Kalyanji Virji Shah

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Kalyanji Virji Shah

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    Brototi Das Gupta
    Brototi Das Guptawrote on 08 Nov 2008

    Kalyanji Virji Shah and Anandji Virji Shah are a brother duo who rocked the Hindi music world in the 1970s. They are more popularly known as Kalyanji-Anandji. They were the son of a businessman who had to migrate from Kutch to Mumbai. He opened up a grocery store and arranged for a music teacher for his sons. The teacher's fees and his bills at the grocery store were mutually settled. The brothers seemed to have music in their blood because they had a great grandfather who used to be a folk singer during his times.
    Kalyanji introduced a new instrument clavioline in Hindi music and this was used in the film Nagin(1954) which was huge hit. He directed Hemant Mukherjee to sing for this film. Then he and his brother started a new musical club - Kalyanji Virji and Party which organised musical shows in Mumbai and outside.
    This also paved the way for them to participate in films. One cannot forget that that the Hindi film industry at this time was dominated by the who's who of music - RDBurman, Naushad,Madanmohan, Shankar Jaikishan and to break their bastion was no easy task. The duo however did this and their first film Samrat Chandragupta (1959) with Nirupa Roy and Bharat Bhushan was made. It was an instant hit. Their name officially came with the films Satta Bazaar and Madari(1959) which was followed by Chhalia in 1961. By this time they had become a famous pair with films lining their sleeves. They worked in more than 250 films together. What sets this duo apart from every other duo is their selfless devotion to music and the society. Money and fame were never their prerogatives and they organised functions for charitable organisations and NGOs. They have composed for some of the greatest names on the screen and also helped many singers to climb the ladder of success.
    Towards the end of the 1990's they entered the world of western music too. They made an album Bombay The Hard Way: Guns Cars And Sitars' which was a mix album put together by US DJ Dan The Automato. Then there were Bollywood Funk, a compilation album put together by Sutrasonic DJs Harv and Sunni. The Beginners Guide To Bollywood' was compiled by John Lewis. Very recently BLACK EYED PEAS, a group practising rap used music pieces from 2 of the duo's songs "AE Naujawan" from the film Apradh, and "Yeh Mera Dil" from the film Don, which won the group a GRAMMY AWARD.
    Kalyanji passed away on 24th August 2000.