When it came to sad songs, the velvet voiced Talat Mahmood was a master.
When it came to sad songs, the velvet voiced Talat Mahmood was a master. After his first hit ‘Ae Dil Mujhe Aisi Jagah Le Chal’, composed by Anil Biswas in the 1950 film Arzoo, he was in sudden demand, and his command over ghazal-styled songs was an advantage.
February 24 marks Talat Saab’s 97th birth anniversary. To mark the occasion, we choose 10 sad songs which reflect his oeuvre. He had also sung many love songs like ‘Jalte Hain Jiske Liye’, ‘Yeh Hawa Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni’, ‘Milte Hi Ankhen Dil Hua’, ‘Itna Na Mujhse Tu Pyar Badha’, ‘Hai Sabse Madhur Woh Geet’ and ‘Aaha Rimjhim Ke Tarane’, but we’ve kept them for another time. This list is chronological.
1 Meri Yaad Mein Tum – Madhosh (1951)
This was one of Talat Mahmood’s biggest hits in this film starring Manhar Desai and Meena Kumari. This was also an early example of the partnership between music director Madan Mohan and lyricist Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, who wrote, “Meri yaad mein tum na aansoon bahana, na jee ko jalana, hamein bhool jaana”.
2 Seene Mein Sulaghte Hain Armaan – Tarana (1951)
A marvellous duet between Talat and Lata Mangeshkar, it was composed by Anil Biswas and written by Prem Dhawan. The lines, “Seene mein sulaghte hain armaan, aankhon mein udasi chaayi hai” were filmed on Dilip Kumar and Madhubala.
3 Koi Nahin Is Duniya Mein – Daag (1952)
While the film was known for the peppy Talat song ‘Ae Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal’, the number ‘Koi Nahin’ was one of his saddest and most expressive. Filmed on Dilip Kumar, it was composed by Shankar-Jaikishen and written by Hasrat Jaipuri.
4 Shaam-e-Gham Ki Kasam – Footpath (1953)
A song on sadness and loneliness, Talat sang, “Shaam-e-gham ki kasam, aaj gamgeen hai hum, aa bhi ja, aa bhi ja, mere sanam, dil pareshan hai, raat veeraan hai, dekh ja kis tarah aaj tanha hain hum”. Music was by Khayyam, and the song was filmed on Dilip Kumar. It is unclear whether it was penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri or Ali Sardar Jafri.
5 Jaaye To Jaaye Kahan – Taxi Driver (1954)
On this masterpiece composed by S.D. Burman, Sahir Ludhianvi wrote, “Jaaye toh jaaye kahan, samjhega kaun yahan, dard bhare dil ki zubaan, jaaye toh jaaye kahan”. The song was filmed on Dev Anand, and Talat’s voice was filled with pathos. The song also had a beautiful version by Lata.
6 Tasveer Banata Hoon – Bara-Dari (1955)
Kumar Barabankwi wrote the symbolic lines, “Tasveer banata hoon, tasveer nahin banti, ek khwab sa dekha hai, taabeer nahin banti”. Music was by Nashad (not to be confused with Naushad), and the film starred Ajit and Geeta Bali. The song was a regular feature on Vividh Bharti.
7 Sab Kuch Luta Ke – Ek Saal (1957)
This was another of those songs which was rendered in two versions by Talat and Lata. The male version was picturised on Ashok Kumar, and music was by Ravi. Lyricist Prem Dhawan wrote, “Sab kuch luta ke hosh mein aaye toh kya kiya, din mein agar charagh jalaye toh kya kiya”.
8 Aansoon Samajh Ke – Chhaya (1961)
Though the film was also known for the hit ‘Itna Na Mujhse Tu Pyar Badha’, fans of Talat’s sad songs loved this one. composed by Salil Chowdhury and written by Rajendra Krishan. Filmed on Sunil Dutt and Asha Parekh, it had the lines, “Aansoon samajh ke kyon mujhe aankh se tumne gira diya, moti kisike pyaar ka mitti mein kyon mila diya”.
9 Dekh Li Teri Khudayee – Kinare Kinare (1963)
A wonderful song written by Nyay Sharma for this Dev Anand film. The lines were, “Dekh li teri khudayee, bas mera dil bhar gaya, teri rehmat chup rahee, main rote rote chup raha”. Music was by Jaidev, and Talat was at his melodious best.
10 Phir Wohi Shaam – Jahan Ara (1964)
This was a gem of a song about loneliness. Music director Madan Mohan combined with lyricist Rajendra Krishnan, who wrote “Phir wohi shaam, wohi gham, wohi tanhai hai, dil ko samjhane teri yaad chali aayee hai”. Talat sang for Bharat Bhushan in this historical love story where Mala Sinha played Emperor Shah Jahan’s daughter Jahan Ara.
While Talat sang many other sad songs, these 10 were among his most popular. His magical voice lingers on.