Shailendra is a renowned lyricist of Hindi cinema. His real name is Shankardas Kesrilal. He has left a legacy behind which is unmatched till date. He has written many hit songs which not only became famous in India but also in abroad. Shailendra was born in Rawalpindi then his family moved to Mathura. However, his ancestral roots were from Aara district of Bihar. He did his schooling from Kishore Raman School where he ended up meeting with Indra Bahadur Khare, a famous poet, and writer. They both furnished their art of poetry with each other.
After few years, Shailendra went to Bombay to pursue a career in Bollywood. In Bombay, during the struggle period, he worked as an apprentice in Matunga workshop. During this period, he wrote many poems. He started participating in mushaira to continue his passion and one day when he was singing “Jalta hai Punjab”, he was lucky enough to get the attention of the then superstar
. Raj Kapoor offered a sum of money to Shailendra for his poetry but he refused as being a part of IPTA team, he was against of mainstream cinema. However, he had to join hands with Raj Kapoor when he was in much need of money.
Shailendra and the music composers, Shankar-Jaikishan gave many hits including Awara Hoon,
, Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh, Gata Rahe Mera Dil, Piya Tose Naina Lage Re, Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Dost Dost Na Raha,
Khoya Khoya Chand
, Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua Hai, Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh, Jhoomti Chali Hawa and many more songs. In 1961, Shailendra invested a heavy sum of money in the production of the movie, “Teesri Kasam” starring Raj Kapoor and
, directed by
and unfortunately it turned out to be a failure at the box office. However, it won National Award for Best Feature film.
Consequently, Shailendra developed an alcohol addiction and with constant anxiety and a huge financial loss, he lost his life. His son, Shaily Shailendra (at that time just 17 years of age) completed his father’s half-written song, Jeena Yahan Marna Yahan when Raj Kapoor asked him as this song was to be included in the movie, “Mera Naam Joker”. This song became a huge success and the movie “Mera Naam” Joker also did very well at the box office. Shailendra won Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist thrice for songs Yeh Mera Deewanapan Hai, Sab Kuch Seekha Humne and Main Gau Tum Sab Soo Jao.