It has been 36 years since his melody was abruptly halted... a few more antras of his life's song were still to be completed when fate dealt a cruel blow and we lost our father at a young age. Yes, he did feel he was largely 'unsung' in his lifetime and yes, that was our most vivid memory of his last few years! The lack of commercial success and acclaim, the absence of awards and rewards, not enough acknowledgment from his fans did add to his disappointments and consequent bitter end.
But what did he know that the world would hail him as a Legend, just after his death? What did he know that he had a large number of admirers and fans who were unable to reach out to him and tell him how much they loved his work? What did he know that so many years later, millions of listeners would still exult in his music, and that some of the melodies he created would be enshrined in music history? What did he know that his peers and colleagues would acknowledge him a s one of the all time greats, and the young generation of composers would call him their inspiration? What did he know that his 'left over, unused, possibly rejected tunes' would be used in a big banner super hit film and even win him a posthumous award 30 years later? What did he know that two books would be written on his life and music, three decades later?
And most of all, what did he know that the incomplete antras of his song would be given the finishing touches by his fans, with their appreciation, their resounding applause, their persistent wah wahs all through these years?
Today, as a proud son, I no longer feel any remorse at his lack of success in his lifetime... only because, he has achieved unparalleled glory ever since, and this only grows with each passing year. What more could I ask for?
When he died so suddenly, the music world was jolted and wanted posthumous recognition for Madanji. Many told me that I should approach the Government to give him a posthumous Padmashri, issue a stamp in his memory, or name a road after him!!! Yes, others have achieved this...but I, as a young teenager, how could I achieve with the system and bureaucracy, what they had chosen to deny him when he was alive? And even more so, this was against what he stood for, all his life! He never compromised his values, his principles, never asked for work or recognition...he only let his music sing for itself. And that's what I have always abided by! Let him live through his music! Let us perpetuate his memory through his music...the listeners and fans would do the rest! And they have never let us down... to this day!
One of the anchors in our life has been Lataji, who grew closer to our family after Dad passed away and even closer to us children, after our mother died 5 years thereafter. Indeed, till this day, she has been our mentor and guiding light.
Our family's humble effort has been to preserve his heritage...his photos, his various cherished possessions, and most of all, his tapes...Veer Zaara and Tere Bagair have been possible only because of what he left behind, and what we were able to preserve!
As his eldest son, when he died, it became my responsibility to make a career in the more 'stable' world of business management, and it was my great fortune that I was able to manage music and entertainment and interact with music stalwarts during my 30 year career. In these three decades, I have first hand witnessed and often been overwhelmed at the reverence and goodwill my father still enjoys.
I have recently reduced my job responsibilities as CEO of Yash Raj Films (YRF), to be able to spend even more time devoting my efforts to perpetuate my father's music...this website is a step in that direction.
It is an effort to share with his fans all that our family knows and has discovered about him and his music. Almost all the pictures we had in our albums are featured here, and we will continue to update this website with more rare material periodically. Everything on this website is from sources we have relied on, our small family, his friends, his colleagues, his researchers, and most of all by jogging all our childhood memories! My sister Sangeeta, my brother Sameer and I do believe a lot of it is accurate, and if there are any errors, it could only be because that's what we were led to believe in excavating details not known to us. Sangeeta and Sameer have allowed me a free hand at developing this website and I am grateful to them for this. I will be personally involved in updating the website and interacting with the fans.
This website has been possible only because of the tremendous support I received from my family...my wife Anju, my daughter-in-law Saipriya, and most of all my only son, Akshay... he has outdone himself in his dedication to this project despite the fact that he never met his grandfather, but knows and respects him through his music and my memories. Madanji could not have asked for a better grandson!
A set of wonderful YRF colleagues have toiled day and night to design this website, and help me make it happen. Anand Gurnani has spearheaded all the efforts with his meticulous attention to detail and knowledge of the technology... I couldn't have done this without him and his dedication. He has been ably assisted by Rajesh Gurnani, who put in long hours... Sandeep Ashar has done a terrific job of designing the website and spent months on this. Victor Dantes has provided the entire technical backup for the audio and video content. Dilip Patil, Kashinath Kadam, Balwant Mhatre, Raju More, R. BalaKrishan and Parul Bhatnagar have also been of immense help. A special and sincere thanks to Yashji for allowing me the facilities of YRF to be able to do this.
One of the biggest assets has been the extraordinary work and research done by Vishwas Nerurkar, who authored the book, 'MADAN MOHAN - ULTIMATE MELODIES' (along with Bishwanath Chatterjee). The homework done by him was a boon, and I have used excerpts of various articles initiated by him. His devotion to Madanji's music has been heartwarming.
I have also used some excerpts of articles initiated by Vijay Joshi, who along with Suresh Rao, compiled and edited the book 'MADAN MOHAN - THE UNFORGETTABLE COMPOSER.' Vijayji, too, has been an ardent admirer of Madanji's music.
I take this opportunity to acknowledge the great work done by the authors of both the books and thank them for their support in perpetuating Madanji's music.
And most of all, it is YOU who are reading this, whom we all need to thank... without you and your discerning ear, Madan Mohan would have been long forgotten. You have kept him alive, and it is for you that this website has been painstakingly created, and it is for you that we will continue to share more and more about the Legend from time to time!