Neetal wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Son of Sri Kesarilal and Parvati Devi, Sailendra was born in Rawalpindi on 30th August 1923. He was the eldest of the four sons. During his childhood days his family moved to Mathura for good but the accidental death of his mother after the shift caused a deep pain for Shailendra, which almost turned him an atheist.
Shailendra started his career with the orthodox method of joining the government organization and lead his secure life. His job in Indian Railways brought him to the city of Bombay in 1947, when the Indian freedom struggle was at its best. He spent more of his duty hours writing poetry than toiling in the workshop. Once, when he was reading out his poem Jalta hai Punjab at a Kavi Samelan, filmmaker Raj Kapoor noticed him. He offered to buy poems written by Shailendra. Shailendra, initially refused to join mainstream Indian cinema. However, after the birth of his son, Shaily, he needed money and himself approached Raj Kapoor. His first movie was Barsaat which was a musical hit. Shailendra had best of his association with Shankar-Jaikishan, but shared a equally pleasant rappot with musical giants of those days, like Salil Chowdhary (Madhumati), S. N. Tripathi, (Sangeet Samrat Tanseen), S.D. Burman (Guide and Bandini) and Pt. Ravi Shankar (Anuradha). Barsaat, Anuradha, Guide are among the few hits. Teesri Kasam was a flop.
He won the Filmfare award for Best Lyricist thrice. Out of the three two were won in consecutive years. The first came in 1958 for the song ‘Ye mera deewanapan hai’ from the film Yahudi, and the second in 1959 for the evergreen ‘Sab kuch seekha hamne’ from Anari. In 1968 Shailendra won it again for the third time for ‘Main gaaun tum so jaao’, from 'Brahmachari' Shailendra had invested in the movie Teesri Kasam, which was not successful. It is said that this was the ultimate cause of his death. His son Shaily Shailendra is also a lyricist.