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O sathi re!

Kalyanji, who died in Mumbai, leaves a half century of work, and friends who remember him for his generosity and humour

Kalyanji of Kalyanji-Anandji fame died Thursday evening in Mumbai.

His family had hospitalised him 15 days ago for asthma. He complained of breathlessness and died at 5 p.m. at Breach Candy Hospital.

The Kalyanji-Anandji team competed with other teams like Shankar-Jaikishen and Laxmikant-Pyarelal and lasted several decades in the music business.

Kalyanji Veer Shah, as he was officially known, entered films as an assistant to Hemant Kumar. He played the been in the hit song Man dole mera tan dole in Nagin (1952).

He is survived by wife Sakarben. Of their five children, Viju Shah continues the tradition of music composing.

Kalyanji became an independent music director in 1954 when he composed the score for Samrat Chandragupt. Anandji, his younger brother, joined him two years later, and they went on to make the music for some of the biggest blockbusters in Hindi cinema.

Kalyanji presented over 1,000 charity shows along with Amitabh Bachchan and other stars.

Lata Mangeshkar, who recorded Man dole with him almost a half century ago and then worked with him on hundreds of numbers, remembers his humour. "He'd always joke and laugh," was her reaction. In Nagin, Kalyanji also played the claviolin, a rudimentary synthesizer.

Amitabh Bachchan was part of Kalyanji's stage shows abroad, including spectacularly huge ones at Madison Square Gardens, Gaint Stadium in New Jersey, and Wembley Stadium.

A big Amithabh-Kalyanji Anandji hit, Muqaddar ka Sikandar, featured songs like Salam-e-ishq and Tere bhi na bhi kya jeena. Although not Kalyanji-Anandji's best, they rose in popularity.

Manoj Kumar worked with the team for Upkar, Himalay Ki God Mein, Purab Paschim and Yaadgaar.

He remembers hits like Mere desh ki dharti, Main to ik khwab hoon among his favourites.

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