It’s as if her voice was made for Hema Malini. On the occasion of her birthday on October 16, Narendra Kusnur picks 10 songs that Lata Mangeshkar rendered for the superstar
Dream Girl Hema Malini had some great songs filmed on her through the 1970s and into the first half of the following decade. Interestingly, a sizeable chunk of her solo songs were sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
To celebrate Hema’s birthday on October 16, we choose 10 songs sung by the nightingale, whose voice seemed to be made for the actress. A rare exception one can think of where another singer took over was the film Meera, where composer Ravi Shankar opted for Vani Jairam’s voice. This list of Mangeshkar gems is chronological.
1. O Babul Pyaare/ Johnny Mera Naam (1970)
A folk dance number picturised on Hema, this was sung charmingly by Mangeshkar. Music was by Kalyanji-Anandji and lyrics were by Indeevar, who wrote, “O babul pyare, o roye payal ki cham cham, o siske saanson ki sargam, o nis din tujhe pukare mann ho”.
2. Kitne Din Aankhen Tarsengi/ Naya Zamana (1971)
Sung by Mangeshkar and composed by S.D. Burman, this song was all about hope with Anand Bakshi writing, “Aaj nahin toh kal mehkegi khwabon ki mehfil” and “Naya zamana aayega”. The song was filmed on Hema and Dharmendra.
3. Yeh Kaisa Sur Mandir Hai/ Prem nagar (1974)
Hema posed with a veena to lip-sync Bakshi’s lines, “Yeh kaisa sur mandir hai jis mein sangeet nahin, geet likhe deewaron pe gaane ki reet nahin”. Sung by Mangeshkar, it had music by S.D. Burman. Rajesh Khanna appeared in a drunken role.
4. Do Nainon Mein/ Khushboo (1975)
Beautifully written by Gulzar, this song had the lines “Do nainon mein aansoon bhare hain, nindiya kaise samaaye”. R.D. Burman used minimal orchestration and Mangeshkar’s singing was sublime.
5. Jab Tak Hai Jaan/ Sholay (1975)
Coming towards the end of the blockbuster film, it had Basanti (Hema) dancing in Gabbar Singh’s (Amjad Khan) den, as a tied-up Veeru (Dharmendra) watched helplessly. Music was by R.D. Burman and lyrics were by Bakshi.
6. Mere Naina Saawan Bhaadon/ Mehbooba (1976)
The Kishore Kumar version of this song became more popular but Mangeshkar’s rendition of the same tune was equally beautiful. Composed by R.D. Burman, it had Bakshi’s lines “Mere naina saawan bhaadon phir bhi mera man pyaasa”. Hema and Rajesh Khanna appeared on screen.
7. Abke Na Saawan Barse/ Kinara (1977)
One more from the R.D. Burman-Gulzar combination, this one shone with the lines “Ab ke na saawan barse, ab ke baras to barsegi akhiyaan”. Mangeshkar’s singing was filled with pathos and the picturisation on Hema was perfect.
8. Mere Naseeb Mein/ Naseeb (1981)
The song was filmed on Hema and Amitabh Bachchan in a five-star hotel setting. Some felt it was different from Mangeshkar’s regular style because of its pop nature, but the rendition was perfect. Music was by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and lyrics were by Bakshi.
9. Tu Ne O Rangeele/ Kudrat (1981)
Though the film was known more for Kishore’s ‘Humein Tumse Pyar Kitna’, the Mangeshkar solo ‘Tu Ne O Rangeele’ was popular too. Composed by R.D. Burman with words by Majrooh Sultanpuri, it had Hema and Rajesh Khanna in the lead.
10. Ae Dil-e-Nadaan/ Razia Sultan (1983)
A gem from music director Khayyam, sung beautifully by Mangeshkar. Jan Nisar Akhtar wrote, “Aye dil-e-nadaan, aye dil-e-nadaan, arzoo kya hai, justajoo kya hai”. The film was based on the life of the only female Sultan of Delhi and her relationship with a slave.