Roshan (music director)

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Roshan Lal Nagrath
Music Director Roshan.jpg
Background information
Birth nameRoshan Lal Nagrath
Born(1917-07-14)14 July 1917
Gujranwala, Punjab, British India
Died16 November 1967(1967-11-16) (aged 50)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation(s) Esraj player, Music director, composer
InstrumentsEsraj, harmonium
Years active1948-1967
Associated acts Rajesh Roshan,
Children Rakesh Roshan and Rajesh Roshan
RelativesSee Roshan family

Roshan Lal Nagrath (14 July 1917 – 16 November 1967), better known by his first name Roshan, was an Indian esraj player and music director. He was the father of the actor and film director Rakesh Roshan and music director Rajesh Roshan and paternal grandfather of Hrithik Roshan.


Early life and education

Roshan was born in Gujranwala, Punjab, British India (now part of Punjab in Pakistan). [1] He began music lessons at a young age and later attended Marris College (now Bhatkhande Music Institute) in Lucknow under the training of Pandit S N Ratanjankar (principal of the institute). Roshan became an accomplished sarod player under the guidance of the renowned sarod player Allauddin Khan. In 1940, Khawaja Khurshid Anwar, programme producer/music, All India Radio Delhi, hired Roshan as staff artist for esraj, the instrument he used to play. He gave up this job in 1948 to seek fame and fortune in Mumbai. [1]


In 1948, Roshan came to Mumbai to find work as a Hindi film music director and became assistant of music composer Khawaja Khurshid Anwar in film Singaar (1949). He somewhat struggled until he met the then famous producer-director Kidar Sharma, who gave him the job of composing for his film Neki aur Badi (1949). While it was a flop, Kidar Sharma gave him another chance in his next film. Roshan emerged as a player on the Hindi film music scene with Baawre Nain (1950) which became a big musical hit. [1] [2]

In the early 1950s, Roshan worked with singers Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh and Talat Mahmood. Malhar (1951), Shisham, and Anhonee (1952 film) were some of the movies that he scored during the 1950s. During this time, he also composed the Meera bhajan which became a run-away hit, "Aeiri main to prem diwani mera dard na jane koyi" sung by Lata Mangeshkar for the movie Naubahar (1952). [1]

He was not always commercially successful. He gave Indeewar and Anand Bakshi their first breaks in the Indian film industry as lyricists. Later, they became two of the most sought-after songwriters in Mumbai from the late 1960s onwards.

Anand Bakshi was given his first break in 1956 by the music director Nisar Bazmi in his film Bhala Aadmi (1956). Roshan gave Bakshi the film CID Girl (1959), after Anand Bakshi wrote the four songs of Bhala Aadmi in 1956. Bhala Aadmi was released in 1958 after some delay. Together, Anand Bakshi and Roshan made a super hit musical film Devar (1966).

The 1960s proved to be the golden age for Roshan and his music. His ability to mould folk music with Hindustani classical music became his trademark and resulted in successful movie musicals. During this time, Roshan gave hits such as "Na to karavan ki talaash hai from Barsat Ki Raat" and "Zindagi bhar nahi bhoolegi woh barsaat ki raat" ( Barsaat Ki Raat , 1960). Barsaat Ki Raat also was a "super hit" film of 1960s. [3]

"Ab kya misaal doon" and "Kabhi to milegi, kahi to milegi" (Aarti, 1962), "Jo vada kiya vo nibhana padega", "Paao chhoon lene do", "Jo baat tujhmein hai" and "Jurm-e-ulfat pe" ( Taj Mahal , 1963), "Nigahen milane ko jee chahata hai" and "Laaga chunari mein daag" (Dil Hi To Hai, 1963), "Sansaar se bhaage phirte ho" and "Man re tu kaahe" ( Chitralekha , 1964), and "Oh re taal mile" and "Khushi khushi kar do vida" ( Anokhi Raat , 1968). He composed some melodies for the movie Mamta (1966) with lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri, "Rehte the kabhi jinke dil mein" and "Rahen Na Rahen Hum" sung by Lata Mangeshkar and her hit duet, "Chuppa Lo Yun Dil Mein Pyar Mera" with Hemant Kumar. Devar (1966): "Aaya hai mujhe phir yaad woh zalim, guzara zamana bachpan ka"; "Baharon ne mera chaman loot kar"; "Duniya mein aisa kahan sab ka naseeb hai". [2] [1] [4]

YearFilmFilm song lyricistSongs and Notes
1950 Bawre Nain [1] [2] Kidar Sharma Roshan's first breakthrough big hit song: Khayalon Mein Kisi Ke Iss Tarah Aaya Nahin Karte sung by Mukesh and Geeta Dutt
1951Malhar [1] Kaif Irani and Indivar Bade Armaanon Se Rakhaa Hai Balam Teri Qasam sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh
1951Hum LogUddhav KumarBahe Akhiyon Se Dhaar, Jiya Mera Beqarar sung by Lata
1952Naubahar [1] Meera Bai and Shailendra Aeiri mein tau prem diwani mera dard na jane koi, Meera bhajan sung by Lata Mangeshkar was a huge hit [1]
1952 Anhonee Ali Sardar Jafri and ShailendraMere Dil Kee Dhadakan Kya Bole sung by Lata and Talat Mahmood
1954 Chandni Chowk Majrooh Sultanpuri, Kamil Rashid, Shailendra, Raja Mehdi Ali Khan and Saifuddin Saif
1958 Aji Bas Shukriya Farooq QaiserThe song, "Saari saari raat teri yaad satai" was a huge hit
1959Mein Ne Jeena Seekh LiyaRahil GorakhpuriTere Pyar Ko Iss Tarah Se Bhulana, Na Dil Chahta Na Hum Chahtein Hain sung by Mukesh
1960 Barsaat KiRaat [2] [1] Sahir Ludhianvi The biggest musical film of his career with the most hits. [1] Zindagi Bhar Nahin Bhulegi Woh Barsaat Ki Raat sung by Mohammed Rafi
1962 Aarti Majrooh Sultanpuri Aap Ne Yaad Dilaya Tau Mujhe Yaad Aaya sung by Rafi and Lata was a hit film song from this film
1963 Dil Hi To Hai Sahir LudhianviLaaga Chunri Mein Daagh sung by Manna Dey
1963 Taj Mahal [4] Sahir LudhianviNot only the film song Jo Waada Kiya Wo Nibhana Pare Ga was a top hit song but also the film Taj Mahal was a "super hit" film of 1963 [3] [4]
1964 Chitralekha [5] Sahir LudhianviIn 2006, top number one Hindi song chosen by the jury of professionals in the Indian film industry was from Chitralekha (1964 film) composed by Roshan, Mun Re Tu Kaahe Na Dhir Dhare sung by Rafi [5]
1967 Bahu Begum [6] Sahir Ludhiyanvi Hum Intezar Karein Ge Tera Qayamat Tak sung by Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi was a hit song from this film
1968 Anokhi Raat Indeevar and Kaifi Azmi

Roshan's marked speciality was the film qawwali. He was widely hailed for their composition.

Death and legacy

Roshan had been suffering from chronic heart trouble for over 20 years. He died of a heart attack in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, on 16 November 1967, age 50, leaving behind 3 sons and 1 daughter. He had a sudden heart attack while attending a social gathering. [1]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pran Neville (5 January 2018). "Remembering music director Roshan". The Hindu (newspaper). Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Param Arunachalam (11 July 2015). "Bollywood Retrospect: Top 10 songs from Roshan's best film albums". DNA India website. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  3. 1 2 "Top Earners 1960-1969". website. 18 January 2008. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  4. 1 2 3 Sonal Pandya (14 January 2017). "Rajesh Roshan: 'Jo Wada Kiya Wo' still haunts me". website. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  5. 1 2 20 Best Hindi Film Songs Ever on Outlook (magazine) Published 26 June 2006, Retrieved 9 November 2019
  6. Bahu Begum (1967 film) on The Hindu (newspaper) Published 15 September 2010, Retrieved 12 November 2019