Prem Dhawan


Popular As: Prem Dhawan
Birth: 13th June 1923
Death: 7th May 2001
First Film: Ziddi
Last Film: Appu Raja
Work Span: 1947-1990

Prem Dhawan was a man who was admired by everyone. Very soft spoken and gentle personality. He was well groomed, cultured, civilised and a person without any airs whatsoever. He was born on 13th June 1923 in Ambala, Haryana. His father was a jail superintendent under the British rule. Prem Dhawan graduated from Lahore's F C college. Sahir Ludhianvi was his classmate. They shared a great friendship. Prem and Sahir were the active workers in the student union. Both of them used to write for the college magazine, which included ghazals and geets. This was in 1942.

In 1943 after completing the graduation in Economics and Political Science & Persian, Prem joined congress party as a full time devoted worker. He was sent to Bombay to join the People's Theatre group there. He met with Pt. Ravi Shankar, Sachin and Uday Shankar there. Prem learnt music and dance there for over four years.

Not many people may know that Prem Dhawan also did dance direction for more than 50 films, which included, Naya Daur (Uden Jab Jab Zulfen Teri..), Goonj Uthi Shehnai, Do Bigha Zameen (Hariyala Saawan Dhol Bajata Aaya..). He even appeared on the screen in Do Beegha Zameen. In 1947 the People's group broke up because of the riots. At this time Shahid Lateef and Ismat Chugtai took him to Bomaby Talkies to meet Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani. This way he got his first break for Bombay Talkies 1948 film Ziddi. The music was composed by Khemchand Prakash. "Chanda Re Ja Re Ja...' became Lata Mangeshkar's first hit. Prem Dhawan also did the dance direction for the film. Ziddi celebrated its silver jubilee across the country.

After the success of Ziddi Bombay Talkies hired him as their songwriter and dance director on a contract. Prem Dhawan also started working as a free lancer. He started to get a lot of work. He worked for so many film with the maestro Anil Biswas. Together they gave so many hit films, like, Tarana, Aarzoo, Aaram, Pardesi Raahi, Akaash, Naaz etc. At this time Sahir came to Bombay and he was looking for some work. Prem Dhawan took him to Anil Biswas and he gave a copy of Sahir's book of poems and asked the composer to give Sahir a chance if he liked his writing. Anil Biswas took Sahir on for Doaraha and Sahir wrote the gem...'Mohabbat tark ki maine....'.

Prem Dhawan wrote many beautiful and geart touching songs. Some of his writings included:

'Seene Mein Sulagte Hain Armaan..' (Tarana), 'Chanda Mama Door Ke...' (Vachan), 'Zindagi Mein Aaye Jab Wo...' (Daak Babu), 'Sab Kuchh Luta Ke Hosh Mein...' (Ek Saal), 'Zindagi Bhar Gham Judaai Ka...' (Miss Bombay), 'Haaye Jiya Roye...' (Milan), 'Do roz Mein Wo Pyaar Ka...' (Pyar Ki Raahen), 'Chhodo Kal ki Baatein...' (Hum Hindustaani), 'Aye Mere Pyaare Watan...' (Kabuliwala), 'Teri Dunia Se Hoke Majboor chala...' (Pavitra Papi), ' Mera Rang De Basanti Chola...' (Shaheed), 'Tujhe Sooraj Kahoon Ya chanda...' (Ek Phool Do Mali), 'Teri Duniya Se Door Chale Ho Ke Majboor...' (Zabak), ' Agar Dil Kisi se Lagay Na Hota...' (Bada Aadmi) etc.

During the sunset days of his life he stopped writing for the films. Appu Raja was the last film he wrote the songs for. He under went Bypass surgery in London, and an eye operation later. He restricted himself to his business and in the past time he used to read. Books were his best friends. He used to read Shakespeare, Dickens, Omar Khayyam etc. Sometimes he used to write poems as well but for himself only. On May 7th, 2001 he passed away.

Contributed by: Mr. Manek Premchand
Author: Yesterday's Melodies Today's Memories

© Copyright 2020 ART Creations - All Rights Reserved