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Heal Yourself, The Lata Mangeshkar Way

By SUBHASH K JHA
January 18, 2022 18:25 IST
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Javed Akhtar is among the millions who believe that Lata Mangeshkar's voice is therapeutic.

"When your morale is down or when your not feeling well, her songs immediately restore and heal you," he feels.

Subhash K Jha lists five Lata songs that are known to have a healing affect.

 

Jago Mohan Pyare, Jagte Raho

In the Raj Kapoor produced experimental film about a man's quest to quench his thirst one dark and desperate night, RK needed a song for the climax where the man is finally given water by a kind lady.

In a chat some time ago, Lataji recalled, "It was a very special song. Nargisji was to sing it on screen. This is the last time she appeared in a film of Rajsaab. Iss gaaane mein bahot shakti aur gehrayee hai.

"Rajsaab believed it could heal the soul. Salidada's (composer Salil Chowdhury) composition was a tough one. I always suspected he would deliberately put hurdles in a composition to challenge me."

 

Aaja Piya Tohe Pyar Doon, Baharon Ke Sapne

Majrooh Sultanpuri's lyrics -- Kis liye tu itna udhas, sookhe sookhe honth ankhiyon mein pyaas... Hone de re jo ye julmi hai, path tere gaaon ke. Palkon se chun daloongi main, Kaante teri raahon ke... -- are so steeped in a feeling of protectiveness.

Asha Parekh, who lip-synced the song, says, "This is one of my favourite songs that I've sung on screen. Bahot hi khubsoorat likha hai. R D Burman has invested the words with such a beautiful tune.

"As for Latabai's singing, her voice has the tenderness that can move mountains and heal broken hearts. So many times when I am low, I've turned to this song for comfort."

 

Lag Jaa Gale Se, Woh Kaun Thi

This is one of Lataji's most popular songs, an evergreen one with an ever-renewable therapeutic value.

"I don't know what it is about this song," Lataji had said. "So many people have told me it makes them feel better on a despondent day. All I can say is, if my songs have helped people to smile, then I've had a successful life."

 

Jiss Path Pe Chala, Yaadgaar

Manoj Kumar remembers this Yaadgaar song very well: "I had a hit song Ek Tara Bole by Mahendra Kapoor but we needed a solo for the great Nutan. This was my one and only film with her. We needed an outstanding song where the heroine tries to boost the hero's morale.

"Indeevar's lyrics were magical. Kalyanji-Anandji came up with an outstanding composition. And who but Lataji to sing this song about healing? Unki awaaz sun ke toh jung ruk jaye (her voice can stops wars)."

 

Chhod He Saari Duniya Kisike Liye, Saraswatichandra

The ultimate song about healing, it is counted among the best written songs of Hindi cinema: Kitni hasrat se takti hai kaliyaan tumhe in bahaaron ko phir se bulaate nahin, Ek duniya ujad hee gayi hai toh kya doosra tum jahan kyon basaate nahin.

"Yeh gaana bahot hi lokpriya hai. Kitno ne mujhe kaha ki iss gaane se unhe prerna mili hai (this song is very popular. So many have told me that this song has given them encouragement)," says Lataji.

She credits the words of the haunting melody for its abiding popularity. "Indeevarji ne kamaal ke shabd likhe hain."

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SUBHASH K JHA