This is the final part of our three-day series focusing on love songs from the past. On Lata Mangeshkar’s 91st birthday on September 28, we choose 10 of her solo classics.
The series celebrated three birthdays. On September 26, we chose 10 love duets picturised on Dev Anand. The following day, the selection was of numbers from films directed by Yash Chopra.
Shortlisting Mangeshkar songs wasn’t obviously easy. While one condition was that it had to be a solo rendition, we made sure the song was a huge hit. Special stress was laid on the quality of the lyrics, which had to express the emotion of romance convincingly. We started with the oldest song and moved forward.
1. Mujhe Kisise Pyar Ho Gaya/ Barsaat (1949)
Barsaat had some really career-boosting songs for Mangeshkar. This one, composed by Shankar-Jaikishen, was written by Jalal Malihabadi. It was filmed on Nargis and Raj Kapoor, who was seen playing a violin. The film was a great example of their early screen chemistry.
2. Yeh Zindagi Usi Ki Hai/ Anarkali (1953)
Rajendra Krishan wrote the unforgettable lines ‘Yeh zindagi usi ki hai jo kisi ka ho gaya, pyaar hi mein kho gaya”. C. Ramchandra’s composition went perfectly with Mangeshkar’s melody, as the song was picturised on Bina Rai and Pradeep Kumar.
3. Hum Pyaar Mein Jalnewalon Ko/ Jailor (1958)
A masterpiece written by Rajendra Krishan, this was a prime example of the wonderful combination of Mangeshkar and Madan Mohan. Picturised on Geeta Bali, the lines were, “Hum pyaar mein jalnewalon ko chain kahaan aaram kahaan”.
4. Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya/ Mughal-e-Azam (1960)
An iconic song where Shakeel Badayuni wrote, “Pyaar kiya toh darna kya, pyaar kiya koi chori nahin ki, chup chup aahein bharna kya”. Composed by Naushad, this song was filmed on Madhubala, Dilip Kumar and Prithviraj Kapoor.
5. O Sajna/ Parakh (1960)
Filmed on Nutan in a rain sequence, this is one of Mangeshkar’s most memorable solo numbers. It was composed by the brilliant Salil Chowdhury and written by Shailendra who also wrote the film’s script. “O sajna barkha bahaar aayee, ras ki fuhaar laayee, akhiyon mein pyaar laayee” went the words.
6. Aapki Nazaron Ne Samjha/ Anpadh (1962)
The underrated lyricist Raja Mehdi Ali Khan wrote many gems for Madan Mohan. Here, he wrote, “Aapki nazaron ne samjha pyar ke qaabil mujhe, Dil ki ae dhadkan thehar ja, mil gayi manzil mujhe”. Picturised on Mala Sinha and Dharmendra, it is a Mangeshkar classic.
7. Yeh Samaa/ Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965)
Kalyanji-Anandji composed the music and Anand Bakshi wrote the opening line, “Yeh samaa, samaa hai yeh pyaar ka, kisike intezaar ka”. It’s picturised on Nanda and Shashi Kapoor.
8. Baahon Mein Chale Aao/ Anamika (1972)
R.D. Burman gave Mangeshkar some great songs – both solos and duets. This one was penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri, who wrote, “Baahon mein chale aao, hamse sanam kya parda”. Jaya Bhaduri and Sanjeev Kumar were the lead pair.
9. Ab To Hai Tumse/ Abhimaan (1973)
Abhimaan, composed by S.D. Burman, had some of the best songs ever. Again, the lyrics were by Sultanpuri, who wrote, “Ab toh hai tumse har khushi apni, Tumpe marna hai zindagi apni”. The film starred Bhaduri and Amitabh Bachchan.
10. Dil Deewana/ Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
This song, composed by Raamlaxman, had two versions with S.P. Balasubramanyam, who passed away on September 25, singing one. Mangeshkar’s version features Bhagyashree who is paired opposite Salman Khan. Asad Bhopali wrote, “Dil deewana bin sajna ke, maane na”.