RIP Lata Mangeshkar – long live the Queen

Lata Mangeshkar is no more. Covid has taken away yet another of Hindi cinema’s legends. Of her illustrious peers in playback singing (in Hindi films), only her sister Asha Bhosle survives. Of the composers who scored her songs (or those of her peers) in her heyday (and not counting Ilayaraja, Rahman or others who came later and happened to work with Lata), only Pyarelal and Anandji survive. Khayyam outlived many of his contemporaries but he too departed quietly and sans much remembrance in 2019.

I could write and write about Lata. But I can only think of her songs in the present moment.

I made one list on Quora. Here’s another to accommodate some of the songs I left out. To list all the favourites is just not possible.

Chand Phir Nikla:

O Sajna:

Aapki Nazron Mein Samjha:

Mujhe Tum Mil Gaye:

Lag Ja Gale:

Mohe Pangat:

Rangeela Re:

Khelo Na Mere Dil Se:

Kya Janu Sajan:

Kuch Dil Ne Kaha:

O Ghata Sawari:

Raina Beeti Jaaye:

Hai Tere Saath Mei Wafa:

Nadiya Kinare:

Na Jaane Kyon:

Tere Liye Palkon Ki Jhaalar:

Ek Radha Ek Meera:

Sili Hawa Choo Gayi:

In case you didn’t notice, this list as well as the one I posted on Quora are all just her solos. And there are many, many more brilliant solos before I could begin to get to her duets.

2 Responses to “RIP Lata Mangeshkar – long live the Queen”

  1. Suraj Says:

    Fabulous list Madan! Kuch dil ne kaha and Oh sajana barkha bahar aayi will always make my top 20 Lata repository. Let me supplement your list by adding a few additional songs:

    1) Rajnigandha Phool Tumhare:

    2) Jaa Re Ud Jaa Re Panchi:

    3) Kahin yeh woh toh nahin:

    4) Ruk jaa raat:

    5) Na Jiya Lage Na:

    6) Is mod se jaate hain:

    7) App ki aankhon mein kuch: Remember Gulzar mentioning in an interview that his lyricist colleagues felt a general malaise for this song as they took objection to his idea that eyes could be fragrant or something to that end. He credited the success and acceptance of this song to Lata who according to him changed the gender of the song by giving it a feminine touch.

    8) Gumnaam hai koi:

    9) Diwaane tum diwane hum: Lata and Chitragupt combination

    10) Yeah zindagi usi ki hai: Inspiration for Vsantha Kala Kolangal and Neela Vana Odayil.

    11) Here is another special song from the 1955 movie Shiv Bhakt. Lata Mangeshkar, Padmini, Chitragupt and Ustad Allah Rakha. Who knew?

    Just a few of the top of my head. Millions more one could add!

    • Madan Says:

      And a fabulous list you have made too! Couple that I am not sure I have heard or remember what they sound like.

      I am one of those in the camp that doesn’t particularly appreciate Gulzar giving eyes fragrance. Though in this context, I kind of like it and find it creative because it’s a fragrant ‘andaaz’ of the eyes. The one I really object to is Humne Dekhi Hai In Aankhon Ki Mehekti Khusbhoo. Now that is too much, how can you ‘see’ khushbhoo. Both rendered brilliantly by Lata, making me forget or not notice this quirk in the lyrics until I stopped to pay attention, lol.

      Edit: The ones I wasn’t sure of were the Chitragupt song and Ja Ri Ud Ja. I have heard them both too, just couldn’t recall based off the words.

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