Centenary Of Indian Cinema

Lata Mangeshkar’s First Hit Song was Aayega Aanewala….

Aayega, Aayega, Aayega… Aayega Aanewala …. This timeless song from Kamal Amrohi‘s all-time classic film Mahal (1949) took the nation by storm and played a lion’s share in making Lata Mangeshkar popular. Composed by music director Khemchand Prakash the song became a national chartbuster and key reason for the huge success of the film Mahal. People saw the film repeatedly to watch the song!!

Readers’ would be surprised to know that though the song brought Lata Mangeshkar into lime-light the gramophone company of India didn’t give credit to Lata Mangeshkar on the LP Records!! You may wonder –Why? Well, Lata Mangeshkar was not a celebrity and was just a struggling singer. Secondly, Lata Mangeshkar was also not paid for the song. She sang the song as she was getting a golden opportunity to work for the eminent film director Kamal Amrohi and popular music director Khemchand Prakash, who was the Guru of music legend Naushad. Hence the gramophone company of India gave the name of ‘Kamini’, the name of the heroine in the movie, on the gramophone records!!

Lata Mangeshkar made an entry in Bollywood in the mid 40’s when Bollywood was ruled by top singers like Noor Jehan, Suraiya, Shamshad Begum, Zohrabai Ambalewali, Amirbai Karnataki, etc. The highlight of these singers was that each had robust and rustic voices that suited the rural heroines on screen. Since most Indian films in those days were rural-based hence these singers were famous. In contrast, Lata Mangeshkar had a completely different ‘thin’ voice. Hence she was rejected.

Nevertheless, music directors like Gulam Hyder, Shyamsunder, Husnlal-Bhagatram, Anil Biswas and Naushad encouraged her and promoted her in their films but alas film producers’ forced Lata Mangeshkar to copy the popular singer Noor Jehan, who incidentally had left India due to Indo Pakistan partition. Thus though Lata Mangeshkar started getting songs her voice had the inimitable Noor Jehan tinge and this was a major drawback in establishing Lata Mangeshkar‘s identity.

But kudos to music director Khemchand Prakash, who liberated Lata Mangeshkar‘s from the distinctive style of Noor Jahan. For Aayega Aanewala…. song Khemchand Prakash worked hard on Lata Mangeshkar and made her sing the song in her very own unique style!!

The gamble paid off and the song was able to establish Lata Mangeshkar‘s uniqueness. Further the same year Raj Kapoor’s film Barsaat (1949) was released and he gave Lata Mangeshkar a big break. Fortunately all the song – Hawa Mein Udta Jaye……Jiya Beqarar Hai………. Barsaat Mein Humse Mile Tum…….. Chhod Gaye Balam……… Mujhe Kisi Se Pyaar Ho Gayaa…………were super hit and Lata Mangeshkar became a Star Singer!!

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