Madan Mohan was one of the popular music directors of Indian Hindi cinema. But also he was one, who was overlooked mostly. He had worked on 100 films in his 25 years career, but only 10 became hit. This is because most of his tunes were altered in the film, where some other tunes never get used in any film. But, undoubtedly he was one of the talented music composers. It was only recently, when his unused tunes were used in films like Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo (2004) and Veer Zaara (2004). Although 'Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo' didn't work well on the box office, Veera Zaara received the expected reviews. The late Madan Mohan won Filmfare Award for his unused compositions in the film Veer Zaara.
Born as Madan Mohan Kohli, Madan Mohan was born in 1924 to Rai Bahadur Chunilal. Rai Bahadur was big name of 30's and 40's, who was a partner to famous film studios like Bombay Talkies and Filmistan. Madan Mohan was fascinated from music since his childhood. But his father wanted him to join the army. He was sent to Dehradun to join army by his father. But he was not going easy with it. Once when he was posted to Delhi, he quit from there and ran to Lacknow to pursue career in music. He wanted to join AIR (All India Radio) in Lacknow. In Lacknow, he came across the musical biggies like Talat Mehmood, Begum Akhtar, Roshan Ara Begum, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Siddheshwari Devi and Ustad Faiyyaz Khan which eventually increased his interest in music. He was greatly influenced by these people, which clearly shows in his later work. This is what made him successful music composer despite not having any formal training in music.
Madan Mohan came to Bombay in the late 40's, and assisted S. D. Burman and Shyam Sunder for a brief spell, for films being made by Filmistan studios. Madan's first big independent break was Aankhen in 1950. After his film 'Aankhen' Madan and Lata became a great team together and Lata sang for almost all his films. Lata Mangeshkar was the last word for him. The sweetness Madan achieved here in Lata Mangeshkar's voice is something rare in his repertory. It was never enough that there was enough of only Lata in a Madan tune. Lata used to call Madan 'Ghazal Ka Shehzadaa'. 'Woh chup rahen to mere dil ke daag jalte hain' from the film Jahan Ara and 'Maine rang li aaj chunariya' from Dulhan Ek Raat Ki are some others of his compositions. He scored for a theme in mime like Chetan Anand's Heer Ranjha. Madan Mohan moved to Bombay in late 1940 and started assisting C. Ramchandra, S.D. Burman and Shyam Sunder. Later he started working independently and got his first break with film Aankhen in 1950. It was a hit film. Followed by it, Madan composed music for Raj Kapoor's films Aashiana (1952, Dhoon (1952) and Paapi (1953). But the films were not much successful at box office. But he made the same impact like Aankhen with the film Bhai Bhai in 1956.
Later he gave hits like 'Do Ghadi Woh Jo Paas Baithe' from Gateway of India and 'Dekh Tere Insaan Ki Haalat' from Railway Platform, but the films failed to make big impact on box office. Also things became worse, because all the high ranked actor had already chosen one particular music director for them, so there was no chance for upcoming Madan Mohan. But later he found better years in late 50s and 60s when he saw success with films like Dekh Kabira Roya (1957) and Adalat (1958). Also his compositions 'Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha', and 'Woh Dekho Jala Ghar Kisika' from Anpadh (1962) became hit. The songs created rage in the country.
In 1964, he gave the all time hit songs 'Naina Barse Rimjhim Rimjhim', 'Lag Ja Gale Ke Phir Ye Hasin', 'Chhodkar Tere Pyaar Ka Daman' with film Woh Kaun Thi. He also gave the hit compositions 'Jhumka Gira Re', 'Mera Saya Saath Hoga', and 'Nainon Mein Badra Chhaye' with the film Mera Saaya in 1966. While his hit from film Haqeekat include 'Ab Tumhaare Hawaale Watan Saathiyon'.
Madan Mohan found a good rapport with the veteran Lata Mangeshkar. Lataji who started to sing for him in 1951 with the film Adaa, has sung for him till his death. Also Madan Mohan is well known for bringing best from Lataji's voice.
In 1970's when the era was influenced by western music, Madan stick to poetic melodies. And this is how he formed association with sensitive directors like Gulzar, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Rajinder Singh Bedi. He gave hit songs in Bedi's film Dastak in 1970. The film received him a National Film Award as Best Music Director. It was the only major award he earned in his 25 years career.
Madan Mohan was passed away in 1975 due to cirrhosis of the liver. He was only 52 when he died. However his two films as music director were released after his death and which was Mausam (1975) and Laila Majnu (1975). The film had hit compositions, but Madan Mohan was not alive to see the success. Later his some unused tunes were used in film Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo (2004) and Veer-Zaara (2004). Amongst which Veer Zaara was a hit and which fetched a Filmfare Award as Best Music Director for Madan Mohan. Lyrics for the film was written by Javed Akhtar.
Madan Mohan - Awards