Good things don’t last long, it is said. This is totally true with Shailendra, undoubtedly the greatest lyricist in the annals of Hindi Cinema. Sometimes we saw a Kabir in him and sometimes Pushkin. Sometimes a Sufi and sometimes a Zen and sometimes a Ghalib. There is no Lyrics writer who understood the medium of film like Shailendra did. He wrote songs which fit the context of the film like the best tailor in the town would stitch for his best patron! And yet his songs had overtures and undertones that would set the listener’s mind rolling for the deeper thoughts and philosophy inlaid in the words.
He had this uncanny ability of condensing the entire film into a song of 15 to 20 lines. Who else could write Awara hoon, Dost dost na Raha, Ramayya vastavayya, Har dil Jo pyar karega, Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai etc which essentially tell the entire story of the respective film.
He wrote for situations that are unimaginably complex and came out trumps. But the man? Going by his life and poetry, he must have exactly been like this song – honest to the core, simple, plain man, truthful like the songs he wrote. Shailendra – god made him and destroyed the mould so that there can never be another akin to him