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Lata Mangeshkar — the living legend — Part III

Music director Vinod of Lahore, a Shagird of Pandit Amar Nath of Lahore was entrusted with the task of composing its music, which he conceived in Lahore but composed in Bombay. Vinod composed two songs for Lata Mangeshkar. Both songs, “Gallian che phirde dhola nikke nikke baal ve” and “Raahe raahe jandiya, akhiyan milande aa” became super hits. Music director Shyam Sunder, who came to Bombay from Lahore during 1943-44, was composing the music of two films “Bazaar” and “Lahore” found Lata’s voice enchanting and captivating. Shyam Sunder was composing highly melodious music during those days. Two of his songs in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar “Baharen phir bhi aayen gi, magar hum tum juda honge” and “Duniya hamare pyar ki yoon hi jawan rahe, main bhi vahin rahoon mera saajan jahan rahe” from film “Lahore” became the most popular songs in 1949. Anil Biswas used Lata Mangeshkar’s voice in films “Anokha Pyar” in 1948 and Khem Chand Prakash used Lata’s voice for film “Ziddi”. All Lata songs became quite popular’. Lata’s Vasant Desai movies, her Datta Koregaonkar connection and her exposure to Rajkamal Kalamandir had all collectively made an impact. She was known in some circles as the little girl with some promise, but none were willing to take a chance, except Master Ghulam Haider as mentioned above. It was in 1948 that his three movies are notable in this range; ‘Majboor’, ‘Padmini’ and ‘Shaheed’. The Majboor song ‘Dil mere toraa, hai mujhe kisi ka na chhora’ is a classic. Also, the Padmini song ‘Bedard tere dard ko seene se lagaa ke’ became popular.
We have already mentioned how Anil Biswas and Khemchand Prakash took notice of Lata being active in looking for a classic, well-modulated voice that would never stray into savage territory. We have already mentioned movie ‘Mahal’ and shall mention the movie ‘Barsaat’ when we come to SK At the same time, Naushad and C Ramchandra picked up on this voice. Lata needed no more help as Master Ghulam Haider’s mission had been accomplished. For Lata Mangeshkar, the rest is history as everything in the world was going her way from 1948 onwards as Nurjehan had already left for Pakistan.
Lata’s music directional and acting spree: In 1950, Lata teamed up with Dinkar Patil and actually scored the music for his movie ‘Ram ram pahune’. She joined Dinkar Patil to find Surel Productions in 1952 and produced Wadal (1953). Datta Koregaonkar’s movies ‘Daaman’, ‘Gumashta’ and ‘Rishta’; were all sung largely by Lata Mangeshkar. Lata did her last acting role in the hindi-marathi dual release; the C Ramchandra-scored ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji’. She never acted again, or scored music under her original name.
Contributions of Lahoris in boosting Lata Mangeshkar as singer: We shall once again revert to Harjap Singh Aujla who writes that up to 1948, the duo of music composers Pandit Husan Lal and Bhagat Ram, who came from Lahore in 1944, were working very hard on another Lahore girl Suraiya who was deeply emotional and was most suitable for sad and sweet music but after the unexpected success of Lata Mangeshkar’s songs in Punjabi film “Chaman”, Pandit Husan Lal and Bhagat Ram decided to work harder on this more versatile singer. For a number of years (1948 to 1957) Husan Lal Bhagat Ram duo groomed the voice of Lata through repeated rehearsals and made her also a master of sad music. The other Punjabi music directors like Hans Raj Behl, Pandit Gobind Ram, Sardul Singh Kwatra, Roshan, Allah Rakha Quraishi, S Mohinder and Khayyam; all Lahoris used Lata Mangeshkar’s voice very extensively in their subsequent urdu/hindi and punjabi films. Madan Mohan groomed Lata Mangeshkar essentially for urdu ghazal singing and he got the most gratifying rejoinder from the knowledgeable listeners. It is therefore time to discuss the successes of Madan Mohan and Lata combination.
Madan Mohan & Lata: As per my book ‘Melody Makers’, my memories of Madan Mohan Kohli date back to his music in the movie ‘Daikh Kabira Roya’ in which Lata sang ‘Meri veena tum bin roye’ in Raag Aheer Bhairon. Lata’s ghazal ‘Tu pyar karey ya thukraei hum to hein terey diwanon mein’ was also from this movie. A series of lovely melodies by Lata like ‘Hum pyar mein jalney walon ko chain kahan, araam kahan’ from the movie ‘Jailor’ and ‘Unko yeh shikayat hei keh hum kutch nahin kehte’ and ‘Yun hasraton key dagh muhabbat mein dho liye’ from the movie ‘Adalat’. ‘Haqeeqat’ and ‘Woh chup ranein to merey dil kei dagha jaltey hein’ from ‘Jehan Ara’ kept on haunting me for a long time. Before these songs came into being, Lata’s songs from a B class movie ‘Anparh’ with Dharmender’s debut with outstanding actress Mala Sinha like ‘Hei issi mein pyar ki aabroo’ and ‘Aap ki nazron nein samjha pyar kei qabil mujhey’ had left a deep impact on melody lovers. 


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