Birth Anniversary Special : Pankaj Mullick
Pankaj Mullick was born in a middle-class conservative family at Calcutta (Now Kolkata) where there was no scope for singing or any kind of music. As playing instruments was banned in the house, Pankaj used to play them secretly. He won hearts by singing very nice in the function arranged to welcome King George (Fifth) and his father became happy to see that his son sang so well. Thus, the family supported him thereafter and he created his place in music.
He joined All India Radio (AIR), Kolkata [initially known as the Indian Broadcasting Corporation] in 1927, within a month of its inception. When he was serving at the then Calcutta station of All India Radio, HMV and Columbia company released play discs of his songs. This made him so much popular and then he never looked back. At AIR he set music to the immortal ‘Mahishasuramardini’, a programme that has become a part of Bengali culture and synonymous with Durga Puja. It is heard every ‘Mahalaya’ morning even till today. It has had an uninterrupted run since its beginning in 1931. He was part of innumerable Feature Programmes as music director & artiste during his lengthy tenure at AIR.
In 1933 he got the opportunity to work as a music director for the film ‘Yahudi ki Ladki’. He decorated the films like Badi Didi, Dushman, Kapal Kundla, Nartaki, Doctor, Meri Bahan, Meenakshee with his melodious music. His work is still remembered due to its quality and creativity. His song, ‘Piya Milan ko Jana’ in Kapal Kundla, ‘Yah Kaun Aya Savere Savere’ from Nartaki, the song, ‘Kaun Des Hai Jana Musafir’ from Mukti are always recalled. Then, the film ‘Doctor’ created history as not only all the songs were hit but Pankaj Malik also presented leading role of doctor in the film with his acting skills. The songs sung by him in this film such as ‘Chale Pawan ki Chaal’, ‘Aayi Bahaar’, ‘Gujar Gaya Wah Jamaana’ were great hits and popular. He was the first music director who introduced Rabindrasangeet successfully in films. He was a part of the star studded New Theatres Studio team for nearly 25 years
Instead of making own career bright, Pankaj Mullick always provided work to others and gave them much opportunities generously. He was a part of Indian cinema from 1931 to 1969, a period of about 38 years. His music career spanned an awe-inspiring 50 years. He officially composed over 5,000 songs in those 50 years. Government of India honored him with Padmashri in 1970 and Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1973. This great music director and singer passed away in 1978. His contribution to make the Indian cine music rich is worth memorable and great.