Salil Da


Popular As: Salil Da
Birth: 19th November 1925
Death: 5th September 1995
1st Film: Do Beegha Zameen
Last Film: Swami Vivekanand
Work Span: 1950 - 1995 

Salil Chowdhury was one of the greatest musical talents India ever had. A man of many talents. He was not only an outstanding composer, an accomplished and gifted arranger, poet and writer but above all an intellectual. A master multi-instrumentalist, he played excellent flute, Esraj, violin and piano , with a deep and well-studied understanding of several other instruments as is evident from their creative use in his music.

Salil was born on November 19, 1925. He spent many years of his childhood in the Assam tea gardens where his father was a doctor. He grew up listening to his father's large collection of western classical music and the folk songs of Assam and Bengal. This influenced him considerably and shaped his musical thinking. Young Salil could sing very well and played excellent flute from tjhe age of eight. In fact his expertise in flute brought him in contact with the outside musical world. He was very fond of his father. Salil remembered how his father once hit one of the British managers and broke his three front teeth after he called his father 'dirty nigger'. Salil's father organised and staged plays with the tea-garden coolies and other lowly paid workers . Salil remembers his father's strong anti-British feelings and his concern and love for the oppressed tea garden workers.

After graduating from Bangabaashi College in Calcutta, during his university years his political ideas were fast maturing along with his musical ideas. Living through the second world war, the Bengal famine and the hopeless political situation of the '40s, he became acutely aware of his social responsibilities. This is when he joined IPTA (Indian Peoples Theater Association) and became a member of the communust party. During this period he wrote numerous songs and with IPTA took his songs to the masses. They travelled through the villages and the cities and his songs became the voice of the masses.These songs were very powerful indeed. Songs of protest which made people aware of the rampant social injustice which surrounded them. These songs became very powerful and stimulating. In fact, Salil always retained his strong feelings for the social injustice and very often wrote songs which reflected this feelings. He called these songs the 'Songs of consciousness and awakening'. 

In 1952 Salil Chowdhury came to Bombay to compose the music for Do Beegha Zameen. This was the Hindi version of the successful Bengali Film 'Rikshawalla' . The story of 'Rikshawaala' was written by him and the music was composed by him. It was a tremendous success and so was 'Do Bigha Zameen'. Since then he had composed for over 75 Hindi Films, around 26 Malayalam Films and several Tamil, Telegu, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi, Assameese and Oriya Films. He had also composed for several Tele-Films and Tele-Serials. 

His phenomenal flair for instruments prompted even an expert like Jaikishen to refer to him as a 'The Genius'. Raj Kapoor once said 'He can play almost any instrument he lays his hands on, from the tabla to the sarod, from the piano to the piccolo'. He was in fact a composer's composer, because unlike his market-driven counterparts, he never really set prose to music. To him the melody was sacrosant and had to precede the words. The situation could then be adapted. Salil's music was a unique blending of the east and the west. He had once said 'I want to create a style which shall transcend borders - a genre which is emphatic and polished, but never predictable'. 

Shared By: Mr. Gautam Chowdhury


1Do Beegha Zameen1953  36 Gehra Raaz 1971  
2Biraj Bahu 1954 37 Mere Apne 1971
3Amaanat 1955 38 Annadata 1972
4Naukari 1955 39 Anokha Daan 1972
5Taangewali 1955 40 Anokha Milan 1972
6Aawaz 1956 41 Mere Bhaiya 1972
7Jaagte Raho 1956 42 Sabse Bada Sukh 1972
8Parivaar 1956 43 Rajni Gandha 1974
9Ek Gaon Ki Kahani 1957 44 Sangat 1975
10Laal Batti 1957 45 Jivan Jyoti 1976
11Musafir 1957 46 Mrigya 1976
12Zamaana 1957 47 Udanchhoo 1976
13Apradhi Kaun 1958 48 Minoo 1977
14Madhumati 1958 49 Anand Mahal 1977
15Honey Moon 1960 50 Room No. 203 1980
16Jawahar 1960 51 Chemmeen Lahren 1980
17Kaanoon 1960 52 Daisy 1980
18Parakh 1960 53 Kuhasa 1980
19Usne Kaha Tha 1960 54 Chirutha 1981
20Chaar Diwaari 1961 55 Jeena Yahan 1981
21Chhaya 1961 56 Nani Maa 1981
22Kabuli Wala 1961 57 Plot No. 5 1981
23Maaya 1961 58 Agni Pareeksha 1982
24Mem Didi 1961 59 Dil Ka Saathi Dil 1982
25Sapne Suhaane 1961 60 Kanoon Kya Karega 1984
26Half Ticket 1962 61 Trishangini 1989
27Jhoola 1962 62 Aakhiri Badla 1990
28Prem Patra 1962 63 Triyaatri 1990
29Chaand Aur Sooraj 1965 64 Jawahar 1991
30Poonam Ki Raat 1965 65 Swami Vivekanand 1994
31Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose 1966 66 Mera Daamad 1995
32Pinjre Ke Panchhi 1966 67 Maange Mile Na Pyar 198?
33Ittefaq 1969 68 Mitti Ka Dev 197?
34Saara Aakash 1969 69 Hamari Shadi 198?
35Anand 1970 70 Raat Ki Uljhan 197?

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