By Subhash K Jha
Mumbai– Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar remembers renowned Urdu poet and lyricist Jaswant Rai Sharma, known to the world by his pen name Naqsh Lyallpuri, and says that he wrote one of her most memorable ghazals “Rasm-e-Ulfat Ko Nibhayen”
“I was not as close to Naqsh Saab as I was to Majrooh Sultanpuri Saab. But I would meet him at many of my recordings. He wrote some of my most beautiful songs including three of my personal favourites, Sapan-Jagmohan’s ‘Ulfat mein zamanein ki harr rasm ko thukrao'(Call Girl), Jaidev’s ‘Tumhe dekhti hoon toh lagta hai aise ke jaise yugon se tumhe jaanti hoon'(from Basu Chatterjee’s Tumhare Liye) and Madan Mohan’s ‘Rasm-e-ulfat ko nibhayen toh nibhayen kaise'(from B R Ishara’s Dil Ki Raahen).
“I vividly remember these recordings because the poetry was so heartstopping in its beauty. The lyrics were beautifully romantic. The words were simple and eloquent. Over the years I must have sung dozens of Naqsh Saab’s lyrics. I remember him sitting quietly at the recordings just listening to my singing,” said Lata.
The melody queen also says that the song was one of the biggest challenges for her as a singer.
“It was a very difficult number to put across. What a composition and what lyrics! I’d say I contributed very little to its overall beauty. I can’t remember the last time I sang one of Naqsh Saab’s songs. But I remember his quiet attentive unobtrusive presence at every recording,” she said.
Lyallpuri was 89. He had been ailing for some time and breathed his last at his Andheri home on January 22.
Born in Lyallpur in the part of Punjab now in Pakistan, Lyallpuri came to Mumbai in the late 1940s to make a career in Hindi cinema. Though he got his first break in 1952 as a song writer, real success eluded him till the early 1970s.
He also worked with the postal department for some time to make ends meet during his early struggling days in Mumbai.