"It's very difficult, almost impossible, to select my favourite duets with Kishoreda. There are so many of them that I really like! But I'll give it a try," Lata Mangeshkar adds a disclaimer, as she selects her favourite Kishore Kumar songs on his 92nd birth anniversary on August 4.
Subhash K Jha listens to Lataji, in her own words:
Kora Kagaz Tha Yeh Mann Mera, Aradhana
This duet with Kishoreda used to be my favourite at my stage concerts abroad. Log iss gaane ko bahot pasand karte hain.
Burmandada (S D Burman) brought in a feeling of the north eastern folk tradition into the song. Anand Bakshisaab's lyrics were a big contribution to the song's ethereal quality.
Woh kehte hain na? Time stood still. That's what happens in this duet.
Aapki Aankhon Mein Kuch Mehke Huey Se Khwab Hain, Ghar
Gulzarsaab wrote some really beautiful love songs for Kishoreda and me.
Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa Toh Nahin is another gem from him. This one I recall for the beautiful composition by Pancham (R D Burman).
Both Kishoreda and I were enchanted by the tune.
I remember Pancham thought I wouldn't be uncomfortable with one line in the song --&Aapki badmaashiyon ke yeh naye andaaz hain. He made Gulzarsaab ask me if I was okay with it."
Achcha Toh Hum Chalte Hain, Aan Milo Sajna
Normally, our romantic duets were filled with poetry and romantic images. This one was conversational, just two people discussing their rendezvous.
Laxmikant-Pyarelal gave the tune just the right spirit of informality.
Bakshisaabke bol bade hi swaabhaavik the.
People talk like this in real life.
Kishoreda and I had so much fun singing this song. He used to be full of masti during our recordings, so much so that I had to restrain him with 'Kishoreda pehle gaana, phir masti.'
Hazaar Raahen Mudke Dekhin, Thodisi Baewafaai
For Khayyamsaab, I sang any number of beautiful melodies. But very little with Kishoreda.
This one was a novelty on many levels. The lyrics by Gulzarsaab addressed the issue of a broken marriage.
Bade khubsoorat shabd hain iss gaane meein: Jahan se tum mod mud gaye the, yeh mod ab abhi wahin pade hain. Hum apne pairon mein na jaane kitne bhanwar lapete huey khade hain...Wah! Who but Gulzarsaab can write like this?
Kishoreda got an award for this song. He deserved it.
Kya Mausam Hai, Doosra Aadmi
This is another very unusual duet where the two people do not address their mutual feelings directly to one another. Ek thehrao hai iss gaane mein, ek maasoomiyat.
Raju (Rajesh Roshan) was very fond of Kishoreda and me. For Kishoreda, Raju composed really lovely songs like Dil Kya Kare (Julie) and Chhoo Kar Mere Mann Ko (Yaraana).