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“Many Songs Got Left Behind”  Lata Mangeshkar Speaks Of Those Classic Melodies That Slipped Through the Crack

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Lataji Mangeshkar

Vishal Bhardwaj’s composition  Theek nahin lagta which was recorded for a film in the 1990s that never got released,  until  January  this  year, triggered off a chain of memories  of  unreleased songs  in the supreme  songstress Lata Mangeshkar.

“Quite often songs didn’t make it into the  films for reasons  of length  or  because the artistes’ dates were  not available.This  has been  the  case with  many of my songs. I am glad one of them has come out now,” says Lataji who rates  Vishal’s Maachis  soundtrack among her  best work.

Recalling instances of songs that never got released Lataji says, “There was  a  beautiful  composition by Khayyam titled Yeh haseen raat. It was a  duet with me  and Yesudas. That never made it beyond the  recording. I think the  director  Kamal Amrohi  had  to shelve the film(Majnoon).”

 Speaking of Kamal Amrohi, Lataji reveals that  there is a whole  album of her songs in Pakeezah that  never  made it into the  film. “There is  one  album of  Ghulam Mohamed’s compositions for Pakeezah that were  featured in  the film and  another  album  of  songs that  didn’t feature in the  film. The  unused songs of Pakeezah were also very beautiful.But they  didn’t become  popular  because  they were  not in the film.”

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Lataji says that all her colleagues, Mohd Rafi,  Kishore Kumar   , Asha Bhosle  , Mukesh and Manna Dey had a slew of unreleased songs lying somewhere .

Does Lataji regret that so many  of her songs were not used?

She laughs and says softly. “There was  never any time for regret.We went from one recording to  another . I never listened  to  my songs once  they were recorded.So I had  no way of knowing what was  used and what was not. In those days if a song didn’t make  it into the  film it didn’t get the  recognition it deserved. I remember  a beautiful Laxmikant-Pyarelal  composition in  the film Milan that was  cut  from the film(Aaj dil pe  koi  zor  chalta nahin). It is  among my most favourite songs  composed  by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.”

In this context Lataji is happy that some of her  unused songs  composed by  the great Madan Mohan were used by Yash Chopra. “It was  Madan Bhaiya’s son Sanjeev Kohli,who is like a son to me, who suggested to Yashji that they use some  of Madan Bhaiyya’s  unused  compositions in  Veer-Zara. That’s  how  those lovely  melodies like Tere liye  and  Tum  paas aa rahe ho  were revived. Otherwise they would have remained  in oblivion.”