Before Kamal Amrohi made Pakeezah with its immortal songs,there was Mahal in 1949 which featured the eternally popular Aayega aanewala composed by Khemchand Prakash, said to be a turningpoint in both Lataji’s and Madhubala’s fledgling careers.
Mahal also had Lataji’s two other memorabilia Mushqil hai bahot mushqil and Dil ne phir yaad kiya. But they were eclipsed by Aaayega aanewala.
Pakeezah in 1972 is of course the piece de resistance of Kamal
Amrohi’s career. Besides the eternal classics by Lataji, Thare rahiyo, Chalte chalte, Inhi logon ne, Mausam hai aashiqana and Teer-e-nazar dekhenge, there is a whole album of songs that were not used in Pakeezah, containing lilting melodies by Lataji: Tanhai sunaya karti hai, Pi ke chalen yeh chalen and Pyare Babul and of course Mohd Rafi Is velvety Yeh kisiki aankhon ka noor.
Kamal Amrohi’s next directorial Shankar Hussain has kamaal ki music by Khayyam. Latajis’ Aapne aap raaton mein and Aap yun faaslon se guzarte rahe and Mohd Rafi’s Kahin ek masoom nazuk si ladki .Each more magnificent that the other.
And finally Razia Sultan….What can we say about its epic music score. Lataji herself regarded the number Ae dil-e-nadaan as one of her career’s best, although Jalta hai badan and Khwab bann kar koi aayega were also exquisite. For the male vocals, Khayyam and Amrohi used the gravelly voice of Kabban Mirza in the songs Ayee zanjeer ki jhankar and Tera hijr mera naseeb hai.
Finally, Kamal Amrohi was about to start his next historical epic Majnoon starring Rajesh Khanna and Raakhee. But it never took off. But Khayyam recorded Yeh haseen raat,a titanic track of almost ten minutes in the voices of the Goddess Lataji and Yesudas, the stunning melody composed by the great Khayyam and written by Jan Nissar Akhtar(Javed Akhtar’s father ) is sung to eternal glory .