(Part 4) Lata – Non Film Songs

I today present the last part of the series dedicated to non-film songs (NFS) by Lata Mangeshkar. This part will focus on the late 90s to the present times (1996 onwards).

lata 41

I know very few readers would be interested in this part. But nevertheless my enthusiasm is the same. This part also has a mixed bag of songs, devotional, patriotic, romantic, ghazals, etc. Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Mayuresh Pai are the prominent composers for this post, though there are songs composed by other composers as well, including Uttam Singh, Aadesh Shrivastava, Jagjit Singh.
Lata Mangeshkar has sung Gayatri Mantra and Namokar Mahamatra. But those shouldn’t be taken as songs as such, I have included the links here itself.

Let’s start the list without further ado.

1. Saare Jahan Se Achchha – (1996) Lata Mangeshkar / Pandit Ravi Shankar – Mohammad Iqbal
The popularity of the song has paralleled the Indian National anthem. It was written in the first decade of the 20th century (1904) by the popular Urdu poet, Mohammad Iqbal. The song was originally composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar. As per Ravi Shankar’s biography, he composed a slow mournful tune for the poem when he joined IPTA. But he later composed a brighter tune in 1945 which gathered wide popularity and acceptance. It was recorded in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice very much later. The marching band tune was officially adopted by the Indian Armed Forces as well. The tune is full of vigour and exudes energy and enthusiasm.

2. Pyar Karen Sab Sai Se – Om Sai Ram (1997) Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus / Uttam Singh – Manoj Kumar
I remember the song very well, as the one Bhajan with English words. The tune is very catchy. The video of the song featuring Jayaprada was also popular. The video was actually a short version of the song. The link added below has the full song.

Before I move on to the next song, I will highlight the composer, Ranjit Barot. And I confess, I hadn’t known much about him either. He might be known to a few of us as an assistant and arranger to A R Rahman. He is the son of the renowned Kathak dancer Sitara Devi.

Ranjit Barot

He started as an arranger in films in the late 80s and soon worked with all the stalwarts of the era, continuing the journey with the present day composers. He was associated with A R Rahman for a few of his prominent films. He also has his own state of the art studio, which allowed him to be a part of a number of music albums in Hindi and other languages. His collaboration with Zakir Hussain for his live shows is another feather in his cap, as is his work with other international music stars.
He has composed background score for a number of bollywood films and also composed songs for a few films, including Oh Darling Yeh Hai India, to Qayamat, Acid Factory and Sankat City etc. He also has adorned a few Hindi film songs as a playback singer. Such a multi faceted artist he is! The next song is from his album, Vande Matram 2.

3. Ehsaas Thoda To Jagaye – Vande Matram 2 (1998) Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus / Ranjit Barot – Mehboob
The song borrows the opening lines of the poem, Vande Matram, by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee which was set to a tune by Hemant Kumar for the film Anand Math (1952). The original song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar. The additional lyrics by Mehboob are inspiring too. The album had six songs. A couple of songs by Lata Mangeshkar, a couple of songs by Shubha Mudgal and one song each by Koushiki Chakraborty and Ustad Saddiq Khan.

4. Tum Se Milkar – Dil Kahin Hosh Kahin (2000) / Lata Mangeshkar / Aadesh Shrivastava – Nida Fazli
The title track of the album was released with a video and was very popular those days. Lata Mangeshkar had a couple of songs, a trio with Asha Bhosle and Jagjit Singh which was more popular than her solo. I’ve added the latter to today’s list. It’s a soulful song sung well by Lata Mangeshkar.
The album had other songs by Asha Bhosle, Jagjit Singh, Kumar Sanu, Sabri brothers and Alka Yagnik.

Lata Mangeshkar sang Meerabai bhajans, Bhajans by Surdas and Kabir right from the 50s. Most of these bhajans were set to tune by Hridaynath Mangeshkar. In 2001 he composed a fresh set of bhajans by Sant Kabir, Surdas and Meerabai once again. I must confess, I hadn’t heard any song from the album before. And when I listened to the songs for the first time, my brain compared those songs with the earlier ones in the 50s and the 60s. The tunes this time were a bit slow paced. When I heard the songs at leisure I realised how good the songs are! So here I’m with three songs from the album, ‘Meera Sur Kabeera’ which was released in 2001.

5. Ab Main Nachyo Thakyo – Meera Sur Kabeera (2001) Lata Mangeshkar / Hridaynath Mangeshkar – Surdas
When I heard the full song, I was tearful. We really act so proud and snobbish. This bhajan was translated by G D Madgulkar (ग दि माडगूळकर) for a Marathi film, जगाच्या पाठीवर, and it was set to tune by Sudhir Phadke, sung excellently by Asha Bhosle.

6. Aare Dil Mere Mann – Meera Sur Kabeera (2001) Lata Mangeshkar / Hridaynath Mangeshkar – Sant Kabir
A journey of a human being in a simplified way. You come alone, stay with people only to die all alone. Beautiful expressions, good tune.

7. Tohi Mori Lagan Lagaye Re – Meera Sur Kabeera (2001) Lata Mangeshkar / Hridaynath Mangeshkar – Meerabai
Beautiful orchestration with beautiful singing.

Now, we will listen to Mayuresh Pai’s songs, for the first time in the series. I was very curious about this composer. Because he is the one to record the maximum number of songs by Lata Mangeshkar in the last decade.

mayuresh pai

His first album with Lata Mangeshkar was Mere Sai which was released in 2004. I’m adding the title track of the album here. Over the last and current decades, he composed for 13 albums (Hindi, Marathi and other) in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice. Their tuning is very good and he has composed a few film songs for Lata Mangeshkar. Mayuresh Pai is also the CEO of LM Music, Lata Mangeshkar’s own label. It was initiated as a platform for young talents in the field of music, and equipped with a studio.
Their second venture together was the album Antarnaad where he set six poems to a tune by former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Mayuresh Pai has taken care to avoid noisy orchestration and has allowed the words to breathe and speak for themselves. At times the tune and orchestration overpower the lyrics, but not in this album. The tunes are simple, and Lata Mangeshkar’s voice, though in mid seventies, expresses every minute detail of emotions. She makes the words come alive. I’ve chosen a couple of songs, though all the six songs are worth listening to.

8. Geet Naya Gaata Hoon – Antarnaad (2004) Lata Mangeshkar / Mayuresh Pai – Atal Bihari Vajpayee
A song full of optimism. Very good lyrics woven in a simple tune.

9. Aao Man Ki Gaathen Khole – Antarnaad (2004) Lata Mangeshkar / Mayuresh Pai – Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Atalji described his home and village and his childhood in the song. With Lata’s alchemy touch, all of it comes live.

Saadgi was an album of 8 songs, composed by Mayuresh Pai, sung by Lata Mangeshkar. There were Javed Akhtar, Farhat Sahzad, Meraz Faizabadi, and Chandrashekhar Sanekar. I wanted to add a couple of songs from the album, but ended up with a single. Here it is,

10. Mujhe Khabar Thi – Saadgi (2007) Lata Mangeshkar / Mayuresh Pai – Farat Sahzad
A poignant song, sung with apt expressions. The style of composing reminded me of Jagjit Singh. Though I didn’t like the concept in the video (sacrifice and all), I did enjoy the audio.

11. Shri Hanuman Chalisa – Bajrang Baan (2009) Lata Mangeshkar / Mayuresh Pai – Traditional Lyrics
A divine recitation of Hanuman Chalisa.

12. Tera Milna Bahut Achha Lage Hai – Sarhadein (2011) Lata Mangeshkar & Mehdi Hasan / Mehdi Hasan – Farat Sahzad
It’s their only duet. Due to Hasan’s frail health, they couldn’t sing together. But he composed and recorded his own part. Lata Mangeshkar added her part later.

13. Ranjhan Rawal Mange – Ya Rabba (2014) Lata Mangeshkar / Baiju Mangeshkar – Shah Hussein
The song was composed by her nephew, Vaijanath aka Baiju Mangeshkar. The song was written by 16th century Punjabi Muslim Sufi poet, Shah Hussein, who is regarded as a pioneer of the Kafi form of Punjabi poetr.

14. Saugandh Mujhe Is Mitti Ki (2019) Lata Mangeshkar & Chorus / Mayuresh Pai – Prasoon Joshi
Our beloved Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi is fond of the song and he used to mention it. The song ignites strong emotions of patriotism.

And to end the list, a song that was released this year on Lata Mangeshkar’s birthday. It was recorded in the 90s by Vishal Bhardwaj for a film which was shelved. The song was accidentally found on a tape and was revived. It was reorchestrated and released. Lata’s voice sounds fresh and with the fresh musical arrangements, the song captures our mind. It’s so far not included in a movie, though Vishal Bhardwaj has shown an inclination to do so in future. Listen to the sheer melody. A perfect end for my post and the series.

15. Theek Nahi Lagta – Lata Mangeshkar / Vishal Bhardwaj – Gulzar

I end today’s post here and the series as well. I enjoyed this journey of around four months. Throughout the journey, Dr Ravindra Shrikhande helped me arrange the songs in chronological order. He also provided information about composers, lyricists and background of a song etc. whenever I could not get it myself. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for his help. The series was possible because of his help and support.

lata 3NFS

Please add songs to the list.

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.

19 Replies to “(Part 4) Lata – Non Film Songs”

  1. It was wonderful journey of Lata NFS with Anup. I really enjoyed it.
    Information of Pandit Ravishakar as composer of Sare Jahan se accha was new to me. Sharing herewith with an interesting link of Ravishankarji singing that as chorus song.


    1. Thank you so much Ravindraji. Your help was a wonderful support for the series.
      Thanks a lot for the song. The group of singers has Ravi Shankar himself and one more female singer, perhaps Zeenat Begum.


  2. Mayuresh Pai had posted this unreleased song after sad demise of Atalji in 2018. Sharing herewith his post on Facebook

    (ठन गयीं – Unreleased song sung by Lata ji )There are some memories that remain etched in your heart and they become an inspiration for you to keep striving to better yourself.
    I am sharing one such memory. The year was 2004, and I was overwhelmed as I was working with 2 outstanding living legends, Lataji and Atalji. He was a sensitive poet, who connected with the reader on deep levels.
    One such poem of his, that I composed and rendered by Lataji at that time remained unreleased. The reason being, it dealt with a profound subject, namely death. At that time, the general consensus was to not release it. The song remained with me and today it has stirred all my emotions and memories and I am posting it as a salutation to one of the finest leaders and person in contemporary India. His spiritual approach to this only reality of life makes him one of the rarest of rare.
    May his gentle soul attain Sadgati.


      1. Mayuresh Ji,
        Welcome to my blog. I’m so happy you read the post and liked it.
        You’re the most fortunate person to be in touch with the living legend, Lata Mangeshkar. Your songs with Lata ji was an important part of this post.
        Thank you so much for visiting and commenting.


  3. Many many thanks for the write up. I am really very happy and sharing this to Mayureshji. In the album SAADGI, I like this song.. Please listen :

    Thanks to Dr. Ravindra Shrikhande ji for his support.


    1. Thank you Snehasis Ji. I’m glad you liked the post. I’m extremely happy that my posts would reach Mayuresh Pai ji.
      Thanks to you and Dr Shrikhande.
      The songs from Saadgi is amazing. I had chosen this one too, but I thought I would highlight the popular one. So finally settled for Mujhe Khabar Thi
      So very happy to see the song.


  4. Anup,
    I made it a point to read the last part of your series on Lata Mangehkar’s NFS. I didn’t know she was singing well into the 21st century. Two songs in your list are quite good: (i) #3 ‘Ehsaas thoda ho jaye…Vande Mataram’ and (ii) ‘Theek nahin lagta’. It was also intriguing to hear another Hanuman Chalisa, other than the universally known ‘Jai Hanuman gyan gun saagar’.

    But I have to thank you for introducing me to a world I was not familiar with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AKji,
      Thank you for your appreciation. Lata Mangeshkar sang in 21st century as well.
      I too heard the another Hanuman Chalisa for the first time. I wasn’t aware of it. I liked it too.
      Theek nahi lagta was released this year itself, though it was recorded in the 90s. It’s a very good song.
      I’m glad you visited the last part of the series, and I could introduce a few unknown songs to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Comprehensive look at Lataji’s Hindi non-film songs. Interesting and informative.

    In the post-millennium era, Lataji’s ‘Laadli (Raunaq)’ is a song I liked a lot. Written by Kapil Sibbal and composed by A. R. Rahman, Laadli celebrates the girl child.


    1. Dr Mandar Bichu,
      Welcome to Mehfil!
      I know about your books on old Hindi film songs and particularly on Lata Mangeshkar. And I’m aware of your other books pertaining to your speciality, Paediatrics. You have been doing a great job on both the fronts.
      Thanks a lot for adding a beautiful song from 2014. Such a beautifully composed and soulfully rendered. Not to forget great lyrics by Mr Sibal.

      It’s an honour to have you on my blog. A couple of years back, I did a series on Lata Mangeshkar’s association with lesser known composers. You will find a link to the entire series (8 parts covering 110+ composers) in the opening paragraph of the first part on Lata’s NFS. If you get time, please go through it.
      Thank you for visiting, reading and commenting.

      Dr Anup


  6. On Republic day today I am posting herewith national anthem sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Released by Times music in 2007.
    Lataji is in ICU at Breech Candy Hospital, Mumbai. Let’s pray for her speedy recovery.


    1. Happy Republic Day to you.
      And an apt song for the occasion. Thank you for sharing the song.
      Let’s pray for her speedy recovery. I’m sure with every Indian praying for the nightingale, she would be safe.


  7. From album
    Siddhartha : The Lotus Blossom (2013) by Times Music and LM Music
    Music composer – Rajesh Fattesingh Dhabre


  8. I think there has to be a special mention of one of my most favourite compositions of Shri Mayuresh Pai, the beautiful & divine song “Radhe Mohan” sung by Maa Saraswati Lata Mangeshkar & her sister Usha Mangeshkar. Here, I felt Lata was actually speaking to Lord Krishna.
    Thank you for a great collection of her NF songs, though I do know about almost all of them. I would recommend you to start another series of her unreleased songs which are many to enlist and available on YouTube. It would be a good help to the fans of Lata (who is not).

    Liked by 1 person

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