In 1935 he worked as music director for the first time for movie ‘Dharm Ki Devi’. Hiren Bose was the director of film. Those were the days when music directors also used to act in films, so acting by Anil Vishwas could be seen in this film. The then famous music director Rafiq Gaznavi also used to act in films. Anil Da worked with renowned music director Zande Khan; however, he also gave music to some movies independently.
He was the music director for Prem Bandhan, Sher Ka Panja, Dukhiyari, Gentleman, Daku, Kokila, Mahageet, Dynamite, Postman, Gramophone Singer and Ham Tum Aur Wah released in 1936 and 37. From the beginning, Anil Da had fascination about Western music. When he started his work as a music director, he had brought some musicians from Goa. He had a passion of making innovative experiments and enthusiasm of young age.
When cinema started talking, production houses started getting more importance means banner value that we refer today. It was considered to be important as to which banner the movie belonged. The movies like Postman, Kokila, Mahageet were from Sagar Movie Tone Company.
When he came to Mumbai from Calcutta, he met with many big producers and Mehboob Khan was one of them. Anil Biswas got the opportunity to work as music director for the film ‘Aurat’ of Mehboob Khan released in 1940. Anil Da made songs with singers like Surendra, Sardar Akhtar, Vatsala Kumthekar, however, the song, ‘Kahe Karta, Der Baraati’ in his own voice was appreciated most.
‘Mother India’ was the new version of ‘Aurat’ released in 1940. Tradition of quality movies started in 1942 with movie ‘Roti’ by Mehboob Khan and its success.
For Roti, Anil Biswas made songs in the voce of Begum Akhtar. The song ‘Rahane Laga Hai, Andhera Tere Bagair’ by Begum Akhtar was favourite among people those days. In fact, Begum Akhtar was a classical singer but Anil Biswas made her sing for films and created quality creative songs one after other. The experiment of playback singing was successful in Calcutta in 1935, but Anil Biswas made it successful in Mumbai.
In 1942 Anil Biswas arrived in well – known Bombay Talkies film company for the movie Vasant. While working with Pannalal Ghosh, he made maximum songs of Vasant at his own. Anil Da had an opportunity to work as music director for the movie Kismat by Bombay Talkies. His songs ‘Ab Tere Siva Kaun Mera Kishan Kanhaiya’, ‘Bhagwan Kinare Se Laga De Meri Naiyya’ and ‘Dur Hato Ae Duniywalo’ as well as ‘Dhire Dhire Aare Baadal’ were streaming with great popularity at that time.
C. Ramchandra, the music director who created many immortal melodious songs in the golden era of Indian film music, was working as an assistant to Anil Biswas in initial period. He obtained the teachings of providing pure Indian music from Anil Biswas.
The song ‘Dur Hato Ae Duniya Walo, Hindusthan Hamara Hai’ inspired the youth in Indian freedom struggle when at the same time Mahatma Gandhi had declared the Quit India movement.
‘Dhire Dhire Aa Re Baadal’, by Amirbai Karnataki and Arun Kumar was spreading magic among listeners. Amirbai Karnataki had an opportunity of being a playback singer in real sense after songs in the movie Kismat. After Kismat Anil Biswas created melody of songs in next movie ‘Hamari Baat’ in which Raj Kapoor acted with lead actors Devika Rani, Jairaj, David and Suraiya.
Suraiya had started acting in 1942 from movie Sharda, but she came in limelight after the songs in Hamari Baat. Her songs ‘Bistar Bichha Diya Hai Tere Dar Ke Saamane’ and ‘Jeevan Amruta Paar Milenge Jeevan Amruta Paar’ gained tremendous popularity. After ‘Hamari Baat’, Anil Biswas worked for the music of Chaar Aankhe, Milan, Jwar Bhata etc. the hero of Jwar Bhata was Dilip Kumar. The duet song ‘Bhul Jaana Chahati Hu, Bhul Payi Hi Nahi’ became very famous those days. It was in the voice of C. Ramchandra who was assistant to Anil Vishwas and Parul Ghosh who was renowned singer and sister of Anil Da.
Anil Biswas was the music director for the film, ‘Pahali Nazar’ having popular song ‘Dil Jalta Hai to Jalne De, Aansu Na Baha, Fariyaad Na Kar’ which brought Mukesh in limelight in real sense. It is said that, when Mukesh reached late for the recording of this song, Anil Da had literally slapped him on face. When Pandit Jagannath Prasad, Guru of Saigal and Mukesh, heard this song, he felt the voice like Saigal.
One more gem in the music of Anil Biswas is Talat Mehmood. Anil Da made very creative use of soft silky voice of Talat in his music. He was well aware about the vibrations in the voice of Talat, the tone made with emotions and also its limitations. He searched the beauty of Gazal in his voice and put life in it.
The songs in ‘Aarazoo’ were very special and whenever we recall memories of Anil Da and Talat we remember ‘Ae Dil Muze Aisi Jagah Le Chal, Jahaan Koi Na Ho’. Anil da made proper use of voice of Talat at proper place in the songs Seene Me Sulagte Hai Armaan (Tarana), Raahi Matwale and Kabhi Hai Gam (Waris), Shukriya Ey Pyar Tera Shukriya (Aaram). The songs may be less but they are the invaluable gifts for film industry.
Apart from Talat, one more voice that entered in music of Anil Biswas was Lata Mangeshkar. It was a challenge to music of Anil da to nurture voice of Lata. It was the Sanjivani (new lease of life) for his music. We can listen the limitless strength, divine feel, sensitivity in her voice with music by Anil Da.
Lata sang for Anil Vishwas for the first time in ‘Anokha Pyar’ and then her song, ‘Katati Hai Ab to Jindagi Marane Ke Intezar Me’ from film ‘Naaz’ became very popular. Those who had listened the song, ‘Jaanewale Raahi, Ek Pal Ruk Jaana’ in the voice of Lata could never forget it. Anil Da made many creative classical songs with Lata and made them popular. The sounds of Indian instruments in the songs Jaa Mai Tose Nahi Bolu Kanhaiya (Sautela Bhai), Ritu Aaye Ritu Jaaye (Hamdard), Na Ja Na Ja Balam (Pardes) have enhanced the sweetness.
One can find most of the songs in the voices of Lata, Talat, Mukesh in the music of Anil Vishwas. He also made many memorable songs with Sitara Devi, Nasim Akhtar, Begum Akhtar, Surendra. The songs famous in the voice of the then renowned singer Meena Kapoor are with the music by Anil Da and moreover she was wife of Anil Da. She came to Anil Vishwas with Lata for the first time for the movie ‘Anokha Pyar’. The beautiful songs by Meena Kapoor with her great commitment for music by Anil Da are Kuchh Aur Jamaana Kahata Hai, Kuchh Aur Hai Jid Mere Dil Ki (Chhoti Chhoti Baate) and Rasiya Re Man Basiya Re (Pardesi)
As compared with Mukesh and Talat, Rafi was rarely heard in music of Anil Biswas. It was because voice of Rafi with high pitch was not suitable for music of Anil Vishwas, however he used it whenever needed. We can listen Rafi with music by Anil Da in films Do Raha, Beksoor, Heer. Kishor Kumar sang for him in Fareb and Paisa Hi Paisa. His love song with Lata Aa Mohabbat Ki Basti Basayenge Ham from ‘Fareb’ was really nice.
One can listen voices of old singers like Surendra, Amirbai Karnataki, Bibbo in music of Anil Vishwas. But the voices of Noorjahan and Saigal which were at the apex in film industry are not there in songs of Anil Biswas. Husband of Noorjahan, Shaukat Husain, was about to produce a film featuring Noorjahan and Saigal and he handed over the responsibility of music to Anil Vishwas. But unfortunately, before starting shooting, Saigal expired and Noorjahan went to Pakistan after partition.
When film ‘Sautela Bhai’ was released in 1962, Anil Da renounced the film industry, however film ‘Chhoti Chhoti Baate’ was released in 1965 which was accepted by him before his retirement. The golden era of Indian film music was about to end, competition in industry was becoming cut throat and he was not ready to work in such situation with any terms and conditions.
After retirement from films, he worked as head of music department in All India radio till 1975. He was also teaching music in Jawaharlal Nehru University for some period. Then he created music for television serial ‘Hum Log’. Till the last stage of his career, Anil Da created the legacy of pure quality music satisfying the music appreciators. His creations are unparalleled. Even today songs like Tumhare Bulaane Ko Ji Chahata Hai are unforgettable.
It was known fact that he was not getting work before his retirement, but he renounced that world due to increasing politics. Anil da, the father of Hindi film music, is not there today; but if he listens today’s music what pains he would experience can be imagined only. But he would probably say Katati Hai Jindagi Marane Ke Intezar Me.
Anil Biswas is the first music director who had skills and ability to make proper use of heavenly voice of Lata. Legacy of melodious music of Anil Vishwas was carried ahead by C. Ramchandra, Madan Mohan and Roshan. Thereafter the tradition discontinued and downfall of film music started. During the period Anil Da breathed last at Delhi on 31st May 2003.