He worked with all the top music directors of his time – Naushad, Anil Biswas, Madan Mohan, OP Nayyar, Roshan, Laxmikant Pyarelal, his associations with SD Burman and later were with RD Burman stand out. In fact, he introduced R D Burman to Nasir Hussain for Teesri Manzil. In his last film, he wrote for A R Rehman.
He was part of the formidable quartet of lyricists that ruled Hindi Cinema in the 1950s and early 60s, the others being Sahir Ludhianvi, Shakeel Badayuni and Shailendra. Majrooh Saab’s career, spanning over five decades, saw him writing wonderful lyrics for well over 300 films, many of them extremely successful at the box office.
He could write any kind of lyrics tailor-made for the situation in the film. Be it the peppy “Hum hain rahi pyar ke” (Nau Doh Gyarah) or the nonsense lyrics of “C-A-T cat, cat maane billi” (Dilli Ka Thug) to “Aaj main upar aasman neeche” (Khamoshi – The Musical), Majrooh became the undisputed king of the “situational song. He got his first break as a lyricist in A R Kardar’s Shah Jahan in 1945, penning the last classic by K L Saigal “Jab dil hi toot gaya”.
.He subsequently did films like Natak (1947), Doli (1947), and Anjuman (1948) but his major breakthrough was Mehboob Khan’s immortal love triangle, Andaz (1949), with hit songs like Tu Kahe Agar, Jhoom Jhoom ke Naacho Aaj, Hum Aaj Kahin Dil Kho Baithe, Toote na Dil Toote na and Uthaye Ja Unke Situm.
He wrote many immortal songs, in this blog I have selected a few songs composed by various composers. In an interview to Film Division’s Jayanti Rasgotra in 1997, when asked to rate his three best songs, Majrooh listed them: Kahin bekhayal hokar yoon hi chhoo liya kisi ne (Teen Deviyaan, S D Burman, 1965), Raat kali ek khwaab mein aayee aur gale ka haar hui (Buddha mil gaya, 1971, R D Burman) and that immortal Rahein na rahein hum mahka karenge…(Mamta, Roshan, 1966, )