From melancholy to happiness: Three solo songs by Lata Mangeshkar

Life has gotten like a musical; I find a song for every situation.  I wonder sometimes whether these song make my mood or my mood brings up these perfectly fitting songs.

I was feeling so low for the whole last week, feeling like I am good-for-nothing, and was singing “na kisi ki aankho.n ka noor hoon…” all the time.  Indeed, it is one of the most depressing songs we have.  Penned by Muztar Khairabadi (Javed Akhtar’s grandfather) and filmed over the last Mughal emperor Bahadurshah Zafar for the 1960 movie “Lal Quila”, Mohd. Rafi’s rendition is heart-wrenching.  For those who don’t know it, it goes like:

Na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon
Na kisi ke dil ka qaraar hoon
Jo kisi ke kaam na aa sake
Main wo ek musht gubar hoon

Neither am I a sparkle to someone’s eye
Nor I am a solace to someone’s heart
I am a fistful of dust—good for nothing!

If you need a strong dose of melancholy, go and get it!  “Why shall someone come and pray on my grave?  Why shall someone bestow flowers?” etc. etc.

Okay, today I am not here to dip you in that melancholy.  I am here with springs of joy!

So, I was in the “na kisi ki aankho.n ka noor hoon…” mood, hoping it would pass soon, and on a fine morning, I woke up with one of the happiest songs ever:  “Mujhe mil gaya bahana teri deed kaa…”  Don’t tell me you haven’t heard it!

This song is written by Sahir, one of the most favorite poet/lyricist of mine.  I have always admired Sahir for his serious songs (Okay, again here I won’t talk about the melancholy, and Sahir is a king of it!  Let’s take one movie “Pyaasa” and you’ll get enough.  You remember “Jaane wo kaise log the jinke pyar ko pyar mila” or the moist cynical “tang aa chuke hain kashmakash e zindgi se hum” or “ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai” or THE “jinhe naaz hai Hind par wo kahaan hai?”  Shall I keep Sahir reserved for some other post?)

So, I woke up with:

Mujhe mil gaya bahana teri deed kaa
Kaisi khushi le ke aaya chaand eid ka

I have got a reason to see you [see note]
What happiness this Eid’s moon has brought with it!

What a lovely voice this girl has!  This song is from the year 1960, Lata must be in her 30s then!  What a voice! This girl has got a real gift of God!  Roshan’s music, Lata’s voice, and that cute little pause between “chaand” and “eid ka”! Subhaan Allah 🙂

And again, today morning, I started with another solo of Lata:

Bol ri kathputli dori kaun sang baandhe
Sach batla tu naache kis ke liye

Tell me, oh puppet doll, whom are you tied to
Tell me for whom do you dance?

This 1957 song from movie Kathputli is available in two versions; one of them is not that happy and has a lot of instrumentation in the interlude (may be because it was a stage song), but still what a composition! And again what a voice this young lady had had!  And at one point, she sings the word “dori” in “Baawari kathputli dori piya sang baandhe” a bit differently… Oooops, I would give my heart for just that one place.

I don’t even remember when had I heard this song for the last time; not at least in the last five years since I left the hostel.  I downloaded it right then in the morning, both versions, and it is my “Song of the day.”

Third song is not that old, don’t know if it would be a disappointment for the elitists!  Lata’s version of Rimjhim gire sawan from 1979 movie Manzil.  Male version sung by Kishore Kumar is more well-known, but I would recommend you to listen female version if you haven’t already heard.  We are used to listen that song in Male voice, Lata’s voice makes it a completely new and wonderful experience.  Around 20 years after the above two songs, and still this young lady, in her 50s, says no to aging!  I just love this girl!  This song is also a good one for its visuals, Mumbai rain, lovely Moushumi Chatterjee and dashing Amitabh, and must watch for Mumbai people, Moushumi and Amitabh carelessly wandering on Mumbai roads, enjoying rain in the Mumbai University ground in the backdrop of Rajabai Tower, everything’s perfect.

Okay, I am done for today!  Do listen these songs, I bet you you won’t be disappointed.  And suggest me more happy solo Lata songs 🙂

I am really sorry for the non-Indian readers for this contextually Indian post.  I wanted to provide translations and explanations with each of those songs, but then it would have disrupted the flow of the post for the readers who know the subject well.  I am really sorry!

Also, I wanted to link all those songs to YouTube or some other song library, but it would be a great labor, especially with my slow-slow network, so if you want to listen those songs, just google them!  Also, I am not linking all those names; a simple google search would help you.  Hope you understand!

Note about Eid’s moon: Apparently filmed over a Muslim girl. Muslim girls used to stay in veil and wouldn’t come out of it. But on Eid’s evening, they can come out freely to look at the moon, so the girl says, now I have got a reason to look at you, what happiness has this Eid’s moon brought to me.

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12 Responses to “From melancholy to happiness: Three solo songs by Lata Mangeshkar”

  1. earthdrifter Says:

    As for your slow slow network: that can be tough. I wonder if a 3G USB modem would function where you are. Last June I was told that all the big cities in India have 3G and that in a year’s time it’ll work on most of the subcontinent.

    I read that Bangalore and Hyderabad have amazing internet infrastructure, hopefully that’ll spread to Maharashtra soon 🙂

    • Ganesh Dhamodkar Says:

      Yeah, we have a broadband internet here, but it needs landline phone that I don’t have. 3G is also available now, but the monthly rents go above my spending budget for internet 😐

  2. Suja Says:

    Ah a post I can relate to being a music-blogger, that too music from my generation!! 🙂 I am not at all melancholy by nature (in fact, quite the opposite end of the spectrum!) but I sure love those old melancholy songs that you mention. I also like your more cheerful Rimjhim, but much prefer the Kishore version. Its good to see you sounding much more cheerful today!

    • Ganesh Dhamodkar Says:

      Thanks Suja! I was really thinking about your opinion on this post right while I was writing it. I agree with you about the male version of Rimjihm gire sawan. My point was Lata’s version is a bit different and less heard, so it makes a different impact. And also my post was about Lata’s solo songs.

      I wish if you had commented something about the two other solos!

      • Suja Says:

        You have made a couple of excellent picks, havent you? Bahadur Shah Zafar’s poetry was in my school poetry-book I remember; sad as it is, it is beautifully written. Rafi is in great voice. But I think the instrumental accompaniment is not good. With this top quality of poetry and such top quality of voice, why add any instruments at all? Poetry recitals are mostly done with no instruments at all, that would have been best here too.

        But your topic was Lata’s songs. ‘Mujhe Mil Gaya Bahana’ is a true winner with great lyrics, beautiful melody and Lata’s young voice. Plus the fact that the melody is simple enough for most people to learn and sing it made it a very popular song. Bol Re Kathpuli on the other hand doesn’t appeal to very much. Lata is in good voice again. The melody though..I like the refrain but not the verse. Just a matter of personal taste.
        Lata remained in good voice for a very long time, I agree, but still, I can hear the difference. Can’t you? The higher notes get shriller as she got older and by the late-eighties, they seem to lose their charm. of course, even with that she still sang better than 99.999% of people 🙂 But its the Lata of the 50s and 60s that I like best.

      • Ganesh Dhamodkar Says:

        I love the Lata in 1950s and 1960s. I just watched Andaz (1949) yesterday, the Noorjahan-like Lata in “Uthaye ja unke sitam aur jiye jaa”, “dar na muhabbat kar le”, etc., but again felt she was just in her 20s then, she got even better in the years to come 🙂

  3. Vishal Says:

    I had never heard of ‘Mujhe mil gaya bahan’ song before, but indeed such a sweet rendition by Lata, and composition by Roshan. Thanks for sharing! That beautiful pause between ‘chand’ and ‘eid ka’ reminded me of a recent song by ARR: ‘Aye hairathei’ from Guru, where he used a pause – a deliberately skipped beat – to create a goosebump-inducing effect.

    • Ganesh Dhamodkar Says:

      I’m surprised that you had never heard “Mujhe Mil Gaya Bahana”; you have such a good taste of songs; happens sometimes! It’s really a nice rendition, along with sweet lyrics and easy but melodious tune. I’m really happy that you make it a point to give it a try.

      As far as “Aye hairathey aashiqui”, I have overheard it several times, but I have don’t have it with me right now. I will download it and will give it a serious listen. Thanks for recommending.

  4. kmohankar Says:

    As far as I’m concerned, I had not heard any of these songs.(whatever I know is all from you only.) But I promise I’ll listen them soon and will be here. I too love voice of Lata.

  5. Ekla Cholo Re… « The Chaotic Soul Says:

    […] From melancholy to happiness: Three solo songs by Lata Mangeshkar ( […]

  6. Chandrashekhar Kulkarni Says:

    Excellent..! You have a unique style of writing besides apt information on the topics you write. Both these songs ( excluding Rimjhim Gire Sawan) are worth listening again and again. They are drenched with full of melody. Just to add few more songs of Lata fitting in this category. “Kisine Apna Banake Mujhko Musurana Sikha Diya” from Patita & “Kadar Jane Na” from Bhai Bhai, composed by Shankar Jaikshan and Madan Mohan respectively. Hats Off to all of them. “Kya Log the woh aur Kya Jamana Tha ? Kaha gaye woh Log ? ) By the way, have you written post on Sahir? I am interested to read it because I am also an ardent admirer of Sahir.

    • Ganesh Dhamodkar Says:

      Firstly, extremely sorry for late response; some technical issues. I’m glad that you loved the songs. As from you suggestions, “Kisine apna banake mujhko” is sheer happiness too. I don’t know the other one; I will definitely look for it.

      And about Sahir, I am a great fan of him too. I have written a post about him on my Marathi blog long ago at Will try writing some time again. Thanks for visiting.

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