B.H.Harsh wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Madan Mohan was born in the year 1924 in Baghdad, Iraq. He was the son of famous film mogul Rai Bahadur Chunnilal, who was also the partner of Bombay Talkies. When he was 19, His father sent him to army where Madan also received his first commission. But Madan Mohan soon quit it to do something in the field of the music. He joined Lucknow AIR, where he met and learnt from maestros like Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Talat Mehmood and Begum Akhtar. A few years later, Madan Mohan started assisting S.D.Burman, Shyam Sunder and C. Ramchandra.
Madan Mohan got his first break in hindi films with Aankhen (1950). He composed for 28 more films in the 50s, but none of them got much success. However, his songs from Dekh Kabir Roya (1957), Duniya Na Maane (1959) and Anpadh (1962) were a little bit popular.
Madan Mohan achieved great success in 1964, with his haunting music for Chetan Anand’s Haqeeqat (1965) and Raj Khosla’s Who Kaun Thi(1964). His songs for Jahaan ara (1964) were also popular.
Madan Mohan didn’t achieve much success from the mid 60s because the hindi film music was attaining a new Rock n roll sound, and was forgetting the classical music. This made Madan Mohan lesser interested in Hindi films, and he did very few films there after. However, His music for Heer Raanjha (1970), Dastak (1970) and Bawarchi (1972) was hugely popular. On July 14, 1975, Madan Mohan passed away of liver cirrhosis. Ironically, Madan Mohan got the biggest hits of his career after his death with his songs in films like Mausam (1975) and Laila Majnu (1976). Almost 30 years of his death, Madan Mohan’s genius was celebrated when Yash Chopra decided to use a few of his unused songs for his film Veer Zaara (2004). Veer Zaara’s music became hugely popular, and it only re-iterated the fact that melody never dies.
Madan Mohan fetched a National Award for his music for the film Dastak in 1970.
He was christened the ‘Prince of Ghazals’ by Lata Mangeshkar, for his uncanny ability to compose them with natural melody.