Asha sings for Madan Mohan – II

Last week, I presented solos of Asha Bhosle with Madan Mohan. Continuing the same thread, I’m presenting today the concluding part of my post. I will present an overview of their association along with the duets and trios or quadruples of Asha Tai, under his music direction.

Asha MMAs I mentioned in last post, her association with Madan Mohan started with the film Ada in 1951, where she sang a duet with S D Batish. It wasn’t a popular song, so no one remembers it today.  While I was researching for the post, I found that majority of her duets are with Rafi in male singers, while Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum have appeared for female duets.
In a film like Mem Sahib (1956), she had no duets with the leading man, Kishore Kumar, but had two duets with Talat, who was singing for Shammi Kapoor. The latter wasn’t an established hero that time and played a secondary role (he was villain in fact)
Whereas in the film, Ilzam in 1954, she had two duets with Kishore Kumar. But in general her duets with Rafi form a large percentage of her duets with male singers. And in a number of Rafi duets, the orchestration sounds similar to O P Nayyar’s style. I think, it won’t be a exaggeration, if I say that Madan Mohan enters very frequently into a O P styled or C Ramchandra styled music for his duets. I won’t say a copy, but there are similarities, in my opinion. I have no technical knowledge. So when I hear an instrument, frequently used by O P, in his typical style, the brain compares the music with his. It is said that, the producers used to ask him for some light hearted songs, or comedy songs, or songs with a playful and relaxing nature. And he used to adopt O P’s style for such songs.
As far as the female co-singers are concerned, the equation is very easy. If Asha is singing for the main lead, the co-singer is Geeta Dutt or Shamshad Begum, in most of the cases. I’ve mentioned the other co-singers as per the case, in the commentary about that particular song, in the list.
On the other hand, if Asha herself sings for other character, the main lead has Lata Mangeshkar. In case of dancers, more famous of the two or the senior actress, gets Lata’s playback.

Here are my observations about Madan Mohan and Asha Bhosle duo, as far as her progress as a playback singer is concerned. The widened range of songs, she was offered over the years are also taken under consideration.
(This is of course a simplified and generalized analysis, based on the type of songs, she got to sing for him over the years, I’m not claiming a perfect analysis of their association)

  • She was offered her first song for a duet, that wasn’t of course for the main lead.
    (for the film, Ada in 1951)
  • She sang solos for supporting character.
    (for the film Khubsoorat in 1952)
  • She was the main lead singer for low budget movies. She sang for all the female characters. She sang all types of songs, along with light hearted songs with a lot of energy and enthusiasm in their presentation.
    (Chacha Choudhary in 1953, Ilzam in 1954, Mem Sahib in 1956)
  • For banners that could afford Lata Mangeshkar as a playback singer, Asha was an obvious choice for supporting characters and Mujra or dance numbers. She was also one of the singers for qawwalis.
    (Railway Platform in 1955 -this film had Asha’s Bhajan for Nalini Jaywant though, Gateway of India in 1957, Chandan in 1958)
  • They worked together a lot in 1957-58, where for some of the movies, she was the only female playback and sang all types of songs, solos, duets etc. with occasional support from Geeta Dutt or Shamshad Begum, for female duets. These films had no songs by Lata Mangeshkar. Unfortunately none of the films performed well at the box office and the songs were not popular, and hence the association wasn’t much talked about.
    (Night Club, Khota Paisa, Aakhri Dao, Ek Shola, Khazanchi, etc in 1958)
  • She slowly gained entry in some films for the duets of main lead and continued singing for supporting characters as well. In some films, she was offered main lead solos as well, as per situation. Madan Mohan now had more confidence in her abilities.
    (Adalat and Jailor in 1958, Duniya Na Mane in 1959, Bahana in 1960, Akeli Mat Jaiyo in 1963)
  • In 60s, the situation remained similar. Majority of the films only had a song or two. Mainly for supporting characters, or dances, occasionally for vamps. Mostly duets, but occasionally solos too!
    (Sanjog in 1961, Man Mauji and Anpadh in 1962, Jahan Ara, Ghazal and Woh Kaun Thi in 1964, Suhagan in 1964, Mera Saaya in 1966, Dulhan Ek Raat Ki in 1967 etc.)
  • But during Lata-Rafi conflict (1963-66) she was again offered full movies, but now wasn’t restricted to low budget films. The popular leading actresses enjoyed her playback.
    (Sharabi in 1964, Naya Kanoon and Neela Akash in 1965, Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare in 1966)
  • In 70s, number of films, Madan Mohan composed for, declined further and though some obscure films had her good songs, the films never gained popularity.
    (Maharaja and Maa Ka Aanchal in 1970, Parwana in 1971, Chowkidar in 1974)
  • And for prominent films of 70s, he chose Lata Mangeshkar again. For such films, again Asha Bhosle was offered a song or two.
    (Bawarchi in 1972 and Mausam in 1975, to name a few)
  • The films, released after his death could not create the same magic. And her association wasn’t much talked about.

Asha 2
This was a short overview of her musical journey with Madan Mohan. I’ve tried to go through as much films as possible, still some might have left untouched. Today while presenting her duets and other songs, I’ve tried to incorporate the films, that were not a part of the solo song post. But a few films did overlap, which was inevitable.

Here I’m with duets and other songs of Asha Bhosle, composed by Madan Mohan. This time along with the well known songs, I’ve tried to uncover some songs, that I got to hear for the first time while researching for the post. I hope you will like those songs too!
The songs are in no particular order.

1. Sab Kuchh Karna Is Duniya Mein – Ada (1951) With S D Batish / Lyrics – Saraswati Kumar Deepak
Asha’s association with Madan Mohan started with this song. It’s a good duet, that talks about pros and cons of falling in love.
She is advocating against falling in love. Love brings defamation and anguish, it creates a world of illusion, it’s full of betrayal. He is in favour of falling in love. Love is sacrifice , love highlights your name, makes you eternal. A good song, though tells nothing new. This is Asha’s first song with Madan Mohan is its historical importance.

2. Zameen Se Humein Aasman Par – Adalat (1957) With Rafi / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna
A romantic song from Adalat. Asha has sung it with perfect emotions. The character’s sweet and romantic dreams with her partner, her fear of being left in between, are very well crafted by Asha. Unfortunately her fears come true in due course. The film has a lot of रोना धोना, and unfortunate circumstances never seem to leave Nargis.

3. Nigahon Ka Ishara Hai – Night Club (1958) With Shamshad Begum / Lyrics – Majrooh
This film had a few club songs which wasn’t a strong point for Madan Mohan. But he has composed those songs very well, and we can experience a different Madan Mohan. But the film wasn’t a success, though Kamini Kaushal played a different role. Asha was the main female playback, and all the songs were good. It’s a pity that the songs were not popular and Madan Mohan’s different style remained neglected. This song has a strong resemblance with O P’s songs, mainly the interlude pieces are uncannily similar.

4. Jalwa Jo Tera Dekha Humne – Gateway Of India (1957) With Shamshad Begum, Meena Mangeshkar & Usha Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna
Madan Mohan was never famous for qawwalis, but he has composed a few. This one might be the least known. It’s a typical qawwali, with four female voices, though due to bad audio quality, I couldn’t differentiate between the voices. Picturised on Nadira, Ratna Bhushan, Meena Fernandez, and many others (whom I couldn’t identify), it’s quite an enjoyable song.

5. Kehta Hai Dil Tum Ho – Mem Sahib (1956) With Talat / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna
A cute and sweet duet. It’s a pleasure to hear Talat in a fresh, happy mood. Shammi Kapoor sings the song playing the piano. Asha puts in bubbly emotions along with feeling of loyalty to her partner. Madan Mohan has correctly selected Asha for the songs, those suit perfectly to her voice.

6. Mujhi Mein Chhup Kar – Jailor (1958) With Rafi / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna
A beautifully sung bhajan. Blind Geeta Bali singing in a temple, complaining to the God, why is he hiding from her, when he lives within her. A heart touching bhajan, that lingers for a long time in our memories. Rafi, singing for Abhi Bhattacharya, offers a very good support to Asha Bhosle.

7. Chanda Se Bhi Pyara Hai – Ek Shola (1958) With Geeta Dutt / Lyrics – Majrooh
A song that mixes two different styles of music, not a fusion of course. Two ladies in two situations, one devoted housewife is adoring her baby, while the other is enjoying life in her own way. Asha sings for Mala Sinha, who plays housewife, she is playing with her baby, bathing him. Later she helps him learn the alphabets. Asha expresses motherly affection and love in her part. Geeta Dutt sings for Shubha Khote, who is carefree, enjoying car journeys, swimming and parties with western music. The contrast between the two situations is obvious from the orchestration and expressions of the singers.

8. Jab Jab Tumhe Bhulaya – Jahan Ara (1964) With Lata Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna
Mangeshkar sisters sing for on screen sisters Meenu Mumtaz and very young Aruna Irani. Asha sings neck to neck with Lata in this complex composition. Her expressions, high notes, ease of presenting aalaps, all are adorable. A great Kathak performance by the dancers also adds to visual pleasure.

9. Aap Ko Pyar Chhupane Ki – Neela Akash (1965) With Rafi / Lyrics – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
This film was completely handed over to Asha, for female playback part. She expertly conveys the emotions necessary here. The couple looks absolutely lovely on screen. A good song that generally features in any Asha-Rafi song list.

10. Hamar Kaha Mano Rajaji – Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1967) With Usha Mangeshkar / Lyrics – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
The film may not be remembered for this song, but it definitely shows a different Madan Mohan, who was otherwise known for soulful ghazals. He composes this catchy, peppy dance number with equal ease and Asha with Usha Mangeshkar do full justice to it. After hearing this one, you will definitely remember this movie for Asha’s duet as well. She did create impact with the only song, she got to sing.

11. Tum Ho Haseen Kahan Ke – Sharabi (1964) With Rafi / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna
A cute teasing song, Madhubala looks stunning and her style steals our heart . Asha equally contributes when she sings, ‘हम चाँद आसमाँ के’ and ‘हां हां हुजूर इतना’. We can actually visualize Madhubala acting out the lines, without even watching the video.
Though the song may not be popular, it’s definitely worth listening to.

12. Saqiya Ek Jaam Woh Bhi To De – Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966) With Mubaraq Begum / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna
One more dance number on the list, by Madhumati and Bela Bose, at a home party. Again not so popular song from a popular movie. Excellent rendition by both the singers, a typical Mujra with good use of Sarangi for interlude music. I couldn’t get a video on YouTube, but here’s the audio song.

13. ABC ABC Mere Sapnon Mein Chori Chori – Ilzam (1954) With Kishore Kumar / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna
A fun song that has a C Ramchandra flavour to it. The song is woven with the alphabets as a part of lyrics. It’s a sweet and cute song, that suddenly breaks into classical mode for a while, only to return again to western tune. The song will make you forget all your worries and breath free for a while. Enjoy this rare song.

14. Mere Dil Mein Aane Wale – Baap Bete (1959) With Rafi / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishna
This song is picturised on Jagdeep and Chitra, who were second lead pair. In my opinion, Madan Mohan had composed many duets that resemble O P Nayyar’s music style. And particularly if he is composing for Asha-Rafi, the effect appears more obvious. The interlude music mimics that of O P’s. This makes me think of, ‘Husn Jab Jab Ishq Se’ from Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare, where the influence is more pronounced.

15. Piya Ki Gali Lage Bhali – Parwana (1971) With Parveen Sultana / Lyrics – Kaifi Azmi
A dance performance by Yogita Bali and Laxmi Chhaya on stage. The latter gets Parveen Sultana’s playback. A classical based song, sung perfectly by both, and performed better by Laxmi Chhaya. Enjoy this uncommon song. In my opinion, though Parveen Sultana was a newcomer, she was still given a fair chance.

Would you add a song?

Disclaimer –
Mehfil Mein Meri claims no credit of any image or song posted on the site. The images are copyright of their original owners. The song links shared from YouTube are for the music lovers to enjoy. The songs are the copyright of their original owners.

9 Replies to “Asha sings for Madan Mohan – II”

  1. यह पोस्ट तरह तरह के रंग , रुप और खुश्बू से भरपूर मनोहारी फूलों का एक बडा ही खूबसूरत गुलदस्ता हैं ।

    बहोत अच्छें , अनूप जी !!!


  2. That’s a very detailed and interesting analysis of Asha’s career vis-a-vis Madan Mohan – and some lovely songs (including several which I’d never heard before).

    You did mention Khazanchi in your post, but since you didn’t specifically mention this song, I am going to do so. It’s one of my favourite Asha duets from the 1950s. Tum saamne aakar jis dam:

    Very OP-Nayyarish, I think.


    1. Thank you Madhuji!
      I am glad you found the post interesting and got to listen to a few new songs.
      Sorry, I am late to reply. I was a bit busy with the Ganesh Festival that is organized in my society.
      The song from Khazanchi is very nice with a pronounced effect of O P Nayyar. I had gone through it, but I said in my write up too, I avoided repeating the movies from the ‘solo songs’ post. A song from Khazanchi was a part of it.
      It is surely Nayyarish (the word which I always use in day to day conversation, but was shy to use it here, It was a pleasure watching you mention it here too!)


    1. Thank you AKji for your compliments.
      I was a bit uncertain about my observations on their association. But supporting and praising comments from seniors like you and dusted off, made me more confident and encouraged me too!
      Thanks again.


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