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Lata Mangeshkar’s Very Special Playlist  Of Songs on Raksha Bandhan



Lata Mangeshkar

Lataji  was not  particularly fond of listening to  her own songs,  not even those that her fans consider classics.

“Especially not those, because I’d find a thousand  flaws in them. I’d wonder why they are considered classics in the  first place,” Lataji would say.

 But she  loved her  Rakshna  Bandhan songs.

Especially,  Rang  birangi rakhi lekar aye behna(Anpadh). Lataji said this song about sibling-bonding  was easy to  render since composer Madan Mohan was  her rakhi brother.  Every raksha bandhan he  came to  his choti bahen to have her tie that sacred  string on his wrist. Madan Mohan composed this  song keeping his bonding with Lataji in mind.

Lataji also loved  her sibling song Phoolon ka taaron ka sabka kehna hai  ek hazaaron mein meri behna hai. “It was a brother singing to his  sister , first when they’re children  and  later when they grow up. I sang for the  child who played the young Dev Anand(Master Satyajit). The challenge  was  to sound like  a little boy singing to his beloved sister. Please remember, I was a 40-year  woman when I had to express a little brother’s  love for his  sister.”

Lataji  also loved  her  song  Bhaiya mere rakhi  ke bandhan ko nibhana(Choti Bahen).The  pristine Nanda lip-syncing this  Lata  Mangeshkar  song  to her   screen  brother Balraj Sahni  was a vision in filial  affection that audiences remember to date.Composed  by the hit machine  duo Shankar-Jaikishan this  is one of the most popular raksha bandhan songs  of all times. Incidentally  Nanda had a hard time  erasing the sisterly image . If in 1959 she played  Choti Bahen ten years  later she  featured  in  the  title role of Badi Didi.

My most favourite raksha bandhan  song by Lataji is  Chanda re mere bhaiyya se  kehna behna yaad kare(Chambal Ki Kasam).  It is so immaculate in composition(Khayyam) , so  wonderfully worded (by  the great Sahir Ludhianvi) and so pitch-perfectly  rendered  by Lata Mangeshkar  this  is  the  most flawless creation celebrating that special day set aside for sisters and brothers.

 I asked  Lataji how she was able to attain such summits of emotional expression in this  song and she confessed, “It is a song about a sister being separated  from her brother.I thought of what  raksha bandhan  would be like if own brother Hridaynath was not  with me to celebrate the  occasion. Bass, jazbaat wahin se nikal  pade.”

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