Lata Mangeshkar — the living legend — Part XXV

This conflict finally led to his destruction and the most talented of them all had to sit at home doing nothing with the mediocrity prevailing years thereafter. Lata Mangeshkar is known to have compromised on many talented ones when she was at her peak. Despite all that, Sajjad gave Mangeshkar excellent melodies such as “Woh to chaley gaye ae dil yaad se” from the 1952 film ‘Sangdil’. The total impact of “Woh to chaley gaye” is simply beyond my capacity to find words of appreciation. I came to know that its music director was very choosy in selecting films for giving music. The same reputation existed for music composer Khayyam and Jaidev later on. Sajjad Hussain was one among Indian film panorama after the commencement of talking era, had among it a variety of personalities attached to different faculties of production, acting, direction, photography, editing, dialogue writing, music composing and singing. Hussain was one among them known as music composer par excellence. In his long film career, Hussain could only compose music for 14 films because of his temper and always believing that he was the best. For some time he considered Mangeshkar’s song “Aaj merey naseeb ney mujh ko” from the film ‘Hulchul’ as his best creation. Then he changed his mind and used to state that his best had yet to come. Even one of my most favourite compositions of Lata-Talat’s “Dil mein sama gaye sajan” again from ‘Sangdil’ is quoted by him as ordinary whereas I feel that it is an extra ordinary composition. For 1963 film ‘Rustam Sohrab’ he did not forget Mangeshkar and she sang one of the best Arabic style songs “Aei dilruba”. Having said all that I must mention his other films ‘Khel’ (1950), ‘Maghroor’ (1950), Hulchal (1951), ‘Saiyyan’ (1951) and ‘Rukhsana’ (1955).
Ravinder Jain & Mangeshkar: Ravinder Jain’s film ‘Saudagar’ was made in 1973 with Nutun (as Mejuben) and Amitabh Bachchan (as Moti) wherein a young man falls for a middle-aged lady but for selfish reasons. I was mesmerised with its song “Tera mera saath rahe”, a beautiful melody by Mangeshkar. She also rendered a song “Main hun phool banu”. I got attracted to 1975 film ‘Faqira’ because of Mangeshkar’s song “Dil mein tujhe bitha ke kar lungi mein band aankhain”. Kishore Kumar-Lata Mangeshkar’s duet “Tota maina ki kahani” became a street song instantly. Song “Ye mera jaadu” was a Lata-Asha duet and Kishore-Lata contributed “Aadhi sachi aadhi jhooti”. The title songs for Raj Kapoor’s ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gai’ both male and female versions are enchanting. The other songs ‘Ik Radha Ik Meera’, ‘Husn Paharon Ka Saheban’, ‘Sun Saheban Sun’, ‘Tujhey Bulaein Yei Meri Baanhein’ and ‘Yara O Yara Tujh Sei Mila Mujhey’ are catchy numbers; tuneful, well sung with full orchestra support rendered by Lata and Suresh Wadekar. For 1991 movie ‘Henna’ four solo songs by Lata ‘Anar Dana’, ‘Bedardi Tere Pyar Nei’, ‘Chittiye’, ‘Dair Na Ho Jaye Kahin’, ‘Main Hun Khushrang Henna’ two duets ‘Main Hun Khushrang Henna’ and ‘O Jane Waley’ with Muhammad Aziz and Suresh Wadekar respectively are highlights of movie Henna’s music. Songs were penned by Ravinder Jain and Naqsh Lyallpuri.
Husnlaal Bhagatraam & Lata: Lata has sung songs with other music composers also like Vasant Desai, S, N. Tripathi, Annu Malik, Hans Raj Behl, Pandit Gobind Ram, Sardul Singh Kwatra, Allah Rakha Quraishi, S. Mohinder, and Husnlaal Bhagatraam and many more. For Husnlal Bhagatraam, Satish Chopra in his article “The first and foremost populist duo music composers:  Husnalal Bhagatram” says that the duo composed music for fifty films and created some soul throbbing melodies. A few of their memorable numbers include- ‘Teri Is Do Rangee Duniyan Mein’ (Lata)- film ‘Sawan Bhadhon’- 1949; ‘Lut Gayee Ummidon Ki Dunian’ (Lata) - film ‘Jaltarang’- 1949; ’Dil Hi To Hei Jo Tarap Gayaa’ (Lata) –film ‘Aadhi Raat’-1950; ‘Chhota Sa Fasanaa Hei Terey Merey Pyar Ka’ (Lata & Rafi)-film ‘Birha Ki Raat’-1950; ‘Agar Dil Kisi Se Lagaya Na Hotaa’ (Lata)- film ‘Gauna’-1950; ’Dil Le Ke Dil Diya Hei, Ehsaan Kya Kiya Hei’ (Lata & Rafi)- film ‘Stage’-1951; ‘Wo Paas Bhi Rehkar Paas Nahin, Hum door Bhi Rehkar Door Nahin’ (Lata)- film ‘Afsanaa’- 1951. If a collection of all time great film duets (sung in male & female voices) is prepared, it will be predominantly incomplete without incredible- ‘Sun Merey Sajnaa, Dekhoji Mujh Ko Bhool Na Janaa’- based on Raag Pahari  and sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Muhammad Rafi for film-‘Aansoo’ (1952). Due to length of the song, it was recorded on both sides of a 78 rpm record. Just listen to the opening notes, sung by Lata Mangeshkar –the taan in singing word ‘Saajnaa’. The quality of flute and drum playing, the pauses in the vocal articulations, the delivery of lyrical dialogues mixed with deep feelings, in-between remarkable touches of shehnai, fascinating style of rendering of words bhool and rooth by Lata;  creating a unique soul stirring  impact on the listeners’ head and heart.
With the above submission I conclude my impressions on Mangeshkar’s songs sung for various music composers. She ruled Bollywood music for almost five decades. She was instrumental in making and breaking of many singers and music composers but still ruled the music industry. She got many lovely compositions tailor-made for her versatile singing. She gave lovely moments to music lovers all their lives. My submission is based on my personal experience with her songs that developed my psyche and love for music. Despite that so much of articles are available on her but mainly I have depended upon my earlier research on music composers of the subcontinent in the form of my book Melody Makers.

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