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Lata Mangeshkar: “Bobby Became A Classic Not Because  Of My  Songs But Because of  Rishi Kapoor”

Raj Kapoor’s Bobby which  introduced Rishi Kapoor as a leading man to Hindi cinema wiped  out  his  huge financial debts. It  was  the  biggest hit of Raj Kapoor’s career as a  filmmaker and  regarded as  the most iconic  love story  of all times.

 During a  conversation with me  Rishi Kapoor had spoken of the enduring  popularity  of Bobby. “It was  the innocence  of the  young lovers, masoomiyat tthi  unke andar.Then there was  the magic of Raj Kapoor in  every frame. The  songs composed by  Laxmikant-Pyarelal were phenomenally good.Lataji’s vocals  for Dimple were a  highpoint.”

Speaking of  the  music  and songs , Lataji had  refused to sing for  Raj Kapoor’s Mera Naam Joker and had also  indicated  that she would not  sing for  any subsequent  films of Raj Kapoor.Raj Saab was in deep debt after the massive failure  of Mera Naam Joker. He  needed  a superhit film.For that he needed  superhit songs. And  for  the songs to be  superhits Raj saab needed to get Lataji back.

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 He therefore  hit on a masterstroke. He asked Laxmikant-Pyarelal who  were  very close to Lataji to do the  music of Bobby. This  was  L-P’s  first  film  for  Raj Kapoor.

And  they were  assigned the task of  cajoling  Lataji back.

The deal was simple. No  Lataji, no Bobby. Luckily she  relented.

Speaking to me  about incident for the  first  time  Lataji says,  “Yes , there was some problem  with  Raj Saab during Mera Naam Joker and  I didn’t sing  for that film. I  found the words for one  of  the songs inappropriate and we  disagreed on that.  But I was  back with Bobby.”

A lot of  the  film’s  success is attributed to  Lataji’s  songs like Jhooth bole  kauva kaate, Mujhe kuch kehna hai, Hum tum ek kamre mein  band honAe  phansa  and Ankhiyon ko rehne de.

 She  brushes  off the  compliment. “I would say  the credit for the  success of Bobby  must go to Rishi Kapoor. Yeh unki pehli picture tthi as a hero aisa  lagta hai nahin ttha(it didn’t look like his first  film as a  leading man). If Bobby is considered an all-time classic  it is because  of Rishi  Kapoor.”

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