Lata Mangeshkar and Her Top 5 Songs According to The Legend Herself
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Lata Mangeshkar and Her Top 5 Songs According to The Legend Herself

Lata Mangeshkar Talks About 5 Songs That Were Turning points In Her Career

Which is  your  favourite Lata Mangeshkar song? This is as  difficult to decide as plucking out your favourite star  from the  sky. But what  about the songs that matter the  most to the  Goddess Of All Melodious things?She picks. We listen.

1. Aayega Aanewala (Mahal, 1949): 

The song  that  actually  announced the  arrival  of  the  singing  phenomenon. Lataji  remembers  every   detail  of the song: “I’ve forgotten most of my recordings. Even the songs that I’ve sung  are mostly  forgotten. But Aayega aanewala is still fresh in my mind. The  haunting tune was composed  by Khemchand Prakash. It was  the  first  of many  songs that I sang for a  ghost. The  song became  a rage.I had  to sing it in every live concert .Ironically I did not get credited  for  the song  . The  78 rpm record mentioned the name on the label  as ‘Kamini’ the character  who  lip-synced my song on screen in  Mahal.”

2. Hawa Mein Udta Jaye/Jiya Beqaraar Hai (Barsaat, 1949):

“1949 was  really the year when I arrived as a playback singer. It was  the busiest  year  of  my life. I was running from  recording studio  to another with barely  room for pause.During this  year I sang  150-160 songs. Most  of  them became  hits. But  the  songs  of Shankar-Jaikishan  for Barsaat  were  popular on  another level altogether.Every song in this film was  a rage. But Hawa mein udta jaye  and  Jiya beqaraar  hai were  the  biggest  hits in Barsaat. Both were  playful  mischievous  songs. Most  of my biggest  hits have been on a more serious note.

3. Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon (1963): 

“When Ae mere watan ke logon was being created we never thought it would become such an imperishable patriotic anthem. I recall vividly that cold winter evening in Delhi in 1963 when I sang the song as part of the Republic Day celebrations in front of an audience that comprised President S. Radhakrishnan, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and so many other distinguished guests. It was Pradeepji, the poet who wrote the immortal lyric , who came to me and asked me to sing the song composed  by C Ramachandra. I declined because there was no time to rehearse and prepare to sing it in front of so many distinguished personalities. You see,at that time I was working round-the-clock. To give special attention to one song seemed impossible. We had very little time to get Ae mere watan ke logon ready.Rather than do a rush job I wanted to opt out. But Pradeepji said if I don’t sing Ae mere watan ke logon he would scrap the idea.Only Pradeepji had faith in the song. He had prophesied to me, ‘Lata, tum dekhna yehgaana bahot chalega. Log hamesha ke liye issey yaad  rakhenge.’

I didn’t take it that seriously.Since it was not part of a film I thought it would have a limited impact. Ae mere watan ke logon became my signature tune. No show of mine, no concert or event is complete until I sing Ae mere watan ke logon.I give full credit to Pradeepji fot writing such powerful words. He wrote words that reverberated across the nation. We had just come out of a war defeat with China. Ae mere watan ke logon triggered emotions of great patriotic pride in every Indian. My regret is that Pradeepji had not been called for the Republic Day function where I sang the song to immortality. If he was there he would have seen with his own eyes what impact Ae mere want ke logon had created.”

4. Allah Tero Naam (Hum Dono, 1961):

“ Of all the genres  of songs, the devotional Bhajan is  my favourite. And  among all the  Bhajans  my favourite,and why just my favourite  everyone’s favourite  , is Allah tero naam. It is a deeply felt lyric written  by the great  Sahir Ludhianvi Saab.And Jaidev Saab  composed such a  beautiful tune! I did not sing that many songs  for  Jaidev Saab. But whatever I sang for him was  very special.”

5. Dil Deewana Bin Sajna Ke Mane Na (Maine Pyar Kiya, 1989):

“This  song was  a  turning-point for no other reason  except that  it came to me at a time when I  was seriously considering  retirement.  Nothing inspiring was  coming way. The film-music  industry was in a  slump.I felt  there was  no reason to continue doing playback singing. I  decided to pursue my  lifelong  interest in  classical  singing instead. Just then composer Raam Laxman came to me with the songs  of Maine Pyar Kiya.Dil dewaana  and  the songs of  Yash Chopra’s Chandni revived my interest in playback singing.”