Book on Laxmikant-Pyarelal gets rare honor

The book Music by Laxmikant Pyarelal by Rajiv Vijayakar has gone into a Second Impression within five months of release.

In November 2021, on the occasion of Diwali New Year as it happened, Rupa Publications had released their book Music by Laxmikant Pyarelal, followed by its Kindle edition on Amazon India, about a fortnight later. Written by Rajiv Vijayakar, the 312-page book went into a Second Impression within five months (in April 2022) and has since continued to be popular with film and music lovers across the country and even overseas.

On February 13, 2023, the author was invited by Bangalore’s RV University’s School of Liberal Arts & Sciences for a discussion on this book on Hindi cinema’s most successful composers, just a day after his Music Appreciation Workshop on Elements of Film Music was presented on February 12 at the same University. The discussion was moderated by Professor (Dr.) Dwarika Prasad Uniyal, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Development & External Relations) & Founding Dean, School of Business and School of Economics at the RV University. Dr. Piyush Roy is the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

The book encompasses the personal and professional journey of the popular music duo, whose tryst with the profession began at the tender age of 10 for Laxmikant Kudalkar and at 7 for his future partner, Pyarelal Sharma, as child actors and, soon, as musicians. Beginning as composers in 1963 with the smash-hit music of Parasmani, they broke into the front league with Dosti (1964) and Milan (1967) among others and remained at the top until the 1990s, charting up a career of 490 released Hindi and 10 regional films—a neat and round total of 500, the highest for any Hindi film composer.

Their best-known musical hits include Do Raaste, Haathi Mere Saathi, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Shor, Daag, Bobby, Roti Kapada Aur Makaan, Amar Akbar Anthony, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Sargam, Karz, Ek Duuje Ke Liye, Hero, Pyar Jhukta Nahin, Mr. India, Tezaab, Ram Lakhan and Khal-Nayak among so many others.

A discussion on the book Music by Laxmikant Pyarelal was held at Bangalore’s RV University’s School of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Photo: RV University

The book not only showcases their extraordinary achievements in a detailed Appendix section, but also profiles their journeys, struggles, triumphs and personae during the extraordinary long innings that saw them work with the biggest filmmakers, stars, lyricists and singers. For example, the almost-700 (with many more recorded for unreleased movies) songs with Lata Mangeshkar remains the most prolific association in Hindi cinema ever between any composer and singer, ditto their 300-plus film team-up with lyricist Anand Bakshi.

Incidentally, Pyarelal, remains the only Indian composer to have a symphony, titled Om Shivam in A-Minor, registered in the USA in 2011.

The book also features detailed conversations with not just the composer duo (including Laxmikant’s detailed interviews before he passed away in 1998) but also of their multiple associates in cinema. These include Subhash Ghai, Boney Kapoor, Manoj Kumar, Anil Kapoor, Ameen Sayani, Lata Mangeshkar, S.P. Balasubramaniam, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, K. Vishwanath and Shammi Kapoor apart from others who never worked with them but remain huge admirers, like Karan Johar, Shreya Ghoshal and composers Anu Malik and Pritam.

Rajiv Vijayakar has also featured in a panel discussion on biographers (of cinema personalities) earlier at a LitFest. His earlier books are The History of Indian Film Music on Times Group Books, Main Shayar Toh Nahin on Harper Collins (listed by them among the Top 60 books on Hindi cinema) and Dharmendra—Not Just A He-Man, a biography also on Rupa Publications.




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