Lalit Sen -TV’s Towering Tunesmith

The Last few days have been quite a wild goose chase…

Catching Lalit Sen is like catching a cloud –

‘Now he is coming’… ‘No, no, no, he is recording’… ‘Achha, now he is coming’…‘Oh, but he has left the city just now’… ‘Hold on, he is coming’… ‘Er, but he (not again – we wailed)… ‘No no, don’t worry – he has just landed, he is coming’… (Gasps…)

And then, the momentous moment comes when we find him before us… ‘At last!’ we have a deep sigh…

But suddenly a warmth descends on us… It’s Lalit Sen smiling that pearly, pure smile, which instantly puts honey on our sore nerves…

And then starts a heart-to-heart that buoys us up with each passing minute…

Here goes…

Today, you are the Czar of music-makers in Television. But you come from a great pedigree in Classical Music. Tell us something about that…

Lalit Sen: My family has a history of illustrious minstrels, who would be singing in the courts before Kings and Queens. Then, it was grandpa, Shambhu Sen who turned to Classical Music. And his son, my father, Jamal Sen was the one who came to Bombay to be a part of the world of Films!

We understand he was also the most sought-after Dholki player?

Lalit Sen: He was the one who gave Dholki its present-day shape! And he would play in Naushad Sahib’s orchestra. By and by, his repute grew and he came to compose the music for such famed Films as Kamal Amrohi’s ‘Shokhiyan’ and Kedar Sharma’s ‘Daera’!

(Drowned deep into nostalgia he jumbles the names, as actually it was Kamal Amrohi’s ‘Daera’ and Kedar Sharma’s ‘Shokhiyan’. But we don’t have the heart to correct him and move further on…)

And you know, Father came to Mumbai secretively, because Grandpa didn’t like the idea of his being in the grind of struggle, here. But he came, anyway!

 

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