Lata Mangeshkar — the living legend — Part XII

To top it all, this song is amazingly well rendered by Lata Mangeshkar. Never have I heard such a lovely melody composed on a tabla with apt instrumentation in which Mangeshkar shines. Another classical number is “Mo se chal kiye jaaei haai” from the same movie. This song was picturised when Waheeda is shown as a successful artist in the movie. The movie ‘Guide’ was a 1965 super hit movie, the songs of, which were outstanding. In this movie Waheeda Rehman has acted very successfully as the impulsive, rebellious and captivating beauty namely Rosy. She enacted Mangeshkar’s voice especially for the song “Aaj phir jeene ki tamana hai” making her character a ravishing mirror of enigma and emancipation. Dev Anand portrays as Raju Guide who goes from guiding tourists in Rajasthan to guiding the much-married Rosy out of a suffocating marriage into that of a successful dancer. In the last leg of this enthralling and enticing drama of love, deception and redemption, Anand is transformed into a saint, the saviour of a drought-stricken village. 
I became alive to SD’s songs when the 1951 movie ‘Sazaa’ was released and I saw it in a Lahore Cinema when young. It starred Dev Anand, Nimmi, K N Singh, Lalita Pawar, Shyama, Gope, Mukri, and Durga Khote. I was moved by Lata’s haunting number ‘Tum Na Jaaney Kis Jehan Mein Kho Gaye’. A lovely duet by Lata Mangeshkar and Talat Mahmud ‘Aa Ja Aa Ja Tera Intizar Hei’ from this film is a lovely sad song. I have written in my book ‘Melody Makers’ ‘in 1954, I saw the movie ‘Taxi Driver’ in one of Lahore’s cinemas with my family. I was only eight then but its song ‘Dil Se Milaake Dil Pyaar Kijiye’ caught my attention as it was a club dance song of the fifties and the dancing steps of Sheela Ramani (who later came to Lahore and acted in a Pakistani movie Anokhi also) was liked by music lovers. Its lyrics were by Sahir Ludhianvi. This one is in a class by itself comprising a simple, uncluttered tune that stayed spot on to its picturing. It comprised a small orchestra in the bar room housed by a piano, a guitar, a clarinet and maracas. S. D. Burman won the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for this movie. The most soulful and popular song of the film however was ‘Jaayein Tou Jaayein Kahaan’ sung separately by Talat Mahmud and Lata Mangeshkar. The movie ‘Naujewan’ came in 1951. I remember this movie in particular as my childhood memories are attached with its song ‘Thandi Hawaein Lehra Kei Aaein’ pictured on young and lovely Nalini Jewant at that time. This was a Mahesh Kaul movie with Prem Naath in the male lead. The movie ‘Naujawan’ revolved around a young woman who is unhappy to the choice of husband that is made for her. She comes across someone who pretends to be her suitor to prevent her marrying the “wrong” man. The movie titled ‘Buzdil’ again is my favourite movie. It was released in 1951 because of its songs such as Lata’s ‘Rote Rote Guzar Gai Raat Re’ penned jointly by Kaifi Azmi and Sheilender. The beauty of this song lay in its simplicity with pathos oozing out of it. Then the song with semi-classical connotations in ‘Teen Taal’ rhythm, ‘Jhan Jhan Jhan Baaje Payal’ by Lata has special nostalgic memories attached for me. My maternal aunt Zakia Dil (later Maalik) used to sing this song perfectly. She was professor is the Fine Arts Department at the University of Punjab. She was a skillful painter as well. I used to copy this song the way she copied Lata perfectly well. This song used just a violin and a flute to support the melody with the exceptions of rich violin interlude before the second stanza wherein the variation of the Raag excels’. Talat and Lata’s ‘Dar Laage Duniya Sei’ was a hit duet of its time. 
I have a lot however to talk about SD’s 1954 movie ‘Taxi Driver’. The story is a nostalgic journey through the Bombay of the fifties with its quiet, peaceful and scenic background, electric trams. Apart from the hit song ‘Jaein Tau Jaein Kahan’ let me not forget two other songs by Lata; one ‘Aei Meri Zindigi Aaj Raat Jhoom Lei’ and two, ‘Dil Jale To Jale’, both club songs and hits of that time. Lata’s solos ‘Peechey Peechey Aa Kei’ and the best number ‘Phaili Hui Hein Sapno Ki Baanhein’ from the movie ‘Ghar Number Chawalees’ (House No. 44) are very nice solos. This movie ended the movie romance of Dev Anand and Kalpna Kartik into a real life marital bliss. My all time favourite is ‘Devdas’ made in 1955 with Dilip Kumar, Vyjantimala and Suchitra Sen. Continued

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