Lata Mangeshkar Special: Those Early Days with Anil Biswas
Peeyush Sharma recounts an anecdote music maestro Anil Biswas had shared about Lata Mangeshkar’s early days of practice with him as a special feature on The Nightingale’s birthday.
It was early in 1947 and the breeze in Bombay had the cool touch in the morning hours. Lata, a young woman of about 17 would make rounds of the studios to get a singing assignment.
During one such visit she was introduced to maestro Anil Biswas. Once he had tested her, Anil da asked her to come to his home for practise. She would arrive early and sit with Anil da to rehearse a composition. He would teach her the finer points and leave her to practice while he would go to the studio for his recordings.
The understanding was that if the outcome of the practice was satisfactory, she would have dinner once Anil da returned. In those days of struggle, it meant a lot to the teenager budding singer.
Narrating such incidents Anil da disclosed that while he was composing music for film, Girls School, directed by Amiya Chakraborty in 1949, C Ramchandra had joined him as an assistant. This is where the famous pairing of C Ramchandra and Lata Mangeshkar shaped up and together they produced immortal songs.
Let us visit two songs to remember Lata with Anil da and Lata with Ramchandra to celebrate her 87th birthday. The sweetest soothing love song first with an exceptional twist in the tune at aadhe soye aadhe jaage, kaase kahun ke mohe yun laage;
Beimaan tore nainwa nindiya na aaye ( Tarana, 1951) Anil Biswas/ D N Madhok / Lata Mangeshkar
The other one Tum kya jaano, tumhari yaad mein hum kitna roye, an immortal Ramchandra composition that Hemant Kumar copied in a Bengali film and accepted while talking to me that he was just mesmerized by the composition and had to adapt it as a Bangla song (Tumi to jano na in Suryatoran, an adaptation of The Fountainhead, starring Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar).
“As a composer I hold C Ramchandra at a high level. He made tunes by the minute and all the time smiling and joking. Yet, such beautiful tunes one after the other,” Hemant Kumar had said in an exclusive interview to me in his Calcutta residence in 1989. When I asked him about adapting Tum kya jaano, tumhari yaad mein, he said, “What to do, I just fell in love with that composition. What a unique and beautiful tune.”
Tum kya jaano, tumhari yaad mein hum kitna roye (Shin Shinaki Bubla Boo, 1952) C.Ramchandra / Pyare Lal Santoshi / Lata Mangeshkar
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