The prologue in the preceding paragraph brings us to see how Naushad Ali was instrumental in developing Lata’s vocals through his musical compositions. It was 1961 that I used to sing the song ‘Do Sitaron Ka Zameen Per Hei Milan Aaj Ki Raat’ sitting in Logia, Government College, Lahore. The song that often followed this one was ‘Koi Pyar Ki Daikhey Jadoogari Gulfam Ko Mil Gai Sabaz Pari’ (Raag Pahari) both very nicely crooned by Lata and Rafi. The music composer was Naushad Ali for the movie ‘Koh-e-Noor’. The beauty of these songs was also the pair Dilip Kumar and Meena Kumari on whom these songs were pictured. The 1949 movie ‘Andaaz’ had beautiful melodies such as ‘Uthaei Ja Unke Sitem’ by Lata. In this picture, Raj Kapoor and Nargis are in love. Again Nargis sings ‘Koi Merey Dil Mein Khushi Ban Kei Aaya’ for Raj Kapoor while Dilip mistakenly thinks it is for him. The song ‘Tore Diya Dil Mera’ however is full of pathos as Raj Kapoor suspects her, breaks Nargis’s heart and leaves her. Shamshad Begum and Lata rendered ‘Dar Na Muhabbat Ker Lei’ for Nargis and Cuckoo while Dilip played Piano. Despite that Raj Kapoor was the hero of the movie; it was Dilip Kumar who stole the show for his fine acting and facial expressions. Those were the days of melody and romance with their affiliated tragedies.
Thus Naushad Ali became one of the early composers who gave Lata Mangeshkar an opportunity to sing for his as before these movies his favourite singers were Shamshad Begum and Zohra Bai. The first colour movie of India was ‘Aan’ with Dilip and Nadira in the lead and Nimmi stealing the show. Its music was hit with songs such as ‘Aaj Merey Man Mein Sakhi Bansuri Bajaei Koi’ in Raag Bheem Palasi. The movie that has left deep impressions on my heart is S. U. Sunny’s ‘Babul’ with Dilip Kumar, Munawer Sultana and Nargis in the cast. Though Dilip is in love with Munawer Sultana but Nargis’ beau is Dilip in her dreams. She falls of a tree while watching the bridal procession. This movie had outstanding songs by Lata and Shamshad Begum notably ‘Panchi Ban Mein Piya Piya Ganey Laga’ and ‘Chor Babul Ka Ghar’. Nitin Bose’s ‘Deedaar’ (1951) and Suresh-Nalini Jewant’s ‘Jaadoo’ were released in the same year. The movie ‘Deedar’ had superb cast comprising Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Nargis and Nimmi in lead roles. It was a story of unfulfilled love, when hero’s childhood love is separated from him due to class difference; hero being poor and heroine, rich. They were separated when children and when the heroine grows up, she had forgotten who her love was. It was one of noted tragedies and upon its release the film became popular and established Dilip Kumar as “King of Tragedy”. As far as Lata’s contribution to its music is concerned, she shared the honours with Shamshad Begum for the song ‘Ho Bachpan Kei Din Bhula Na Daina’ and with two solos ‘Tu Kaun Hei Mera Keh Dei Balam Parun Main Tore Paiyyan, Duniya Nei Teri Duniya Waale Sukh Chain Hamara Cheen Liya’ and ‘Lei Ja Meri Duaein Lei Ja Pardes Jaane Waaley’. One of the best duets by Lata and Muhammad Rafi not only from this movie but from overall standards is ‘Daikh Liya Main Nei Qismet Ka Tamasha Daikh Liya’. Despite that the main load of singing was shared by Muhammad Rafi and Shamshad Begum for this movie, Lata excelled. I remember Lats’s song ‘Lo Pyar Ki Ho Gai Jeet Balam Hum Tere Ho Gaye’ very well from the film ‘Jaadu’. The other songs by Lata were ‘Ulajh Gaya Jiya Mora Nainon Kei Jaal Main’ and ‘Gin Gin Tare Main Haar Gai Raat Ko’, pictured on Nalini Jewant. The best sad song however was ‘Nadan Muhabbat Waalon Kei Armaan Badalte Rehte Hain/Is Rang Badalti Duniya Main Insaan Badalte Rehte Hain’. The best aspect of these songs was simplicity of their melody.
The trend of using classical music in commercial films was first introduced by Naushad Ali in India and by Khwaja Khursheed Anwar in Pakistan. I remember when the movie ‘Baiju Bawra’ was released it created a very positive change in Indian film music. This Vijay Bhatt’s directed movie’s all songs were based on Raags. Lata-Rafi duet ‘Tu Ganga Ki Mauj Mein Jamuna Ka Dhara’ was based in Raag Bhairavin. Lata’s hit song ‘Bachpan Ki Muhabbat Ko Dil Sei Na Juda Karna’ was based in Raag Maand. Finally my favourite song ‘Mohe Bhool Gaye Saanwariya’ by Lata is based on Raag Kalingda Bhairon.
Naushad and Lata’s greatest hit however was K. Asif’s ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ released in 1960. All twelve songs of this movie were written by Shakeel Badayuni. Movie Mughal-e-Azam (1960) is a biggest box office hit movie in Indian cinema directed by K. Asif and beautiful pairing of Dilip Kumar and Madhubala. Continued
‘Song of Lahore', a documentary by Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy ...