Friday, February 1, 2008

Lata Mangeshkar – the uncrowned queen of Indian playback singing

Lata Mangeshkar – the uncrowned queen of Indian playback singing.

Lata Mangeshkar
Lata Mangeshkar had dominated Indian playback singing for such a long period of time that she can be considered uncrowned queen of Indian playback singing. She made her presence felt right from the time of Mahal, picturised on Madhubala, with hits songs like “ayega anewala”, in 1947, till Dil to Pagal Hai, picturised on Madhuri Dixit. Not only was she sublime in her performance, she had been the role model of numerous female singers of the present generation.

She was blessed with a romantic voice which had classical training and outstanding range which could suit any situation in a film. Her association with all the composers (excepting OP Nayyar), creates a separate identity along with Rafi. Her everlasting performances include “duniya kare sawal” picturised on Meena Kumari, composed by Roshan, “aja re pardesi” picturised on Vaijayantimala, composed by Salil Chowdhury, “aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai”, picturised on Wahida Rehman, composed by Sd Burman, “aji ruth kar ab” composed by Shankar Jaikishan for Sadhna, “alla tero naam” composed by Jaidev for Nanda, “aya sawan jhumke” composed by Laxmikant Pyarellal for Asha Parekh, “dil dhoonta hai” composed by Madanmohan for Sharmila Tagore, “o jab tak hai jaan” for Hema Malini, “is more se jate hai” for Suchitra Sen, composed by RD Burman. The list can go on. Even composers like Naushad, Ravi, Kalyanji Anandji, Khayyam loved her the most.

Lata Mangeshkar
Even actresses like Madhuri Dixit, Kareena Kapoor, Sri Devi, Rani Mukherjee, Preety Zinta had given lips in her songs. She had sung for all the big banners of Bollywood, including Raj Kapoor’s Banner, Dev Anand’s Navketan Banner, Dilip Kumar production, GP Sippy Banner, etc. She had sung between 25,000 to 30,000 songs in a span of 60 years. So her contribution cannot be highlighted in a small article.

Lata Mangeshkar
Neither do the awards given to her including filmfare awards, national awards project her domination in the industry. Other than Rafi, no other playback singer had dominated the Indian silver screen like Lata. She also had sung huge number of duet songs with Rafi, Kishore, Mukesh, Manna Dey, etc. Singers of the new generation should follow her footsteps for sustaining the challenges in playback singing according to the need of the present time.


rafimurty said...

Thanks for this tribute to the Nightingale of India who has been the backbone Hindi film world for close to five decades now. No one comes near her in stature of playback singing, excepting ofcourse Rafi Sahab, which was also mentioned more than once in the article. While my detailed comment will also follow, I only wish to add here by way of information that Lata Mangeshkar was awarded the highest civilian award of the country - the Bharat Ratna - by the Government in the year 2001.

Souvik Chatterji said...

It is very difficult to mention the greatness of Lataji, just like Rafisahab in a small article. she was even brilliant in the songs she had sung in marathi, bengali, gujrati and other regional languages. Her bengali songs like "aaj mon cheyeche", "na mono lagena", are masterpieces.Furthermore, just like Rafisahab, she had sung with the finest lyrics ever written in the history of bollywood songs including the lyrics of Kaifi Azmi, Shakeel Badayani, Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, majrooh Sultanpuri, to name a few.
Souvik Chatterji.

Chitta said...

Lata had a Godgifted voice and songs like "yeh kaha aagaye hum" in the film Silsila, composed by Shiv-hari, shows that her voice quality was unparallel, which is even difficult to achieve with riwaz, unless there is God's blessing.
CR Chatterji

A S MURTY said...

Lata Mangeshkar or Lata Didi as she is fondly called by her contemporaries and juniors alike is a one woman institution by herself. Hindi film industry would be devoid of good music if it was not for her dominant presence in the last forty years or more. She has been the backbone, alongwith Rafi Sahab, for most part of the journey that the Hindi film industry has taken thus far. She is a perfect and complete singer in asmuch as she can sing any type of song. Her diction and clarity put her in an enviable position and at a altar where she above everyone else. The late forties and the entire fifties gave us the most memorable and the sweatest of songs in the form of a very young and tender lady. She could reach any scales without much effort and also could module her voice to the 'Indian Naari' requirement. She had that special 'adayagi' which could throw emotions and feelings into a song - virtues that was absent in her contemporaries except for maybe Asha Bhonsle and Suman Kalyanpur to some extent. There is no point in 'listing' the songs of Lataji as it is an endless list and could fill volumes of pages. Suffice it to say, Lataji enriched the entertainment industry and the music world and was a truly deserving person for the Bharat Ratna which she was conferred with in 2001 by our Government. The likes of Rafi Sahab and Lataji come once in a millenium to say the least, and their tales live on till eternity.

Souvik Chatterji said...

Lata had not only sung melodious songs like "tu jahan jahan chalega", "duniya kare sawal", "phir teri kahani yaad ayi" but also devotional songs like "allah tero naam". In fact she made everyone cry including the first PM of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru with her patriotic song "ay mere watan ke logo". Her voice not only reprented the diversified nature of India but also the softness, politeness, submisiveness of cultured Indian women. She had sung songs in many regional languages and the listeners hardly cared about the pronounciation, they just heard her voice which mesmerised the audience for over 60 years. She is unparallel and uncomparable.

Manansingh said...

Lata's voice will remain immortal. she has inspired many in the western world and has given hope to the weak and helpless. She is a perfect example of divine brilliance.