Lata and Roshan.
The composition of certain composers had given a separate dimension to the existing skills of a legendary singer. It has happened with the combination of Roshan and Lata. Music lovers generally assess the contribution of composers in the success of playback singers on the basis of the number of songs given to the respective singer. But if the quality of the compositions are examined the actual contributors are identified.
Roshan could compose songs for Lata and Rafi only during the 50s and 60s as he died in 1969. But each of the compositions stand out as landmarks in the history of bollywood music. His song “zindagi bhar nahi bhulenge” remains one of the landmark creations where Lata had provided adequate expression for Madhubala in the film Barsaat ki Raat in 1960. Lata was brilliant in the film Aarti, picturised on Meena Kumari and Pradeep Kumar, with songs like “baar baar tohe”, “aapne yaad dilaya tha”, “baharon ki manzil rahi”, some of them being duets sung with Rafi. Similarly her duet with Rafi in the film Taj Mahal, 1963, titled “jo wada kiya ho nibhana parega” had been responsible for the infinite love and respect created for Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal over the years.
In the film Bheegi Raat, Lata’s song “dil jo na keh saka” was as outstanding as Rafi’s version of the same song. Lata ‘s song “duniya kare sawal to hum kya jwab de” in the film Bahu Begum, picturised on Meena Kumari, still haunts the music lovers even today. It almost tells the story of Meena Kumari in the film and the way the raga was used with adequate orchestration, including the use of sexaphone, only Roshan could have done it, the manner in which it was done.
Similarly, the them song in Suchitra Sen’s film Mamta, sung by Lata, titled “rahe na rahe hum” had acted as a bridge in the film. It had brought back memories of the past and had been played a number of times in the same film. Lata was also sublime in her songs in the film Dil Hi to hai, picturised on Nutan opposite Raj Kapoor. If 50 best songs of Rafi are shortlisted, at least 5 of Roshan’s creations will come automatically, similarly, if the best 100 songs of Lata are identified, at least 5 songs of Roshan can be classified as the most outstanding creations of all times. Had Roshan lived for a longer period, music lovers could have cherished even more number of immortal songs which could have got adequate expression by the brilliant voice of Lata.