Lata Mangeshkar Remembers Close Ties With The Maestro On His Birth Anniversary on 25 December
“Naushad Saab was close,very close to not just me but to my entire family, specially my brother Hridaynath. In fact Naushad Saab was so close to my brother that when my brother had a son he named his child Baijnath inspired from the film Baiju Bawra which was one ofNaushad Saab’s earliest classic ,classical, scores…Hriday sang for the child actor who played Baiju and I sang for baby Tabassum who played the child Meena Kumari. But I remember little Hridaynathsang a song for Naushad even before that for Naushad Saab in a film called Diwana in 1952. The song was Yeh duniya kaisi haibhagwan…As for me, I owe a lot to Naushad Saab.
In terms of voice modulation and specially pronunciation of Urdu words, he took keen interest in the way I sang and helped me through difficult Ghazalslike Uthaye jaa unke sitam in Andaz and Pyar kiya toh darna kya inMughal-e-Azam. Naushad Saab’s score in the film Rattan in 1942 was a turning point for Hindi film music.
It changed the way we looked at film mysic. There is a false mythology surrounding my rendition of Pyar kiya toh darna kya .That Naushad Saab and I got the echo effect in the song by making me sing in the bathroom of the recording room. No such thing happened. During those days when songs were recorded with a huge live orchestra, the studios were stuffy enough. Singing from the bathroom would have been impossible.It wouldn’t be wrong to say Naushad Saab nurtured my voice cultivated my abilities and honed my skills .He was a perfectionist to the core.
He would not compromise on a single note in a melody.When I recorded with him I made sure my diction was faultless. Before me Naushad Saab had worked with singers who had a natural command over the Urdu language like Shamshad Begum , Noorjahan and Suraiya. I had to make sure my Urdu was as good. Ilearnt more from recording with Naushad Saab than I can express. He was a father-figure and a mentor and like I said, so close to my entire family right till his final years.When there was a wedding in theMangeshkar family Naushad Saab was of frail health. But he came for the wedding on a wheelchair to bless the couple. This is how much we Mangeshkars mattered to him. I am indebted to NaushadSaab.”