For fans of Lata Mangeshkar there is exciting news. I have just found a song of hers that her diehard devotees would kill for. It is an unreleased song of such irradiant beauty that it immediately qualifies as one of her most beautiful melodies of all times.
For the Goddess Lata Mangeshkar’s birthday a gift for her bhakts… an unreleased never heard before song Yeh haseen raat toh mansoob tere naam se hai. This stunning melody composed by the great Khayyam and written by Jan Nissar Akhtar is sung to eternal glory by the Goddess and Yesudas for a film titled Majnoon.
The film launched in 1979 to be directed by Kamal Amrohi of Pakeezah fame was shelved after a lavish Mahurat. It was to star Rajesh Khanna and Raakhee Gulzar.
What happened to the film and its immortal music?
Kamal Amrohi’s son Tajdar Amrohi tells, me, “Dimple Kapadia (Mrs. Rajesh Khanna) wanted to play a particular role. The disputes kept mounting and then regrettably Majnoon had to be shelved. If only it had been made as my father dreamt of it! Aap soch nahin sakte ke duniya ne kya khoya diya (you have no idea what the world lost). I was witness to the fights that aborted Majnoon. My father was great artiste and a wonderful human being. He didn’t get the fame that he deserved. He is better off in the other world. This world was not meant for my father. He was maligned and his reputation was tarnished when in fact he was an angel. But I am confident one day the truth about him will come out.”
Tajdar Amrohi tells me there is one other song in the voice of Lataji that was recorded for Majnoon by Khayyam. That song is nowhere to be found.
In the meanwhile there is this exquisite discovery a prized song destined to be counted among Lataji’s best.
I sent it to Lataji who had no recollection of the song or the recording. “I remember my songs for Kamal Amrohi Saab in Pakeezah. They are popular to this day. And then of course Ajeeb dastaan hai yeh in Kamal Saab’s Dil Apna Aur Preet Parayi. Kamal Amrohi Saab tuned very well with Khayyam Saab. My song for them in Razia Sultan—Ae dil-e-nadaan is among my favorites. This film Majnoon and this song Yeh haseen raat toh mansoob tere naam se hai that you’ve found is totally forgotten. There are so many gems sung not just by me but also by my sister Asha, Mukesh Bhaiyya, Kishoreda, Rafi Saab and other great singers that are lost to humanity. Bahot aphsos ki baat hai.”