Plea for Mukesh memorial goes unheard

Forgotten voice

Legendary singer Mukesh

However, the political capital New Delhi, where legendary singer Mukesh Chandra Mathur was born on July 22 , 1923 and spent his earlier days, has so far lent a deaf ear to the demand of his fans to recognise his achievements.

The maestro, who mesmerised  generations with his undying numbers—Awaara hoon...mera joot hain Japani.., Dil jalta hai to jalne de...has apparently lost his ‘voice’ in the cacophony of politics. Even after 35 years of Mukesh’s death, the Delhi government has done little  to set up a memorial in his hometown. 

Mukesh, who ignited the imagination of  music lovers with his iconic song  “Dil jalta hai to jalne de’  in film ‘Pehli Nazar’  in 1945, was educated at Municipal Boys  Higher Secondary School, Mandir Marg, Delhi before making Mumbai his second home. Now, a few admirers of Mukesh have come together with a demand to set up a memorial for the legendary singer.

“We are demanding a memorial for Mukesh near Chakkiwala Makaa, Majid Khajoor in Old Delhi where his bust can be installed and archives of his songs and literature detailing his life and musical journey can be organised,” Narendra Singh, chairman of  Mukesh Memorial Society in Delhi told Deccan Herald.

Singh, a music researcher, who will soon release his compendium of 5,500 songs, said a public campaign would be launched to ask the state government to create a memorial for the singer who in his 35 years of career sang about 1,100 songs. “Mukesh worked seven months in Central Public Works  Department here as assistant surveyor and then shifted to Mumbai in October 1940 at the young age of 17 and the rest is history,” said Amarjit Singh Kohli who has penned a book on Mukesh.

“The Delhi government has neither established any memorial in his name nor named any road in his name, whereas  Maharashtra  government had installed his sculpture and brass bust at the crossing of Neapean Sea Road  and Warden Road close to singer’s house on June 29, 1983 and also named it as Mukesh Chowk,”  Kohli pointed out.

Mukesh died in Detroit in USA on August 1976 where he had gone with singer Lata Mangeshkar  for a programme. His last recorded song was “Chanchal Sheetal nirmal komal...” for Raj Kapoor’s ‘Satyam Shivam Sundram’ which he finished recording only hours before his departure to the USA.

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