Great combination: Madan Mohan and Lata Mangeshkar
MANY glorious combinations of music director and singer have marked Hindi film music over the years. Some of the best examples are Naushad-Mohammed Rafi, Shankar Jaikishen-Mukesh, SD Burman-Rafi, RD Burman-Kishore and RD Burman-Asha Bhosle. As for Lata Mangeshkar, she’s done great songs with almost all composers ranging from Naushad, Shankar-Jaikishen and SD Burman to RD Burman, Salil Chowdhury and Laxmikant-Pyarelal, but some of her most memorable tunes have been for Madan Mohan.
With fans celebrating Madan Mohan’s 90th birth anniversary tomorrow, June 25, thought it would be ideal to list my favourite Lata-Madan Mohan numbers. Usually, it would be difficult to rate such a list in order of preference, as most of the tunes are classics. So very diplomatically, I am mentioning my top 20 “in no particular order”. This list only contains Lata’s solo songs, not her duets.
1. Tu jahaan jahaan chalega – From the 1966 film ‘Mera Saaya’, it was written by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan.
2. Aap ki nazaron ne samjha – Who can forget this Lata Mangeshkar gem, written by Raja Mehdi Ali in the 1962 movie ‘Anpadh’?
3. Agar mujhse mohabbat hai – From the 1964 release ‘Aap ki parchaiyan’, this Lata song is hummed even today.
4. Yun hasraton ke daagh – One of Lata Mangeshkar’s most popular songs, from ‘Adalat’ in 1958. Lyrics are by Rajendra Krishan.
5. Lag ja gale – Another beauty by Raja Mehdi Ali, in the 1964 film ‘Woh Kaun Thi?’
6. Naghma-o-sher ki saugaat – Sahir Ludhianvi’s words and Madan Mohan’s music work wonders in this song from the 1964 film ‘Gazal’.
7. Zara si aahat – From the 1964 war film ‘Haqeeqat’, with lyrics by Kaifi Azmi.
8. Naina barse rimjhim rimjhim – Once again, Madan Mohan, Raja Mehdi Ali and Lata combine to create this gem in the 1964 film ‘Woh Kaun Thi?’
9. Unko yeh shikaayat hai – Lata at her melodic best, in Rajendra Krishan’s song from the 1958 film ‘Adalat’.
10. Nainon mein bhadra chaaye – Another Madan Mohan-Raja Mehdi Ali-Lata combination, this was from the 1966 film ‘Mera Saaya’.
11. Jab yaad kisiki aati hai – The title song of the 1967 film of the same name, written by Raja Mehdi Ali and picturised on Mala Sinha.
12. Baiyan na dharo – From ‘Dastak’ in 1970. The film also had Lata’s brilliant ‘Mai ri’ and ‘Hum hain mata-e-koocha-o-bazaar’, penned by Majrooh.
13. Milo na tum to – Written by Kaifi Azmi in the 1970 film ‘Heer Ranjha’.
14. Ruke ruke se kadam – From the 1975 film ‘Mausam’, this was written by Gulzar.
15. Husn haazir hai – From the 1976 film ‘Laila Majnu’. Sahir Ludhianvi’s lines ‘Koi patthar se na maare mere deewane ko’ became a rage.
16. Rasm-e-ulfat ko nibhaaye kaise – Written by Naqsh Lyallpuri for the 1973 ‘Dil Ki Rahen’, this was one of Lata’s outstanding hits of the 1970s.
17. Aaj socha toh aansoon bhar aaye – The 1973 film ‘Hanste Zakhm’ was best known for Rafi’s singing and the orchestration of ‘Tum jo mil gaye ho’, but Kaifi Azmi shines on this one too.
18. Woh bhooli dastaan – An unforgettable tune from the 1961 movie ‘Sanjog’, this is classic Lata.
19. Woh jo milte the kabhi – From the 1963 film ‘Akeli Mat Jaaiyo’, with lyrics by Majrooh.
20. Badi barbadiyan lekar – A rarer song from the 1953 film ‘Dhun’, with lyrics by Kaif Irfani.