S. H. Bihari : The Forgotten Master Of Romance

S. H. Bihari

S. H. Bihari

Ye Chaand Sa Roshan Chehra, Zulfon Ka Rang Sunehra
Ye Jheel Si Neeli Aankhen, Koi Raaz Hain Inmein Gehra
Taarif Karu Kya Uski, Jisne Tumhe Banaaya

Shammi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore from 'Kashmir Ki Kali'

Shammi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore from ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’

These lyrics are frequently identified by everyone. We instantly do remember the jovial Shammi Kapoor and the beautiful Sharmila Tagore in ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ whenever we hear this song. We also recognise the breezy voice of Mohammad Rafi while listening to it. But sadly, with the passage of time, we have forgotten the brilliant lyricist who penned the unforgettable words of this song. Shamsul Huda Bihari or popularly known as S. H. Bihari was a lyricist in Bollywood who penned innumerable popular lyrics for almost three decades in the film industry.

S. H. Bihari was born at the city of Arrah in the Bhojpur district of Bihar. Being fluent in Hindi, Urdu and Bengali, he composed lyrics that were mostly romantic in nature.
After completing his graduation from the Presidency college (currently Presidency University) of Calcutta, he joined a rubber factory as an assistant manager. He was brought into the creative world by the eminent composer Anil Biswas, who had a knack for searching young budding lyricists for his compositions.

The first song that he penned down was ‘Main Ek Choti Si Chingari’ from ‘Ladli’ in 1949. The song was featured in the movie with the female antagonist and it didn’t click much with the audiences. But his second attempt brought him the recognition that he was looking for. He finally got the opportunity to write for Sashadhar Mukherjee’s ‘Shart’ in 1954 which was his most awaited big break.

The Struggling Days:

During the early struggling days in Bombay, Raja Mehdi Ali Khan discovered a depressed and worried Bihari with no work in hand. He took him to a religious baba in order to find a solution. The holy man gifted him with a silver coin and instructed to tie it on his arm. Later, he went to meet Sashadhar Mukherjee at his place with the silver coin tied as advised. He kept on waiting for Mukherjee whole day without getting any glance of him. Mukherjee wasn’t at home and soon he started to starve for food.

A starving Bihari went to a nearby store and fed himself after selling off the silver coin. He returned back to Mukherjee’s residence and this time he found Sashadhar Mukherjee standing right in front of the gate. He went closer to him and greeted him with a salaam to which Mukherjee didn’t respond.

A stubborn Bihari still didn’t leave, seeing which Sasadhar Mukherjee asked him, “Kya bechte ho?”. S. H. Bihari gave a warm smile and replied, “Dil ke tukde bechta hun”. His witty answer impressed Mukherjee and soon he landed up at Filmistan as the lyrics writer for their upcoming release ‘Shart’. Even if the silver coin failed to deliver its magic, Bihari’s creative mind performed its level best to impress the ace film maker Sashadhar Mukherjee.

‘Na Yeh Chand Hoga’, ‘Dekho Woh Chand Chupke’, ‘Mohabbat Mein Meri Tarah’, ‘Jana Na Chodke’ all were popular tracks by S. H. Bihari from ‘Shart’. The composer for the movie was Hemant Kumar and all his songs were sung by the star singers like Geeta Dutt, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Hemant Kumar himself.

Unforgettable Lyrics:

A Clip of 'Kajra Mohabbat Waala' from 'Kismat'

A Clip of ‘Kajra Mohabbat Waala’ from ‘Kismat’

Kajra Mohabbat Waala Ankhiyo Mein Aisa Daala
Kajre Ne Le Li Meri Jaan, Haye Re Main Tere Qurban

Remember this gleeful track from ‘Kismat’? This is one of the songs written by S. H. Bihari that is residing in our hearts since years. Composed by O. P. Nayyar, this super hit track was rendered by Shamshad Begum and Asha Bhosle. ‘Aankhon Mein Qayamat Ke Kaajal, ‘One Two Three Baby’ and ‘Laakhon Hain Yahaan Dilwaale’ are other notable tracks written by S. H. Bihari for ‘Kismat’.


A Clip of Rajendra Kumar from 'Kaun Hai Jo Sapno Mein Aaya' from the movie 'Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan'

A Clip of Rajendra Kumar from ‘Kaun Hai Jo Sapno Mein Aaya’ from the movie ‘Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan’

Kaun Hai Jo Sapno Mein Aaya
Kaun Hai Jo Dil Mein Samaaya
Lo Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan Bhi
Ishq Mera Rang Laaya
O Priya, O Priya

Does Mohammad Rafi’s voice while reading the above lyrics already ringing in your ears? These passionate and romantic lyrics were penned by S. H. Bihari and composed by Shankar-Jaikishan for the movie ‘Jhuk Gaya Aasmaan’.

Biswajeet and Sharmila Tagore in 'Yahi Woh Jagah Hai' from 'Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi'

Biswajeet and Sharmila Tagore in ‘Yahi Woh Jagah Hai’ from ‘Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi’

Yahi Woh Jagah Hai, Yahi Woh Fiza Hai,
Yahiin Par Kabhi Aap Humse Mile The

The soulful song from ‘Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi’ never fails to stir the hearts of the listeners. Asha Bhosle’s brilliant rendition and O. P. Nayyar’s incomparable composition is remembered by everyone. But the song would not have been as brilliant as it is without S. H. Bihari’s effective lyrics. ‘Phir Miloge Is Baat Ka Vaada Kar Lo’ is another beautiful track from the same movie. The entire soundtrack of ‘Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi’ is something which should not be missed by the music lovers.

S. H. Bihari faced some really deafening difficulties while penning down the lyrics of a song from ‘Mohabbat Zindagi hai’.

Once in a recording studio in presence of O. P. Nayyar and Asha Bhosle, an unsatisfied Bihari started doubting his own poetic skills. Asha Bhosle took him to a nearby hotel and ordered a cup of tea. Over the cup of tea, she encouraged and assured him about his potentials as a lyricist. Her words inspired him to come up with wonderful lyrics later for the movie ‘Mohabbat Zindagi Hai’.

‘Raaton Ko Chori Chori Bole Mera Kangna’, ‘Na Jaane Kyun’, ‘Mehfil Mein’, ‘Tumhari Mulaqat Se’, ‘Tum Sabse Se Haseen Ho’, ‘Kya Cheeze Ho Zaalim’ are some of the most liked songs from the film.

Many of his contemporary songs are bound to be loved by the new generation audiences as well. ‘Zaraa Haule Haule Chalo Mere Saajna’ from ‘Saawan Ki Ghataa’ is a timeless song for all ages.

‘Jaane Anjaane Log Mile, Magar Na Koi Mila Apna’, ‘Zulfon Ko Hataa Le Chehre Se’, ‘Ikraar Kare Kis Se, Inkaar Kare Kis Ko’, ‘Mere Dil Mein Kya Hai’, ‘Tumse Milkar Na Jaane’ are all exceptional songs written by S. H. Bihari.

S. H. Bihari has penned lyrics that mostly belong to the romantic genre. He has worked with almost all the contemporary composers but his lyrics were best fitted to O. P Nayyar’s tunes. The Nayyar-Bihari pair has done wonders and created marvelling music that are bound to amaze the young generation listeners as well.

S. H. Bihari is a forgotten lyricist today. But his work and his words are unforgettable. He will always be the all time modern romantic lyricist.

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