Happy birthday to melody-queen Lata Mangeshkar.
The listeners of music in India and abroad wish happy birthday to Lata Mangeshkar, the melody queen on 28th September, 2016. She had remained a sensation even in her 80s.
Starting her journey from the early 40s, Lataji created an impression with the songs “ayega anewala” in the film Mahal, released in 1947 composed by Khemchand Prakash. The songs of the horror film were picturised on Madhubala who later became a legendary star of bollywood films. Lata faced the competition from eminent singers Noorjahan, Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle, Rajkumari, and others and emerged victorious in the 50s and 60s.
Her sweetness of voice compelled composers to give the best tunes ever created in Indian film history. Along with Rafi, Lata had the record of singing songs of almost all the composers of the golden age. Everlasting gems of Lata include “tu jaha jahan chalega” composed by Madanmohan Kohli, “duniya kare sawal” composed by Roshanagrath , “hume tum mil gaye humdum” composed by Shankar Jaikishan, “phir teri kahani yaad aye” composed by Naushad Ali , “ajare pardesi” composed by Salil Choudhury, “allah tero naam” composed by Jaidev, “piya tose naina lage re” composed by SD Burman, to name a few.
Lata had sung more than 30000 songs during her singing career which was more than 65 years long. She had sung for Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Nargis, Wahida Rehman, on one hand, and did sing for the new actresses of the 90s namely Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla, etc. Her patriotic songs “aye mere watan ke logon” brought tears even in the eyes of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Articles after articles can be devoted to the Indian nightingale, Lata who had remained an institution in different types of songs including Hindustani classical, folk songs, lift romantic songs, to name a few.
Lata Mangeshkar sung songs in more than 15 regional languages including Marathi, Bengali and others. She played a very significant role in Bengali film industry in the world of playback singing. Some of her hit songs included “jago” in Raj Kapoor’s film Ekdin Ratre, composed by Salil Choudhury, “aaj mon cheyeche ami hariye jabo” composed by Sudhin Dasgupta in Uttam Kumar’s film Shankhabela, to name a few.
Goddess Saraswati was very kind to the nightingale of India, Lataji, and that was the reason the sweetness of her voice remained intact for the last 60 years. Articles after articles can be written about the musical genius.
Singers of the present age consider Lataji as their idol and try to emulate her style. Even reputed singers like Sonu Nigam feel privileged to get his son record his son at such tender age with evergreen legend Lata Mangeshkar.
The listeners of music all over the world expect Lataji to continue the great work that she started 70 years ago. Her works should be restored.
Admirers of Bollywood films wish happy birthday to veteran actress Tanuja on 23rd September, 2016. Tanuja, the sister of dignified actress Nutan and the daughter of Sobhna Samarth created a unique place in bollywood films and Bengali films. Being the member of a family having legacy of contributing a lot in bollywood films, she had to face acid test.
In the 60s, when bollywood industry was flooded with talented actresses, Tanuja stepped in bollywood films. She had faced Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Wahida Rehman, Sadhna, Vaijayantimala and other classic actresses and yet created her identity in that age.
Tanuja’s prominent films in the 60s include Baharen Phir Bhi Ayegi, with Dharmender, Memdidi, Sapno Ka Saudagar, opposite Raj Kapoor, etc. Within 3 to 4 years, she was cast opposite leading actors of bollywood films. Her performance opposite Dev Anand, in the film Jewel Thief was appreciated by film-lovers.
Jewel Thief was crime-thriller director by Vijay Anand. Tanuja’s innocence in the film and spontaneous presence impressed the viewers. Besides Tanuja’s lips in Ahsa Bhosle’s song “raat nashili hai” was very impressive.
In the early 70s, Tanuja switched on to serious films like Basu Bhattacharya’s Anubhav opposite Dharmender. Her lips in Geeta Dutt’s song “mera dil jo mera hota” and other songs showed the acting class of Tanuja. She did even better in Dharmender’s film Izzat. Dharmender had double role with one son being the illegitimate child of Balraj Sahani. Her performance in the song “loote dil pe diya jalta nahi hum kya Karen” sung by Lata and Rafi made viewers spellbound. She was equally impressive in the film Pabitra Papi.
Tanuja was involved in super hit films like Haathi Mera Saathi opposite Rajesh Khanna, Mere Jeevan Saathi opposite Rajesh Khanna, Ek Paheli, opposite Feroz Khan, to name a few.
In respect of Bengali films, Tanuja showed a great spirit in adapting Bengali language and adjusting herself opposite Uttam Kumar in the 60s and 70s. Deya Neya, Anthony Firingi and Raj Kumari stands out as the biggest hits of Tanuja opposite Uttam Kumar. All these films were musical blockbusters and the lips of Tanuja in leading songs in these films require special mention.
Shyamal Mitra composed music for the super hit film Deya Neya. Tanuja was sublime in her lips in the song “madhabi madhute holo mitali”. She was brilliant in the two songs of Sandhya Mukherjee in the film Anthony Firingi, titled “ami je jalsaghare”, and “champa chameli golapero bage”, composed by Anil Bagchi. Raj Kumari marked the beginning of musical career of Bengali musical sensation RD Burman. Songs like “ki holo, kabe holo” creates shivers in the spines of many listeners even today.
Tajuna was sublime in other successful films like Prothom Kodom Phool, Teen Bhubaner Pare, Madhuban, etc. She is considered more versatile than her daughter Kajol who got success by performing opposite Shahrukh Khan in hit films in the 90s. The viewers expect her to continue the great work in character roles in bollywood films in future.
Pannalal Bhattacharya and Dhananjay Bhattacharya sang the best Shyamasangeet.
Shyamasangeet is one form of devotional song devoted to Goddess Kali, the Goddess of empowerment. It is called Bhaktigeeti in Bengali.
Pannalal Bhattacharya and Dhananjay Bhattacharya were probably the best singers of Shyamasangeet.
Dhananjay Bhattacharya was the medjda, the middle brother of Bhattacharya family. He used to be called Samrat, meaning the king of music. He was very handsome and got chance in Bengali films like Pasher Bari, Ladies Seat, Nababidhan to name a few. His basic discs created havoc in 1950s like “shilpi moner”, “jhanana jhanana baje”, “kobir kheyale premomoy tumi samrat shajahan”, etc. Even his songs “e maya proponchomoy” made the viewers spellbound.
In recent interview given by his son Dipankar Bhattacharya in Anandabazar Patrika it was said that Lataji requested Dhananjay Bhattacharya to come to Mumbai for hindi songs, which he refused. Composer Salil Choudhury told Dhananjoy that his voice was at par with Rafisahab and Talat Sahab. But beyond modern songs his inclination was towards devotional songs, especially that of Goddess Kali.
Pannalal Bhattacharya learned music from Dhananjay Bhattacharya. He also had classical control and sang very well. When he came to that his friends Manabendra Mukherjee, Shyamal Mitra and Sanat Singha acted in the film Sare Chuattor, he wanted to act in the film also. But Dhananjay Bhattacharya stopped him. Sare Chuattor was the first superhit film of Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen released in 1953.
But Dhananajay Bhattacharya understood that Pannalal had excellent control in Shyamsangeet. So he allowed his brother to concentrate in those songs. Some of her brilliant songs included “amar sadhna mitilo ashana phurilo”, “chai na mago raja hote”, “opar sangsar nahi parabar, ma o ma, ma”. His other hit songs included “de ma pagol kore bhramamaye”, “amar mayer payer jobe hoye”, to name a few. All were devoted to Goddess Kali.
Both Dhananjoy Bhattacharya and Pannalal Bhattacharya had the hobby of catching fishes. Whoever had ponds in West Bengal, used to call both the brothers, first for fishing and then in the evening ask them to sing songs.
Dhananjoy Bhattacharya’s son Dipankar Bhattacharya had said in Anandabazar Patrika that once Pannalal was travelling in train with friends Manabendra Mukherjee, Nirmala Mishra, Tarun Banerjee. He visualized that in Dakshineshwar Kalibari, the idol of Kali was dressed in Tunte sari. All his friends were shocked. He took them to Dhakineshwar. Everyone saw the truth that yes, Idol of Kali was dressed in tunte saree.
Once Pannalal was recording in HMV the song “chai na ami raja hote”. Manobendra Mukherjee waited outside the room. He allowed Pannalal to finish his song and then said he was going to sing the song “ami eto je tomae bhalobesechi” in 1958. Pannalal gave Manabendra Jaba flower which he brought from Kali Temple in Dhakineshwar. He gave the flower to Manabendra saying it was going to give him good luck. Manobendra sang the song and it became a bumper hit.
In the later years, Pannalal lost interest in life and only sang devotional songs for Goddess Kali. He committed suicide at the age of 36 years. Music experts feel that Pannalal Bhattacharya and Dhananjay Bhattacharya sang the best shyamasangeet ever in Bengal’s history.