Born as Roshan Lal Nagrath, but known popularly only as Roshan, was the renowned music director of Indian cinema. Roshan was born on July 14, 1917 in Gujranwala, Punjab of British India, which is now part Pakistan. He was born into the family of Thekedars. Roshan started learning music from his early age. His first music teacher was Manhar Barve, with whom he traveled around India. Roshan later took music lessons from Pt. Ratanjanker of Lucknow and later from Ustaad Allauddin Khan. He also learned Sarangi from Bundu Khan. Roshan also had taken music lessons from Morris College of Music, Lucknow.
Roshan started his career as music composer to AIR (All India Radio), Delhi in 40's. He worked there for around 10 years. Roshan was used to compose music for various programs on radio. In 1948, he moved to Mumbai to try his hand in Bollywood. His struggle continued until he got his first break with Kidar Sharma's film Neki Aur Badi in 1949. Kidar Sharma had first signed composer Snehal Bhatkar for the film. But after listening to Roshan he gets impressed. By having conservation with Snehal Bhatkar, Kidar gave the chance to Roshan. But the film didn't come out as big. However, Kidar gave him second chance with Baawre Nain in 1950 and this time Roshan gave hits like 'Khayalon Mein Kisike' and 'Sun Bairi Balam'.
Some of his hit films from 50's include Malhar, Anhonee and Shisham. While his hits from 60's includes Barsaat Ki Raat, Vallah, Aarti, Devar, Bheegi Raat, Chitralekha, Taj Mahal, Bahu Begum, Dooj Ka Chand, Nai Umar Ki Nai Fasal, Noor Jahan, Dil Hi To Hai and Anokhi Raat.
Roshan is quite famous for his qawwaalis. His hit numbers includes 'Nigahen Milane Ko Ji Chahata Hai', 'Mere Beri Ke Ber', 'Laaga Chunari Mein Daag', 'Joh Wada Kiya Who Nibhana', 'Baharon Ne Mera Chaman Lootkar', 'Kahin To Milegi', 'Parda Uthaye Salaam Ho Jaye', 'Mile Na Phool', 'Karvan Guzar Gaya', 'Mehfil Se Uth Jaanewalon', 'Oh Re Taal Mile Nadi' and many more.
In 1950's, Roshan found a good rapport with singers Mukesh and Talat Mehmood. Roshan also had given breaks to Anand Bakshi and Indeevar as lyricist in the industry, who later became the top lyricists. He was also famous for grooming new singers and one of them is Ira to whom he later married.
Although being successful composer, Roshan always kept himself low profile. But he had great respect for himself amongst his colleagues. Roshan had unique style of his music. He was master in putting folk in complex classical tunes. He was used to do fusion of folk and classical music and nobody can do like him with that much of ease. The best part of his music is melody.
Roshan died on November 16, 1967 in Mumbai due to heart attack. Roshan was suffering chronic heart problem for almost 20 years.
Roshan - Awards