Music composer S Mohinder, the last pioneer of the golden musical era of Hindi cinema, died on Sunday. Mohinder Singh Sarna, 95, lived in the US for the last three decades and came to Mumbai before the lock down. He died of cardiac arrest at his residence. Today’s generation still remembers him with his music song ‘Gujar hua zamana aata nahi dobara, Hafiz Khuda Tumhara’.
S. Mohinder composed hundreds of melodious songs in his career and achieved mastery in western instruments when the world was looking towards Western music. S. Mohinder got his first chance in Bombay (now Mumbai) for the film ‘Sehra’ released in 1948. He composed a total of 10 songs for this film. It will also be interesting to know that this film was the film of actor Govinda’s parents (Arun Kumar Ahuja and Nirmala Devi). Both also sang songs in this film.
S. Mohinder’s influx in Mumbai is no less than a film story. He used to work for All India Radio and one day when he reached Lailpur station to go back home, it came to know that his train has been canceled. Where the train was to come from, riots broke out there. The porter at the station said that if you want to save your life, get in the train standing in front of you. And, the train which was missing from the platform at that time, came to Bombay with S. Mohinder.On landing in the unknown city, he asked for the address of the nearest gurdwara. At Dadar Gurdwara, he continued to sing the Sabad Kirtan for about a month and managed himself.
At that time one of his visiting cards was kept safe in the pocket which was given to him by famous singer Suraiya in Lahore. After staying at the gurudwara for almost a month, he came to meet Suraiya and Suraiya gave him both the first shelter and support in Bombay. Born in 1925, S. Mohinder got fond of music from his father Sujan Singh Bakhsi, who was a policeman but played the flute very well. Along with his father’s job, he too traveled from place to place. His father lived four years in Nankana,At the same time S. Mohinder passed the matriculation examination and he got his first singing education in the same gurudwara.
While living in Bombay, S Mohinder sang Lata Mangeshkar for the film ‘Shaadi Ki Raat’, her fame spread overnight throughout the film world. Ranjith Movies owner Seth Chandulal Shah signed him for the film ‘Neely’. The film had the hero Dev Anand and the heroine Suriya. Shah’s condition was that the money would be received only when the songs would be sung by Suraiya. Suraiya already knew S. Mohinder,He passed all the songs in the first time and S Mohinder got 10 thousand rupees in that era to make songs for a film. After this, S. Mohinder was named and he did a lot of work.
The song ‘Gujar Hua Jamana Aata Nahin Dobara, Hafiz Khuda Tumra’ from the film ‘Sheerin Farhad’, released in 1956, established him as a top composer. He continued to work until the sixties. He also gave music in all Punjabi films. He also received the National Film Award for Best Composer for the film ‘Nanak Naam Ship’ released in 1969.In 1982, he moved to Washington with his family. But even after this, his regular visit to Mumbai used to be regular.