Madan Mohan Kohli born on 25thJune 1924 in Iraq (Baghdad) was the most regarded Indian music composer of the years 1950s-70s. He was the son of Rai Bahadur Chunilal, an Accountant General, and Bhagwanti Devi.He spent most of his early life in the Middle East. His family recurs to the native place of Chakwal, then in Jhelum locale of Punjab in British India after 1932. He was left under the watchful eye of a grandparent while his dad went to look for business openings in Bombay.
He went to the neighborhood school for the following couple of years in Lahore. Amid his stay at Lahore, he learned the fundamentals of classical music from Kartar Singh for a brief period, notwithstanding; he never got any formal training in music. Later, his family shifted to Bombay where from St. Mary's School he finished his Senior Cambridge in Byculla. At the age of 11, he began performing in children’s programmes broadcast by All India Radio in Bombay. At 17 years old, he studied at the Colonel Brown Cambridge School where he finished a year's preparation in Dehradun.
In 1943, Madan allied the Army as a Second Lieutenant. He served there for quite a while until the end of World War II. Later, Madan left the Army and came back to Bombay to seek after his melodic advantages. Madan joined the (AIR) All India Radio in 1946 as Program Assistant in Lucknow, where he interacted with different musicians, for example,
Begum Akhtar, Ustad Faiyaz Khan and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Amid these days, he would compose music for projects to be aired on All India Radio.
He moved to All India Radio in Delhi, where he worked for a brief period in 1947. He was extremely attached to singing. Thus he got his first opportunity to record two ghazals written by Behzad Lucknawi, “Is Raaz Ko Duniya Jaanti Hai” and “Aane Laga Hai Koi Nazar Jalwa Gar Mujhe” in 1947. Before long, in 1948, he recorded two more private ghazals written by Deewan Sharar. In 1948, Madan got his first chance to sing a duet in a movie “Mera Chhotasa Dil Dole” and “Pinjare Mein Bulbul Bole” with
Lata Mangeshkar under composer Ghulam Haider for the motion picture Shaheed.
However, these melodies were never released or utilized as a part of the film. In the vicinity of 1948 and 1949, he helped S.D. Burman, the music composer for “Do Bhai”, and “
Shyam Sundar” in Nirdosh. In 1950, he scored his first huge break with the movie Aankhen. His another motion picture "Adaa" saw the start of an enduring coordinated effort with Lata Mangeshkar; who would go ahead to sing for a large portion of his motion pictures. Two of his composed tunes "Sawan ke maheeney mein" from "Sharabi" and "Kabhi na Kabhi koi na koi toh aayega" the great melody, both filmed for
Dev Anand are the most popular versions of the vocalist Mohammad Rafi. Madan additionally created melodies for male singers, for example, Talat Mahmood and Mohammad Rafi.
Madan did not use
Kishore Kumar. Regardless their association made tunes as well; in this classification fall melodies, for example, from Manmauji song "Zaroorat Hai Zaroorat Hai," from Bhai track "Mera Naam Abdul Rehman" and many other. He frequently teamed up with lyricists
Sahir Ludhianvi, Raja Mehdi Ali Khan and many others for his films. In 1957 he came out with a film Dekh Kabira Roya, in which the amazing artist
Manna Dey gave his voice to the sweet "Kaun Aaya Mere Man Ke Dwaare" and exceptional numbers from movie Bawarchi like "Tum Bin Jeevan Kaisa Jeevan." Notwithstanding that, he had Lata sing "Meri Veena Tum Bin Roye" and "Tu Pyaar Kare Ya Thukraaye" , and he utilized Talat Mahmood for the tune "Hum Se Aaya Na Gaya" in the same film.
A movie scored by Madan was Haqeeqat by
Chetan Anand, featuring
Balraj Sahni and Dharmendra. He gave tracks to
Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Talat Mahmood, Manna Dey, and Bhupendra. Madan's venture Raj Khosla's "Woh Kaun Thi?" was the form of "Lady in White." This film has three Lata performances and a duet. The most remunerative period in Madan Mohan's profession was the late fifties to the mid-seventies. His tunes from those decades incorporated structures for numerous movies.
In 1970, amid the changing circumstances of western music, he gave music ragas for Dastak by Rajinder Singh Bedi and won his lone National Film Award in 1971 for Best Music Direction. His inheritance was incomplete without mentioning the ghazal "Rasm-e-ulfat ko nibhaein to nibhaein kaise" he composed for the film "Dil Ki Rahein". Naqsh Lallayalpuri wrote the ghazal. In 2004, Madan's child Sanjeev Kohli recreated 11 of his deceased father's unutilized compositions for the music of movie Veer-Zaara by
Yash Chopra. Later, Kohli released a collection "Tere Baghair" which includes many tunes by Madan Mohan. Lata Mangeshkar titled him as the Prince of Ghazals or "Ghazal ka Shehzadaa."
He got Filmfare Award selection for Woh Kaun Thi for Best Music Director in 1964. In the race, Madan and
Shankar Jaikishan lost to
Laxmikant Pyarelal. Madan's consistent battles incurred significant damage on his life, and he started drinking vigorously. On 14 July of 1975, he left the world of liver cirrhosis. There is a book written on him "Madan Mohan: An Unforgettable Composer " edited by Suresh Rao and V M Joshi, presents a systematic take on songwriter's work.
It incorporates articles by Akshay Kohli, B R Ishara, Sanjeev Kohli, O P Dutta, and much more; meetings with
Rehana Sultan, Lata Mangeshkar, Mahalaxmi Iyer,
Shreya Ghoshal, and filmography by Madan Mohan. His music was characterized by his immense ability to meld components of Indian traditional music into another style of Hindi film tunes.