Lata Mangeshkar selects her favourite duets with Kishore Kumar

It’s very difficult, almost impossible to select my favourite duets with Kishore Da. There are so many of them that I really like! But I’ll give it a try, says Lata Mangeshkar

 Lata Mangeshkar (Photo Courtesy: IANS)
Lata Mangeshkar (Photo Courtesy: IANS)

Subhash K Jha

“It’s very difficult, almost impossible to select my favourite duets with Kishore Da . There are so many of them that I really like! But I’ll give it a try,” warns Lata Ji before we take off on this extremely rewarding musical trek.

1. Kora kagaz ttha yeh mann mera (Aradhana): “This duet with Kishoreda used to be my favourite at all my stage concerts abroad. Log iss gaane ko bahot pasand karte hain. I don’t know what it is. Burmandada (S D Burman) brought in a feeling of the North Eastern folk tradition into the song. Anand Bakshi Saab’s lyrics were a big contribution to the song’s ethereal quality. Wohkehte hain na? Time stood still. That’s what happens in this duet.

2. Aapki aankhon mein kuch mehke huey se khwab hain (Ghar): “Gulzar Saab wrote some really beautiful love songs for me and Kishoreda. Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa toh nahin is another gem from Gulzar Saab. This one I recall for the beautiful composition by Pancham (R D Burman). Both Kishoreda and I were enchanted by the tune. I remember Pancham thought I wouldn’t be uncomfortable with one line in the song (Aapki badmaashiyon ke yeh naye andaaz hain). He made Gulzar Saab ask me if I was okay with it.”

3. Achcha toh hum chalte hain (Aan Milo Sajna): “Normally our romantic duets were filled with poetry and romantic images. This one was conversational, just two people discussing their rendezvous.Laxmikant-Pyarelal gave the tune just the right spirit of informality. Bakshi Saab ke bol bade his swaabhaavik tthe. People talk like this in real life. Kishoreda and I had so much fun singing this song. He used to be full of masti during our recordings, so much so that I had to restrain him. ‘Kishoreda pehle gaana. Phir masti.’

4. Hazaar raahen mudke dekhin (Thodisi Baewafaai): “For Khayyam Saab I sang any number of beautiful melodies. But very little with Kishoreda. This one was a novelty on many levels. The lyrics by Gulzar Saab addressed the issue of a broken marriage. Bade khubsoorat shabd hain iss gaane meein: Jahan se tum mod mud gaye tthe yeh mod ab abhi wahin pade hain/Hum apne pairon mein na jaane kitne bhanwar lapete huey khade hain…Wah! Who but Gulzar Saab can write like this? Kishore Da got an award for this song. He deserved it.

5. Kya mausam hai (Doosra Aadmi): “This is another very unusual duet where the two people do not address their mutual feelings directly to one another. Ek thehrao hai iss gaane mein, ek maasoomiyat. Raju (Rajesh Roshan) was very fond of both Kishoreda and me. For Kishoreda Raju composed really lovely songs like Dil kya kare (Julie ) and Chhoo kar mere mann ko (Yaraana).”

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