(Part 3) Lata with Forgotten / Lesser Known Composers

Continuing the series on Lata’s association with lesser known composers, I’m here with the third part. The list of composers still grew a little long, so that now I’ve around 30+ composers to cover. Today’s part has twelve composers. And I may need two more parts to complete the list.
Let’s start today’s journey. The names are in no particular order. Here we go………..

1. Vedpal Varma –
vedpal varmaAnother lesser heard of composer is Vedpal Varma. He was from Rajasthan. He also worked as a lyricist and story writer. He started with the film, Parichay (1954) where Shailesh has jointly composed with him. He composed for around a dozen Hindi films. He wrote songs for a few movies, none particularly popular. He also composed for a West Indian film, The Right and The Wrong in 1970, no other details known about it. His last Hindi film was perhaps, Soutan Ki Beti (1990). His career, mostly confined to B grade movies, remained unknown to many.
As for today’s topic, I would choose a couple of songs from Bhootnath (1963).

Bhoole Se Kar Liya Pyar – Bhootnath (1963) / Vedpal Varma – Yusuf
A sweet composition, a lady confessing her love to herself. The song is full of energy and enthusiasm, Lata’s voice too exudes joy and shyness of a girl, recently fallen in love. A charming song!
Due to the electric guitar pieces in the interlude, it sounds like O P Nayyar’s composition. Of course, the resemblance ends there. The tune and other things are completely different.

Tum Na Aaye Sanam – Bhootnath (1963) / Vedpal Varma – Yusuf
I would count it among the memorable sad songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar. It may not be popular, but it’s a good song. The pathos in her voice touches the soul.

2. Gyan Datt –
gyan_duttHe was one of the prominent composers of the 1940s, with around sixty films to his credit, from Toofani Toli in 1937 to Janam Janam Ka Sathi (1965). His career saw its peak in the 1940s, and K L Saigal & Khursheed had some of their best with him. Sunehre Din (1949) is perhaps his best known movie, with hits by Mukesh, shamshad Begum and Surinder Kaur. From 1951 to 1965, he composed for only five films, slowly fading away. So even though he had a bright career in the 1940s, I included his name on the list. He passed away in 1974.

Interestingly he composed only one song for Lata Mangeshkar in a 1949 movie, Dukhiyari.

Ab Kisko Sunau Main Katha – Dukhiyari (1949) / Gyan Datt – Faruq Kaiser
I heard it for the first time during the research for the post. It’s a song addressed to Lord Krishna.

3. Basant Prakash –
He was composer Khemchand Praksh’s brother. Not much is available about him on the internet. He composed only for a handful of films, though his first film was Badnaam (1952) and last film was Ishwar allah Tere Naam (1983). I could find just six films.For some of the films, he worked jointly with other composers. Anarkali (1953) with C Ramchandra, Shrimati ji (1952) with Jimmy and S Mohinder. The song from Anarkali (Aa Jane Wafa – by Geeta Dutt) was equally popular with other songs. Lata Mangeshkar was associated with a couple of films.
And, the songs to add are,

Le Ja Apni Yaad Bhi – Badnaam (1952) / Basant Prakash – Shailendra
A melancholy song, depicting the sorrow of separation. A nice tune and good rendition.
The other song, ‘Sajan Tum Se Pyar Karoon Main’ has already appeared on one of my earlier lists.

Meri Beena Ke Sur Saat Re – Saloni (1952) / Basant Prakash – Arjun Dev Ashq
It’s perhaps more popular than the earlier song on the list. The sweetness of the tune and of Lata’s voice are unparalleled. The lady in the song compares her emotions with the ‘सात सुर’ of her Beena.

4. Pardesi –
When I heard , for the first time, the song, ‘Chanda Re Mori Patiya’ from Banjarin (1960), I took it for granted that it would be by a well known composer.  But he was a less known composer, Pardesi. Nothing is available about his personal life. I didn’t particularly try to search for his other films, though I went through all the songs from Banjarin. But for the post, I searched for his other films. It seems, he composed for a couple of movies, none would ring a bell for anyone. Still, Khufiya Mahal (1964) had a few good songs, though not great.

Lata Mangeshkar sang for him just for his debut film, Banjarin.

Nainon Ne Dekha Jo Rahi Matwala – Banjarin (1960) / Chand Pardesi – Pandit Madhur
Whenever I listen to it, I always tend to compare it with ‘Mujhe Dekh Chand Sharmaye’. The tunes sound somewhat similar to me. I won’t call it a great song, though it’s definitely worth listening to.

5. Arunkumar Mukherji –
He was Ashok Kumar’s maternal cousin. I think he would be remembered as a singer more than a composer,as he started as a singer. His songs from, Bandhan (1940), Kismat (1943), Jwar Bhata (1944), Mashal (1950) were memorable. He composed for only two films. The most well known is of course, Parineeta (1953), he composed excellent songs with Bharat Vyas as a lyricist. His second venture was Samaaj (1954), the songs were not much popular, and Lata Mangeshkar sang only one song for him in the movie. He died of a heart attack in 1955, when he was just 45.
So the song to add is obviously ,

Rukhsat Ae Duniya Teri mehfil – Samaaj (1954) / Arun Mukherji – Majrooh.
A slow paced melody, deeped in sorrow. Sounds very touchy in Lata’s honey dipped voice.

6. Ganesh –
He was the younger brother of Pyarelal, from the duo Laxmikant Pyarelal. He was an ace violin player. He also worked as an assistant to L P, in the early years of their career. His first film as an independent composer was ‘Thakur Jarnail Singh’, and he gave some memorable songs with Mangeshkar sisters. The same year saw him composing for yet another film, Shera Daku, and he again had a few hits. Later he got opportunities for b grade movies. He had a long association with the lyricist, Asad Bhopali. His last film was released in 1986.
Lata Mangeshkar sang for him in quite a number of films. And I was a little surprised to see that, in his first film, Thakur Jarnail Singh, she was offered dance numbers while, Asha Bhosle got to sing ‘Tere Bina Jee Na Sakenge’.
He certainly deserves a separate post. Let me see, when that would be possible.

To add the songs,

Intezar Ka Aalam – Shera Daku (1966) / Ganesh – ?
Evidently a song from b grade movie. But for me, the song is very good. Great melody, great voice. The composers of that era didn’t think about the grade of the movie, they just tried their best.

Saiyan Se Wada Tha – Thakur Jarnail Singh (1966) / Ganesh – Asad Bhopali
A typical dance number from a नौटंकी in a rural setting. A catchy song, you instantly get involved in the tune and rhythm. Any composer would have offered the song to Asha Bhosle. But Ganesh called Lata Mangeshkar and its brilliantly sung.
Ganesh had a very promising start with this movie, but later couldn’t compose for big banners. I have read, he did finally fall prey to alcohol and ruined his career.

7. S D Batish –
S D BatishHis full name was Shiv Dayal Batish and he was popularly called S D Batish. He was more popular as a playback singer and his songs from Daasi (Khamosh Nigahen Karati Hai), Laadli (Aankhen Keh Gayi Dil Ki Baat), the wonderful spectacular qawwali from Barsaat Ki Raat (Na to Karvan Ki Talash Hai – with Rafi, Manna Dey, Asha Bhosle and Sudha Malhotra) and Kaise Kahoon (Manmohan Man Mein Ho – with Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur) are still very popular.
He started as a singer on AIR Delhi, and later assisted Pandit Amarnath (Elder brother of Husnalal Bhagatram duo) in Lahore for the film, Daasi and sang as well in the movie. After shifting to Mumbai, he composed for Betab, Bahu Beti, Toofan, Harjeet, Tipu Sultan, Hum Bhi Kuch Kam Nahin, Amar Keertan, and Zalim Tera Jawab Naheen. Barring a handful of songs, he couldn’t achieve much fame and popularity. In the late 1960s, he moved and settled abroad.

To add my favourites,

Abhi Kuchh Raat Baqi Hai – Betaab (1952) / S D Batish – Roopbani
Just listen to the song. It’s so wonderfully composed. The melody is so predominant. See the musical arrangement. Batish was a good singer, but he was a good composer as well.

Khwab Mein Hum Ko Bulate Ho – Toofan (1954) / S D Batish – Kaif Irfani
If you haven’t yet heard this one, just do it right away. See how differently the composer treats the song. May be your first hearing may not lead to instant liking. But later you would like it for sure.

Tujhe Aawaz Deti Hai – Haar Jeet (1954) / S D Batish – Kaif Irfani
In contrast to the earlier songs, we have a sad song. The helplessness of the character is well conveyed by Lata Mangeshkar. A good song.

8. K Mahaveer –
k-mahavir-youtubeNothing much I could get about him. But he was from a Rajasthani family that had a long history of musical association. His was a family of vocalist of Indian classical music and musicians. K Mahaveer did not compose for any film, but a few of his non film songs rendered by Lata Mangeshkar are still popular among the music lovers.
Let me add a couple of non film songs, composed by him.

Aankh Se Aankh Milata Hai Koi – Non Film / K Mahavir – Shakeel Badayuni
The Ghazal sounds difficult to sing. The हरकतें in the song are superb and a must listen for a Lata Mangeshkar fan.

Aaj Ki Raat Na Ja – Non Film / K Mahavir – Abhilash
I found four songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar for K Mahavir. But he composed memorable tunes in just those opportunities. His songs are definitely worth collecting. I didn’t know much about him. But I particularly listened to the songs for the post. Enjoy another gem by the combo.

9. Kanu Ghosh –
He was Salil Choudhari’s chief assistant. I could find only two films he composed for. Naya Zamana (1957) and Pyar Ki Raahen (1959). Lata Mangeshkar sang three solos and a couple of duets for him. All the solos and a duet (with uma Devi) belong to Naya Zamana. The post focuses her solos. So the duet from Pyar Ki Rahen is out of the race.

I will choose,

Kahan Jate Ho Toota Dil Hamara – Naya Zamana (1957) / Kanu Ghosh – Prem Dhawan
A soulful song. The deep anguish is portrayed very effectively.

Ghabarake Mohobbat Kar Baithe – Naya Zamana (1957) / Kanu Ghosh – Prem Dhawan
From sad mood to a Mujra. The film also features a Mujra song. The singer – composer duo manges to enchant us with this song too.

10. Shailesh Mukherji –
He was a singer and a composer. He also acted in a few films (under the name Shrikant Gourav). He sang for a number of films, Dekh Chand Ki Ore, from Aag (1948), being his best known song as a playback singer.
The Calcutta born composer, came to Bombay and soon started singing for films. Finally, as he always wanted to compose, he got a chance in 1953. A film called, Suhag Sindoor, where he composed jointly with Suresh Kumar. He composed for two more Hindi films, Parichay (1954) and Savera (1958).
Both the films had a number of hits by Lata Mangeshkar. Even after composing such beautiful songs, he didn’t compose for any other film. Or he didn’t get a chance to do so. He couldn’t get fame as an actor, which he tried in Miya Biwi Razi (1960) and Pyar Ki Pyas (1961).

Let’s listen to the wonderful compositions, Lata Mangeshkar sang under his Baton.

Jalake Dil Khak Hua – Parichay (1954) / Shailesh – Keshav
The song starts with a Urdu Sher, that creates very apt aura for the song. The song has been very popular over the years, though no one really cared for the composer.

Nadiya Ke Pani – Savera (1958) / Shailesh – Shailendra
The lady requests the river to convey her message to her beloved. A good song, a memorable one too, at least to me. Even after the film, which really had a wonderful bunch of songs, why he didn’t become a busy composer, remains a mystery.

11. Premnath Wadhva –
I must confess, I actually heard his name for the first time during the research.
Premnath was born in Punjab, and formally learnt music. He acted and sang as well before starting composing for films. Starting his career with Rangbhumi in 1946, he went on to compose for eight more films, none of which were popular. He was Music Director’s Association’s secretary for 30 years.
Lata Mangeshkar sang for him only in the film, Chand Sitare (1948) which he himself produced. Lata sang four solos for the movie.

Let me add a couple of songs from the movie,

Jab Dil Mein Tere Dard Ho – Chand Sitare (1948) / Prem Nath – Ishwar Chandra Kapoor
Adopting a typical Punjabi style, most characteristic of that era, the song describes ‘The signs and symptoms’ of falling in love. Listen to Lata’s voice, it sounds so different. She has adapted the style, more popular in those days. But her expressions are good. And it’s quite interesting to listen to it. It seems likely that the song was picturised on a friend of the heroine, who’s teasing her.

Meri Naav Chale Dheere Dheere – Chand Sitare (1948) / Prem Nath – ?
I’m very happy to discover these hidden gems. I liked the songs a lot. It was a refreshing change for me. Lata’s tender voice, excellent expressions, melodious songs, no overpowering orchestration.
The lady in the song describes herself to be from a family of boatman. Her father and brother are also boatmen. Such a soothing and relaxing description of a sailing boat, the song offers. It may fit my earlier theme of ‘Professional Songs’.

12. Ajit Merchant –
Ajit_MerchantNot much is available about him on the internet. He was interested in music and learnt music from Shivkumar Shukla. He acted in stage plays before joining films and did well.
He was a Gujarati composer and composed songs for Hindi and Gujarati Movies. His popular movies include, Chandi Puja (1957), Sapera (1961), Lady Killer (1968) etc.
I have heard just a couple of songs from Sapera.
I could find only one song, Lata Mangeshkar sang for him.

Rang Badle Zamana Kai – Challenge (1964) / Ajit Merchant – Prem Dhawan
I haven’t heard much of Ajit Merchant’s songs. But this one sounds energetic and enjoyable. It talks about the greatness and power of love.

(I thank Mr Arunkumar Deshmukh, for his book, ‘Forgotten Artists of Early Cinema’. I got information about some of composers in the book)

Disclaimer –
Mehfil Mein Meri, claims no credit for any image, screenshots or songs posted on this site. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting. The images and screenshots are the copyright of their original owners. The song links are shared from YouTube, only for the listening convenience of music lovers. The copyright of these songs rests with the respective owners, producers and music companies.

18 Replies to “(Part 3) Lata with Forgotten / Lesser Known Composers”

    1. Thank you Ravindra ji!
      Actually I had no information about K Mahavir. I just had heard of the name. But when you mentioned his name in your comments, I listened to his songs by Lata Mangeshkar. Wonderful songs!
      Some of the songs are I thought very difficult, the Harkats and Murkiyan sound quite amazing!


      1. I meant that in the earlier posts, there were more composers I had already heard about than new names. In this post the ‘unknowns’ far outnumbered the known names for me.

        SD Batish, for one, was a known name. For me, at least, mostly because of Na toh kaarvaan ki talaash hai – what a sublime song that is. But yes, I must listen to the songs he composed.


        1. Oh yes,
          my comment wasn’t meant to hurt or tease you. I was in fact happy that majority of the composers finally fit the theme perfectly.
          I think my reply did convey that in a different way. Bad framing and bad choice of words!
          Sorry! My mistake it is.
          Thanks for not taking my reply offensively. It of course wasn’t meant to be.
          And, please do listen to songs of S D Batish. For me at least, the songs are fantastic!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Anup,
    I admire your painstaking work in writing this series. I was happy to find three names who can be included in ‘lesser known’ or even ‘unknown’ -Vedpal Verma, Premnath Wadhva (so you are confirming he is not the actor Premnath of ‘Barsat’ etc?) and K Mahavir (though I had heard the song ‘Aankh se aankh milata hai koi’. Good work.


    1. Thank you AKji.
      Yes, the music director Premnath Wadhva is different from the actor Premnath.
      I gathered the info about him, from Arunkumar Deshmukh’s book. So I thanked him for the same in the end of the post.
      I couldn’t get much info about K Mahavir, though his songs are outstanding.


  2. @Anupji: Since WordPress didn’t allow me to respond to your earlier comment in the same thread, I’m replying here. No need to apologise: I hadn’t taken offence! I was just clarifying. 🙂


      1. Dear Anup ji,

        Chivalry is not dead. It is good manners to apologise lest you hurt someone’s feelings, more so a Lady’s. Pl bear in mind “Behind every angry woman stands a man who has absolutely no idea of what he did wrong” 🙂 (Just kidding).

        Very well written again. Some more names which I am sure will be in your future lists : DHANIRAM, SAJJAD HUSSAIN, AZIZ KHAN and MANNA DEY to name a few.

        With warmest regards



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