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Khemchand Prakash

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
Khemchand Prakash

Khemchand Prakash ( December 12, 1907- August 10, 1950) was one of the greatest music composers in Hindi film industry. He belongs to Sujangarh,Churu(Rajasthan). His father was a dhrupad singer and a kathak dancer in the royal court and boy Khemchand got his first training of music and dance from his father. In his teens, he joined Bikaner Royal court as a singer performer and later moved to the royal court of Nepal. But the destiny landed him in Kolkata and he joined New Theaters in Kolkata as an assistant of Timir Baran. He was assistant of Timir Baran in Devdas (1935). He made his debut in 1939 with the Supreme Pictures “Meri Aankhein” and was soon signed up by the prestigious Ranjit Film Studio. He had few peers in 1940s, the best decade for Indian film music. Lata Mangeshkar had fruitful association with him (in films Asha, Ziddi, Mahal) when she started making a name, but Khemchand’s early death robbed the industry of a giant.
His initial years had a few more significant films like Pardesi, Holi, Fariyaad and Khursheed was his leading singer and both of them gave a lot of hits of early 40s. But it was in 1943, came a film that pushed Khemchand Prakash much ahead of other music directors of that era and the film was starrer Tansen. Tansen is considered as one of the finest musical films for its music. Diya jalaao jagmag jagmag, Rumjhum rumjhum chal tihari, More balpan ke saathi, sapt suran teen gram are musical gems who have not lost shine even after sixty years.
1948 marked yet another significant film of his career, Bombay Talkies’s Ziddi. He gave first major break to Kishore Kumar as a singer for the song “Marne ki duaaen kyun maangu”. It is a very famous fact that Lata Mangeshkar’s voice was initially rejected by the Producer Chandu Lal Shah and Khemchand Prakash challanged his decision and told him that this voice will one day rule the nation and resigned. Ziddi featured a beautiful song of Lata Mangeshkar “Chanda re ja re ja re”.
But what followed Ziddi was an outstanding an immortal piece of Work in the form of music of Mahal (1949). Mahal made Lata Mangeshkar a popular name in every corner of the country. Prior to Mahal, the records used to feature the character name as the name of the singer with the song on the record.. so the first lot of records had “Aayega aane wala” credited to Kamini, but the public demanded for revealing the name of the singer and so from Mahal onwards singers started to get credited on the records. Mahal’s music is a landmark in Hindi Cinema. The haunting melodies and brilliant orchestration set the foundation for the golden period of Hindi film music of 50s. “Ayega aane wala” forms the smallest mukhda of any Hindi film song.With just three words Khemchand ji made a magical composition and also all other songs of Mahal (Ghabara ke jo hum sar ko, mushkil hai bahut mushkil, dil ne phir yaad kiya) are immortal. Unfortunately Khemchand Prakash could not survive for long to see the success of Mahal and also shaping up of the golden era of Hindi film music (of 50s) and passed away on August 10, 1950 at a relatively young age of 42. Mahal, Tansen and Ziddi are just a few samples of what he could be, had he been there for a longer stint.
His fellow composer Kamal Dasgupta called Khemchand the best music director. ‘He beat us all’.
Khemchand’s brother, Basant Prakash, was also a film composer.

Khemchand Prakash ( December 12, 1907- August 10, 1950) was one of the greatest music composers in Hindi film industry. He belongs to Sujangarh,Churu(Rajasthan). His father was a dhrupad singer and a kathak dancer in the royal court and boy Khemchand got his first training of music and dance from his father. In his teens, he joined Bikaner Royal court as a singer performer and later moved to the royal court of Nepal. But the destiny landed him in Kolkata and he joined New Theaters in Kolkata as an assistant of Timir Baran. He was assistant of Timir Baran in Devdas (1935). He made his debut in 1939 with the Supreme Pictures “Meri Aankhein” and was soon signed up by the prestigious Ranjit Film Studio. He had few peers in 1940s, the best decade for Indian film music. Lata Mangeshkar had fruitful association with him (in films Asha, Ziddi, Mahal) when she started making a name, but Khemchand’s early death robbed the industry of a giant.His initial years had a few more significant films like Pardesi, Holi, Fariyaad and Khursheed was his leading singer and both of them gave a lot of hits of early 40s. But it was in 1943, came a film that pushed Khemchand Prakash much ahead of other music directors of that era and the film was starrer Tansen. Tansen is considered as one of the finest musical films for its music. Diya jalaao jagmag jagmag, Rumjhum rumjhum chal tihari, More balpan ke saathi, sapt suran teen gram are musical gems who have not lost shine even after sixty years.1948 marked yet another significant film of his career, Bombay Talkies’s Ziddi. He gave first major break to Kishore Kumar as a singer for the song “Marne ki duaaen kyun maangu”. It is a very famous fact that Lata Mangeshkar’s voice was initially rejected by the Producer Chandu Lal Shah and Khemchand Prakash challanged his decision and told him that this voice will one day rule the nation and resigned. Ziddi featured a beautiful song of Lata Mangeshkar “Chanda re ja re ja re”.But what followed Ziddi was an outstanding an immortal piece of Work in the form of music of Mahal (1949). Mahal made Lata Mangeshkar a popular name in every corner of the country. Prior to Mahal, the records used to feature the character name as the name of the singer with the song on the record.. so the first lot of records had “Aayega aane wala” credited to Kamini, but the public demanded for revealing the name of the singer and so from Mahal onwards singers started to get credited on the records. Mahal’s music is a landmark in Hindi Cinema. The haunting melodies and brilliant orchestration set the foundation for the golden period of Hindi film music of 50s. “Ayega aane wala” forms the smallest mukhda of any Hindi film song.With just three words Khemchand ji made a magical composition and also all other songs of Mahal (Ghabara ke jo hum sar ko, mushkil hai bahut mushkil, dil ne phir yaad kiya) are immortal. Unfortunately Khemchand Prakash could not survive for long to see the success of Mahal and also shaping up of the golden era of Hindi film music (of 50s) and passed away on August 10, 1950 at a relatively young age of 42. Mahal, Tansen and Ziddi are just a few samples of what he could be, had he been there for a longer stint.His fellow composer Kamal Dasgupta called Khemchand the best music director. ‘He beat us all’.Khemchand’s brother, Basant Prakash, was also a film composer.

Partial filmography

  • Gazi Salahuddin
  • Meri Ankhen
  • Holi
  • Pardesi
  • Tansen
  • Bhartruhari
  • Sindoor
  • Asha
  • Ziddi
  • Jan Pehchan
  • Mahal