1948 – Lata Mangeshkar

Last month I started the series based on a yearly review of Hindi film songs by Lata Mangeshkar.

Last post wasn’t a planned one and featured her first Hindi film songs as a playback singer. As a result, I missed Lata’s first duet with Rafi, Chal Ho Gayi Taiyar, which was for the film, Shadi Se Pehle, which is credited to Ramakant Paingankar and Karnad. Though it’s not a great song, it has an historical importance of being their first duet for Hindi films. And I also missed Lata’s first song with C Ramchandra, which was Jawani Ki Rail Chali Jaye Re. Lata Mangeshkar was a part of it and Amirbai Karnataki, Chitalkar, Geeta Dutt were the cosingers.

Having set the backlog to zero, let’s hit the topic. My post is based on books by Vishwas Nerurkar ( Gandhar Swaryatra) and Snehasis Chatterjee (Lata – Geetkosh).

The total number of songs sung by Lata Mangeshkar for the year 1948 is 53 including solos (36), duets (15) and other songs (2 trios).
This includes her two unreleased songs, one from Shaheed (Pinjare Mein Bulbul bole – with Madan Mohan by Ghulam Haider) which was not included in the movie and second from Mandir (Lo Woh Aayi Nindariya by Vasant Desai). Also the song, Ae Dil Meri Wafa Mein from Anokha Pyar is counted twice as the film version was recorded with Meena Kapoor while the record version was with Ira Nagrath. Also the duet version of Yaad Rakhna Chand Taaron was not released on 78 rpm record then and was only a film version.
And the duets during this period have also assumed an historical importance. As it was for the first time that Lata Mangeshkar sang duets with some of the other singers. As I’ve highlighted before, she sang her first duet with Rafi in 1947. And in 1948, she sang her first duets with Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Geeta Dutt and G M Durrani. She had sung with Geeta Dutt in 1947, but it wasn’t a duet.

Lata’s singing for Datta Davjekar set off a chain of thoughts among the rest of the composers. Anil Biswas, Khemchand Prakash heard about her from Ghulam Haider. They were impressed with her thin voice which was in complete contrast with the then popular thick, nasal voices. Her dedication, grasping power was also talked about that time among these stalwarts. So it’s not surprising that these three composers are prominent this year.
Ghulam Haider’s forecast about Lata’s bright future and her ruling the world of playback must have taken place during this period. Unfortunately, Ghulam Haider himself could only offer her songs just for a couple of films. He left India after partition and both the films were released later.
Both Anil Biswas and Khemchand Prakash also offered her songs in a couple of films each. And in contrast to the routine trend of offering just a duet or a song to be picturised on a supporting character, both of them gave her a full opportunity to showcase her talent. It was a big risk as far as the budget of the films was concerned. But the period was of utmost instability. Partition and the related migration of artists across the border were the big problems. There was uncertainty in everything. That would also have left an impact on the film industry.
In addition to the three prominent, first rung composers, Hansraj Behl and K Datta also gave her an opportunity. Composers like Premnath, Ramakrishna Shinde, who are now completely forgotten, were also among the ones to offer her songs in the initial years of her career. The upcoming Maharashtrian girl wearing two plaits, having a thin voice was the talk of the town. Every composer was in awe of her voice. It was the beginning of an era. Lata Mangeshkar later had a long association with the majority of the composers, including Anil Biswas, C Ramchandra, Hansraj Behl. The year was actually an important part of her career because it was these songs which spread the magic of her voice. It was initially limited to the inner circle of composers, but it was to extend soon to the entire nation. Glorious years were just at the next turn. She was to conquer the recording rooms soon. And the forthcoming years surely witnessed it. The first generation of playback singers were still very popular though very soon their kingdom was to face a tsunami.

Let’s now get to the song list. Though initially I had thought of selecting five solos and five duets for a post, I soon realised the difficulties I might face in posts of the 50s. So no exact division of songs. I’ll randomly finalise the songs trying to keep the number close to 15. But let’s see.

Without further ado, let me present the songs. I’ve selected 12 songs, a mixed bouquet of solos, duets and other songs. And many of the songs are still very popular.

1. Chanda Re Ja Re Ja Re – Ziddi (1948) / Khemchand Prakash – Prem Dhawan
What a beautiful and innocent song! Perfect for starting today’s list. The song is fresh as a blooming flower, just 74 years old! Lata Mangeshkar sings for Kamini Kaushal, who requests the moon to convey her message to her beloved. She is badly missing him. Lata’s tender voice must have been like a breeze of fresh air. She wasn’t even 20, when she got to sing for the film.

2. Yeh Kaun Aaya Re – Ziddi(1948) with Kishore Kumar / Khemchand Prakash – Prem Dhawan
The story of Kishore Kumar following Lata Mangeshkar on a train to finally come to the recording studio is well known. She had thought of him as a roadside romeo and even complained about him to Khemchand Prakash. The latter resolved the misunderstanding and recorded their first duet. It’s interesting to note that Kishore Kumar sang for Dev Anand, when both of them were newcomers. Later, he became a preferred choice for Dev Anand’s playback. Kishore Kumar sang a solo as well for the movie. If I’m correct, Kishore Kumar sang only these two songs in the year 1948.

It was the composer Ghulam Haider who spotted the potential in Lata Mangeshkar and predicted about her ruling the Hindi film industry in the forthcoming decade. The prediction proved true. Unfortunately Ghulam Haider couldn’t offer her many songs. He went to Pakistan after partition and composed for a few films there.
Majboor was a film by Bombay Talkies and had six songs by Lata Mangeshkar. 3 solos and 3 duets. There was a duet with Mukesh and a couple of duets with Geeta Dutt. Let’s listen to a couple of songs from the movie,

3. Dil Mera Toda O Mujhe Kahin Ka Na Chhoda – Majboor (1948) / Ghulam Haider – Nazim Panipati
It was Lata’s first popular Hindi film song. The song is still popular. And what a beautifully rendered one! Her voice is so tender yet very expressive, full of emotions. One can feel the pain in her voice. Lata Mangeshkar indeed worked very hard, dedicating herself fully to it.

4. Ab Darne Ki Koi Baat Nahi – Majboor (1948) with Mukesh / Ghulam Haider – Nazim Panipati
As I’ve mentioned already, it was Lata’s first duet with Mukesh. Later they sang many songs (close to 155) together. The song celebrated Indian independence after the British left the country. The days of suffering and fear were finally over and the breeze of freedom was to come. As opposed to Lata’s first duet with Rafi, this one is good.

Anil Biswas was also thrilled to hear Lata Mangeshkar. He offered her songs in a couple of films. For Anokha Pyar, she sang for Nalini Jaywant, while Meena Kapoor was Anil da’s choice for Nargis. But during that time, a song used to be recorded twice, once for the movie and then again for the 78 rpm records. However, when the songs were to be done for the 78 rpm records, Meena Kapoor wasn’t available and all the songs were recorded and released in Lata’s voice.

But in the film, she had four solos, and two duets to her credit. The songs, Yaad Rakhna Chand Taaron, Mere Liye Woh Gham e Intezar, Ek Dil Ka Lagana Baqi Tha and Ab Yaad Na Kar Bhool Ja were sung by Meena Kapoor in the film. But the links I’ve added are those of record versions. So I was inclined to select the ones picturised on Nalini Jaywant. Lata’s versions of all the songs are my favourites. And I think it proved advantageous to Lata Mangeshkar, as her songs were played on the radio and on the records.
To make things a little more complicated, I think Yaad Rakhna Chand Taaron has three versions in the movie, as solos of Lata Mangeshkar and Meena Kapoor and as a duet with Mukesh.

5. Mere Phoolon Mein Chhipi Hai Jawani – Anokha Pyar (1948) / Anil Biswas – Behzad Lukhnavi
The film opens with this beautiful song picturised on Nalini Jaywant. She plays an innocent flower seller girl. The innocence in Lata’s voice is so cute. I at times feel that Lata’s original songs from Anokha Pyar (the songs of Nalini Jaywant) are sidetracked in comparison to other songs. It’s a bit unfair to the songs, isn’t it?

6. Kab Aaoge Balma – Gajre (1948) / Anil Biswas – G S Nepali
A slow paced song with a deep pathos. Lata Mangeshkar was a newcomer then, but her songs from Gajre are equally enchanting and popular to Suraiya’s songs. In fact, Lata sang five solos while the main lead Suraiya was offered four solos. It underlined that Anil Biswas had equal faith in his new singer. Anil Biswas was the one who was instrumental in Lata’s initial career as a playback singer. He taught her to give equal attention to the diction and pronunciation. He also advised her about breathing techniques. Lata Mangeshkar was a bright student, she imbibed all the things and implemented them immediately.
It is said that Raj Kapoor was present during its recording and so much impressed he was, that he finalized Lata Mangeshkar for his forthcoming film Barsaat. And as they say, the rest is history!

7. Dil e Nashad Ko Jeene Ki Hasrat – Chunariya (1948) / Hansraj Behl – Mulkraj Bhakri
Hansraj Behl was a much underrated composer of the golden era of HFM. He had been active since 1946 and was still finding his feet. He must have noted a spark in Lata Mangeshkar, so he offered her songs in Chunariya. Lata’s tender voice sounds like a teenager, but look at the expressions. Perfect!
Behl composed the Ghazal with much passion and the song is now considered iconic.

8. Dilwalon Dilon Ka Khel – Meri Kahani (1948) / K Datta – Wahid Qureshi
K Datta had completely lost his charm when Noorjahan migrated to Pakistan after the partition. But when he reentered Hindi films, he found a superb voice of Lata Mangeshkar. K Datta also had his share in shaping up Lata’s career. Lata used to mention his emphasis on correct pronunciation of Urdu words. After offering her a couple of songs in Meri Kahani, she was soon an inseparable part of his songs. And just look at this song! Have you ever heard more innocence in anyone’s rendition?

We have four of lesser known composers in this part, and all of them have featured on my series on Lata’s association with lesser known composers. Still I am going to add a couple of songs.

9. Khamosh Fasana Hai – Heer Ranjha (1948) with G M Durrani / Aziz Khan – Wali Saheb
This was her first duet with G M Durrani. Her voice sounds very different in the song. She sounds slightly breathless in the fast paced song. I didn’t like the song initially, but it grew on me. I hadn’t given much attention to it before. A very cute conversation between the lovers is captured in the song. She had a couple of solos and one duet in the movie. Durrani was already an established singer. It is said that he used to make fun of Lata’s simple attire, which used to irritate her. Lata wasn’t very comfortable with him and used to avoid singing with him.
The film had a total of 11 songs, composed by three music directors. The duo Verma ji – Sharma ji had six songs (none by Lata Mangeshkar) while Aziz Khan had five songs including Lata’s three songs. Sharma ji was none other than Khayyam.

Premnath was born in Punjab and had formal training in music. He acted and sang as well before he started composing for films. Starting his career with Rangbhumi in 1946, he went on to compose for eight more films, none of which were popular. Chand Sitare was his only film with Lata Mangeshkar. She sang four solos for the movie. I’ll present one of the songs,

10. Jab Dil Mein Tere Dard Ho – Chand Sitare (1948) / Premnath – Ishwar Chandra Kapoor
Adopting a characteristic Punjabi style, the song describes ‘The signs and symptoms’ of falling in love. Lata’s voice sounds so different, but perhaps it’s due to poor audio quality. 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. I had selected the same song for one of the earlier lists, but couldn’t help adding it again on today’s list.

Now let me present Lata Mangeshkar’s last recording for Ghulam Haider. It was actually recorded for another movie, Mehendi, but later was included in the movie, Padmini. It was her only song for the movie. She had also recorded a duet with Madan Mohan for the film Shaheed. But it was neither included in the movie nor its record was released.

11. Bedard Tere Dard Ko – Padmini (1948) / Ghulam Haider – Wali Saheb
What a power-packed voice Lata had! See what wonders her so-called ‘thin’ voice created! The song starts with a melancholy mood where the lady is in deep anguish. Later she tries to soothe herself and adjust with the circumstances and finally she is ready to take extreme steps for his satisfaction. Lata’s voice captures the nuances very well.

12. O Gori O Chhori Kahan Chali – Nadiya Ke Paar (1948) with Chitalkar / C Ramchandra – Moti
Lata Mangeshkar’s first duet with Chitalkar. Later they had a blast with their wonderful peppy duets. It was also Lata’s first duet under his baton. So far she had only trios to her credit. Lalita Deulkar was the main singer of the movie, though Shamshad Begum and Surinder Kaur had their shares too. Lata’s duet, as expected, was picturised on supporting characters. She was a newcomer afterall. She had no solos in 1948 for C Ramchandra. The scenario had a complete turnover the next year. But let’s consider it later.

Bonus track
And to end the list, I’m presenting a fun qawwali styled composition. After singing a trio in Shehnai, C Ramchandra again offered her a couple of trios in Khidki. C Ramchandra’s favourite Shamshad Begum was the main singer of the movie. Lata Mangeshkar sang the first trio with Geeta Dutt and Chitalkar himself. The song had a mixed mood. Geeta Dutt sang the sad part, while Lata Mangeshkar and Chitalkar sang in a happy mood.

§§ Khushiyan Manaye Kyon Na Hum – Khidki (1948) with Shamshad Begum & Mohantara Talpade / C Ramchandra – P L Santoshi §§
What a delight ! No need to say much, just Enjoy it!

Please add your favourite Lata Mangeshkar song from 1948.

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.

35 Replies to “1948 – Lata Mangeshkar”

  1. Dear Anup ji,

    A slight correction. That Song “Jawani Ki Rail Chali Jaye re” from the 1947 Film “SHEHNAI” is a quintet and there are 5 (five) singers involved. Apart from Chitalkar, the others are AMIRBAI KARNATAKI who sings for Rehana, GEETA ROY who sings for Dulari, LATA who sings for the 3rd sister and last but not the least, there is BINAPANI MUKHERJEE who sings for the 4th sister but she has no independent lines and is part of the Chorus (like Premlata of “Chup Chup Khade Ho” song where she has no independent lines).

    (जवानी की रेल चली जाये रे ……)

    With warm regards



      1. So, just because the Books don’t mention it, that is not Amirbai Karnataki singing for Rehana? Do you trust your eyes or ears?

        With warm regards


        Liked by 1 person

        1. You actually had told about the song in a comment to one of the earlier posts (it was perhaps my Amirbai post). And last year when I presented the train songs month, the song, Jawani Ki Rail was a part of it. There I’ve actually mentioned Amirbai Karnataki. And when I listened to it again,
          neither Geeta Dutt nor Lata Mangeshkar sing for Rehana. And it sounds like Amirbai. I’ll make the necessary changes in the write-up. And I agree, I should trust my ears.
          But I wonder why Amirbai’s name is not mentioned in the book?


          1. Dear Anup ji,

            Moral of the Story – do not blindly believe what someone writes. I could write a Book on the goof-ups made by YouTube uploader named “Mastqalandr”. He picks whichever name he likes from the Cast and gives their names as the Actors shown in the Song. Don’t believe me? Just watch/listen to this Song from the 1953 Film “AAS” :

            (चाहे नैना चुराओ चाहे दामन बचाओ …)

            It is a nice duet so you may like to see the entire song. But if you fast forward to 2:01, the names of the Actors are given as CHANDA BAI and OM PRAKASH ! Does that guy even look like Om Prakash? Incidentally, Chanda Bai was an elderly lady playing one of the negative characters in the Film. But our friend MQ just mentions whoever he likes. And he does not stop at that. He refuses to listen to Viewers who correct him. His word is Final! There are many other examples of MQ’s stubbornness. As I said, I could write a Book about him.

            With warm regards

            PARTHA CHANDA

            PS : For your information, the actual Actors are SK PREM, who, like Kader Khan and Prem Dhawan, also wrote Dialogues and Screenplay. The lady is SHAHIDA who went on to become Mrs. Jani Babu Qawwal in real life.


  2. Lovely selection. Hats off. Please mention my book Lata Geetkosh with my name, if possible.

    Thanks a lot again for splendid writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Snehasis Chatterjee ji,
      I have of course already included your name. But the book of the name was not mentioned. I’ve updated the post. It’s because of the stupendous work that Lata fans like you have done so far that I am able to write such posts.
      Thank you so much.


  3. I would like to add one song from 1948 movie Nazraana, sung by Lataji and composed by C Ramchandra. “pyaasi hi reh gayin piyaa milan ko
    ankhiyaan raam ji, kya soch ke banaayi tum ne duniyaa raam ji” penned by Gopal Singh Nepali. Fantastic song by Lata’s unusual childlike voice. Love it.


    1. Ketaki ji,
      There’s a problem at times as to the year, a film is popular with. For example the film, Mahal was actually released in 1950, but censor certified in 1949. So it is popularly known to be a 1949 film.
      It was perhaps the same thing that has happened to this film, Nazarana. It’s mentioned as a 1949 movie and both the books I referred to, have not mentioned it in 1948.
      P S – as per Partha ji’s comment, the film was never released.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anupji
    You have started 26+ miles marathon. Around 400 + songs are awaited including some rich comments and additions. Still it will be just a tip of an iceberg , but wonderful journey down the memory lane !
    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anup Phadke Ji….

    Though we were not PRESENT at that time…

    पूरा मंझर नझर आता है….

    Whenever I listen to these VINTAGE SONGS I try to analyse how DIDI might have presented herself infront of the Mike.

    How she earned her reputation etc…
    And here you are BRINGING the whole situation in front of our eyes….

    Marvelous… Mangeshkar


    Equally marvelous is your post…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Purushottam Ji,
      Welcome to Mehfil!
      And thank you so much for your appreciation.
      I’m glad I could bring it all in front of your eyes.
      It’s really interesting to imagine how Lata didi presented herself in front of the mike. How she thought about a song?
      I hope you continue visiting the blog and commenting.


  6. Dear Anup ji,

    The Film ASHA (1948) had 5 songs by Lata ji. You may like this where she sings accompanied by a chorus

    (सजना रे तोरी कौन डगरिया ….)

    With warm regards


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anup,
    It is very nice review of Lata Mangeshkar’s songs in 1948. This was the first year in which she gave some immortal songs. In subsequent years it would become second nature for her, singing immortal songs in several dozens.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dear Anup ji,

    I recall having read somewhere that in his initial films, HANSRAJ BEHL was hesitant about using Lata’s voice as he found it too shrill. He preferred the accepted voices of Shamshad, Geeta and Hamida Banu.

    He decided to use her voice on a trial basis in a Punjabi Film “LACCHI”. The Songs were runaway hits in Punjab and there was no looking back after this. Lata was christened as “Saraswati” and became a permanent member of the Hansraj Behl Team. Unfortunately, the Film “LACHHI” got held up due to certain reasons and was released after “CHUNARIYA”. Technically, this duet and solo from “LACHHI” would be Lata ji’s first songs for HANSRAJ BEHL.

    With warm regards


    Liked by 1 person

  9. Anup ji ,
    Well begun is half done .. gr8 post .
    It will b a wonderful feast for all लताप्रेमी कानसेन pple if U carry on the Lata series like this .
    I am pretty curious about the 2 unreleased songs from शहीद ( with Madan Mohan ) nd मंदिर .

    Ur selection nd narration of songs is praiseworthy .

    It was just the second year in Lata’s career nd in many songs she had मार डाला all other singers .

    Like Ravindra ji , I also give U best wishes nd lots of blessings for this musical marathon .

    Looking forward for the next year .. 1949
    गाए लता गाए लता …

    Thnx a lot for this series .
    Pramod Godbole .

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dr. Anup,

    An excellent writeup on Lata’s journey in 1948.
    You have taken up a tremendous assignment of providing us an yearly review of her songs! Looking forward
    It is interesting to see our her output increased in one year. In 1949, she has sung over 100 songs. From then on, one is spoilt for choice!

    I have one question about the two books on which your information is based.
    You have mentioned 36 solos and 15 duets.
    I have Vishwas Nerurkar’s Gandhar SwarYatra and as per the book, there are 39 solos and 13 duets. It includes 7 solos for Anokha Pyar (including the record version ones).
    Are the numbers and songs different in both the books?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr Rajesh,
      Thank you for your appreciation. I know 1949 onwards, the journey is going to be difficult. But I’ll do it.
      The number I mentioned are as per Snehasis Chatterjee’s book – Lata Geet Kosh.
      The Mere Laal song that you have added is counted as a duet with Mohantara Talpade in Snehasis Chatterjee’s book. So there’s a difference.
      But the link you’ve added gives it as a solo. And after listening to the song, I think it’s a not a solo. But a duet. Another female voice opens the song and then Lata Mangeshkar enters on the line, Dil Ko Lubhane Wala Ho.
      In first antara as well, Lata Mangeshkar opens it, and another female voice enters at the end of the verse.
      That’s what is my observation.



      1. Thanks for the information. This is interesting.
        I didn’t realize that it is a duet though the voice sounded different.
        Even HFGK mentioned it as a solo.

        Yes, no encyclopedia or Kosh can be considered 100% perfect but each one is tremendous appreciable effort.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Adding one of her1948 songs which I like from Mere Lal. Her voice sounds so different here.
    There is also one version sung by Mohantara Talpade
    Composed by S. Purushottam and written by Mahipal –
    Hamara ghar ban jaye mehelon se pyara


    1. Dr Rajesh,
      Thank you for adding the song. There’s a version by Mohantara Talpade. Here it is,

      If we look at her pronunciation of the word, ‘Jaye’ in mukhada, then she is not the one to accompany Lata Mangeshkar in the song link I’ve added in my previous comment.
      I don’t know what to say!
      I couldn’t come to a conclusion.


  12. Thank you for this list. Your curation makes the task of listening through Lata ji’s many songs a little more approachable!

    I cannot recall having heard “Kab Aaoge”–what a glorious song. I think the one that most surprised me, though, was “Khamosh Fasanta Hai.” As you point out, neither singer is in their best voice there. Aziz Khan has written such interesting and unusual melodies for it–not merely for the vocalists, but in the instrumental sections as well. I have listened to it a few times over now and still find it engaging, despite the imperfections of the recording/performance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelomit,
      You’re most welcome! I’m glad I’m making your task of listening to Lata’s songs a little easier. 🙂
      I too wasn’t aware of the song Khamosh Fasana Hai. And didn’t particularly like it at first. But as you pointed out, the orchestration is good. The interludes, and other musical arrangement are good too.
      I’ll be coming up with the next part, 1949 songs soon.

      Liked by 1 person

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