Lata Mangeshkar — the living legend — Part XVII

The lyrics of the songs were penned by none other than Kaifi Azmi. Regarding the movie ‘Kabhi Kabhi’, I have mentioned in my book Melody Makers, “In 1976 this movie’s commercial success and the popularity of music broke records. As I was told by Khayyam, Sahir Ludhianvi had challenged that no music composer would do justice to his ghazals “Mein pal do pal ka shair hun” and “Kabhi kabhi merey dil mein”. The challenge was met successfully by Khayyam, especially due to the rhythmic treatment and the poetic cum musical style given to the lyrics in music composition. Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar relished singing the former ghazal astoundingly well. This Yash Chopra film had many other hit songs like “Mere ghar aai aik nanhi pari”. Though Khayyam has been very choosy for selecting his movies right from the beginning but after ‘Kabhi Kabhi’ he got many films to compose for, one after the other. It was for ‘Shankar Hussain’ in 1977 that he gave two amazing songs, one was Kaif Bhopali’s “Apne aap raaton mein chilmanein sarakti hain” and the other “Aap yun faasilon sey guzatre rahe” both by Mangeshkar. This was Kamal Amrohvi’s son Tajdar’s movie as a producer. The tunes depicted the inscrutability of night. I don’t know whether the movie flopped or clicked but the songs are immortal. Then came the box office hit ‘Trishul’ again by Yash Chopra in 1978. It was the revenge of Amitabh, born out of illicit relation between Waheeda Rehman and Sanjeev Kumar (who leaves her for a rich woman), a well-performed movie with Mangeshkar crying for revenge in the song “Tu mere saath rahe ga munney” well written by Ludhianvi. The movie contained duets by Kishore and Mangeshkar as well; “O kabhi qasmein na torian” based on Punjab’s folk and “Kehte darti ho” (Mangeshkar & Kishore) picturised on Hema Malini and Shashi Kapoor. Another song “Muhabbat bare kaam ki cheez hai” by Mangeshkar-Kishore-Yesudas trio made the movie a musical hit, picturised on Amitabh-Hema and Shashi and last but not the least the younger pair Poonam Dhilon and Sachin were treated with “Gapoo ji gapoo ji gam gam” by Mangeshkar and Nitin Mukesh. Then appeared a beautiful song “Simti hui yeh gharian” by Mangeshkar and Rafi in “Chambal ki qasam” in this Raj Kumar, Shatrughan Sinha and Maushmi Chaterjee starrer movie.
Here I would like to quote Khayyam’s response to a tricky question posed by Dr Mandar Bichchu in the article titled ‘Khayyam and Lata in perfect harmony’ as to how was his experience of working with Lata Ji for the first time. Khayyam responded ‘To be frank, I was quite apprehensive about working with her. Our ‘Heer Ranjha’ episode was fresh and then again, I had a bitter experience when she cancelled her recording for another film of mine at the last moment for some reason. As a result, I lost contract for the film...Lata was called by Apsi Irani’s company to sing for ‘Bombai Ki Billi’ and ‘Barood’ and not by me. After singing songs for ‘Barood’ as referred to above and for the movie ‘Hum Hei Raahi Pyar Ke’, an unreleased movie, she seemed visibly moved...Whenever she liked any tune of mine, there would almost never be any verbal praise but her eyes would speak, her face lit up with a glowing smile and would blush a little’. It is history that after harmony developed between a great singer and a great composer; we witnessed dozens of outstanding melodies that came into being. Examples can be quoted like the movie Dard’s ‘Na Janey Kaya Hua’ (1981) and Razia Sultan’s ‘Aei Dil-e-Nadaan’ and ‘Jalta Hei Badan’ (1983) as reiterated above. I still remember when Khayyam visited Lahore in 1986 and on invitation of Madam Nurjehan’s residence for a dinner party; Lata’s songs from ‘Razia Sultan’ were played again and again and appreciated umpteen times by the guests. Madam seemed to be a great fan of Khayyam.
About Khayyam and Yash Chopra working together, let me quote from ‘Melody Makers’, “Yash and Khayyam then produced a low budget movie ‘Noorie’ with Poonam and Farooq Sheikh in the lead. Its music with Lata’s ‘Chori Chori Koi Aaye’ and Lata-Nitin’s ‘Noori’ with the movie based on the poverty of Kashmiris was very strong. It made this movie a colossal hit. Khayyam and Yash Chopra got estranged on the issue of sharing the booty equally for this movie as both had financed this movie equally. This episode gave an end to this beautiful team. Yash opted for Khayyam’s musicians Shiv-Hari for his subsequent movie ‘Silsila’. I wish that Yash-Khayyam team could have continued”. 
Khayyam gave “Hazaar raahein” and “Aankhon mein hum nei aap kei sapney sajae” to Mangeshkar-Kishore duo for Rajesh Khanna-Shabana Aazmi starrer movie ‘Thori Si Bewafai’. In 1982, Khayyam composed for the movie ‘Bawari’ and then for ‘Bazaar’. Continued

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