VINOD - A BRILLIANT MUSIC DIRECTOR WHO NEVER
GOT HIS DUE
A yesteryears popular music director of Punjabi
films Sardul Singh Kwatra once, who is no more us, once painfully
remarked that the Bombay film industry can swing in extremes, at times
it can be very generous and at others very cruel. It bows its head
before you, if you have a big nametag or a big name God-father is
solidly behind you and more often it denies respect your genius. Perhaps
Sardul also meant that even he was not given his due by the
According to Sardul, the
Music Director Vinod’s real name was Eric Roberts, but for film industry he chose a more familiar and shorter name “Vinod”. This was revealed to me by one of his sons-in-law Kelly Mistry, who is married to his daughter Veera Roberts. His other daughter’s name is Veena Roberts (after marriage Veena Solomon).
Sardul was feeling very dejected about the plight of music director Vinod, who died at a young age and in poverty
on the Christmas day in 1959. Sardul Kwatra
knew Vinod since his days in
According to some historians Vinod’s mentor
Pandit Amar Nath died in 1946. Some other historians say that Pandit
Amar Nath died in February of 1947. But by
1944 most of the
Vinod got the best break in life in 1949, when he
got the contract to compose the music for Hindi film “Ek Thi Ladki”.
The film became a hit and its Lata song “Lara lappa lara lappa layi
rakhda, addi tappa addi tappa layi rakhda” became a nation-wide hit.
The tune of this song was based on an old Pahadi Punjabi folk tune of
Kangra district. While listening to his other songs for this film, a
similarity with the tunes of film “Mirza Sahiban” composed by his
mentor Pandit Amar Nath could be clearly established. This goes to prove
that Vinod, in letter and spirit, learnt the art of tune making from his
teacher. This earned him contract for another Punjabi film “Bhaiya Ji”
made in 1950. Lata sang several memorable songs for this movie. One of
its sad songs “Ajj mera mahi nall tutt
Talat Mahmood and Mohammad Rafi were the favourite
male singers of Vinod, who always did full justice to his tunes.
According to Sardul Kwatra Vinod had no God-father like Shanker and
Jaikishan had in producer actor Raj Kapoor and producer Amiya
Chakravarty and Naushad had in a very popular producer Mehboob Khan.
Roop K. Shori, who gave Vinod music composition contracts for his films,
somehow did not belong to the big league of
Roop K. Shori of course was a very famous film
team with him. Music director Vinod and lyricist Aziz Kashmiri were members of his group. Vinod composed the music for most of Roop K. Shori films. In all Vinod composed music for 27 Hindi films, out of which he shared music with other music directors for at least six films. Some of his films were not completed and some were not released even after completion. Among some of Vinod’s best known creations were the musical compositions of films “Anmol Rattan” (1950), “Wafaa” (1950) “Sabaz Bagh” (1951) “Aag ka Dariya” (1953), “Laadla” (1954) and “Makhi Choos” (1956). For a while Roop K. Shori got Vinod a salaried job as a music director in “Filmistan Studios”. One characteristic of Vinod was that in Punjabi films he inserted Hindi songs and in Hindi film songs he inserted some Punjabi wording. This trend was discontinued later on, but since the nineties once again Punjabi songs are becoming a part of most Hindi films and these songs are proving big hits.
According to Vonod’s son-in-law Kelly Mistry,
Vinod was born on May 28, 1922. On the average Vinod was doing one or
two successful films a year from 1948 to 1957, but one or two hit films
in a year are not enough to ensure a decent standard of living in a city
Both Shyam Sunder and Vinod, in spite of being
thoroughly professional, were never financially well off. They both died
during the fifties. After Vinod’s untimely death at a young age of
thirty seven on December 25, 1959, his wife Sheela had great difficulty
in bringing up his children. Vinod loved his childhood city of
Although Vinod composed music for thirty two films, but most of these films were under small banners and the music of many was let down by the film’s poor showing at the box office. The following is the complete list of his films:
1. KHAMOSH NIGAHEIN 1946
2. PARAYE BUS MAIN 1946 (with Niaz Husain)
3. KAMINI 1946
4. CHAMAN (PUNJABI) 1948
5. EK THI LADKI 1949
6. TAARA 1949
7. ANMOL RATTAN 1950
8. BHAIYA JI (PUNJABI) 1950
9. WAFFA 1950 (with Bulo C. Rani)
10. MUTIAR (PUNJABI) 1950
11. FOR LADIES ONLY 1951
12. MUKHRHA 1951
13. SABZ BAGH 1951 (with Gulshan Sufi)
14. AAG KA DARYA 1953
15. EK DO TEEN 1953
16. ASHTALLI (PUNJABI) 1954
17. LAADLA 1954
18. RAMMAN 1954
19. HAA HAA HII HII HOO HOO 1954
20. JALWA 1955
21. OOT PATANG 1955
22. SHRI NAQAD NARAIN 1955
23. MAKHI CHOOS 1956
24. AMAR SHAHEED (with Vasant Desai) YEAR UN-KNOWN
25. SHEIKH CHILLI 1956
26. GARMA GARAM 1957
27. MUMTAZ MAHAL 1957
28. NIKKI (PUNJABI) 1958
29. MISS HUNTERWALI 1959
30. DEKHI TERI BUMBAI 1961
EK LADKI SAAT LADKE (with
32. RANG RALIYAN (with Lachhi Ram and Mukherjee) 1962
Note: Last three films were released after his death at the age of thirty seven in 1959.
Had Vinod remained busy under big banner movie
makers, he may not have died at the prime of his youth. One of Vinod’s
masterpiece creations is the music for the Punjabi film “Mutiar”
(1951). One of its Urdu Ghazals “Aye dil mujhe jaane de, jis raah pe
jaata hoon” recorded in the silken voice of Talat Mahmood is simply
outstanding. Its Punjabi version was never recorded. The lovers of
1. Dr. Har Mandir Singh Hamraaz of Kanpur U.P., the author of “Hindi Geet Kosh from 1931 to date, for painstakingly digging up and supplying complete list of Vinod’s films.
2. Dr. Surjit Singh of San Diego California USA, for enabling me to access his veb-site for listening to Late Allahdad Khan of Peshawar Pakistan’s great collection of vintage Hindi and Punjabi film music.
3. Shri Harish Raghuvanshi, a film music historian of Surat Gujarat, the compiler of “Mukesh Geet Kosh”, “Gujarati Film Geet Kosh” and the writer of “Inhe Na Bhulana” for digging up information about music director Vinod’s forgotten Hindi and Punjabi film songs.
4. Late Sardar Sardul Singh Kwatra, Music Director of yesteryears for sharing his Vinod related precious memories with me.
5. Music Director S. Mohinder (Mohinder Singh Sarna) for sharing his memories of Vinod with me.
6. Vinod’s son-in-law Kelly Mistry for sharing thoughts and photos with me.
Harjap Singh Aujla E-MAIL Address firstname.lastname@example.org