1967)
  26. Naunihaal (1967)
  27. Nawab Sirazuddaula (1967)
  28. Ladka Ladki (1966)
  29. Mera Saaya (1966)
  30. Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966)
  31. Naya Kanoon (1965)
  32. Neela Aakash (1965)
  33. Rishte Naahte (1965)
  34. Aap Ki Parchhaiyan (1964)
  35. Gazal (1964)
  36. Haqeeqat (1964)
  37. Jahan Ara (1964)
  38. Pooja Ke Phool (1964)
  39. Sharabi (1964)
  40. Suhagan (1964)
  41. Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)
  42. Akeli Mat Jaiyo (1963)
  43. Anpadh (1962)
  44. Man-Mauji (1962)
  45. Sanjog (1961)
  46. Bahaana (1960)
  47. Bank Manager (1959)
  48. Chacha Zindabad (1959)
  49. Duniya Na Mane (1959)
  50. Jagir (1959)
  51. Mohar (1959)
  52. Adalat (1958)
  53. Chandan (1958)
  54. Jailor (1958)
  55. Khazanchi (1958)
  56. Chhote Babu (1957)
  57. Dekh Kabira Roya (1957)
  58. Gateway of India (1957)
  59. Samundar (1957)
  60. Sheroo (1957)
  61. Bhai-Bhai (1956)
  62. Ek Shola (1956)
  63. Fifty Fifty (1956)
  64. Mem Sahib (1956)
  65. Pocket Maar (1956)
  66. Railway Platform (1955)
  67. Baghi (1953)
  68. Chacha Chowdhury (1953)
  69. Dhoon (1953)
  70. Ashiana (1952)
  71. Khubsurat (1952)
  72. Adaa (1951)
  73. Madhosh (1951)
  74. Shabistan (1951)
  75. Aankhen (1950)

As Music Department :

  1. Dastak (1970) (playback singer)
  2. Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1967) (musical director)
  3. Ghar Ka Chirag (1967) (musical director)

As Soundtrack:

  1. Veer-Zaara (2004) (“Tere Liye”, “Main Yahan Hoon”, “Aisa Des Hai Mera”, “Yeh Hum Aa Gaye Hain Kahaan”, “Do Pal”, “Kyon Hawa”, “Hum To Bhai Jaise Hain”, “Aaya Tere Dar Par”, “Lodi”, “Tum Paas Aa Rahe Ho”, “Jaane Kyon”)
  2. Parwana (1971) (music: “Chale Ladkhada Ke”, “Jis Din Se Maine Tumko Dekha Hai”, “Piya Ki Gali”, “Simti Si Sharmai Si”, “Yun Na Sharma Phailade”)
  3. Gazal (1964) (music: “Naghma Aur Sher Ki Saughat Kise Pesh Karoon”, “Ishq Ki Garmiyen”, “Dil Ki Khush Hai”, “Mere Mehboob Kahin Aur Mila Kar Mujhse”, “Unse Nazre Mili Aur Hizaab Aa Gaya”, “Mujhe Yeh Phool Na De”, “Yun Bhi Hai Aur Yun Bhi”, “Rang Aur Noor Ki Baraat Kise Pesh Karoon”)
  4. Sharabi (1964) (“Sawan Ke Mahine Mein”)
  5. Akeli Mat Jaiyo (1963) (music: “Thodi Der Ke Liye Mere Ho Jao”, “Akeli Mat Jaiyo”, “Raaste Mein Do Anjaane”, “Yeh To Kaho, Kaun Ho Tum”, “Woh Jo Milte The Kabhi”, “Yeh Cycle Ka Chakkar”, “Chal Chal Chal Mere Dil”, “Yeh Hawa, Yeh Mastana Mausam”)
  6. Anpadh (1962) (music: “Sikander Ne Porus Se”, “Rang Birangi Rakhi Lekar”, “Dulhan Hai Narwad Ki”, “Hal Isi Mein Pyar Ki Abroo”, “Aap Ki Nazaron Ne Samjha”, “Woh Dekho Jala Ghar Kisika”, “Jiya Le Gayo Ji Mora”)
  7. Man-Mauji (1962) (music: “Main To Tum Sang”, “Murgi Ne Jhoot Bola”, “Chanda Ja, Chanda Jare Ja”, “Ek Tha Abdul Rehman”, “Aaya Hai Kahan Se Pee Ke”) (“Zaroorat Hai Zaroorat Hai”)
  8. Adalat (1958) (music: “Jab din haseen dil ho jawaan”)
  9. Dekh Kabira Roya (1957) (music: “Laga Tose Lagi Balma”, “Kaun Aaya, Mere Man Ke Dwaare”, “Hum Bolate Hi Rahe, Tum Jalate Hi Rahe”, “Hum Panchhi Mastaane”, “Tum Meri Raakho Laaj Hari”, “Humse Aaya Na Gaya, Tumse Bulaya Na Gaya”, “Sajna Sajna Sajna.. Mere Veena Tum Bin Roye”)
  10. Bhai-Bhai (1956) (“Aye Dil Mujhe Batade”)
  11. Aankhen (1950) (music: “Preet Laga Ke”)


Nomination And Awards
Filmfare Awards
Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
2005 Nominated Filmfare Award Best Music Director
for: Veer-Zaara (2004)

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