Remembering Talat Mahmood

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. (

Would you like to add a song?

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.

31 Replies to “Remembering Talat Mahmood”

  1. Nice compilation. I shall welcome three more posts, solo songs, duets and Nonfilm songs. Nonfilm songs will explore lesser known composer like V. Balsara, Murli Manohar Swaroop. Khayyam also composed several Nonfilm songs for him.


    1. Thank you Ravindra ji for the appreciation..
      It seems, I am a bit late for the Talat song post. It’s the third year of my blog.
      I am not much aware of his non film songs, though I know a few of them. So it would be interesting to write a post on his non film songs.
      Let me think.


  2. Anup,
    Nice post and very good selection of songs. Some of the songs he has sung in his typical pathos-filled voice, such as ‘Ye hawa ye raat ye chandani’. He needed the voice of a lady to come out of his shell, in fact his duet partner would pull the song to make it breezy. The duets in your post sound more peppy. My first post on him long ago was about his atypical duets under the sub-heading ‘Breaking the image-trap’.



    1. Thank you Akji for the appreciation.

      “He needed the voice of a lady to come out of his shell, in fact his duet partner would pull the song to make it breezy.”

      Oh! You have put it so well. It’s literally true. As I was looking only for happy or romantic songs, I mainly looked for them.
      And, I went through your old post. It’s fabulous.


  3. This is such a lovely list. Talat is one of my top favourites, and these songs were such a pleasure to listen to! Mahipal in a suit was also a revelation. 😉

    Here is one of my favourite light-hearted Talat songs, from my favourite movie of the ones Talat acted in. From Lala Rukh, Pyaas kuchh aur bhi bhadka di. Romantic rather than funny, but I think it’s really flirty.


    1. Thank you Madhuji. I am so happy you liked the post.
      Pyaas kuchh aur bhi bhadka di is such an excellent song. It’s flirty, and much in contrast with Talat’s usual soulful songs.
      I didn’t include it as it was there on my Kaifi Azmi post. But It’s my absolute favourite. I am very glad to see it in the comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gr8 tribute !!!
    The theme of selecting songs only of happy mood is praiseworthy , especially in this sad , gloomy , dreadful atmosphere in the outside world .

    Njoyed all songs nd analysis of Talat ‘s career .
    The song from रुप की रानी , चोरों का राजा is a pleasant surprise .

    I wud like 2 add 2 songs .
    Madhu ji has added the song of लालारुख , I will go with the other one showing a very handsome Talat .

    ” आना ही पडेगा ssssss ,
    सर इश्क के कदमोंपे झुकाना ही पडेगा
    आना ही पडेगा ”

    Nd as usual , I will grab the opportunity to add a Marathi duet sung by Talat nd Asha ji nd picturised on the beautiful couple Ramesh Deo nd Seema . It is from movie मोलकरीण

    ” हसले आधी कुणी , तू का मी
    होsssss , तू का मी ”

    Now let me forget the current disturbing surrounding
    let me listen nd sing all those Talat songs posted by U .
    Thnx for this treat , Anup ji .
    God bless U !!!


    1. “The theme of selecting songs only of happy mood is praiseworthy , especially in this sad , gloomy , dreadful atmosphere in the outside world “

      That was the whole idea actually. Right from the beginning of the year, there have been stressful events in India and now in the world. So I purposefully selected the happy songs. We always tend to connect Talat with sentimental songs, soulful ghazals.

      Talat looks handsome in the song, Aana Hi Padega, but it’s not a out and out happy song. It has a lining of sadness. There is desperation, helplessness on both the sides.

      हसले आधी कुणी , तू का मी
      is such a cute song, I love it. Thanks for adding it.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and forgot all the worries. That means my intentions are fulfilled.


  5. Anupji,
    A nice and unique theme you have selected. And the selection of songs too was good. I too join you in paying my tributes to Talat Mahood on his 22nd death anniversary.

    I think Salil Choudhry gave him more happy songs than the melancholic ones. You can confirm, since you must have listened to many songs prior to the post. In Chhaya there is a happy version of “Itna Na Mujhse Tu Pyar Badha.”.

    Posting a beautiful romantic song based on a tune from Rabindra Sageet “Jete Jete Ekla Pathe nibechhe bathi”
    Saawan ki raaton mein aaisa bhi hota hai , with Lata Mangeshkar, lyrics Gulzar, music Sali Choudhury, Prem Patra(1962)

    Thanks for the wonderful post.


    1. Thank you Venkataramanji for the appreciation.
      Your comment was in the pending folder, don’t know why!
      I always used to think, why connect Talat with melancholic songs always? It’s so unfair! His happy songs may be lesser in number, but would be enough for a post of course! I’m glad all the readers specially appreciated this fact!

      And, you are absolutely correct about Talat and Salil Choudhari. My original list had four songs of the combo, including the one you added. But I wanted to cover as many composers as I can, so dropped a couple of songs later. I’m so so happy to see the song mentioned in the comments. And, Sadhna looks so stunningly beautiful that I decided to watch the film for my next review. Let’s see when that would be possible.
      Thanks again for visiting and commenting


  6. Great selection. Some I knew, some I didn’t. I would like to add 1-2 more songs. One’s a duet “Nazar utha ke yeh rangeen saman” with Asha Bhosle, film “Ek Saal Pehle (1965)”. It’s an absolute favourite. Another is with Mubarak Begum- “Itne kareeb aake bhi” from Shagoon (1964). And another Marathi one “Yash he amrit zale”. I included in my post on main Hindi singers Marathi songs list. I heard it for the first time then.

    New post on my blog is up. Tried something different. I would like your views.


    1. Thank you Aditiji.
      Thanks for adding the songs, which I like a lot, mainly the Shagoon song. It’s absolutely fabulous. And you did not repeat the composers already covered on the list. The first one is composed by C Arjun most probably and second one by Khayyam of course!
      Let me add the links.

      Nazar utha ke yeh sama

      Itne Qarib Aake Bhi

      And, I watched the Marathi song from Putra Vhava Aisa for the first time.

      Thank you.
      I haven’t yet visited your post, But will do it tomorrow.


  7. Anup ji,
    Thanks for an interesting topic, contrary to popular belief that Talat means sad songs. Ofcourse, his sad songs have their own charm, but his work does not end there only.
    You have also selected good songs. I like the last song No.15 the most.
    Well done.


    1. Thanks a lot Arunji.
      I’m glad you liked it. Song no 15 is apparently the only fun song by Talat, I could find easily. Are there any more?
      Yes, Talat means sad songs is not true. His work doesn’t end there.


    1. Thank you so much Ravindraji,
      You have added the other Salil Choudhari-Talat song that I dropped from my Original list. (read my reply to N Venkataramanji)
      I completely forgot about the Teen Batti Char Rasta song. It’s such a delightful song. Talat sounds so fresh and energetic. Really happy song!
      Thanks for mentioning it Ravindraji. It added yet another uncovered composer, ShivRam Krishna.


  8. In my teens I was attracted to Talat Mahmood songs and because of it my interest in hindi film songs grew manyfold. With little sources in the casette days I purchased all the casettes released and later on converted them into mp3 and built my list. Subsequently it fanned out to cover the entire gamut of hindi film songs of yesteryears.
    Talat Mahmood did not have enough voice to cover higher octaves like Mohammad Rafi, but his silken voice made up for it. In fact Anil Biswas recognised his unique identity and gave him a break in Arzoo.
    I give below a song from Parchain, an absolute delight in raga Bageswari, a favourite of C Ramchandra

    Mohabbat hee na samjhe –
    This song is unique because the interludes and antara are not at all similar as is usual in most of the Hindi songs.


    1. Yes, Talat Mahmood had a different image than his contemporaries. While a number of fans liked his sentimental ghazals, his happy songs were always pushed to a backseat. I wanted to highlight his happy songs and how wonderful he was in those songs as well!
      And, so though I like Mohabbat Hi Na Jo Samajhe a lot, I didn’t include it on the list.
      Bageshwari was C Ramchandra’s favourite, as you have rightly said. He had a number of songs in Bageshwari, including the very popular, Radha Na Bole from Azad.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting Ranganji.


      1. There is another Bageswari song in Anarkali – a duet of Hemantda and Lata Mangeshkar
        Jaag dard ishq jaag.
        What about Jalthein hai jiskeliye. May not qualify as happy as Nutan was literally weeping at the other end of the telephone.
        O.P. Nayyar’s Sone ki Chidiya – a duet
        Pyar par basthno nahin


        1. Yes,
          I have no knowledge of Indian classical music and various raagas. So I can’t identify a Raag. But as you are an expert, you can identify a raag.
          I had thought of Jalte Hai Jiske Liye, but then Nutan’s crying disqualified it.
          But, I think Sone Ki Chidiya song does qualify,
          The second verse does have a different touch to it, he is apprehensive about his future, but in all it is not out and out melancholy. So it fits.

          Pyar Par Bas To Nahi Hai


          1. Sajjad Hussain was an obsessionist with perfection. Talat Mahmood whom he called Galat Mahmood had to rehearse 17 times before the song from the film Sangdil – Yey hawa yeh raat was finalised. Even then M.D. commented that one of the instrumentalist had played a note wrong.
            The duet ‘Dil me sama’ is an all time great.


          2. Yes, Sajjad was obsessed with perfection. He could never believe anyone. That’s why he never had any assistant. In a way that shows his genius, does it not?
            Thanks for sharing the wonderful duet, its one of my favourites.
            And, thanks for sharing the trivia about Yeh Hawa Yeh Raat Yeh Chandani.
            But, how can anyone call talat, galat? It is also said that he used to call Geeta dutt by some other name?
            If I remember correctly, you wrote a post on SoY about Sajjad. It was a thorough post, most insightful and informative. What do you think about the rumours about Sajjad calling the singers by other names? Could it be true or just another story about the legend?
            He used to believe only in Lata and Noorjahan.


    2. Let me add a fast – paced , happy , romantic Talat with Asha from Meena Kumari – Sajjan starrer movie बहाना

      ” तेरी निगाहोंमें तेरी ही बाँहोंमें
      रहनेको जी चाहता हैं ”


  9. Sajjad called Kishore Kumar Shor Kumar as he was not impressed with his singing and gave music for a film in which Kishore Kumar acted. For all his seriousness, he was also a humorist and I have quoted an instance of the same in my post. Lata Mangeshkar was in awe of him while singing his composition. He had quareled with Dilip Kumar, a lyrist and a few Directors and walked out of two films after compiling a few songs leaving it to others to complete it. He had a thorough grounding of classical music and was an authority in mandolin and trained two of his sons in that instrument.


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