Lata in Ten Moods

When I did the Rafi in Ten Moods post a few months back, Stuartnz suggested I also do a Lata Mangeshkar post sometime. It’s taken a good deal of thought, since—like Rafi—Lata also has such a huge corpus of work, it’s impossible for me to pick my ten favourite songs. This, therefore, is the easy way out. It’s a list of ten songs in ten different moods. Not Lata’s ten best songs, but ten songs that showcase her voice, in every emotion from joy and playfulness to heartbreak and deep sorrow. These are all from pre-70’s films that I’ve seen (Pakeezah is the exception, but I never count that as a 70’s film—for me that’s very 60’s).

Defiant: Jurm-e-ulfat pe humein (Taj Mahal, 1963): Although Pyaar kiya toh darna kya from Mughal-e-Azam is probably more popular, this one—also Lata, and also from a film about the Mughals—is, in my opinion, the better song. The soft, caressing music is the perfect showcase for Lata’s voice, which brings out the emotion of the song brilliantly: a quietly obstinate refusal to let go of a love, even at the cost of the world’s anger. Lata and Bina Rai together create an Arjumand Bano who is dignity itself in her defiance.

Romantic: Lag jaa gale ke phir yeh (Woh kaun thi?, 1964): Lata sings for one of her favourite composers, her so-called brother, Madan Mohan. There is so much I love about this song: the picturisation, Sadhana’s breathtaking beauty, Manoj Kumar, so handsome and looking so smitten yet bewildered— and Lata. Lata’s voice, enticing, alluring, yet tinged with a fatalism, a sense that these are charmed moments stolen from eternity, moments that will vanish in a heartbeat. Fabulously romantic.

Betrayed: Rehte thhe kabhi jinke dil mein (Mamta, 1966): Heartbreak, anger, the haunting memories of a past love, and a deep sense of being used by someone very dear… daava thha jinhe hamdardi ka, khud aake na poochha haal kabhi (“those who claimed to be sympathetic, did not care even to ask how I was”) is superbly rendered by Lata in a song that’s bitter yet not melodramatic (if you don’t watch the picturisation). Like the song from Taj Mahal, this one too has subdued music—dominated by the tabla— which I think brings out the sense of deep hurt that Lata infuses in the song.

Hopeful: Aayega aanewaala (Mahal, 1949): The quintessential Lata song, and one I can hear as many times as it’s played. This song, brimming with desire for an as yet unknown lover, and the hope that that lover will appear someday—catapulted the 20-year old Lata to fame. Lata’s name didn’t appear in the credits of Mahal, so until Aayega aanewaala became a hit and listeners wrote to All India Radio requesting the song and asking for the name of the singer, very few people actually knew who had sung this song.
Between them, the three bigwigs of Mahal—the music director, Khemchand Prakash; the director, Kamal Amrohi; and the lead actor, Ashok Kumar—had decided that the song would sound best if it seemed to begin far away, then drifted closer. Lata therefore had to begin the song standing in one corner of the huge studio, and continue to sing as she very slowly approached the microphone. It took an entire day to finally record Aayega aanewaala.
Sublime, and the start of the song—the aalaap—is matchless. And Lata’s voice, clear as a bell and in perfect control of each note, is exquisite.

Seductive: Thaare rahiyo o baanke yaar (Pakeezah, 1972): Like Aayega aanewaala, this song too begins with a lovely, echoing aalaap. In tone, though, this is very different from the Mahal song: the lover here is very much known (so what if he’s buying the woman’s ‘love’) and for him, she adorns herself: darkening her eyelids with kohl, twining flowers in her tresses, putting on her jewellery… shringaar ras at its best. What I love about this song, other than the music (the jingling of those ankle bells!), is the breathtaking range of notes that Lata’s voice effortlessly travels in the course of the song. Magnificent.

Resigned: Ajeeb dastaan hai yeh (Dil Apna Aur Preet Paraayi, 1960): This has been one of my favourite songs from as far back as I can remember. There is so much to Ajeeb dastaan hai yeh: the congratulation that is not merely polite; the sense of being let down; the looming loneliness, the deep sorrow, the awkwardness at suddenly being the object perhaps of public gossip and/or pity;—and, ultimately, a resignation to one’s fate. This is the way it is, and it will have to be endured.
Lata’s voice is soft, gentle, melodious, and imbued with the unhappiness of the situation. One of the most exquisite songs in Hindi cinema.

Weary: Jhoom jhoom dhalti raat (Kohra, 1964): Lata’s voice is literally haunting, isn’t it? I’ve just realised that of the songs I’ve listed, two are sung by characters who appeared (or pretended to be) supernatural—Madhubala in Mahal and Sadhana in Woh Kaun Thi? Here’s a third, and you actually see a ghostly figure in the picturisation. A superb song, Lata’s voice going almost slurringly slow over the words, adding to the impression of a woman so weary of life itself that even though she drinks, she remains thirsty: utne rahe pyaase hum, jitni bhi pi humne. If you know the film, you will probably have little sympathy for the singer, but this song always makes me feel a little sorry for her: the life she loved so wholeheartedly and selfishly has let her down; all her debaucheries have come to nothing, and she has had to step out into the dark, all alone and friendless. Reason enough for the brooding weariness that seems to weigh down every syllable of the song.
The slow version of the song, I think, is more effective than the faster one.

Lonely: Yeh sham ki tanhaaiyaan (Aah, 1953): And not merely lonely, but aching with loneliness. Nargis’s character, jilted by the man whom she loves deeply but who has disappeared inexplicably from her life, cries out her sorrow to the stars and the moon—which shed tears of dew in response. Shailendra’s lyrics are beautiful, Shankar-Jaikishan’s music is melodious, and Lata’s voice portrays a yearning and a deep unhappiness that conveys the emotion superbly.

Sultry: Aa jaan-e-jaan (Intaquam, 1969): Okay, so that is pretty close to seductive. But there’s a world of difference between this ‘cabaret song’ and the more ‘Indian’ and not quite so in-your-face Thaare rahiyo o baanke yaar. This one’s very rare for Lata: it oozes oomph and an almost predatory sexuality from every note and every syllable. Lata manages, with that breathy and come-hither rendering, to pull off a song one would generally associate more with Asha. Very Helen.

Patriotic: Vande Mataram (Anandmath, 1952): I’ve talked about this song on another post too, but I can’t resist listing it here too, simply because it’s in such a different mood from Lata’s more usual romantic or sad songs. This one’s both a song in praise of the motherland, and a call for action, an attempt to draw patriots together to rise up. Lata’s seemingly effortless rendition never fails to impress me: the full-throated singing, the power in that voice and the obvious fervor are very inspirational.

77 thoughts on “Lata in Ten Moods

  1. Wow! Thank you so much for this excellent compilation. Her little sister will always have pride of place in my listening affections, but this provides exactly what I needed to appreciate Lata at her best. I was delighted to see that two of my personal favourites of hers, लग जा गले and आएगा आनेवाला (both simply sublime in my uninformed opinion) , made your list too, and that Taj Mahal, source of another of my Lata favourites, जो वादा किया वो निभाना पड़ेगा, also made the list. I look forward to listening to them all and gaining a better appreciation of Lata as she deserves to be remembered. Many, many thanks.

    • And many, many thanks to you, Stuart, for inspiring me! I really enjoyed doing this post, even though (like you) I’m more of an Asha fan than a Lata one – I tend to think Asha’s more versatile. But yes, Lata at her best can be sublime, especially (as you mention) in songs like Aayega aanewaala and Lag jaa gale: she gives me gooseflesh in both! I’d also put Jurm-e-ulfat pe in the same league.

      Oh, and one song that would have made it to this list – in fact, would probably have been among the top songs in this list, if I’d seen the film – is Tum na jaane kis jahaan mein kho gaye from Sazaa. Heartrendingly beautiful.

  2. great post…

    all of these tend towards the sombre, something that she excels at. She has often be accused of not being good at happier songs, so maybe you need to do an entire post on 10 of Lata’s happier or naughtier moods!

    Aaj mere man mein sakhi, chad gayo re paapi bichhuya, aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai, woh hain zara khafa khfa….

    • I’d been thinking of putting in Chhuppa-chhuppi from Savera into this post – it’s such a sweet song, so playful and so much fun. But then I thought the playfulness there is more Manna Dey’s than Lata’s… but good idea, bawa! Some day I will do that post.

      • Will look forward to that one :) Love all the songs in this post too, listening to them was a beautiful start to the day.

        As you can see, am finally back and catching up!

          • I’ve always thought that Lata did way better at sombre and haunting numbers than in anything naughty or just plain joyous, and your list is a very good illustration of this. Aa jaane ja is certainly sultry, but it also sounds grimly determined to be so! There is no playfulness or a sense of mischief to it.

            There is nothing like Lata’s haunting numbers, and Jhoom jhoom dhalti raat is one of my favorites along with the likes of Tu jahan jahan chalega mera saya saath hoga and Kahin deep jale kahin dil.

            • Thank you for that insight about Aa jaan-e-jaan lacking playfulness. I hadn’t thought about it, but yes, you’re very right. Comparing this with something like Geeta’s O babu o lala or Mera naam Chin Chin Choo, one can’t help but see the difference. Lata is at her best with more serious songs.

              • Wonderful list… & wished you would have added ‘Tum naa jaane kis jahaan’’s my fav Lata song

                About playfulness, the early Lata songs have plenty of them.. My fav is ‘Shola Jo Bhadke’ from Albela ..Her voice is so exquisite & playful, you can’t recognise it’s Lata

  3. The charm about all these legends are that no matter what the mood is they just deliver awesome stuff. And the charm about your post is that you just make sure each song fits into the right mood. So wonderfully researched. Just fabulous :)

  4. This month has been a real treat DO. I eagerly look forward to what surprise is going to come next, and none has disappointed.
    A very good way of appreciating Lata, according to her moods.

    Viraha (lonely), the choice of ‘yeh sham ki tanhaiyan’ is a great favourite of mine along with ‘mohe bhool gaye saanwariya’ from Baiju Bawra.

    Two other great moods of Lata where she sang really well were, classical, and Bhajans.

    This song set to classical tunes with excellent lyrics is absolutely gorgeous, Lata’s voice rendering it exquisitely perfect.
    It’s from Bhabi Ki choodiyan.
    The name bhabi or Meena Kumari shouldn’t put off people from watching this film. Its not as one would expect and is really a sweet film, but I digress. The song.

    • You know, pacifist, I’ve had Bhabhi ki Chudiyaan on my DVD rental wishlist for the last many months, but haven’t got around to ordering it, because the bhabhi bit scares me off! Thank you for reassuring me – I’ll order it the next time I place an order, if it’s available. Lovely song, by the way. I remember having heard it often and liking it a lot, but didn’t know it was from this film.

      I agree completely that Lata was really good at classical songs and bhajans. Her songs for Anuradha are a case in point: very classical and very beautifully sung.

      P.S. Thank you for the appreciation! You’ve made my day. :-)

  5. Actually this classical from the same film is equally exquisite and has better sound than the other which is unfortunately not so good.

  6. This is lovely, thanks Madhu. I learn so much from the way you write about the music too. I am reading a biography of Lata right now which is very dense going for someone who knows nothing about Hindustani music, although it’s a fascinating (and not over-fawning) look at Lata herself (its written by Raju Bharatan). I am also more of an Asha fan (I love the western-tinged songs in Hindi cinema so much) but Lata can render a bhajan and make it more spiritual than just about any other kind of “religious” music there is. I love “Allah Tero Naam” and “O Paalanhaare” (yes! even though it is 2001 Lata! :-) so so much, when I need something soothing.

    • Thank you, Greta! I must admit to not knowing much about Hindustani music too (I cannot, for instance, tell one raag from the next), but yes – I can certainly appreciate when I hear it. And you’re so right, both Allah tero naam and O Paalanhaare (even though it’s 2001!) are fine bhajans. My husband, who’s not into bhajans at all (neither am I, for that matter) actually likes those two songs as well. I also like Jyoti kalash chhalke, which pacifist has linked to, above.

    • harvey, I honestly don’t remember how many songs I went through. Some were very easy – I couldn’t imagine a Lata post without Aayega aanewaala, Lag jaa gale or Ajeeb dastaan hai yeh, so those had to be part of it. Then of course all those films that I hadn’t seen yet got junked. Maybe about 30-40 songs that I listened to, eventually? The fact that I’d decided to base it on moods made choosing songs a bit more difficult. Lata’s sung so many songs that would be classified either as ‘romantic’ or ‘sorrowful’ that it took a lot of thought to whittle down the emotion into a more nuanced one!

  7. This is a lovely concept. Lata’s body of work makes picking best 10 very difficult. Picking 10 different moods makes the choice more varied.

    While mentioning my favorite singers, I usually say – Asha/Geeta Dutt among female singers and Talat/Manna Dey/Hemant Kumar among men. I love Lata’s voice of the 40s and 50s.

    • Thank you, Ava! I too think Lata’s voice of the 50’s (haven’t heard too much from the 40’s other than the awesome Aayega aanewaala) is wonderful. Asha and Geeta Dutt are my all-time favourite female voices too, both of them have a lovely un-shrill quality that I really like. And both were so versatile.

  8. Nice collection. I remember reading somewhere that Lata herself has said that Yeh sham ki tanhaiyan is among her most favorite songs.

    That’s just too much make up and finery on an otherwise ethereal beauty that is Suchitra Sen. I was watching a few songs from Bombai ka Babu and she looked Beautiful in them – like Madhuri Dixit in black n white!

  9. Suchitra Sen is exquisite in Bombai ka Babu – one of my major reasons for liking the film so much, though of course there were more. It’s been a very long time (at least 20 years) since I watched Mamta but as far as I remember, in Rehte thhe kabhi jinke dil mein, she’s playing a somewhat shopworn gaanewaali – so that tawdry finery and the heavy makeup are intentional. Here’s another song from the same film, where she’s playing a younger, more elegant and much happier woman.

    • S D Burman’s score for Taxi Driver was superb. And I think the best songs of the lot were the ones picturised on Sheila Ramani! Another song I really like (also Lata – and now I’m wanting to kick myself for having forgotten this one and left it out of my list) is Dil se milaake dil pyaar kijiye:

  10. I’m going to dispense with talking about what a phenomenal singer Lata was and jump right into listing a few of my favorites.:-)

    Ja main tose nahi boloon (Sautela Bhai)

    Tu humko dekh (Zindagi aur Hum)

    Pyaar ki dastan tum suno to kahe (Faraar)

    Brij ke nandlala radha ke sanwariya (Taksaal)

    • Thank you for sharing your favourites, Shalini! Two of those were new to me – I don’t remember having heard either Tu humko dekh or Brij ke nandlala. And I haven’t heard Jaa main tose nahin boloon with sufficient attention before this; I was very impressed when I actually did listen to it carefully today. Stunningly sung. And Pyaar ki dastaan is beautiful. I seem to recall either you (or maybe another reader?) having introduced me to that song, on this blog itself.

  11. This is a very well written post; each song is different, and its description well suited and without any repetition. EXCELLENT !!!
    I always knew I could never write like this, and I continue to learn more from you; about writing & music.

  12. Shantanu: You’re very right – Shola jo bhadke is really the perfect example of Lata in a playful mood. Wonderful song. In fact, it’s so un-Latalike, that when I was a teenager, I actually thought Geeta Dutt had sung that!

  13. I sure like Shola jo bhadke as well. But somehow I always have a feeling that Lata can’t really sound joyful and carefree totally like let us say Asha.
    I for myself like Lata in her really masochistic and servile mode like Aap ke nazro ne samjha or Betaab dil ki tamanna yahi hai or Uthaye ja unke sitam!

    • You know, harvey, Uthaaye jaa unke sitam was one of the songs I’d initially thought of, simply because she’s sung it so well. But it’s such a self-deprecating, mariyal-sa gaana that I decided I had to take it out of the list. It really irritates me!

      • You don’t like Uthaye ja unke sitam? I just love it. I love all of Lata’s self-deprecating, masochistic and servile songs. In fact I like all such songs even if they are not sung by Lata.
        I know it is totally depressing, but I jus tlove them!
        Yes, I feel emancipated enough to say I love all self-deprecating, masochistic and servile songs a la Uthaaye jaa unke sitam! ;-)

  14. Vah! vah! vah! vah! vah! what can i say, such an EXCELLENT post this is, i was waiting to see what you’d list for seductive and yes indeed you picked what i would have as well, as far as the comparisons between Lata and Asha go i love them both but if push comes to shove i’d go with Lata. Her ohh ohhh ohhh at the beginning of the ‘tere sang pyar mein’ song from Nagin has haunted me since childhood, it is one of the first bollywood songs i ever

    Another one of my Lata favourites is ‘Agar dilbar ki’ i just love her vocal range and dip in this song, plus the way its been picturised on Mumtaz makes it unforgettable. Its one i listen to back to back numerous times

    Another favourite worth mentioning is ‘Is mod se jaate hai’ from Aandhi, that song just transports me to another place i can’t even describe, J’adore

    • The other day, Greta was mentioning on her blog that one advantage of doing ‘list posts’ is that you get to see other people’s favourites, and get some good recommendations. I agree with that so completely! Thank you, bollywoodeewana, for your recommendations – both lovely songs, though I must admit to a special liking for the Mumtaz one. Not just because I adore Mumtaz, but because I think Lata sounds a little better in that. And because naagin films don’t exactly appeal to me!

      Oh, I love Is mod se jaate hain: beautiful song, and great lyrics too.

  15. Ahh i had typed in a long comment and i don’t know where it all disappeared to, i’ll reattempt to repost what i posted earlier

    Vah! Vah! vah! vah! vah! vah! Excellent list and post Dustedoff, i was waiting to see what you’d pick for seductive and yes!!! you included what i would have as well. As far as the Lata/ Asha comparisons go i’d hate to pick one but if push comes to shove then i guess i’d have to go with Lata. Her voice was one of the first bollywood ones i heard in fact her ohh ohh ohh at the beginning of ‘tere sang pyar main’ from nagin (1976) still haunts me to this day. That is the first bollywood song i heard that stuck with me all the way

    Another one of my favourite Lata numbers is ‘ Agar dibar li’ from khilona, its one i can listen to over and over in fact i do taht a lot, i love her vocal range and dip in this song plus the way it’s been picturised on mumtaz makes it unforgettable

    And what i can say about ‘Is mod se jaate hai’ from Aandhi, taht song just takes me to a place i can’t describe, J’adore and long may Lata-ji reign

    • Ouch, poor you! When I logged in, I guessed what had happened – the email address you entered in the comment field wasn’t your usual, so your comment went automatically for moderation. :-(

  16. Thanks for the lovely Lata list :) , built around a very nice concept… I would have commented sooner, but I was busy writing a special birthday post for my own all-time favorite female voice, who was Lata’s original singing role model. ;)

    You probably know already that I also think “Ayega Anewala” is the best Lata song and helps to make the soundtrack to Mahal positively magnificent. I also have to agree with the inclusion of “Thare Rahiyo” on just about any top list.

    But of course, I can’t resist mentioning at least one of my own favorites that may have been overlooked by a lot of people… It’s from V. Shantaram’s Parchhaiyan (or Parchhain), with music by C. Ramchandra…and it just seems like one of those perfectly/incredibly sad and lonely Lata songs (which I can say even without knowing the meaning of the words :) – though I’ve read that she is singing a very sad poem, and I know the context around it in this ultimately tragic film). Anyway, wow, isn’t her voice just beautiful in this?

    Also, I think I would pick almost any Lata song from Madhosh… Interesting that you mention that Madan Mohan was one of her favorite composers and that he was called her brother(?)… The two did seem to go very well together.

    • Thanks for reminding us of the song, Richard!
      had never seen the video to it, at least not in recent years. Who is the lady with the string instrument (veena?). She looks like Swaroop Sampat (a former Miss India), who played the female lead in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Naram Garam, she later married Paresh Rawal and was also seen Saathiya, where she played Vivek Oberoi’s mother.

  17. Richard, thank you so much for that song from Parchhaaiyaan – I’d never heard it before, but it’s fabulous. Her voice is so absolutely in control, so perfect in every note. Superb. It is very sad, but then, I suppose that just goes to prove what a lot of us have been saying on this post – among Lata’s best are her sad songs.

    I wasn’t familiar with the songs of Madhosh (except for Talat’s classic Meri yaad mein tum na), but have been listening to some of them – right now, Meri aankhon ki neend le gaya, which I’m liking a lot. I think I’m going to look around for this film. It sounds good.

    Incidentally, that ‘brother’ bit about Lata and Madan Mohan is a common phenomenon in India, or used to be – I’m not sure if it still happens. Girls or women without brothers ‘adopt’ a boy or man as a ‘brother’, by putting a rakhi on his wrist, or even something as basic as calling him brother. I think it’s more a way of getting around that old-fashioned notion that a woman can’t be merely friends with a man; calling him a brother sort of ‘sanctifies’ the relationship, making it perfectly acceptable to people who’d raise their eyebrows at a woman being friends with a man.

    • Thanks for the Mahdosh tip!

      As to the brother thing: I’ve seen some pair starting as brother-sister ending up as lovers and some married as well. Can’t blame them really, when the social constraints are such!

  18. Some more sad and depressing songs of Lata which I like are
    Mohe bhool gaye saanwariya from Baiju Bawra. The way which she sings jo mein aisaa jaanati .. is haunting.
    Jaa re, jaa re udh jaa re pancchi from Maya is lovely. I love Salil Chaudhary’s compositions, here more than ever, also because of its prelude.

    • Yes, both Mohe bhool gaye saanwariya and Jaa re ud jaa re panchhi are wonderful songs – beautifully sung, and both with superb music. I too like Salil Choudhary a lot: his music is stunning.

    • Certainly not unconnected, Akhilesh! Thank you for that – it made interesting reading. And I was glad to see that Lata’s favourite among the songs she sang for Hemant happens to be one of my favourites too, Kuchh dil ne kaha. What a beautiful song.

  19. Lovely post, Madhu.
    Beautifully written – I love the way you build up the case for each song. :-) Not that anybody is going to argue with your picks – they’re all top-class.

    Lots of good suggestions have come from others here (e.g. ja re ud ja re panchhi) – I would just like to add a few Lata songs that (I think) have not been mentioned yet and come top-of-mind to me right now.

    Not sure how to categorise them though – you are the master (is this unisex?) at this. :-)

    – Wo bhooli dastaan, lo phir yaad aa gayi (Sanjog)
    – Nainon mein badra chhaaye (Mera Saaya)
    – Aaja aayi bahaar dil hai (Rajkumar)
    – Kabhi to milegi (Aarti)
    – Baar baar tohe (Aarti) *this movie had such awesome songs*
    – Mera dil ye pukaare aaja (Nagin)
    – Ghar aaya mera pardesi (Awaara)
    – Ye zindagi usi ki hai (Anarkali)
    – O Basanti pawan paagal (Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai)
    – Do Hanson Ka Joda (Ganga Jamuna)
    – Rahe na rahe hum (Mamta)
    – Tadap ye din raat ki (Amrapali)

    Well, that list turned out to be longer than expected. :-) But once I get into song-mode, it is difficult to stop me. :-)

    For the record, even I am actually more of an Asha fan than a Lata fan. But this is not to say that Lata has not produced absolutely fantastic stuff as is evidenced here.

    Btw, today happens to be her birthday. Happy Birthday, Lataji. :-)

    • Oh, wonderful songs, Raja! Thank you for that – there are some there that featured in the first draft of this post, then were dropped for some reason or the other. And there were a couple of songs there that I had to re-listen to in order to remember them… but all are fabulous.

      By the way, reading Greta’s post on Amar, I was reminded of another wonderful Lata song, picturised on Nimmi. Intezaar aur abhi from Chaar Dil Chaar Raahein. Slow and beautiful and very well sung.

      Happy birthday, Lataji!

  20. I *had* to post this link to such a fabulous song by Lata from the film jhoola, from the 60s (not sure of the year).

    Not sure which category to put it in…romantic? soft and silky?

    I’m currently quite obsessed with this song :-)

  21. Optimism-Is duniya me jeena ho to sun lo meri baat(Gumnaam)
    Classical-Aa ja bhawar(rani rupmati-she has excelled in this song)
    Admiration?-Tum hi meri manzil, tum hi meri pooja(Milan)
    and Aga mujhse mohabbat hai(aapki pachaaiaan)
    Aapki Inaayatein Aapke Karam-Vandana

    • I’m not sure I’d call ‘classical’ a mood (perhaps there should be a separate post on my favourite classical songs…?), but yes, the optimism one and the admiration ones are well put. Is duniya mein jeena ho toh also has a touch of the macabre about it, if you know what happens to Kitty later in the film…

      • If that is so, then no, I don’t think you’re nitpicking, Harvey – not on a post that’s dedicated to Lata!

        Well, Karthik? Are you sure that’s Lata and not Usha? (Though I must admit, I don’t associate songs like that with Lata, now that I come to think of it).

  22. Thanks for the list but you missed some very beautiful songs like – Sansar se bhaage phirte ho – Philosophical
    Beta wow wow wow – Naughty
    Dheere se aaja ri akhiyan me – Lullaby
    and many other songs like Rahe na rahe hum, Baat ye anokhi mere meet, Mora gora ang, Dil ka diya etc. for which I can’t find a specifc word to categorize

    • Ah, well. Some would have to be missed, no, considering Lata sang so many songs…? :-) But, since this was a post about ten of my favourite songs, I chose my favourite songs. Not that I don’t like the ones you’ve mentioned, but they just don’t impress me that much. As for Rahein na rahein hum, ever since I heard Tera dil kahaan hai, Rahein na rahein hum has paled into insignificance.

      • Oh! first time heard tera dil kahan hai. Tone of the Mukhda is same as that of Rahe na na rahe… but I will prefer the later one because of its lyrics and the voice of Lata Mangeshkar.

        • Yes, it’s a relatively little-known song, but since I love Asha’s voice so much – and I am always fond of softly romantic tunes – Tera dil kahaan hai wins for me. :-)

  23. It’s a difficult task to choose only 10 best songs of Best Mangeshkar but after thinking, I finally decided my 10 favourite songs of Lata Mangeshkar-
    1.Mere Mehboob tujhe
    2.Chalte Chalte
    3.Sansar se bhaage phirte ho
    4.Lag ja gale
    5.Bebas pe karam
    6.O Sajna
    7.Ek sunehri shaam
    8.Kuch dil ne kaha
    9.Dil Jo na keh saka
    10.Rahen na rahen hum

    • I knew I could never come up with a list of just 10 favourite Lata songs – there are too many songs of hers that I love – which is why I chose this route instead. Like your list a lot.

      • I haven’t seen any posts on “the ten most famous duets of all time” .
        I guess these may be:
        Abhi na jaao chhod kar {Hum Dono)
        Gaata rahe mera dil (Guide)
        Haal kaisa hai janaab ka (Chalti ka naam gaadi)
        Achha to hum chalte hain ( Aan milo sajna)
        Tumne pukaara aur ham chale aaye (Rajkumar)
        O mere sona re (Teesri Manzil)
        Tere mere milan ki ye raina ( Abhimaan)
        Kora kaagaz tha ye man mera ( Aradhana)
        Chhod do aanchal (Paying guest)
        Mujhe teri mohabbat ka sahara ( Aap aye bahaar ayee).
        I wonder what your choice and other bloggers’ choice would be ?

        • I am very wary of labelling anything ‘most famous’, because that would imply statistics, to which I have no access. And ‘of all time’ would be even more dicey. That said, I would think Pyaar hua ikraar hua hai, Dil tadap-tadapke keh raha hai aa bhi jaa, O haseena zulfonwaali, Aaja sanam madhur chaandni mein hum and Hum aapki aankhon mein could well be contenders for songs that may appear on ‘most famous duets’ lists.

  24. what a nice post……
    i just loved it!

    as such also lata is my favorite ( thats too obvious! isnt it?)
    i mean old hindi song lover is usually a huge lata fan!

    so am i!

    i cant classify the songs as u have done, but i am sharing
    it will fit in A mood of course!

    bhule se kar liya pyar


    one from madmast- M D by V Balsara
    kab bit gayi jeevan ki subah

  25. hi,
    one of my favorite from tarzan comes to delhi………
    M D Dattarm
    the song is so sweet, that u almost feel like listening to chitragupt’s melody.
    it has that sweetness and lata’s voice also has THE quality which we always experince with chitragupt lata combo songs!

    Husna iqrar karein.

  26. but some how the tune reminds of some song that i couldnt b able to remember!
    do u find the song similar to any another song?
    or its S J effect?

    • Not sure which song you’re referring to – Husn iqraar kare? If that’s the one you mean, I think it’s just the SJ effect. The arrangement, the orchestration, to some extent?

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