Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar sang so many amazing duets that it was difficult to shortlist only 10. To mark Mukesh’s 46th death anniversary on August 27, we have thus randomly picked some great songs.
Some favourites like ‘Saawan Ka Mahina’ (Milan, 1967) and ‘Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein’ (Kabhi Kabhie, 1976) have been left out because they were part of other lists compiled recently. Here we cover their work together in chronological order.
1 Aaja Re Ab Mera Dil Pukara – Aah (1953)
Filmed on Nargis and Raj Kapoor, this was a huge hit for Shankar-Jaikishan. Hasrat Jaipuri’s opening lines, sung by Lata, were, “Aaja re ab mera dil pukara, ro-ro ke gham bhi haara, badnaam na ho pyaar mera”. Mukesh then sang, “Maut meri taraf aane lagi, jaan teri taraf jaane lagi, bol shaam-e-judaai kya karen, aas milne ki tadpaane lagi”.
2 Dil Tadap Tadap Ke – Madhumati (1958)
Mukesh began this song by singing Shailendra’s lines, “Dil tadap tadap ke keh raha hai aa bhi ja, tu humse aankh na chura, tujhe kasam hai aa bhi ja”. Lata joined in much later. Music was by Salil Chowdhury, who was inspired by a Polish folk melody. The song was filmed on Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala.
3 Dil Ki Nazar Se – Anari (1959)
Mukesh sang for Raj Kapoor, “Dil ki nazar se, nazron ke dil se, yeh baat kya hai, yeh raaz kya hai, koi hamein bate de”. Lata responded for Nutan, “Seene se uthkar, honton pe aaya, yeh geet kaisa, yeh raag kya hai, koi hamein bata de”. Music was by Shankar-Jaikishan and lyrics were by Shailendra. The song had a nice waltz tune.
4 Ek Manzil Raahi Do/ Sanjog (1961)
Pradeep Kumar and Anita Guha got together on this song composed by Madan Mohan. Rajendra Krishan wrote, “Ek manzil raahi do phir pyaar na kaise ho, phir pyaar na kaise ho; Saath mile jab dil ko phir pyaar na kaise ho, phir pyaar na kaise ho”. The film also had Lata’s solo hit ‘Woh Bhooli Dastaan’.
5 Hum Tum Yug Yug – Milan (1967)
The Sunil Dutt-Nutan film is best remembered for the Mukesh-Lata duet ‘Saawan Ka Mahina’. Their combination on ‘Hum Tum Yug Yug’ was also fantastic. Music was by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, and Anand Bakshi wrote, “Hum tum yug yug se yeh geet milan ke, gaate rahe hain, gaate rahenge; Hum tum jag mein jeevan saathi ban ke, aate rahe hain, aate rahenge”.
6 Phool Tumhe Bheja – Saraswatichandra (1968)
In the song, Nutan sent a letter with a flower to Manish. Indeevar’s lyrics were like a conversation between the two, with Lata singing, “Phool tumhe bheja hai khat mein, phool nahin mera dil hai”. After she finished her part, Mukesh sang, “Pyaar chhupa hai khat mein itna jitne saagar mein moti”. Kalyanji-Anandji composed the tune.
7 Ek Pyaar Ka Nagma Hai – Shor (1972)
One of the most popular Mukesh-Lata songs, it was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and featured Manoj Kumar and Nanda. It began with Lata’s part, after which the two sang together. Mukesh rendered the concluding part. Lyricist Santosh Anand wrote amazing lines like, “Ek pyaar ka nagma hai, maujon ki rawaani hai, zindagi aur kuchh bhi nahin, teri meri kahaani hai”.
8 Dheere Dheere Bol – Gora Aur Kala (1972)
Featuring Rajendra Kumar and Hema Malini, this song was a big radio hit. The combination of Lata, Mukesh, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Bakshi was in great form. Lata’s opening lines were, “Dheere dheere bol koi sun na le, sun na le koi sun na le; Sej se kaliyan chun na le, chun na le, koi chun na le”. Mukesh sang, “Humko kisi ka dar nahin, koi zor jawaani par nahin”.
9 Kahin Karti Hogi – Phir Kab Milogi (1974)
For most part, this was a Mukesh song, till Lata came in at the end. It was a wonderful composition by R.D. Burman. Majrooh Sultanpuri wrote, “Kahin karti hogi woh mera intezaar, jiski tamanna mein phirta hoon beqaraar”. The song was filmed on Biswajeet, with Mala Sinha joining in later. In the late 1990s, Indipop singer Anamika tasted success with her club version of this song.
10 Baaghon Mein Kaise – Chupke Chupke (1975)
Dharmendra and Sharmila Tagore appeared in this song composed by S.D. Burman. Lata began with the lines, “Baaghon mein kaise yeh phool khilte hain, khilte hain”. Then Mukesh sang, “Khilte hain bhavron se jab phool milte hain, milte hain”. Lyrics were by Anand Bakshi.
This list contains three songs by Laxmikant-Pyarelal who have worked on many Mukesh-Lata hits. Examples are ‘Mehboob Mere’ (Patthar Ke Sanam, 1967), ‘Je Hum Tum Chori Se’ (Dharti Kahe Pukar Ke, 1969) and ‘Main Na Bhooloonga’ (Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, 1974). That combination would make for another great list.