Name : Naushad
Full / Real Name : Naushad Ali
Born : 25-Dec-1925
Died : 
Notable Films : Ratan, Shahjahan, Anmol Ghadi, Baiju Bawra, Mother India, Mughal-e-Azam, Dastan, Deedar, Udan Khatola, Dard
Contributed by : K Vijay Kumar
Naushad's is a typical rags-to-riches story, the kind of stuff legends are made of and the kind of dreams that lure hundreds of young men and women to tinsel town even today.

Born in a poor Lucknow family, Naushad was attracted to the world of music by the robust performances of one Laddan Khan, who used to command the orchestra for silent films in a nearby movie theatre. Fascinated by the music, Naushad sought a place in Laddan Khan's retinue and was granted it. However, his father disapproved and after several showdowns, Naushad ran away from home, joining a wandering drama troupe working in the music department. After that troupe broke up, Naushad moved to Bombay looking for work. His first few years in Bombay were ones of extreme privation and poverty. He secured a job on the staff of Ranjit Movietone as a harmonium player but the indifference of the financiers to an artiste's sensibilities lead him to throw up the job.

However, lyricist Dinanath Madhok who had encouraged him when in Ranjit, continued to speak up for him and secured him his first assignment as composer with Prakash studios for the film Prem Nagar.

Success, fame and fortune soon came his way. Rattan (44), Shahjahan (46) and Anmol Ghadi (46) established him at the pinnacle of the composer hierarchy. And all this when he was barely into his twenties. Amidst all this, tragedy struck and his wife died. The pain and anguish gave birth to the soul-searing composition - dharati ko aakaash pukaare from Mela (48).

His success and ability caught the eye of the commanding producer-director Mehboob Khan. The two went on to work on several films together - Aan, Andaz and Mother India among them. Naushad remains one of only two composers known to have worked with both Saigal and Noorjehan (Khemchand Prakash being the other), and his long-term association with the singer Mohammad Rafi, lyricist Shakeel Badayuni and the thespian Dilip Kumar resulted in several popular and perfectly rendered and conceived songs.

There is no record of Naushad having learnt either Indian or Western classical music, but he was well versed with both Hindustani and Western classical music. Naushad's repertoire also includes a high degree of familiarity with Indian folk music. He was also a conductor of some ability, being honoured with an invitation to conduct the Royal Philharmonic. Naushad's involvement with the film industry went beyond the realm of mere composing. He was also a pioneer in terms of recording techniques and equipment, working with Robin Chatterjee (himself a composer) at a time when recording techniques in India were still a far cry from the state of the art. Naushad also produced a few films ??

Always known as a perfectionist, Naushad did few films when he was at the his peak of his prowesses and producers who wanted quick results often turned to less demanding composers. After 1960, the quality of his works deteriorated and there is very little in his post-1970 output that is noteworthy. He has a total of 652 songs from 66 films against his name, from nearly 60 years of working with films.

He is the youngest winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke award.