I was thinking about a post on Talat Mahmood songs for a long time. The singer was crowned as a King of Ghazals, with a number of soulful ghazals, both film and non film, to his credit. His expressive voice with its characteristic quiver was actually very apt for such songs. Though he has sung songs of all genres, including classical based songs as well, he is remembered mainly for his mournful songs.
It seems as if he hasn’t sung songs with a happy mood. I know he hasn’t sung chirpy, crispy, naughty songs like Kishore Kumar. But why not remember him on his death anniversary with his cheerful songs. And it took some time to search for such songs. I think the list would include romantic songs mainly, though I hope to get other types of songs too. Because such songs are relatively less in number than his sad songs, I allowed myself to include solos and duets mainly, though I decided to include songs with more than two singers, if any. It’s not that the songs should be jazzy, or have catchy rhythms, but it should spread pure joy and happiness and by God we need a bit of happiness in our lives right now. If it makes you tap your feet and dance, that’s a bonus. Although you may come across a slow paced happy song, it should make you smile. I wonder if I would find a funny song?
I’m much in love with his songs from the 1950s and early 1960s. Somehow his voice was not the same later. There was an excessive quiver, he sounded much strained and tired. Less freshness and liveliness. It’s of course my personal opinion. Talat has said in his interviews that his decision of acting in the films went against his playback career. And there were purposeful rumours about his falling voice quality. It could certainly be one of the reasons for his downfall in the 1960s. The changing trends supported western influence and Talat wasn’t comfortable with it. He slowly faded from the memory of music lovers. In the late 60s and 70s, the scenario further worsened. And when I read Manek Premchand’s book, I felt very bad that Talat wasn’t able to speak well in the last part of his life. He could hardly utter a word or two at the most. That’s such a cruel thing to happen to a man, who’s silken, expressive, tender yet powerful voice was at the top in Hindi films. It sounds so ironic! No one has won against destiny.
Anyways, coming to the topic for today. Have you started thinking about his happy songs? Off hand how many songs did you recollect? Do tell me!
Let’s start the song list. My favourites by Talat Mahmood where he spreads absolute joy and happiness. As usual the songs are in no particular order. I had decided not to repeat the composer, though I couldn’t avoid repeating one composer.
1. Aa Teri Tasveer Banaloon – Naadan (1951) / Chic Chocolate – P L Santoshi
Let me start the journey with one of my absolute favourite Talat solo. Talat’s fresh voice with a very pleasant musical arrangement makes it a audio feast. I think Talat was obviously at home with such songs, but was sort of typecast for sad songs. And by God his voice suits Dev Anand! Such an expressive, velvety smooth, soothing voice. It was so magical!
The song is a visual treat as well. Madhubala looks beautiful (Stating the obvious I know), though Dev Anand looks awkward and uncomfortable. He sings the verses with an empty look on his face. God knows why!
2. Aankhon Mein Masti Sharab Ki – Chhaya (1961) / Salil Choudhari – Rajendra Krishan
I was in love with this song the moment I heard it. Talat’s songs seldom used to be in such a cheerful mood in the 1960s. I don’t think anyone can sing it like him. It feels like being wrapped around in silk. His voice is many times described as velvety. I think if you listen to this you’ll realize why.
The song is in praise of Asha Parekh, who really looks gorgeous. I’m not her fan, but I think the song is tailor made for her.
3. Yeh Hawa Yeh Raat Yeh Chandani – Sangdil (1952) / Sajjad – Rajendra Krishan
It’s a masterpiece! Sajjad, Talat Mahmood and Dilip Kumar make it a great song. Listen carefully, Talat’s silky voice sounds so power packed. Mainly when he sings, ‘तुझे क्या ख़बर हैं ओ बेख़बर’. Wow! A master stroke. Wasn’t he really a genius? Just compare the song with the previous one. Both songs are romantic, both praise the lady, but look at his rendition. His voice is so passionate in this song, and so soothing in the previous!
I was shocked when I realized that the song is picturised on Shammi instead of Madhubala. But I appreciated Shammi in the song. Her sensuous expressions highlight the fact she had totally surrendered herself to Dilip Kumar’s charm. And I guess, she didn’t need to act , it would have happened just naturally.
4. Aha Rimjhim Ke Yeh Pyare Pyare – Usne Kaha Tha (1960) with Lata Mangeshkar / Salil Choudhari – Shailendra
The song featured on one of my earliest cassettes of old Hindi film songs. And I was fascinated with the words, ‘चिकी मिकी’ and the fast rhythmic tune by Salil Choudhari. Later I realized the joy of listening to the singers’ absolutely fantastic performances. Talat in his usual shaky soft voice and Lata Mangeshkar in her delightfully sweet voice, literally create an atmosphere of a drizzling rainy night. And I discovered later that the words चिकी मिकी sound much sweeter in their voices.
5. Yeh Khushi Ka Sama – Diwali Ki Raat (1956) / Snehal Bhatkar – Naqsh Lyallpuri
Talat sang and acted in the movie. I think we are not much used to listening to such fast paced numbers by Talat. Nor anyone will associate the song with Snehal Bhatkar. But both of them came together to offer us a melodious song with western influence.
6. Tum Ko Fursat Ho – Bewafa (1952) / A R Qureshi – Sarshar Sailani
Even though Mukesh was an obvious choice for Raj Kapoor in the period, A R Qureshi offered all the songs to Talat Mahmood. Talat’s voice of course suited Raj Kapoor perfectly. Nargis in a swimming pool, listening to the song and wondering where’s the voice coming from?
Talat’s calm and composed voice adds a carefree spirit to the song.
7. Nain Mile Nain Hue Baware – Tarana (1950) with Lata Mangeshkar / Anil Biswas – Prem Dhawan
One of my favourite romantic Hindi film songs. The love is creating magic, they are coming closer. What a great tune and expressions.
Their on screen chemistry is superb. Just look at Madhubala’s eyes. She doesn’t need to utter a single word! I guess their love story was in full bloom during the film. She looks even more beautiful than ever when she looks at him and smiles.
8. Main Dil Hoon Ek Armaan Bhara – Anhonee (1952) / Roshan – Satyendra Athaiya
I think the song would rank among his best songs and a must song for a piano list as well. His affirmative and assuring voice helps highlight the meaning of the song many folds. Though it may not compel us to dance, it’s certainly cheerful and brings a smile on our lips. It certainly has the effect on Nargis, who instantly falls in love with him.
Raj Kapoor singing on a piano on the occasion of Nargis’s birthday. He sings praising her beauty, but doesn’t forget to mention about his self esteem and mortal nature of materialistic things.
9. Sach Bata Tu Mujh Pe Fida – Sone Ki Chidiya (1958) with Asha Bhosle / O P Nayyar – Sahir
The song needs somewhat naughty expressions and Talat tries to justice with it. Asha’s fresh voice and catchy rhythm offer an overall freshness and liveliness to the song. Though I like the song a lot and hence it’s on the list, Asha Bhosle has overpowered Talat. The latter doesn’t sound comfortable with it, perhaps that’s why he has only one stanza, whereas Asha has two. I had a couple of choices for this position. The second song, ‘Humen Haal e Dil Tumse Kehna hai’ was there on one of my previous lists. So I decided to go for the song that hasn’t appeared on the blog.
10. Man Dheere Dheere Gaye Re – Maalik (1958) with Suraiya / Ghulam Mohammad – Shakeel Badayuni
Ghulam Mohammad offered Talat some of his best songs. Though the majority are sad ones, they managed to record a few happy songs too. The rhythm of Chinese Blocks makes it a catchy cheerful song. The couple is so happy, they can’t do anything else but sing. The lyrics are not so impressive, but still the song captures attention. Thanks to Talat and Suraiya, and equal thanks to Ghulam Mohd.
11. Mere Naghmon Mein Un Mastana Aankhon Ki – Alif Laila (1953) / Shyam Sunder – Sahir
What a great romantic song! Talat used to sing solos for the leading men in the early 1950s under the majority of composers. He has sung the song very well, with apt expressions and cheerfulness.
I watched the video of the song today for the first time. I imagined it as a romantic mehfil song, the hero admiring his beloved from the corners of his eye. And she would either be angry or very shy and unable to even look at him. But alas! I couldn’t even identify the actor, not that I mind!
12. Bechain Nazar Betaab Jigar – Yasmin (1955) / C Ramchandra – Jaan Nisar Akhtar
The situation in the song goes like this. Ahmed (Suresh) and Yasmin (Vaijayanti Mala) meet and get attracted to each other. He is completely mesmerised by her charming beauty and dance. They start dating and fall in love. He is eagerly awaiting her as promised. He is in seventh heaven and feels the world is full of blossoming flowers and romance. The song has unmistakable Arabian flavour, the Mandolin creates that atmosphere perfectly. Talat sang all the songs for the movie and has excelled in all. It is the liveliness and freshness, which I miss in his songs of the late 60s.
The song has already featured on my Jaan Nisar Akhtar song list. But I couldn’t resist reposting it on today’s list.
13. O Arabpati Ki Chhori – Makkhi Choos (1956) with Geeta Dutt / Vinod – Pandit Indra Chandra
It’s a light-hearted song, Shyama and Mahipal cheerfully singing and enjoying. It was a surprise to see Mahipal in a suit, we are so used to his costume dramas. His facial expressions however suit more to a mythological film. Geeta Dutt carries the song delightfully well. Talat tries to suit the song, but I think he falls short of expectations. Still the song overall entertains us.
14. Tum To Dil Ke Taar Chhedkar – Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1961) / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
It’s my absolute favourite song. The mandolin and accordion sound so dreamily romantic. Talat has sung it extremely well, such a delightful song. It is romantic, it teases the heroine, it expresses longing for her, it praises her too! The end result of it is an excellent and melodious song, making us smile throughout. It spreads happiness and positivity.
15. Maze Udalo Duniya Walon – Hamari Shan (1951) with G M Durrani & Kishore Kumar / Chitragupta – Anjum Jaipuri
And, to end the list, here I’m with a fun song. Talat sings his lines well, though not as comfortably as his companions. Kishore Kumar and Durrani sound natural. But still it’s creditable that Talat sang it in the beginning of his career. If he would have sung more songs of such kind, he would have mastered it too. I think he tried it once more in Baarish with the song, Surat Ho To Aisi Ho. (https://youtu.be/KOQku0JMfSA)
Would you like to add a song?
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