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The True Story Behind Kuch Na Kaho!

If  Rahul Dev Burman’s swan song  Kuch na kaho  kuch bhi na kaho is  remembered so vividly  to this day it has more to do with the staying power  of  the  limitlessly talented  composer rather than any intrinsic merit  of   the song’s parent film 1942:  A  Love Story.

Of  the two versions  of  the songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Kumar Sanu there  was a  bit of controversy  over the female  version , sung to immortality  by  Lataji.

The song had already been recorded in  Kavita Krishnamurthy’s voice when it was done again by Lataji.Was  Lataji aware of the song’s history? Absolutely not.

Hear  what she has  to say. “I only  knew what Pancham  (R D Burman) told me. He rang me up and said , ‘Didi there ‘s one  final song in  1942: A Love Story which (director) Vidhu Vinod Chopra is very keen that  you sing. Will you do it?’. Pancham and I shared a very warm  and close relationship. He confided all his joys and sorrow in me.  I said of course I’d sing  the song  for him. Then I left  for   my concerts in the  US.  When I  returned Pancham was  gone.”

 The  song was   recorded posthumously  by  Vidhu Vinod Chopra and his team.

A musician who was  present  at the recording remembers, “Vinod Chopra wanted  that one song to be sung by Lata Didi. He  had consulted Panchamda  about it and Panchamda was all for it. He asked Lata Didi to sing Kuch na kaho. But before the song could be  recorded   Panchamda passed away. We recorded the song without Panchamda.We were so excited .History was being made. I remember  Vinodji kept asking Lata Didi  to do one more  take. Finally Didi turned around and told him,  ‘Ab rehne dijiye . Ho gaya.’ And she walked off.

As for Kavita Krishnamurthy,  it is sad to see her raking up the  old controversy  on  R D Burman’s birth  anniversary when she knows what the  truth is.

I remember  meeting Kavita many years ago when she had brought  up the Kuch na kaho controversy. She had told me, ‘With  due respects to Lataji,my version of the song was  something else.’

With due respects to Kavita, I’ve heard  both  version and there is no comparison.

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