On a clear day you can see it forever. Madan Mohan, the extraordinary talent who never had his due during his lifetime, is today one of the greatest retro-legends of Hindi music. Madan Mohan did for the film ghazal what God did for man by giving light to the earth. Madan Mohan’s melodic omnipresence is attributed to the timeless quality of his compositions. The famous musical director C. Ramachandran remarked: âWhat do you mean, Madan was only good at composing ghazals? Madan was good at everything he composed. Madan’s light compositions have the same individualistic quality as his serious songs. Plus, I don’t think any of us have this knack for picking the right instruments for the right song. “
By far Madan Mohan’s favorite singer was Ms. Lata Mangeshkar. “Maybe he felt I could give his compositions what they needed,” she said cautiously with her no-harm tone she adopts whenever her unchallenged supremacy is discussed. . ALSO READ: On World Music Day, here is the goddess of all things melodic Lata Mangeshkar with her advice for budding musicians
Recalling his first meeting with Madan Mohan, Lataji says: âWe sang a duet Pinjre mein bulbul bulbul bole together in the film Shaheed in 1948 for Master Ghulam Haider. This song about a brother and sister singing together has never been released. One day, suddenly, he approached me and said: âTum raakhee baandhne nahin aayee mujhe? From that day on, he was my Madan Bhaiyya. I was close not only to him but to his whole family. I am still very close to Madan Bhaiyya’s son, Sanjeev Kohli. READ ALSO: Mahesh Kothare Revisits Moments With Lata Mangeshkar Didi At Awards Ceremony
It was more than just faith in his voice. Madan Mohan chose Latji to be his lead voice because he knew that only she could touch those heights of sublimity that her tunes did to reach the seven musical notes. If you hear Madan Mohan singing Mai ri, the main kaase kahun pair to Dastak in her own voice (since she didn’t have the dates of the original recording), then hear her pick up the tune from her voice, we know what the singer achieves in the compositions of Madan Mohan.
Said Lataji, âHis ghazals have no parallel. But he could also compose any other kind of song like the folk tune ‘Jhumka gira re’ that my sister Asha sang. Why don’t we consider talent for what it’s worth when it’s with us? “Wonders nightingale Lata Mangeshkar who sang the majority of Madan Mohan’s mind-numbing melodies. Madan Bhaiyya was my rakhi brother and extremely gifted. Sa ability to create tunes was like an ocean Some of his most beloved compositions, for example, “Aapki nazron ne samjha ‘came to him in a jiffy. He was very attentive to the sur and the other components of the composition. While recording ‘Naino mein badra chhaye’ for the movie Mera Saaya, he broke the window of the recording studio because a musician was playing out of tune. That’s why even today his numbers like ‘Lag ja gale se’ and ‘Aaj socha to aansoon bhar aaye sound so fresh. Sach much, unke barey mein aaj socha to aansoon bhar aaye (remembering him brings tears to my eyes). I remember when he lost the Filmfare award for his very popular music in Woh Kaun Thi; I told him he deserved it. His response was a calm, Tumne bola wohi qafi hai (just tell me that).
There is so much more to the Madan Mohan-Lata Mangeshkar combination than it looks. The courage and glory of their collaboration defy any common explanation. I’m told there are dozens of songs he wrote for his favorite voice. Winch has never been registered or has never been published. For Woh Kaun Thi. we only heard a fraction of the recorded music. But what a fabulous fraction!
Isn’t it infinitely ironic that this man of melodious dimensions didn’t have time to win an award until 1971 ?! When he won the National Award for Dastak and Mai ri, what a playoff score it was! Of the three solos of Lataji, Hum hain mata-e-kucha-o-bazar, Baiyyan na dharo and Mai ri, how do you choose one or even two?
Madan Mohan was like an emperor in exile. His whole career, which started in a hearty way in 1950 with Aankhen, has been a mind-boggling litany. Critics and connoisseurs have raved about Madan Mohan’s songs. But the graphics told a different story. 80% of Madan Mohan’s classic melodies have made it into B and C grade films. Apart from Chetan Anand and Raj Khosla, no top filmmaker has given Madan Mohan the chance to compose in large-scale projects.
Until his death in 1975, Madan Mohan had shot 104 films. The continued failure of his films and the changing environment of the industry led him to depression. He started to drink a lot. He died when he was only 51 years old. Providentially, in 2004, Madan Mohan’s eldest son, Sanjeev Kohli, was able to transcreate his unused tunes at Veer-Zara.
Ironically, Madan Mohan’s two posthumous scores for HS Rawail’s Laila Majnu and Gulzar’s Mausam, released in 1975, turned out to be money spinners. The man who made up gossamer feelings disguised as songs had finally arrived.
Image source: instagram / bollywood.retroandtvfan / retroclassics.cinema / the_mangeshkars / Wikipedia / IMDb
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