By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: If Yash Chopra were alive, he would be ushering out his birthday on Friday September 27 when his most favourite singer and sister Lata Mangeshkar would be bringing in her birthday on September 28.
Free-spirited Cancerians both, they were professionally inseparable.
“As long as I am there you will sing in all my films,” he had promised Lataji. Sure enough it broke his heart when his last film Jab Tak Hai Jaan released posthumously did not contain her voice.
Here’s celebrating the 10 most amazing songs that Lataji sang for her Yash Bhaiyya.
1: Jab bhi jee chahe nayi duniya basaa lete hain log (Daag)—When Yash Chopra broke away from his brother’s banner to launch Yashraj films he pencilled in the never-before and never-again composer-poet mixture of Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Sahir Ludhianvi. The duo had huge creative differences with the poet-extraordinaire. But some great music came out of the friction. This heart-piercing song about a broken and betrayed heart was actually inspired by a Pakistani Ghazal by Noorjehan. Lataji of course gave it her own twist. Exquisite pain oozes out of every word.And Sharmila Tagore enacted the song with just the right blend of suffering and smirk.
2: Jo baat ishaaron kahi tun nahin samjhe (Joshila)—A special solo, this was the only time R D Burman and Sahir Ludhianvi came together to create a song for Lata Mangeshkar.
3: Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayaal aata hai (Kabhi Kabhie)—Khayyam and Sahir got together to create this song about lost love and a treasure of memories flooding the melody with life-giving potions. Though Mukesh too sang a version Lataji’s interpretation of the lyrics remains a jewel of the croon.
4: Tu mere saath rahega munne (Trishul)—The theme song so strong and persuasive it made Yashji cry each time he heard it. Though Khayyam’s composition was ordinary Lataji’s rendering of the mother’s plea to her son to take revenge for all the wrongs done to her was so powerfully penned by Sahir Ludhianvi that the song became an exquisite expression of maternal expectations. ‘Main tumhein doodh na bakshoongi tumhein yaad rahe,” sang Lataji.Yashji cried. We cried.
5: Neela aasman so gaya (Silsila)—Javed Akhtar wrote lyrics for the first time for a movie. And the Nightingale’s voice took over the show. Rekha looked like a dream as she put a face to Lataji’s voice. Classicists Shiv-Hari couldn’t have hoped for a better filmy beginning.
6: Om namah shivay (Mashaal): What made this solo by Lataji really special was the the fact that it was composed by her brother the highly-regarded Hridaynath Mangeshkar. The Shiva bhajan exudes an aura of tranquility even in the most troubled moment. Try it. You will know why Yashji considered Laaji to be Mata Saraswati reincarnated.
7: Mere haathon mein nau-nau chudiyaan hai (Chandni): Lataji was unwell when Shiv-Hari wanted to record this song. But Yash Chopra would have no other voice. ‘How can anyone else sing in my film?’ he reasoned. The song was a resounding hit.Well worth the wait, watt?
8: Morni baghaan maan bole (Lamhe)—Sridevi dancing in the undulating deserts of Rajashtan as Saroj Khan’s choreography brought home the importance of the sheer melodic force of Lata Mamgeshkar’s throat…If there was heaven on earth, it was here as Sridevi kicked up a graceful desert storm.
9: Tu saawan main pyaas piya (Parampara)—An utterly tasteless actress on the screen(Ramya) couldn’t take away from the power of this solo by Lataji where she sang of a woman’s sexual longing with such persuasiveness !! Tere bin main aadhi-adhuri, chhuke mujhe tu kar de poori. This is one of Lataji’s most erotic numbers.Poori ki poori
10: Tere liye (title song)—the composing genius Madan Mohan’s posthumous melody revamped restructured and brought to flickering life by his talented son Sanjeev Kohli, Lataji together with Roop Kumar Rathod sang the title song as if there was no tomorrow.