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Home > Sunday Mid Day News > Ameen Sayani 1932 2024 Born in the year of Yash

Ameen Sayani, 1932-2024: Born in the year of Yash

Updated on: 25 February,2024 07:35 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Team SMD |

During the last years of his life, Ameen Sayani was busy writing his autobiography. Edited by Amborish Roychowdhury and Rajil Sayani, the book speaks of a fascinating and rich life. It will release by the end of 2024

Ameen Sayani, 1932-2024: Born in the year of Yash

Ameen Sayani meets music composer Mohammed Zahur Khayyam in 2018. File pic

1932 Proved to be a significant year for the Hindi film industry. Yash Chopra, Mehmood and Amrish Puri were all born that year. Six years after my brother Hamid Bhai made his entry into this world, I was born to Dr Jaan Mohammad Sayani and Kulsum Sayani. My maternal grandfather, Dr Rajab Ali Patel, had shipped off his son Abid and two of his daughters to London. But his third daughter Kulsum—my mother—chose to stay back in Bombay and dedicate her life to the cause of India’s independence. In the early 20s, my mother had married my father, Dr Jaan Mohammad Sayani, who had also sworn to serve the nation by giving free treatment and medical aid to patients who could not otherwise afford treatment. 

We were three brothers. And around the time that I was born, my eldest brother, Habib, was twelve years old, and Hamid was all of six. Anver, one of our cousins, also lived with us as his parents had moved abroad. There were one too many mouths to feed, and my parents were struggling to keep the family afloat. When my uncle Abid was made aware of the situation, he wrote to mother and suggested that we move bag and baggage to London. He would take care of everything. The travel expenses would be provided by my maternal grandfather, and we could stay as long as we wished as Abid uncle’s guests in his sprawling London bungalow. 

Excerpt from a following chapter:

Music directors played no role in the compilation of the lists. In fact, many, whose songs did not feature, or featured less frequently, or were played at lower “paidaans”, felt their music had not gained much popularity and believed that Binanca Geet Mala was responsible for their limited assignments. Around 1965-66, things came to a head, and some composers demanded that BGM be taken off air! To assuage their feelings, we stopped giving rankings, and played the songs without assigning “paidaans”, though listeners were aware that the songs that they were hearing were indeed in ascending order of popularity. It was only when Ciba showed music directors the compilation of rankings and the complete transparency with which the whole process was done, that they finally relented. However, for 22 weeks in 1965, the BGM programmes were broadcast without rankings. 

Excerpted with permission by Rajil Sayani from an untitled autobiography

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