Sunday, December 06, 2009

Meena Kumari & Geeta Dutt - Mirrored Lives

I had written this post originally on the occasion of Geeta Dutt’s birth anniversary on November 23, for the blog section of, the only comprehensive site dedicated to this wonderful singer. Here’s the link to the original post.

When it comes to listing the all time great actresses of Hindi cinema, Meena Kumari’s name would surely figure prominently. Known as the Tragedy Queen for her mastery in portraying sad roles, Meena Kumari demonstrated her acting prowess in a number of films in the 1950s and 1960s. Born Mahjabeen Bano on August 1, 1932, Meena Kumari’s acting career started as a child artiste in Leatherface in 1939. After a few mythological and fantasy films as an adult, Meena Kumari’s big break came with Baiju Bawara in 1952. The film earned her the first Filmfare Award for Best Actress and established her position as one of the leading actresses of Hindi cinema.

On watching a teenaged Meena Kumari lip-syncing to barely-out-of-her-teens voice of Geeta Roy in Sri Ganesh Mahima (Shri Krishna Vivah) in 1950, little would anyone in the audience have realized that that the lives of these two remarkable ladies would uncannily mirror each other over the next two decades.

When Geeta Roy sang for Meena Kumari for the first time, she was already a star, while Meena Kumari was just managing to gain a foothold as an adult actress. In the beginning, Meena Kumari did a lot of mythological films like Veer Ghatotkach, Shri Ganesh Mahima, Hanuman Patal Vijay, where Geeta Roy sang a number of songs. It is not sure how many of Geeta Roy songs in these films were picturised on Meena Kumari.

We do have songs from Shri Ganesh Mahima available now. An absolute beauty of a song, Sakhi Re Mera Man Mache, exemplifies perfect sync between what you hear and what you see. The emotions associated with the first flush of love come alive wonderfully both in Geeta Roy’s voice and Meena Kumari’s enactment.

Sakhi Re Mera Man Naache - Shri Ganesh Mahima (1950) - S. N Tripathi - Anjum Jaipuri

A similar song also appeared in Tamasha, two years later, where the character played by Meena Kumari seemed absolutely on the seventh heaven because her beloved appeared in her dreams. Geeta Roy’s voice captured the nuances of love wonderfully in her rendition. Could it be that real life events in the lives of the two ladies somehow made their presence felt in their performances?

Raat Mohe Meetha Meetha Sapna - Tamasha (1952) - Khemchand Prakash & Manna Dey - Bharat Vyas

It was in the early 1950s when both Meena Kumari and Geeta Roy’s lives started mirroring each other’s. During the recording of a song of Baazi, Geeta Roy met Guru Dutt for the first time and this meeting apparently blossomed into love and ultimately culminated in their marriage in 1953. Meena Kumari’s experience was no different. She too met her future husband, Kamal Amrohi, at work i.e. on the sets of a film. Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi eventually got married in 1952.

With the success of Baiju Bawara in 1952, Meena Kumari established herself as one of the top actresses of that time. In the following year, with her strong performance in Bimal Roy’s Parineeta (based on Sarat Chandra’s eponymous novel) won she won her second consecutive Filmfare award. Musically speaking, the highlight of the film in my opinion was Chand Hai Wohi, sung with great feeling by Geeta. The nuances of a woman unflinching devotion to the man she has secretly married and her inability to reveal her ‘secret’ is brought out brilliantly in this song.

Chaand Hai Wohi - Parineeta (1952) - Arun Kumar Mukherjee - Bharat Vyas

Although Meena Kumari got closely associated with the epithet of ‘Tragedy Queen’, she did a number of light-hearted roles all though her career. One such film was with the King of Comedy, Kishore Kumar. The film was Shararat and it had 2 songs sung by Geeta Dutt for Meena Kumari -  both duets with Kishore Kumar. These songs are a rarity because Geeta Dutt has sung very few duets with Kishore Kumar, and even fewer songs under the baton of Shankar Jaikishan.

Dekh Aasman Mein Chaand - Shararat (1959) - Shankar Jaikishan - Hasrat Jaipuri

The coincidental similarities between the lives of Meena Kumari and Geeta Dutt continued. In the second half of the decade of 1950s, their husbands conceived two films with their wives in the lead role. Guru Dutt planned Gauri, which unfortunately did not progress beyond a few days of shooting. Kamal Amrohi planned his magnum opus Pakeezah, which again went into cold storage for many years, apparently due to the troubled relationship between Meena Kumari & Kamal Amrohi. Thankfully, the project was revived and released almost 15 years after it was first conceived

As the years progressed, the married lives of both the artistes were in shambles. It was at this time that Guru Dutt offered Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam to Meena Kumari. This tale of a woman’s desperation to gain her husband’s love and attention, and eventually finding solace in drinking, couldn’t have been closer to her real life. Geeta Dutt’s personal situation at this time was no different. When Geeta Dutt sang Na Jao Saiyan for Meena Kumari on screen, the resultant feeling was uncannily real, almost as if the actress and the singer were reliving their own lives.

This one song sums up the unique characterization of Chhoti Bahu in the film - a woman who is traditional at the core, but liberated enough to make sexual demands of her wayward husband. Nobody but Geeta Dutt could have brought alive the poignancy of the situation.

Na Jaao Saiyan - Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam (1962) - Hemant Kumar - Shakeel Badayuni

1964 turned out to be an emotionally devastating year for Meena Kumari as well as Geeta Dutt. Geeta Dutt lost her husband under tragic circumstances, while Meena Kumari got a divorce. Both women found solace in alcohol and this fatally messed up their health. Meena Kumari and Kamal Amrohi did get together again, and Pakeezah was revived. Geeta Dutt had no such luck as her husband was gone forever. She found herself in dire straits soon after and her life got caught in a downward spiral.

Fans of Meena Kumari and Geeta Dutt cannot erase the year 1972 from their memories. First Meena Kumari succumbed to cirrhosis of the liver in March 1972, followed by Geeta Dutt who died of the same ailment a few months later. And like a candle that shines the brightest before extinguishing, Meena Kumari gave us Pakeezah, and Geeta Dutt gave us poignant songs in Anubhav, before leaving the world forever.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lata Mangeshkar Sings for R D Burman Part 2

As we move beyond 1975, Pancham continued to compose lovely melodies for Lata Mangeshkar. Unfortunately, Lata’s voice quality had started going down due to age and she sounded a tad tired in some of those songs. How one wishes all these delightful compositions had come at least a decade earlier. And as we moved into the 1980s, Pancham’s compositions also started becoming a little repetitive, although one did not see any compromise on the melody front, at least in the songs he composed for Lata. There were many RDB soundtracks in the late 1980s that were eminently forgettable, and there are very few Lata-Pancham songs worth mentioning.

Pancham was quite disappointed by the failure of Shakti Samanta’s Mehbooba in 1976, and although it had a very good soundtrack, the songs did not get their due when the film was released. The piece-de-resistance of this Lata dominated soundtrack was the haunting Mere Naina Sawan Bhado, a tandem song based on Raag Shivaranjini. Both the versions - by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar - have their own charm.


Mere Naina Sawan Bhado - Mehbooba (1976) - Anand Bakshi

Pancham might have composed more songs written by Anand Bakshi, Majrooh Sutanpuri or Gulshan Bawra, but if there is one lyricist with whom he had a special tuning, it is Gulzar. Whenever the two came together, the result was consistently good. And the Lata-Pancham-Gulzar trio rarely disappointed. In my opinion, some of the best Lata-Pancham songs are written by Gulzar.

It was around mid-70s that Gulzar started work on his interpretation of Devdas, starring Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore and Hema Malini. Unfortunately the film never got made, and the songs that were recorded for the film never got released.

Kuhu Kuu Koyaliya Bulaye - Devdas (Unreleased) - Gular

Kinara was another Gular movie with great music. Ab Ke Na Sawan Barse was a pathos-laden song rendered beautifully by Lata, this song can also be seen as a tribute by Pancham to his father. Notice the Din Dhal Jaye portion in the second stanza.

Ab Ke Na Sawan Barse - Kinara (1977) - Gulzar

Ghar was one of the soundtracks that saw Lata-Pancham-Gulzar at their very best.  The film had one of the best arLata-Kishore duets ever Aap Ki Aankhon Mein Kuchh. True to his style, in Aaj Kal Paon, a Lata solo, Gulzar literalized the proverb Paaon Zameen Par Nahin Padna (English: to be in seventh heaven) and turned it into a cute question that the heroine asks the hero. The initial humming by Lata (which, unfortunately, is not there in the film clip below) is sublime.

Aaj Kal Paaon Zameen Par - Ghar (1978) - Gulzar

It is said that the music one hears between the ages 5 and 15 years stays the longest. If there is one song that evokes the maximum sense of nostalgia, it is Sawan Ke Jhoole Pade from Jurmana. I cannot say for sure, but I think my personal liking for Lata and Pancham probably has its root in this song.

Sawan Ke Jhoole Pade - Jurmana (1979) - Anand Bakshi

If Shankar Jaikishan created the maximum number of Lata-Rafi tandem songs, Pancham probably created the most Lata-Kishore tandems. For no explicable reason, while I almost always prefer the Rafi version to Lata’s rendition of a tandem song, in the case of Lata and Kishore, my preference is mostly for Lata versions. Here are two such songs.

Rim Jhim Gire Sawan - Manzil (1979) - Yogesh


Chandni Re Jhoom - Naukar (1979) - Majrooh Sultanpuri

Another genre where Pancham turned mostly to Lata was, what I call, morning songs. these are songs, typically sung by the badi bahu/ bhabhi of the family when she starts the day with pooja and other household chores, before anyone else in the family wakes up. Rather, I should call them ‘wake-up’ songs. Here is one from Aanchal.

Bhor Bhaye Panchhi - Aanchal (1980) - Majrooh Sultanpuri

Right from the path-breaking Aayega Aanewala from Mahal (1949), Lata Mangeshkar had become almost synonymous with the genre of ‘haunting songs’.  When it came to becoming literally a ghost voice, composers looked no further than her. The lady-in-white in real life became the default voice of the lady-in-white of screen. In a recent interview to a TV news channel, Lata jokingly said that she has sung the maximum number of songs for ‘ghosts’. So it isn’t surprising that when Pancham got the opportunity to compose such songs for horror/ suspense films, Lata was his choice, as is evident from the following 2 songs.

Main Hoon Diya Sooni Raat Ka - Jal Mahal (1980) - Majrooh Sultanpuri


Bindiya Tarse Kajra Barse - Phir Wohi Raat (1980) - Majrooh Sultanpuri

The following song from Harjaee is a personal favourite. It is difficult for me to pin-point the reason why I like this particular song. I feel that this songs literally drips romance from every note.

Tere Liye Palkon Ki Jhalar - Harjaee (1981) - Nida Fazli

After Lata turned 50, there was a dramatic change in her voice quality. It became thicker and noticeably shrill in the high registers. If there was one actress on whom this voice fitted very well, it was Rakhee.

The following song from Basera is one of my favourites. Portions of this song are pitched quite high, and it is to Lata’s credit that she managed those portions quite fairly despite a deteriorating vocal capacity.

Jahan Pe Savera Ho - Basera (1982) - Gulzar

Ae Ri Pawan from Bemisal is another beautiful composition by Pancham that fitted like a T on Rakhee.

Ae Ri Pawan - Bemisal (1982) - Anand Bakshi

The following song is almost in the same template as the Harjaee song listed above. Not a masterpiece, yet this is a pleasing tune, unmistakably Pancham in terms of arrangement.

Na Teri Haan Bani - Bindiya Chamkegi (1983) - Anjaan

Here comes another ‘morning song’ used during the opening credits of the film (the video is not available).

Hawa Ye Prabhati Sunaye - Shubhkamna (1983) - Anjaan

The 1980s saw the launch of star-sons like Sunny Deol, Sanjay Dutt and Kumar Gaurav. All their debuts had one thing in common - they all has music by Pancham and Lata was the lead heroine’s voice. Since most of the Lata songs in their debut films were duets, I’m not listing them here. But Lata did sing some nice solos for the new generation of actresses in other films of these star sons. For example, Amrita Singh in Sunny and Anita Raj in Zameen Aasmaan.

Jaane Kya Baat Hai - Sunny (1984) - Anand Bakshi


Aisa Sama Na Hota - Zameen Aasman (1985) - Anjaan

As we progress into the latter half of the 80s, it is difficult to find noteworthy Lata-Pancham songs. They’re mostly listless. Any song by the duo that I hear from this period leaves me dissatisfied. Pancham’s compositions lack the wow factor, while Lata sounds tired. Listen to this song from Namumkin, for example - a decent tune (specially the stanzas), but it simply falls short somewhere.

Saathi Aisa Lagta Hai - Namumkin (1986) - Anjaan

While Pancham was almost down and out, his collaboration with Gulzar remained strong. All the songs of Gulzar’s Libaas were sung by Lata, and will definitely count among the trio’s best. Unfortunately, this film did not get a proper theatrical release, although it ran through the festivals circuit in 1991-92. I was lucky enough to watch this film at a film festival in Bangalore in January 1992.

Phir Kisi Shakh Ne - Libaas (1991) - Gulzar

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lata Mangeshkar Sings for R D Burman - Part 1

When Rahul Dev Burman was signed on for Chhote Nawab, his first film as an independent Music Director, he was clear about one thing - that Lata Mangeshkar should sing for his first film. This was the time when papa Sachin Dev Burman and Lata Mangeshkar were engaged in a cold-war following some misunderstanding in 1957. It is difficult to say whether it was his putra prem that resulted in SDB making up with his favourite Lota, but RDB’s first recorded was sung by Lata Mangeshkar.

Ghar Aaja Ghir Aaye, an exquisite composition in Raag Malgunji, demonstrates RDB’s strong grounding in Indian classical music (he had learnt sarod from Ustad Ali Akbar Khan). It is noteworthy that for his first song RDB selected a Raag that had till then not been used much in Hindi Film Music (I know of only one instance that predates this song)

Ghar Aaja Ghir Aaye - Chhote Nawab (1961) - Shailendra

Thus began a partnership that would result in close to 340 songs over the next 30+ years. I strongly believe that it is impossible to make a 'Best of RDB' list without including a few Lata songs (the reverse is possible, though). I also believe that Pancham reserved some of his best tunes for Lata, although his output with Asha Bhosle is much wider and deeper.

In the 1960s, Pancham wasn’t as prolific as in the subsequent decades. In fact, his second release as a composer came 4 year after his debut. Like Chhote Nawab, Bhoot Bangla was also produced by comedian Mehmood’s borther Usman Ali. Bhoot Bangla, which also showed us a glimpse of Pancham as an actor, had a nice Lata solo picturised on the lovely Tanuja.

O Mere Pyar Aaja - Bhoot Bangla (1965) - Hasrat Jaipuri

In 1966 came another Usman Ali film - Pati Patni. RDB again utilized Lata’s dulcet voice for two extremely melodious solos. According to the man himself, Kajre Badarwa was composed for some other film, but Mehmmod liked the tune so much that he insisted on using it for Pati Patni. This song, based on Raag Piloo, starts with beautiful flute and santoor prelude.

Kajre Badarwa - Pati Patni (1966) - Anand Bakshi

For the next few years, Pancham did not do many films, composing music for around 2 films per year. Following the success of Teesri Manzil (which, incidentally, had no Lata song), RDB made a permanent place for himself in the Nasir Hussain camp. Nasir Hussain’s Baharon Ke Sapne was a primarily Lata dominated soundtrack with songs ranging from the frothy Chunari Sambhal Gori to the innovative Kya Janoon Sajan. I pick Aaja Piya Tohe Pyar Doon due to my personal liking for flute dominated orchestration, and there is plenty of flute in the interludes of this song.

Aaja Piya Tohe Pyar Doon - Baharon Ke Sapne (1967) - Majrooh Sultanpuri

Mehmood and his brother continued to stick with Pancham for their next film starring Meena Kumari - Chandan Ka Palna. This film had a nice Raag Jogiya based song - O Ganga Maiya, but I prefer Sharabi Mera Naam Ho Gaya, a ‘tipsy’ song. It is nice to hear Lata letting herself go and having some fun. I also think that whenever Lata sang such songs, she lent a certain wonderful charm by her characteristic underplaying of emotions. This song has just a subtle tinge of slur in the rendition without going overboard (barring the tell-tale hiccups at a few places). The way Pancham composed the antaras also adds to that tipsy feeling.

Sharabi Mera Naam Ho Gaya - Chandan Ka Palna (1967) - Anand Bakshi

Here are a few more Lata melodies created by Pancham in the 1960s.

Waadiyan Mera Daaman - Abhilasha (1968) - Majrooh Sultanpuri
Sharm Aati Hai Magar - Padosan (1969) - Rajinder Krishan
Na Ja O Mere Humdum - Pyar Ka Mausam (1969) - Majrooh Sultanpuri

1970s can be considered as the peak period for RDB. He met with extraordinary success with soundtrack after soundtrack. Although his best for this period was with Kishore Kumar, he continued to create gems for Lata to vocalize. His more experimental female compositions went to Asha Bhosle, when it came to traditional melodies, Lata seemed to be his primary choice. From time to time, however, he did give Lata songs that one would normally expect to go to Asha. Here are some of my favorites from 1970-1975.

Kis Liye Maine Pyar Kiya - The Train - A tune made for Lata.

Kis Liye Maine Pyar Kiya - The Train (1970) - Anand Bakshi

Raina Beeti Jaaye - Amar Prem: This is undoubtedly my most favourite Pancham soundtrack, and this Raag Lalit/Todi based song is one of my top Lata-Pancham songs.

Raina Beeti Jaaye - Amar Prem (1971) - Anand Bakshi

Jiya Na Laage Mora - Buddha Mil Gaya: Here's another classical based song.

Jiya Na Laage Mora - Buddha Mil Gaya (1971) - Majrooh Sultanpuri

Aaj To Meri Hansi Udai - Gomti Ke Kinare: A sad mujra with a distinctive Pancham flavour.

Aaj To Meri Hansi Udayi - Gomti Ke Kinare (1972) - Majrooh Sultanpuri

Bahon Mein Chale Aao - Anamika: A cute, seductive song

Baahon Mein Chale Aao - Anamika (1973) - Majrooh Sultanpuri

Tune Chheen Liya - Bandhe Haath (1973, Majrooh Sultanpuri) - A light, romantic number where Pancham experiments by choosing Lata to sing a tune that probably would’ve gone to Asha.

Tune Chheen Liya - Bandhe Haath (1974) - Majrooh Sultanpuri

Keh Rahe Hain Ye Aansoo - Jheel Ke Us Paar - This tune was later copied in a Malayalam film.

Keh Rahe Hain Ye Aansoo - Jheel Ke Us Paar (1973) - Anand Bakshi

Jo Baat Ishaaron Mein Kahi - Joshila (1973, Sahir Ludhiyanvi)

 Chori Chori Chupke Chupke - Aap Ki Kasam

Chori Chori Chupke Chupke - Aap Ki Kasam (1974) - Anand Bakshi

One of the most memorable Music Director - Lyricist partnerships of all time has been between Gulzar and Pancham. They have created such gems together that it is impossible to talk about the contribution of one without the other. Lata Mangeshkar has sung many wonderful songs for them, right from Parichay (1972) to Libaas (1991). Here’s one such gem from Doosri Sita.

Din Ja Rahe Hain - Doosri Sita (1974) - Gulzar

Do Nainon Mein Aansoo Bhare Hain - Khushboo: The clip below is from a version which focuses primarily on the vocals and has minimal orchestral support.

Do Nainon Mein Aansoo Bhare Hain - Khushboo (1975) - Gulzar

In the next part of this post I will list a few of my favourite Lata-Pancham songs from 1976 onwards

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lata Mangeshkar Sings For Shankar Jaikishan - Part 2

The Lata-Shankar Jaikishan association that produced such delectable melodies in the 50s, continued to remain strong, at least till the mid sixties. Of course the melodies paled in comparison to the 1950s, but that was true of the music scene in the 60s as a whole. At least in the earlier part of the 60s, there are many Lata-SJ songs that are popular till date.

In 1960 came Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi, a Kishore Sahu directed Meena Kumari starrer tearjerker that had some nice Lata songs. My favourite from this film is the evergreen Ajeeb Dastan Hai Ye, a ditty that I like as much for Lata’s voice as for the preludes and interludes, and of course the excellent choral use.

Ajeeb Dastan Hai Ye - Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi (1960) - Shailendra

The other Lata-SJ song that I love from 1960 is O Basanti Pawan Pagal from Raj Kapoor’s Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai. This tune is a classic example of how SJ used some pieces of melody from the background score of their films to create a full-fledged song. The tune of this song came from the background music of Awaara.

O Basanti Pawan Pagal - Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1960) - Shailendra

It was at this time that SJ also started a trend of sorts by making Lata sing tandem versions of songs that were originally composed for a male singer (in most cases, Mohd. Rafi). This meant that she had to sing at an impossibly high-scale. Her tremendous vocal range was instrumental in her doing full justice to the songs (except in a few stray cases where her voice clearly showed signs of strain), but she is on record for not being too happy about this.

One such song is Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujh Par from Juglee. In Lata Mangeshkar’s own words, “it was a difficult song because it has many high notes. The range of a male voice is much higher - and no one could sing as well in higher octaves as Rafi Sahib - so it was difficult to sing.” (Source: Lata Mangeshkar ... in her own words by Nasreen Munni Kabeer)

Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujh Par - Junglee (1961) - Hasrat Jaipuri

Some of my other picks from the early 60s include:

Saiyan Na Chhedo Dil Ke Taar - Krorepati - A light number reminiscent of the Lata-SJ beauties from the 50s.

Saiyan Na Chhedo Dil Ke Taar - Krorepati (1961) - Hasrat Jaipuri

Tum To Dil Ke Taar Chhed Ke - Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja - Though essentially a Lata solo, the film version includes some humming by Talat Mahmood in the beginning.

Tum To Dil Ke Taar - Roop Ki Rani CHoron Ka Raja (1961) - Shailendra

Jhanan Jhanjhana Ke Apni Payal - Aashiq - The initial notes hummed by Lata Mangeshkar in this song based on Raag Shankara would later re-appear as a full-fledged song in Raat Aur Din.

Jhanan Jhan Jhana Ke Apni Payal - Aashiq (1962) - Shailendra

Tera Mera Pyar Amar - Asli Naqli - I like this song more for a sense of nostalgia than for anything else. This was one of the songs that drew me away from the rock and metal craziness of college in late eighties.

Tera Mera Pyar Amar - Asli Naqli (1962) - Shailendra

O Jaadugar Pyar Ke - Ek Dil Sau Afsane - Beautiful melody, quintessential SJ.

O Jaadugar Pyar Ke - Ek DIl Sau Afsane (1963) - Hasrat Jaipuri

Man Re Tu Hi Bata - Humrahi - A song I can listen in an endless loop.

Man Re Tu Hi Bata - Humraahi (1963) - Shailendra

Aaj Kal Mein Dhal Gaya - Beti Bete - A tandem song, where I actually prefer Lata’s version over Rafi’s

Aaj Kal Mein Dhal Gaya - Beti Bete (1963) - Shailendra

I am not much of a fan of SJ’s music post-1965, a lot of which sounds cacophonous to my ears. They did come up with some good melodies during this period, especially with Lata, but those were few and far between. Here are some of my picks from this period:

Bedardi Balma Tujhko - Arzoo - This is a good example of how SJ created some of the most evocative alaaps for Lata to croon. The entire song, however fails to live up to the promise of the alaap, save for the saxophone pieces in the interludes.

Bedardi Baalma Tujh Ko - Arzoo (1965) - Hasrat Jaipuri

Gumnaam Hai Koi - GumnaamOne of the many ‘haunting’ songs Lata sang.

Gumnaam Hai Koi - Gumnaam (1965) - Hasrat Jaipuri

Tumhen Yaad Karte Karte - Amrapali - If there is one SJ soundtrack I would pick as the best of post-65 SJ, it has to be Amrapali.

Tumhen Yaad Karte Karte - Amrapali (1966) - Shailendra

Tumhari Qasam Tum Bahut Yaad Aaye - Gaban

Tumhari Qasam Tum Bahut Yaad Aaye - Gaban (1966) - Shailendra

Koi Matwala Aaya Mere Dware - Love in Tokyo

Koi Matwala Aaya Mere Dware - Love in Tokya (1966) - Shailendra

Aa Aa Bhi Ja - Teesri Kasam - This song is very similar in structure and feel to the song from Gaban I had mentioned above.

Aa Aa Bhi Ja - Teesri Kasam (1966) - Shailendra

If I look at the list above, I realize that there were still quite a few (what I call) good songs by Lata-SJ in 1965-66. But 1967 is really the cut-off year. Post this it is quite a chore to find really good Lata-SJ songs, both because I don’t quite relish the quality of SJ’s music then and also that the sheer number of Lata songs for SJ during that period is quite less, as other female singers started singing for them more frequently.

Jeevan Ke Dorahe Pe - Chhoti Si Mulaqat - I pick this song for the same nostalgic reason mentioned earlier, though this film had another nice Lata song - Kal Nahin Paye Jiya.

Jeevan Ke Dorahe Pe - Chhoti Si Mulaqat (1967) - Shailendra

Awaara Ae Mere Dil - Raat Aur Din - I like every single song from this soundtrack. This is the song that germinated from the opening notes of the song from Aashiq, as I mentioned earlier.

Awaara Ae Mere Dil - Raat Aur Din (1967) - Shailendra

Tan Man Tere Rang - Archana (1973, Neeraj) - I have picked this song only because I wanted 70s to be represented, and this song is probably the only “good” Lata-SJ song from this period.

Tan Man Tere Rang - Archana (1973) - Neeraj

Madhubala’s last film, Jwala, was released in 1970, but its songs were recorded sometime in the late 50s or early 60s. It had a number of Lata songs, out of which I pick this one.

Jaagi Raat Bhar - Jwala (1970) - Rajinder Krishan

Thus ends the two-part post on my favourite Lata-SJ songs. Of course, given the sheer volume, there are many songs that I had leave out. On another day I might pick an entirely different list, but I do hope I have been able to provide a cross-section that is fairly representative of the entire body of work Lata and Shankar Jaikishan did together.