Lata Mangeshkar — the living legend — Part XIV

It was a Johnny Walker, Sheela Ramani, Balraj Sahni and Vijay Anand film movie. 
The movie ‘Alaap’ (1977) was produced by Hrishikesh Mukerjee and NC Sippy and directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. The film starred Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha, Asrani, Farida Jalal, Om Prakash and AK Hangal. Lata Mangeshkar rendered the song “Kahe manwa nachey hamra” amazingly well. Jadev bagged Mangeshkar Madhya Pardesh Government Award. The film ‘Reshman Aur Shera’ won music director, Jaidev, his first National Film Award for Best Music Direction in 1972, noted for classics like, “Ek meethi si chuban” (Lyrics by Udhav Kumar) and ‘Tu chanda main chandini” sung by Mangeshkar (Lyrics by Balkavi Bairagi). Much of Jaidev’s music remained unreleased. Luckily some, like Mangeshkar’s ‘Bidaai’ song “Mora naiher chootal jaeye” and many other melodies are being reproduced at Sachal Studios, Lahore.
RD & Mangeshkar: After discussing Lata’s songs for SD Burman and his assistant Jaidev (but an outstanding music composer in his own right), it is but natural to write on how SD’s son RD Burman went along with Lata. I rate movie Amar Prem’s ‘Raina Beeti Jaye’ as their best song together. The change of melody in this song, though difficult to render, sounds so easy when listened to. RD’s main grooming was done when he assisted his father for music in many films even before he assisted him in the movies “Bandani” (1963), “Teen Deviyaan” (1965), “Guide” (1965), “Jewel Thief” (1967) and “Talash” (1969). In his first independent film ‘Bhoot Bangla’ - 1961 produced by actor Mehmood, RD composed Lata’s Western oriented song ‘Matwali Ankhon Waley’. Amin Sayani, the famous Radio RJ of yesteryears commented that since he was doing the Radio publicity for this movie, he appreciated a totally Eastern melody ‘Ghar Aaja Ghir Aaei Badra Sanwariya’ by Lata in parallel with ‘Matwali Ankhon’, one Eastern and the other Western based. 
I remember a very popular melody ‘Mere Nainan Sawen Bhadon Phir Bhi Mera Mun Pyasa’ from the 1976 movie ‘Mehbooba’ (starring Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini) based on the mythology of reincarnation. This song was sung separately by Lata and Kishore. Lata’s version was classical based. This movie had another melodious duet ‘Parbat Kei Peeche’ by Lata and Kishore. Another film based on reincarnation theme was “Qudrat” (1981), starring Raj Kumar, Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna, Hema Malini and Priya Rajvansh. The song ‘Tu Nei O! Rangeele Kaisa Jaadu Kiya’ was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and filmed in Beautiful Himachal Pradesh. This movie was Chetan Anand directed suspense murder mystery. 
In a documentary on RD, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma had observed that many of SD’s songs were composed by RD and Shammi Kapoor added that RD did so especially when SD was unwell. These songs were brilliant and matched up with his father’s standard of music like ‘Kora Kaghaz Tha Mun Mera’ (Lata and Kishore) in the movie ‘Aradhna’ pictured on Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tegore. Sad song “Na Koi Umang Hai” starring Asha Parekh & Rajesh Khanna from classic Bollywood movie “Kati Patang” is a melody full of pathos and desperation. Cast of the movie was Prem Chopra, Bindu, Nasir Hussain, and Madan Puri. Movie ‘Sholey’ was hit movie. Mangeshkar rendered ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan Aei Jaan-e-Jaan Main Nachu Gi’ picturised on Hema Malini in the captivity of Gabbar Singh (Amjad Khan). It was a dance sequence quite unlike Lata’s usual melodies. 
The 1983 film ‘Bataab’ used Lata with younger singers like Shabbir Kumar who used to emulate Muhammad Rafi for the song ‘Jab Hum Jawan Honge’.  This Anand Bukhshi song was pictured on Sunny Doel and Amrita Singh. This film was a love story of two youngsters who fall in love despite the status gaps between their families. 1975 movie ‘Aap Ki Qasam’ had a lovely duet ‘Karwatein Badalte Rahe Saari Raat Hum, Aap Ki Qasam’ sung by Lata and Kishore, starring Rajesh Khanna Sanjeev Kumar and Mumtaz. The movie was directed by J Om Parkash.
Film ‘Masoom’ made in 1982 had Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Aazmi and Supriya Pathak in its cast. Lyricist Gulzar did wonders with the song ‘Tujh Sei Naraz Nahi Zindigi’. In the modern age Pakistani singer Amanat Ali revived this song in the music competitions on TV Channels and won laurels. It is on record that director Nasir Hussain was the main personality in boosting RD’s career. Vijay Anand also said that he had arranged a music session for RD before Nasir Hussain who went on to sign R. D. Burman and lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri for six of his films including ‘Baharon Ke Sapne’ (Lata’s Aa Ja Piya Tujhey Pyar Doon’)  (1967), Pyar Ka Mausam (1969) and Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973). However RD concentrated more on Asha Bhonsle because of his initial affair with her and later their marriage. That is why Lata’s songs with RD are not very many despite that RD composed music for 331 movies. 


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