Beyond Bygone

Lost in oblivion Nashad

Often confused with the maestro Naushad Ali, Nashad nevertheless made a name for himself in the industry, being involved in 29 films over 16 years before migrating to Pakistan where his legacy still endures

During my long innings with Doordarshan, I produced and directed the most popular series on the life and music of various composers. After the successful telecast of a documentary on the veteran Anil Biswas, the second episode was on another senior composer by the name of Naushad Ali which was telecast on December 25, 1994, on his birthday. I had developed a good rapport with the composer during the shooting and made a regular habit of meeting him whenever I was in Bombay to shoot the subsequent episodes.

Naushad Saheb had huge reservoir of anecdotes. Once he narrated an interesting anecdote of a renowned lyricist turned producer, Naqshab Jarchavi. In his own words "One day I was in search of tunes for my next film when Naqshab Saheb came to my house and told me that he had decided to produce and direct a film and wanted me to give music for the film. I politely turned down his request and told him I have already three films in hand- Amar (1954), Udan Khotala (1955) and Mother India (1957). My hands are tied up. He was adamant but when I told him my final no, he left the room but while going he told me that 'Naushad Saheb, film ke parde per to aap hi ka naam jayaga'. I took it lightly."

He continued with his account, "After few months, I received a call from a friend who asked me to accompany him for the premiere of Naqshab Saheb's film Nagma (1953). Naqshab Saheb's parting words once again echoed in my mind and out of curiosity, I accompanied my friend. We didn't notice the credit's on the screen but when in the interval people started coming to me and started congratulating me for the music of the film, I was shocked and asked Naqshab, "Ye kya majak hai?" Naqshab introduced me to a young man in his twenties, saying, 'Ye hai hain Nashad'. I knew the young man and he had been giving music in films with his real name, Shaukat Hussain Dehelvi. He told me with folded hands that 'Naqshab Saheb ne mujhe Shaukat Hussain se Nashad bana diya'. I had a laugh that people must have taken Nashad as Naushad. After Nagma, Shaukat used this very name in his future films."

Nashad was born as Shaukat Hussain Ali Haidri in Delhi on July 11, 1923. During his school days, he learnt to play the flute. Music was his passion and first love. Soon he was prompted to try his luck in films and moved to Bombay in the early 40s. He made his debut in 1947 with the film Dildar, directed by R Shivraj. He gave music in the film as Shaukat Dehlvi.

In 1948, he gave music in three films- Jeene Do, Toote Tare and Suhagi. Few of his compositions were admired. Hum unko dekhne wale ae chand tujhe kya dekhein and Paigam gharebon ka de do zamane ko were two such compositions. And in Toote Tare, he used the famous Ghazal of Bahadur Shah Zafar, Na kisi ke ankh ka noor hoo and Nazar se mili hai nazar pahle pahle. For these films, he used the name of Shaukat Ali. His next film was Dada (1949), directed by Harish. Its popular numbers were – O badi zulmi tamanna hi dil mein and Main bolu piya piya tu bole jia jia, alongside two light numbers, Jawani ka zamaana, come come dear and Chal chal chemali bag mein guddi udayange.

His next film was Aiye (1949), produced under the banner of Indian Productions Bombay and was directed by veteran actor Yaqub. He himself played the lead opposite Sucholana Chatarjee. Shaukat introduced a new female playback singer, Mubarak Begum. She recorded her first song under his baton.

Like C Ramchandra, Shaukat gave music in different films with different names, as Shaukat Dehlvi and Shaukat Haidiri. In spite of good music in the film Aiye, he didn't get any films in the next two years. Gazab was released in 1951, where he shared the credit with co-composer Nisar Bazmi. He composed songs in Premlata's voice, Tere dil se mera dil mil gaya. Asha Bhonsle also sang a solo, Nazar milake and a duet with Khan Mastana, Tere karan sabko choda. Shaukat married Premlata later.

In spite of good music, Shaukat was not getting many films. He tasted real success with Naqshab's film Nagma (1953). Naqshab wrote the lyrics. This film proved lucky for both of them and Shaukat Hussain became Nashad. This was a major breakthrough for Nashad. It's most popular numbers were, Teer chala chala chala o teer chalane wale, Milte hi nazar unse, Kahta hai ye dil chal unse mil and Aao ki tumhe dil ke armaan bulate hain.

His next film was Char Chand (1953). A few popular compositions of this film were – Ek nahi do nahi char chand, Main hun ali baba, koi na machaye shore and Lagi hai aag jo dil mein use aakar bujha jate.

After the grand success of Nagma, Nashad did a film with Ishmat Chugtai and Sahid Lateef in 1954 called Darwaza. In this film Nashad used the voices of Savita Banarjee and new singer Suman Kalyanpur.

Next year, another successful film was released in which he gave music, Baradari (1955). Baradari was a costume drama starring Ajit, Geeta Bali, Pran and Gope. The film was directed by K Amarnath. Its most popular numbers were- Tasveer banata hun tasveer nahi banti, Bhula nahi dena ji hula nahi dena, Dil hamse wo lagaye and Lata's solos, Dard bhara dil bhar bhar aaye and Chhaye re badariya ab ke barash kya zulm hua. Badadari was the best film of Nashad career. He gave music in several films – Jawaab, Shehzada (1955) with S Mohinder, Sabse Bada Rupaiya with OP Nayyar, Awara Shehzadi with Jimmi (1956), Bada Bhai, Mehfil (1957), Hathkadi (1958) and Qatil (1960). His other successful film was Zindgi Ya Toofan (1958). Some of his composition in these films were appreciated but he couldn't recreate the magic of Nagma and Baradari.

His last film, Flying Man (1965) was a stunt film starring Ranjan and Helen. In 1966, Nashad went to Pakistan and was active in Pakistani films for fifteen years. He gave several hits in Pakistan, Khuda kare ki mohabbat me ye maqam aaye in Aafshan and Le aayi phir kahan per in Saalgirah. The credit of introducing Runa Laila also goes to him. Nashad was one of the most popular composers in Pakistan. Two of his sons were also active in the Pakistani film industry. Nashad died in Lahore on January 3, 1981, at the age of 58.

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