When a Male Music Composer Gave Playback to Sadhna - Blast From The Past
One of the most famous songs in the Sadhna classic Woh Kaun Thi was first sung by a man before it was recorded by Lata Mangeshkar!
Woh Kaun Thi was one of Madan Mohan’s most beloved music scores with Lata Mangeshkar’s songs Lag ja gale se and Jo humne dastaan apni sunayee topping the charts. But it was the theme tune Naina barse rimjhim rimjhim which has the most lucid history behind it.
If you’ve seen the film, the song is the backbone of the suspense. It recurs all through the film with the screen queen Sadhana playing the lady in white doing her ghostly act to perfection. This is where the problem arose. Madan Mohan was ready with the song. Director Raj Khosla was ready to shoot the song. But the singer was not available.
The unit was in a panic. Huge losses would have been incurred if the schedule was cancelled. So here is what the director decided to do. He recorded the song in the composer Madan Mohan’s voice and went ahead with the shoot. Since the unit had not been informed about Lataji’s absence, there was a collective shock at the outdoors location in Simla when the serene Sadhana was seen lip-syncing to a male voice.
Recalling the incident Lataji said, “Yes, I was unable to do the recording of Naina barse rhimjhim on time. Madan Bhaiyya—he was like my brother—was a very good singer. So they decided to use his voice until I was available to sing the song. I regard WohKaun Thi as among Madan Bhaiyya’s most accomplished music scores. When he did not win the Filmfare award for it I was deeply disappointed and said so. His response was, ‘Tumne kahan wohi mere liye award hai.”