Why do people like, admire, and revere things in life?
Things meaning, it could be anything at all. For instance, it could be a product, a service, a song, a singer’s voice, a painting, a book, a movie, a speech, a leader’s personality, an actor, even an eatable recipe of a meal. Anything at all really…
Why do we like it? Have we ever tried to analyze it?
Well, if we were to ponder deeply, we would realize that people like and admire anything THAT RADIATES TRUTH & PURITY through its persona or through its being! That is a FACT for sure!
We, the PEOPLE, instinctively, on an elemental level, recoil away from an ADULTERATION and IMPURITY! We don’t like it! We sense something WRONG with it. Many a times we may even NOT BE ABLE TO ARTICULATE IT IN WORDS, but all our SENSES & our own very SOUL shall PUSH US AWAY from that latent UNPLEASANT ADULTERATION OR HYPOCRISY.
(Many folks, however, don’t listen to their instincts and inner voice only to repent later)…
Friends, Talat Mahmood’s silken voice had the same ring of TRUTH & PURITY to it and that attracted the MUSIC CONNOISSEURS to it like a POT of HONEY would attract a swarm of BEES to it.
The years between 50s to Mid 70’ were, without the slightest doubt, the golden era of HINDI CINEMA INDUSTRY. (Also called Mumbai Cine Industry or now Bollywood Industry) Virtually in every field, be it Movie Direction, Script Writing, Acting, Music Composition, Lyrics, Singing etc.. In every field it had a genuine quality, in general, that is somehow missing today despite vast improvement in Technology!
So when, after writing on some of my favorite Music Composers, I thought of writing about a Singer; the choice for me was NOT HARD TO MAKE…!
It had to be Talat-Sahib for me.
(There is another reason too. It is virtually impossible to write on Kishore-da, Rafi-Sahab, Lata-didi or Asha-tai in a few page brief articles. Only Talat, Mukesh & Manna-da had created lesser body of work by singing relatively less number of songs in comparisons to say, Kishore-da or Rafi-sahab.
This is not to forget that each one of them was a GENIUS in his or her own right. Writing on Goddesses like Lata & Asha is best left to the professionals of highest repute, only for the obvious reasons. ) 🙂 🙂
Friends, I am a die-hard fan of Talat-Sahab. Somewhere I feel myself deeply indebted to him. His voice has given me immense amount of soulful pleasure in my lonely, melancholy moments and in my happy days too. I am acutely aware of the limitations Talat’s voice has, the limitations of his singing range or even the sublime, pleasant vibrations of his vocal chords, that at times restricted the throw of his voice… I am well familiar with it all.
Yet despite all his so-perceived shortcomings or, perhaps, in-spite of those so-called limitations, he is dear to me like he is to millions of his fans across the world. There is something divine in his voice that brings him closer to us and makes him our soul-buddy.
Just try to recall Dilip Kumar singing “Ai Mere dil Kahin aur chal” (Daag 1952) and we suddenly feel a deep longing for Dilip’s sadness & feel some indescribable closeness with his inner melancholy that he is singing & articulating thru Talat’s silken voice.
I have said this before. Unless forced by my wife (or it used to be by my late mother), I would generally not show willingness to go and visit a TEMPLE. However, if I were to hear Talat’s voice coming over from yonder being played in corner shops radios or in those dingy surrounding of a typical paan-thelas in any nook or corner of INDIA’s bustling streets, I would drop everything I was doing and would stop in my tracks to listen to those divine vocal chords soothing millions of listeners and giving them that soulful pleasure that no amount of money can buy.
For I would always see TRUTH, PURITY & GOD in Talat Sahab’s voice…Where is then need to visit the TEMPLE…?
Let’s, my friends, then take the holy dip in that reservoir of divinity, forget our sorrows & let’s experience that soulful pleasure of Talat’s voice…! Shall we??
The Young Man’s Dilemma:-
Clearly the young and handsome singer was nervous. Cold sweat was discernible on his forehead. For the music director who was guiding him was none other than the very famous, very talented, very powerful Anil Biswas.
The year was 1951, the movie was “Aaram” and the young singer was Talat Mahmood, barely a movie old in the Mumbai Cinema and was desperate to make his mark in play-back singing field. Talat’s first movie “Arzoo (1950)” was a hit and his song“Aye Dil Mujhe Aisi Jagah Le chal” picturised on Dilip Kumar & composed by Anil-da was a super-hit song. (One of my all time Talat favorite).
And, yet, today Anil-da was very, very angry with Talat! He was the one who had found Talat and gave him the break in Arzoo. Yet something was missing in Talat’s voice today. After several retakes, too, Anil da was not satisfied. Talat was just not singing the way he sang in Arzoo.
“What is wrong Talat? This is not the way you sing usually”. Exasperated Anil-da asked Talat.
“Nothing is the matter Anil da.” Talat said in low and dejected voice.
“Well, where are those sublime, subtle vibrations you usually have in your voice when you sing?” Anil-da questioned.
The penny dropped. There were tears in Talat’s eyes! The young man was quivering like jelly.
“Anil-da, others are saying I had to get rid of those vibrations or else it would hurt the RECORDING PROCESS. They are saying it is a DEFECT in my voice”. A forlorn Talat confessed!
Anil-da understood, instantly, the ugly politics behind it. He had seen it all..!
“Let them go to the DOGS” furious Anil-da thundered!
“Remember Talat, Anil-da said to him, you are TALAT MAHMOOD because of that UNIQUE and INIMITABLE subtle tremor in your voice. PEOPLE know you as TALAT MEHMOOD because of only that uniqueness. They like you because of those silken vibrating modulations of your voice…
…Take that differentiating trait away from your voice and there would be DIME-A-DOZEN-TALAT MEHMOODS available in the FILM INDUSTRY.” Anil-da patiently yet firmly explained, to now visibly elated, Talat.
That moment, my friends, was immortal in the history of Hindi Cinema music.
For, then & there Talat Mahmood truly understood the unique gift the GOD ALMIGHTY had bestowed upon him. Never ever, later in his life, Talat tried to copy others or be like others. He was proud of those tiny natural vibrations of his voice now. He understood that it was a DIFFERENTIATOR, in that FILM INDUSTRY’s RAT RACE, that was going to give him his UNIQUENESS.
For that guidance, support, and revelation, Talat remained always indebted to Anil-da for the rest of his life.
On that particular day, however, in the very next take, Talat recorded that gem of a song, now in his typical unique silken voice, “Shukriya aye pyar tera” (Aaram-1951) a lovely sweet melody indeed, which almost didn’t get recorded.
What a TEAM, and what FOLKS they were…!!
The Growing up in Lucknow:-
As youngest of 6 children of Sheikh Manzoor Mahmood, of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, Talat was always a darling of the entire household of Sheikh-Sahab. Since his birth on 24th February, 1924, Talat was doted upon by his parents.
In those days, Talat’ father worked as a body-guard of the Nawab of Lucknow. Later, as his family grew, he decided to start his own business to cope up with the growing financial pressures. It is said that Sheikh Mahmood had a gift of very sweet & natural voice and when in the mood he would sing to the delight of the listeners.
However, as very religious and devout Muslim Sheikh Mahmood deliberately stayed away from pursuing any singing career. He thought it was against his religion. He also tried to imbibe his religious beliefs on his children and tried to bring them up with a certain discipline.
Surprisingly, among all children, only Talat had inherited his father’s sweet vocal chords. Since childhood,Talat would listen to the likes of K L Saigal & would sing his songs in his own sweet voice. Talat’s father would always frown upon his singing habits and would try to dissuade him from pursuing it.
However in later years Talat’s father yielded to boy’s wishes and didn’t press him to give up his singing. Matter of fact, realizing boy’s ardent desire, Sheikh Mahmood, had Talat enrolled in the “Morris Collage of Music”, in Lucknow, famous for its talented and dedicated Music Teachers. Talat loved it and completed his classical music training in 3 years in the collage. He was never inclined towards academics anyways and had already decided to quit the school soon, to focus on his singing career.
Clearly, it was a wise & fateful decision for Talat, and his soon to be millions of music fans!
The Early Struggle:-
In the years of 1939-40, Talat was a young eager lad of 16 wanting to make career in the music. He definitely had a gift of sweet voice and now only he was waiting for an opportunity.
In those days jobs in the musical field were relatively easy and Talat got a job on Lucknow Radio as a singer. In those years he kept on travelling in North India singing at various forums.
Then, in the year of 1942 his stars smiled on him favorably.
In 1942, in Calcutta, he recorded a ghazal “Tasveer teri Dil Mera Behla Na Sakegi” for the recording company HMV. This record was an instant hit. (Even today one can get to hear it and marvel at the beautiful composition, lovely lyrics, and Talat’s youthful sweet voice).
This early success emboldened Talat. He was a fairly handsome chap. He had a good voice and a hit Record at his name. Based on this capital Talat decided to try his luck in the movies as a Lead Star.
It was a big mistake!
Next few years Talat tried acting in Bengali movies but despite his good looks and sweet voice there was one major problem. He simply couldn’t act naturally in front of the camera. He would go thru the motions, but his face would always remain wooden devoid of emotive expressions.
Naturally, the Bengali audience absolutely rejected him as an actor in movies..!
It was the year of 1948-49 and Talat’s career seemed to have met a DEAD END!
The Mumbai Cine Industry:-
By late 40’s Talat Mahmood had become desperate. In his frustration of failing to make any impact in Bengali movies, Talat decided to try his luck in the glam city of Mumbai. Using his Bengali connections he secured some references and came to Mumbai to meet Anil Biswas, another Bengali and now a famous and well established Music Director/ Composer in the Mumbai Cine Industry.
As the story goes, once he received formal invitation from Anil-da for audition, Talat developed cold feet and his nervousness heightened.
In his nervousness, he did unthinkable!
He simply skipped the meeting with Anil da. He was so nervous that at the last moment he simply stayed home and never turned up for the audition. This happened not once but, unbelievably, TWICE! Apparently, some of “Friends” told him stories about how hard it is to do Playback-Singing for movies and also told him how tough taskmaster Anil-da was.
But as the Destiny would have it, Anil-da had heard Talat’s “Tasveer Teri Dil Mera” ghazal and was keen to listen to this new singer from Bengal first hand. He, patiently, thru some of his friends again sent a 3rd message to Talat and invited him for an audition.
This was too much for Talat. He was breaking down under pressure and his own guilty feelings. Somehow he mustered the courage and went for the audition.
“Who do you think you are? K L Saigal? How many times you need an invitation?” Anil-da shouted at Talat the moment he entered the recording room.
“I have a tune composed & ready for you to sing. Start singing now!” Anil-da said impatiently.
Talat, already nervous and under pressure, just wasn’t prepared for such outbursts from Anil-da. He lost his composure and was engulfed by nervousness.
He just couldn’t focus & sing..!
Finally, Anil-da realized Talat’s situation. In much kinder tone, he asked Talat to come back again at later date. But, at the same time warned him, that if he failed to turn up next time in the recording-studio, he might as well pack his bags and go back to Calcutta, for, his career would be finished in the Mumbai.
Talat got the message.
A week later again he went to the studio at the stipulated time and in the very first take recorded the super hit, my all time favorite, very melodious song “Aye Dil Mujhe aisi Jagah Le chal” from movie Arzoo (1950).
That was the start of, glory days to come for, Talat Mehmood in the Hindi-Cine musical world…!
The Glory Years:
After the success of movie Arzoo (1950), Talat–Dilip Kumar combination became a rage. Talat sang for the mega star Dilip Kumar for many films and what melodious songs they were. In movies like Arzoo, Tarana, Babul, Shikast, Sangdil, Footpath, Daag, Devdas etc. Talat-Dilip combination gave several hit and melodious songs.
“Sweetest are the songs that tell Saddest of our Thoughts” said famous poet Shelley.
And this description fitted aptly for Talat-Dilip combination for sure!
Somehow, Dilip’s tragic on-screen characters were just perfect and caught the very essence of the on-screen tragedy.
Such was Dilip’s powerful acting; expressing the melancholy, that the sadness virtually dripped from Dilip’s onscreen-characters and Talat’s voice was very naturally suited for such sad-songs, that Dilip-Talat combination produced, as poet Shelley called it,
“Sweetest of songs that tell Saddest of the feelings”, in Talat’s silken voice.
All these songs are so lovely, so sweet, so soft, so emotional, so soul touching; that even after 60+ years they haven’t lost an iota of their sweetness.
Let’s now take a looks of how every leading Music Composer of that era fell prey to the wiles of Talat’s sweet & honeyed voice. Practically every music composer of the era would turn to Talat’s voice, when he had composed a soulful, emotional, sweet, heart-aching composition.
Take a look at few of these great Music Composers of the era and the songs they composed for Talat:-
Talat – Anil Biswas:-
- Ai Dil Mujhe Aisi Jagah le chal (Arzoo) – Anil da had very cleverly composed this song based on raga Darbari-Kanada. Sheer brilliance & class. Talat’s first ever hit song. Love it even today.
- Ek main hoon ek meri bekasi shaam hai (Tarana) –Words fail to describe the beauty of this composition.Easily an all time favorite Talat composition for any connoisseur.
- Seene mein Sulagte hain Armaan (Tarana) – One of the Finest ever, Talat – Lata duet. Just sheer, utter class. Both are just divine. Just glorious.
- Nain mile nain hue Baanwre (Tarana) – Sheer sweet & magical composition. Talat-Lata
- Tera Khayal Dil se
- Mohabbat tark ki maine
- Dil main Basake” – (All from Do Raha) , These 3 Talat solo’s show the creative genius of Anil Biswas & why from C Ramchandra to Roshan to OP all considered Anil-da as their GURU. Simply out of this world.
- Rahi Matwale”
- Man Dheere Dheere gaye re (Both from Waris- ) – Incidentally Talat had acted as a Hero in this movie. These Talat-Suraiya duets are simply beautiful. Especially the “Rahi Matwale” is a magically sweet composition with clever background score based on Railway Engine’s whistle. Lovely.
- Shukriya ai Pyaar tera – (Aaram) – We have already written on this. Lovely sweet Talat song.
Few words on Anil Biswas before we move forward:-
I am unable to recall the year. Must be 1985-86. A Talat fan and a friend of mine, senior in the age, but an ardent music connoisseur, gave me a cassette of a rather poor quality, recorded with few Talat songs.
Well, I dutifully, played it on the rickety Cassette-Player I had, and listened to it. As I recall it had only 3 to 4 Talat songs.
Let me tell you friends…The songs just killed me. I mean I had never, ever listened to anything so sweet, so melodious, so lovely before in my life till then. At that moment I became an absolutely crazy fan of Anil Biswas & Talat. That sweetness was intoxicating.
Do you know which those songs were?
They were from movies Arzoo & Tarana (See the list above) In addition of Talat songs, the Lata Songs from these movies..Ahaa! They just killed me totally and completely.
(By the way, Anil-da & Lata combination is another RESERVOIR of DIVINE POTION and I can talk about it endlessly…It is just PURE HONEYED SWEETNESS…)
From that moment onwards, as I recall, I started listening Anil da’s compositions wherever and however, I would find them. It became an addiction. The sweetness of Anil-da’s compositions was simply overwhelming. Melody was the very soul of Anil-da’s music. Then, later, as the natural course would have it, I started listening to C Ramchandra, Madan, Roshan and so on…
But, after so many years too, I consider; Anil-da’s compositions are the Best of the Best. A pure WORK of A GENIUS..!
It is NOT FOR NOTHING even C Ramchandra, Roshan, OP, Madan, Sajjad, SJ and several others renowned and very talented Music Composers of the time, all considered Anil-da as their GURU & INSPIRATION…
Anyway, let’s get back to our Talat Story and his divine list of songs! (I Have provided selective Talat hits of some music directors)
Talat- C Ramchandra
- Mohabbat hi na jo samjhe woh zalim (Parchai)
- Apni kaho kuch meri suno (With Lata, Parcha Hai)
- Kisi ne mujhko mere ghar se aake loot liya” (Parchai)
- Bechain nazar betaab jigar (Yaasmin)
- Apni naakami se mujh ko kam hai (Subah ka Tara)
- Gaya andhera hua ujala (With Lata, Subah ka Taara)
- Main pee ke nahi aya (Kavi)
- Tere raste mein hum ne ek ghar bana liya hai (With Lata, Kavi)
- Mohabbat mein aise zamane bhi aaye (With Lata, Sagai)
- Tum Apni Yaad Bhi Dil Se Bhula Jaate (With Lata,Yasmin)
Talat – Madan Mohan:
- Jise dil me basana chahta tha (Ada)
- Meri yaad mein tum na ansoo bahana (Madhosh)
- Mera qarar le ja (Ashiana)
- Main Pagal mera manwa pagal (Ashiana)
- Meri raaton ke andhere mein ujale (Khoobsurat)
- Mohabbat mein kashish hogi (Khoobsurat)
- Ye nai nai preet hai (Duet with Lata in Pocketmaar)
- Phir wohi shaam (Jahanara)
- Main teri nazar ka suroor hoon (Jahanara)
- Humse aaya na gaya (Dekh Kabira Roya)
- Beraham Aasman (Bahana)
Talat – Roshan
- Mere dil ki dhadkan kya bole (Anhonee – Talat, Lata)
- Main dil hoon ek armaan bhara (Anhonee – Talat)
- Aur hai dil ki lagi (Rag Rang – Talat, Lata)
- Dile Bekarar so ja (Rag Rang – Talat, Lata)
Talat – SD Burman
- Jaye To jaye Kahan (Taxi Driver)
- Jalte Hain Jiske Liye (Sujata)
Talat – Shankar Jaikishan
- Ai mere dil kahin aur chal (Daag)
- Koi nahin mera is duniya mein (Daag)
- Hum dard ke maron ka (Daag)
- Andhe jahan ke andhe raaste (Patita)
- Hai sabse madhur woh geet (Patita)
- Tum to dil ke taar chhed kar (Roop ki Rani, Choron ka Raja..)
Talat – Salil Chowdhary
- Raat ne kya kya khwab dikhaye (Ek Gaon ki kahani)
- Jhoome re mera dil (Ek Gaon ki kahani)
- Ansoo samajh ke kyon mujhe (Chhaya)
- Itna na mujhse tu pyar badha (Chhaya)
- Aankhon mein masti sharab ki (Chhaya)
- Aha, Rimjhim ke ye pyare, pyare (Usne Kaha thaa)
- Mujhe dekho hasraton ki tasveer (Baaz)
- Pyaar par bas to nahi (Sone Ki Chidiya)
- Sach bata tu mujhpe fida (Sone Ki Chidiya)
Talat – Sajjad
- Dil mein sama gaye sajan (Sangdil with Lata)
- Ye hawa ye raat ye chandni (Sangdil)
Talat – Ghulam Mohammed
- Chal diya Caravan (Laila-Majnu)
- Zindagi denewale sun (Dil E Nadan)
- Dil E Nadan tujhe hua kya hai (Mirza Ghalib)
Talat – Sardar Malik
- Ai Gham e dil kya karoon (Thokar)
Talat – Ravi
- Sab Kuch luta ke hosh mein (Ek Saal)
Talat – Khyyam
- Sham e Gham ki kasam (Foot Path)
Talat – Naushad
- Milte hi ankhen dil Hua (Babul)
And on and on and on and on…
The SOUL of Talat’s voice:-
The very famous Sanskrit poet & playwright from “Gupta Era (Circa 500 AD)”, ‘Bhavabhuti’, supposed to have considered the Melancholy & Sad emotions as the KING of all type of Emotions that created the best DRAMA.
(It must be remembered that the noted Playwright Shakespeare, too, is more famous for his 4 TRAGEDIES among all his plays)
The soul of Talat’s voice was this emotion dripping Melancholy without a doubt. Somehow it just suited to his VOCAL CHORDS like WATER to a FISH. It is not that he didn’t sing happy songs. But somehow his voice was very naturally suited to more of Soft, Sentimental, Romantic, Sad type of songs.
Can we even imagine anyone singing “Jaye to Jaye Kahan” (Taxi Driver) other than Talat? Impossible…
Another important thing to remember, in the context, is songs which are purely based on the FUSION of the Musical Instruments don’t leave their imprints long on the canvass of our mind. They may give you momentary HIGH like a roller costar, but the moment next new Musical Caravan comes along, the first one is ERASED faster than a time taken to beat an Eyelid.
Why does this Happen?
Simple! because it lacks the MELODY & the POETRY. The whole PHILOSOPHY of INDIAN MUSIC is based on the POETRY COMPOSED , directly or indirectly, in the VARIOUS RAGAS.
( A RAGA is a Creative Arrangements and Confluence of the Musical Notes to create a Melody, except, the ANCIENT INDIANS had taken it even deeper & to the unfathomable level, by studying the intricate relationships between HUMAN MIND, EMOTIONS, MOODS & further linking it to a PARTICULAR TIME OF THE DAY or NIGHT & by finding CORRECT MUSICAL NOTES to suit, soothe, & augment that EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE.
(As an Example, we are told in WINTERS, in the state like NORTH DAKOTA of the USA, the rate of suicides go up due to heightened level of Depression. All know how WINTERS are bleak and depressive in the USA. From ancient times, INDIANS knew this relationship between the EMOTIONS, MOODS of humans and how they are linked to the environment. They used specific RAGAS to soothe those emotive feelings.)
The ancient INDIANS created INTRICATE MELODIES based on THOSE specific NOTES that heightened & augmented soulful pleasure of a listener.
This is pretty ASTONISHING & deeply CREATIVE. No, it is deeply SPIRITUAL in a WAY that SCIENCE can never describe it or create it.
As further clarification, Ancient INDIANS noted that at DUSK time, when Day turns into the evening & later in the Night, A RAGA CALLED “MARWA” is sung to EXPRESS the FEELING OF LONGING that usually accompanies the DUSK / EVENING time.
Until recently INDIAN HINDI CINE MUSIC COMPOSERS would make use of the various RAGAS to create soulful melodies to capture the ESSENCE of THE SCREEN MOOD & SITUATION.
This whole art of MUSIC, linking it to SOUL & HUMAN SPIRIT is very ancient in INDIA. The whole SAMA-VEDA, the ancient HINDU SCRIPTURE dating back to 10000 years BC, deals with it in MINUTE DETAILS.
It is said the Lord Shri Krishna (Circa 3500 years BC) was an expert FLUTE PLAYER and as he would play his FLUTE & PLAY RAGA, even ANIMALS would gather around to listen to it, DRAWN by its MYSTICAL MUSICAL POWER, even forgetting their natural animosity.
Only since the last decade or so all is LOST in the SHRILL NOISE of BLARING LOUD INSTRUMENTS, CORRUPTED COPY of WESTERN STYLE & the associated DIN they call music. )
Well, this little long explanation was somewhat necessary to EXPLAIN TALAT MAHMOOD’s songs & his style of singing.
Talat’s Musical Career:
In about 20 years of Talat’s musical career & the body of about 800+ playback songs, in MUMBAI CINE INDUSTRY, Talat has sung for almost all Leading Men / Screen Heroes of the era. He has sung for Dilip kumar, Dev Anand, Bharat Bhushan, Sunil Dutt, Raaj Kapur, Ashok Kumar, Karan Divan, Shammi Kapoor etc. Occasionally he sang for those leading men who usually used someone else for their playback voice.
(For example Raj Kapoor’s on screen singing voice was that of Mukesh or Dev’s was Kishore) Yet when Talat sang for Raj Kapoor in Anhonee or for Dev in Taxi Driver he created IMMORTAL MELODIES.
It must be said however that, in the initial period, Talt-Dilip combination had become somewhat synonymous.
Similarly, Anil-Da, C Ramchandra & Madan Mohan made use of Talat’s voice relatively more than compared to the other music directors.
The End of an Era:
As the decade of 60 dawned, slowly but surely, the music was changing. Times were changing. By mid 60’s Talat career was slowly inching towards its SUNSET. The WESTERN influence on INDIAN music was taking its toll. The Melody & Poetry was slowly taking a backseat and was routinely being replaced by the loud, blaring POP, JAZZ, HIP-HOP, Rock & Roll type of music.
Talat was taking all this in his strides. Each passing day he was getting lesser requests to sing. He recognized that his time was over in the playback singing.
For sustenance Talat had now started doing stage-shows.
For his stage shows experience Talat considered himself very lucky & his heartfelt gratitude towards his loyal fans always showed; when he spoke of them. In an interview to a film-magazine in late 70’s Talat had to say as follows:-
“I consider myself blessed with almighty’s special love. I have always received tremendous love from my fans. Whichever city, in any country that I did my stage-shows, the house-would be FULL with my loyal FANS from different generations…
They would throng onstage-to meet with me & ask for my autograph. It would surprise me immensely when a young boy or a girl would ask me to sing songs like “Ai Mere Dil Kahin aur chal (Daag)”, “Jalte Hain Jiske liye (Sujata), “Raat ne kya kya khwab (Ek Gaon Ki Kahani)”, “Beraham Aasman (Bahana)” or “Ek main hoon meri (Tarana)” etc…
I was blessed to have worked with extremely talented music directors like Anil Biswas, C Ramchandra, Madan Mohan, Salil Chowdhury, SD, Roshan…
The Melodies, the Compositions they created for me had the TRUTH & SPIRITUAL PURITY..Perhaps that is why even generations after, the melodies they created & sung by me are immortal and liked by the music lovers of new generations too..”
Talat Mehmood died, at the age of 74 in his Mumbai residence, a Happy, Contented & yet very Proud man. A singer with the voice of Silk & Honey, acutely aware of his limitations and yet very successful & unique in his own way.
Somewhere in late 80’s when Talat would do stage-show very reluctantly, as he felt tired with his VOICE also feeling devoid of that strength & charm, he did a solitary show in the city of Pune. I was told he did it very, very reluctantly on cajoling by an old friend of his.
Yet, as I distinctly recollect, the local play-house was full to the capacity. The crowd consisted of elderly gents to the young college going boys & girls too.
On a special request from someone, he sang Sardar Malik’s composed song from the movie Thokar (1953), among others.
(Yes, the same Sardar Malik, was father of today’s music composer Anu Malik. Without a slightest of doubt, senior Malik would be squirming in his grave, listening to brazen plagiarism, of his son who sort of specialized in lifting tunes from others, and thoroughly destroy whatever even little sweetness the original one had to convert it into the complete mediocre composition of Noise & Din…)
Looking at Talat’s performance of the day I was strongly reminded of the poet Lucknavi-sahab’s Lyrics of the last stanza from the song which ran something like below:
Raaste me ruk ke dam lu, Ye meri aadat nahi (It is not my Habit to stop Midway)
Laut kar wapas chala jaau meri fitrat nahi (I refuse to give-up & return)
Aur koi hamnava mil jaaye ye kismat nahi (I may not be lucky to get help too)
Ai gham-e-dil kya karu, ai vashishat-e-dil kya karu (Tell me oh my heart, what should I do?)
I wondered was Talat thinking of the same thoughts while he sang his heart out on that day….?
Alas, we shall never know! For, Talat died on 9th May 1998 leaving behind a son and countless mourning Music Lovers across the world, and a musical world of Noise, Din that was increasingly becoming devoid of soulful poetry and melody too..
A soulful sweetness was over.