5 Outstanding Duets Featuring Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle

The Mangeshkar sisters Lata and Asha have ruled  the  ‘ear’waves for over  60 years.Apart, they are institutions in their own right. Together they constitute a force to reckon with. The two sisters have  sung approximately 80  Hindi songs  together. Here are 5 of the  choicest Lata-Asha duets.

1.     Kya hua  yeh mujhe kya hua: Jis Desh Mein Gangta Behti Hai(1960):  The formidable Raj Kapoor  was  an unabashed fan of Lataji’s  voice.  He has gone on record  to state that Lataji was his muse and the voice of R K Films. But hear this. When sister Asha  Bhoslewas roped in for a duet , composers Shankar-Jaikishan made sure they did  full  justice to both the sisters. This  dizzying dance number   has the two sisters sharing the mike  with a vivacity that cuts across all allegations of rivalry between the two. If you notice the singing neither  of the two maestros are heard trying to upstage one another. It’s just the two singers and the song…and ecstasy!

2.     Mann kyun behka ri behka aadhi raat ko: Utsav (1985): This is the most well-known Lata-Asha duet, though  I wouldn’t say  the finest song they came together for. But the  Laxmikant-Pyarelal composition possesses a tremendous  quality of warmth and sharing as the two sahelis  on  screen,  Rekha(singing in Lataji’s voice) and Anuradha Patel(given Ashaji’s  voice) share giggly  confidences about the lover who crashes into their  hearts  at midnight. Aadhi rat ko…the erotic fragrance of two ladies who have more on mind than just romance  pervades this  joyous  celebration of sensuous sisterhood.

3.     Paake  akeli mohe chhed raaha : Jail Yatra(1981):  It wasn’t easy for R D Burman  to balance out his  equation between the two sisters. While one was his  muse  the  other was his wife. And the muse constantly  felt sidelined.Bringing them together for this  neglected  zingy dance number  in a little-known Vinod Khanna  starrer  couldn’t have been easy. And yet when they  burst into the  dance moves we hear nothing but the two singers having a whole lot of fun. The  tune has elements of RD-Lataji’s Bangle ke peeche. It’s a top-nautchduet with the potential of being a chartbuster. Sadly it went unnoticed. Just like the other Lata-Asha duet Tu badi kismet wali hai in Sanjog that RD recorded.

4.     Jab jab tumhe bhulaya   tum  aur yaad aaye: Jahan Ara(1964):  The  single greatest Lata-Asha duet, by far the most accomplished composition that  touched their collaborative lips. The great composer Madan Mohan was a diehard  Lata Mangeshkar fan. But here  in this Ghazal he let Ashaji also have her voice heard  at its most evocative. The  two singers joint lament about love  takes tune to the depths of  poignancy and  the heights of  sublimity.A melodic  masterpiece.

5.     Koi ayega ayega : Professor(1962): Of all the great composers  who had the privilege of bringing the two singing  divas  together  it was Shankar-Jaikishan  who got them  together the maximum  number of times. From Man bhavan ke ghar aaye gori in ChoriChori to Aankhon aankhon mein in Janwar , Lataji and Ashaji sang their way into a great storm  of  emotions every time their  colossal chords collided. This  number is  outstanding in its  use of the two greatest voices the  country has ever produced.

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