Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali says Urdu poet and lyricist Jaswant Rai Sharma, known to the world by his pen name Naqsh Lyallpuri, was the least recognised poetic genius among all the great poets who wrote during the golden era of film music.
The poet died on January 22.
Remembering Lyallpuri, Bhansali said: “Among all the great poets who wrote during the golden era of film music when Rafi Saab, Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey, Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar sang, Naqsh Lyallpuri was the least recognised poetic genius.”
The filmmaker says it’s only after the poet’s death that he got to know that he had composed some of his favourite ghazals like “Kabhi kisi ko muqammal jahan” sung by Asha Bhosle and “Main toh har mod par tujhko dhund na sakaa” sung by Mukesh.
“In fact, I rank ‘Rasm-e-ulfat’ sung by Lata Mangeshkar as one of the greatest ghazals of all times. Naqsh ji’s words were taken to sublime heights by Lata ji’s singing. It is time we celebrated the artistry of this amazing wordsmith. We should have done it while he was still alive.”
But such artistes never die, Bhansali believes.
“And it’s never too late to acknowledge the genius of a poet so skilled and accomplished. He could express the deepest thoughts in the most clear concise and poetic words. I’d have loved to work with him.”
Lyallpuri was 89. He had been ailing for some time and breathed his last at his Andheri home in Mumbai.
By Subhash K. Jha