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Lata Mangeshkar Special: Those Early Days with Anil Biswas

September 28, 2016 | By

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.

Anil Biswas, Lata, Madan Mohan and Talat Mahmood

(L to R) Anil Biswas with Lata Mangeshkar, Madan Mohan and Talat Mahmood

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.


At the recording of their song are (left) C Ramchander and (right) Lata Mangeshkar and Talat Mahmood (Pic courtesy:

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).

‘The Music Director Knows which Voice would do Full Justice to his Composition’ – In Conversation with Hemant 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

The opinions shared by the writer is his personal opinions and does not reflect the opinion of Learning and Creativity Magazine. The writer is solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.

Consulting Editor Learning and Creativity and Silhouette Magazine. To talk of a few passions of Peeyush, one must start with music. He is known to be a collector of music and information pertaining to Indian cinema (majorly Hindi) spanning a period from early 1930s to 1980s. He has a large collection of Bengali and Punjabi music and material as well. He also boasts of a huge library of related material. Peeyush has delivered talks and lectures on music appreciation, contributed write ups in numerous news papers and magazines. He has co-authored a tribute publication on Anil Biswas. He has co-hosted radio talk shows on music and met and interviewed a number of personalities. Occasionally, he delivers talks even now. Peeyush has been the founder secretary of the prestigious, Vintage Hindi Music Lovers Association in Bangalore that honored Anil Biswas in 1985. He is known as a storehouse of old Hindi music and information regarding music and movies. Peeyush is well read in Vedic culture and literature and is invited in various centers to deliver enlightening lectures on Vedic values. His range spans from four Vedas to Upanishads and Darshans as well as Bhagvad Gita. He has delivered talks on Yog Darshan in Yoga schools and large gatherings. He currently lives in Oshawa, Ontario in Canada.
All Posts of Peeyush Sharma

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