The late and much-missed Yash Chopra must be frowning as he watches the new Yash Raj protégée Vani Kapoor (she, of Befikre fame) writhing moaning and gyrating to the sound of the Laxmikant-Pyarelal-LataMangeshkar classic Ni main yaar manana ni chahe log boliyan bole.
From those who came in late, VERY late,this Punjabi-Bhangra dance number from Yash Chopra’s Daag filmed on Padma Khanna and another dancer identified as ‘Aruna’ was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Minoo Purushottam. The latter had just a few accompanying lines to sing . During the shooting of the song the two dancers ended up sharing the same voice of Lata Mangeshkar since neither wanted the secondary ghost-voice.
Yash Chopra who was a diehard Lata Mangeshkar fan, wanted his favourite Lata Didi to sing for both the dancers. It was Lataji who insisted that another singer be brought in to accompany her as the sequence was to be shot on two dancers.
So what does Lataji think of the new remix of the song done by Vani Kapoor(we didn’t know she could sing, did we?).
“I haven’t heard this new version. Nor would I want to hear it. So I wouldn’t want to comment on it. But in principle I’ve always been opposed to remixes and cover versions of classics. They shouldn’t be touched. They are inviolable ,that’s why they are classics.So many of Pancham(R D Burman) , Madan Mohan and Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s songs have been tampered with , beats and lyrics are modified. It’s like rooms being added or removed from the Taj Mahal. These composers knew what they were doing. I don’t think their efforts need any boosting,”says Lataji gently as she reminisces about Ni main yaar manana ni.
“This was a special song because it was done in a robust khula-galaa Bhangra style that my sister Ashaspecializes in. I was wondering if I was right for it. But it turned out be a superhit in Daag,” she smiles fondly at the memory of Yash Chopra .
The gentle but resolute Yashji once told this writer, “Jab tak Didi(Lata Mangeshkar) hain aur koi nahin gayegamere liye(until Lataji is around no other (female) singer will sing for my films.”
Sighs Lataji, “Haan unhone yeh kaha aur khud chale gaye(yes he said about this and he himself left us). Yashjiwas my brother as dear to me as my own brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar. He wouldn’t think of making a film without my voice.”
After his death, Yash Chopra’s son Aditya Chopra has played around with many of the ground-rules laid down by his father. In Yashraj films’s Dum Lagake Haisha Lataji’s voice was removed from the Yashraj logo that was flashed at the beginning of all their films.
The process of desecration reaches a flashpoint with Vani Kapoor singing Ni main yaar mana ni.
We are not sure when she acquired singing skills. We are yet to know about her acting skills.