LAya TAal of MI Life 

षडजं वदति मयूर,  Shadjam vadati mayura, 
ऋषभं गाव एव च; Rishabham gaava eva cha;
अजा वदति गांधारं, Aja vadati Gaandharam
क्रौन्चो वदति मध्यमं; Krauncho vadat Madhyamam;
वसंतकाले सम्प्राप्ते, Vasantakaale sampraapte,
पिकः कूजति पंचमं; Pikaha koojati Panchamam;
धैवतं ह्रेशते वाजी, Dhaivatam hreshate vaaji, 
निषादं कुंजरः स्वरं। Nishaadam kunjaraha swaram.

The Sanskrit Sloka says that the seven musical notes Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni originated from the calls and cries, chirps and chimes of various animals and birds. It is also said that the seven notes were traced in the Vedic literature particularly the Sama Veda. Imaginations of a few crazy minds (like mine) say that these notes emanated from the melodic ‘cries’ and melodious ‘laughter’ of the first girl child born to the renowned Marathi actor-singer Master Dinanath Mangeshkar and Mai. Sounds bold and blasphemous. But, imaginations often run amok and there’s no stopping them!

The Laya (harmony) and the Taal (rhythm) in which the cherubic one ‘cried’ and ‘laughed’ must have left the blessed parents bemused and baffled and posed a challenge to give an apt name to their melodious mulgi (a girl in Marathi). Possibly, after much deliberation, they christened their little one as लता (LATA) by blending the first letter ल (La) and ता (Ta) of the two musical words लय (Laya) and ताल (Taal) respectively. This fascinating story sounds real now but it must have been a moment surreal then!

Down the decades, the same little Lata came to be acclaimed and acknowledged as the Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar… The Legendary Singer, The Incarnation of Goddess Saraswati, The Nightingale of India, The Melody Queen, The Tuneful Symbol of National Integration and many other epithets befitting her unparalleled achievements! 

Circa 1947; Lata Mangeshkar made her playback debut with the song “Paa laagu kar jori re” in the film “Aap ki Seva Mein” with music by Datta Davjekar. She literally ‘prostrated with folded hands’ before some of the legendary maestros to give her an audition. And promised that she would sing ‘aap ki seva mein‘, ad infinitum, given the deserved break. The first step led to a few more strides and then to an interminable and unending odyssey stretching even beyond the unsurmountable ethereal heights which others dread to even dream.

I too had a dream, certainly not of becoming a singer like Lataji. I dreamed of being blessed with the privilege of her gracious and melodious presence in a very exclusive Keep Alive music concert in her honour. I have been dreaming of this year after year from the time Keep Alive had earned a good amount of credibility and respectability. There was a time when the dream made me restless and didn’t let me sleep peacefully. But soon, as a defeated soldier, I too gave up; now, I neither dream (of this delightful ‘miss’ion) nor sleep (for different reasons)! 

As a consolation, I marked and ‘celebrated’ Lataji’s 75th birthday with an innovative and interesting half page advertisement in the SCREEN (a prestigious film weekly) enlisting her 75 all time classic song gems (of my choice). These gems were gleaned out from the films of up to the late 50s, arguably, the best phase of her meritorious career.

Lataji Newspaper Birthday Ad

I was delighted to know that the ‘ad’ or rather the ‘Birthday Greeting’ caught the attention of Lataji too but I never made an attempt to find her reaction. I had detached myself from all dreams and desires to be free from despair and disappointment. The ‘ad’ attracted a lot of response from the readers too because of its novelty and the ensemble of her rare song gems.

As a child I didn’t know ‘who’ and ‘what’ Lata Mangeshkar was. I only remember listening to her songs (and also of others) reverberating from an antique Murphy radio we had. I grew up entranced and fascinated by the Hindi films and film songs of yore: of the 40s, 50s, 60s. I got addicted to listening to Lataji , Rafi Sahab and other singers. Probably, this passion inspired the foundation of Keep Alive and then its offspring, LAya TAal, in the later years!

From an impressionable age, I was magnetised and mesmerised (who is not?) by the divine voice of Lataji and her honey-soaked dulcet ditties from musicals like Anokha Pyar and Arzoo, Ziddi and Mahal, Andaz and Dulari, Badi Bahan and Afsana, Anarkali and Yasmin, Aurat and Poonam, Devdas and Munimji, Ashiana and Baghi, Malhar and Naubahar to name a few. I remember vividly hearing songs from these and other films in the Radio Ceylon’s “Ek Hi Film Ke Geet” programme which was broadcast at 6.30 a.m. and other programmes like “Ek aur Anek” and “Badalte Saathi”.

My beloved mother was and will always remain ‘the first and last woman in MI life’! Lata Mangeshkar is the ‘other woman’ in my life! There was a time when I did not see beyond Lataji. A soulful connection existed between us. Seeing my awe and admiration for her, my mother equated me with Meerabai and her reverence for Lord Krishna!. Even now, I feel her strong melodious ‘presence’ in my little home all the time. You drop in and, to your pleasant surprise, you will find ‘Lataji welcoming’ you; five digitally laminated sepia tone portraits of Lataji taken at various stages of her life and career from 17 to 71 find a niche in the modest size drawing room. However, her placement and positioning evoke mixed reactions!

Guests and visitors are treated to hot coffee or tea and also to some additional hospitality in the form of light snacks or even lunch. But, ultimately, their ravenous appetite find satiation (and even salvation) through the melodious songs of Lataji playing in the LP records or cassettes or, in the later years, in the Farishta channel of World Space satellite radio or MP3 audio tracks. Many a times, the ‘unfortunate’ athithis were subjected to the ordeal of listening to Lataji in my pathetic voice!

Even this fetish for singing her songs unwittingly initiated long discussions on Lataji and her divine voice, her classic songs, her rendition, range, expression, breath control, singing techniques, accomplishments and everything that made her a living legend. This ritual and routine of listening to the Lata lore and lilts reduced with passage of time with professional commitments clamoring for attention.

Incredible but true, Lataji, as embodied and incarnated by the seven musical notes, has bound and held together music lovers in the last seven decades with the fine thread of her mellifluous vocal chords. If God had not dropped a clanger by sending his best ‘composition’ to mUSic lovers, there would have been a big void, a broad vacuum in the realm of never ending harmony. I thank God for (t)His ‘Melodious MISStake’!


रब ने तुझे बनाकर, भेज दिया धरती पे,

देख मैं कितना ख़ुश हूं, उसकी इस ग़लती पे।

And music lovers have been celebrating His ‘Divine Creation’ for the last seventy years i.e. from the time she came, she crooned, she conquered, she continued…. to reign supreme as the Melody Queen!

Lataji, how do I wish you on your turning Eighty Eight on September 28! 

What do I gift you, distinctive and unique, on this august occasion in September which would not only evoke your nostalgia but also inspire millions like me to keep alive the Laya and Taal of our lives!

All I can gift you through this ‘post’ (with no envelope, no stamp, no address) is your own “Eighty Eight and Going Great” evergreen classic gems in two parts which are to bring back myriad memories of the good old sad and glad times of your melodious odyssey!

All I can present you is your musical past “Sargami Saga from Struggle to Success” rapped and wrapped with your ATM: Ageless and Timeless Melodies which is to inspire the future generations in their musical or other pursuits!

And, how do I thank you for filling and fueling MI listless life with melody, harmony and rhythm of your evergreen and eternal nostalgic nuggets and keeping alive MI spirit to live and the splendor of life!

All I can say is: Thank you Lataji, for being “The LAya TAal of MI Life”. 

Lata Mangeshkar : Eighty Eight and Going Great – Part I (1947 – 1959)

Year Film Song Music Director
1947 Aap Ki Seva Mein Paa laagu kar jori re Datta Davjekar
1948 Anokha Pyar Mere liye woh gham-e-intzaar Anil Biswas
1948 Majboor Dil mera toda Ghulam Haider
1948 Padmini Bedard tere dard ko Ghulam Haider
1948 Ziddi Chanda jaa re jaa re Khemchand Prakash
1949 Andaz Uthaaye jaa unke sitam Naushad
1949 Badi Behan Chale jaana nahin nain milaake Husanlal-Bhagatram
1949 Barsaat Mujhe kisise pyar ho gaya Shankar-Jaikishan
1949 Bazar Saajan ki galiyan chhod chale Shyam Sundar
1949 Dulari Taqdeer jagaakar aayi hoon Naushad
1949 Girls School Tumhi kaho mera mann kyon rahe Anil Biswas
1949 Jal Tarang Lutt gayi umeedon ki duniya Husanlal-Bhagatram
1949 Ladli Tumhare bulaane ko ji chaahta hai Anil Biswas
1949 Lahore Bahaaren phir bhi aayengi Shyam Sundar
1949 Mahal Aayega aanewala Khemchand Prakash
1949 Patanga Dil se bhula do tum hamen C Ramchandra
1949 Zevarat Shikwa na karenge Hansraj Behl
1950 Aadhi Raat Dil hi to hai tadap gaya Husanlal-Bhagatram
1950 Anmol Ratan Taare wohi hai chand wohi hai Vinod
1950 Arzoo Kahan tak hum uthaayen gham Anil Biswas
1950 Beqasoor Aayi bhor suhani Anil Biswas
1950 Maang Ae dil-e-beqaraar Ghulam Mohammed
1950 Nirala Mehfil mein jal uthi shama  C Ramchandra
1950 Sangeeta Naumeed hoke bhi duniya mein C Ramchandra
1951 Ada Preetam meri duniya mein Madan Mohan
1951 Afsana Kahan hai tu mere sapnon ke raja Husanlal-Bhagatram
1951 Albela Dheere se aaja ri ankhiyan mein C Ramchandra
1951 Araam Mil milke bichhad gaye nain Anil Biswas
1951 Awara Aa jao tadapte hain armaan Shankar-Jaikishan
1951  Badi Bahu Badli teri nazar to nazaare badal gaye Anil Biswas
1951 Hulchul Aaj mere naseeb ne mujhko rula 2 diya Sajjad
1951 Kaali Ghata Unke sitam ne loot liya Shankar-Jaikishan
1951 Malti Madhav Baandh preeti phul dor Sudhir Phadke
1951 Nagina Toone haaye mere zakhm-e-jigar ko Shankar-Jaikishan
1951 Saiyyan Kaali kaali raat re Sajjad
1951 Sazaa Tum na jaane kis jahan mein kho gaye S D Burman
1951 Shokhiyan Sapna ban saajan aaye Jamal Sen
1951 Tarana Beimaan tore nainva  Anil Biswas
1952 Ashiana Mere piya se koyi jaake kehde Madan Mohan 
1952 Anhonee Is dil ki haalat kya kahiye Roshan
1952 Baiju Bawra Mohe bhool gaye sanwariya Naushad
1952 Diwana Teer khaate jaayenge Naushad
1952 Do Raha Loota hai zamaane ne Anil Biswas
1952 Kaafila Aansoo ab tum kabhi na behna Husanlal-Bhagatram
1952 Naubahar Ae ri main to prem diwani Roshan
1952 Nirmohi Dukhiyare naina dhoondhe piya Madan Mohan
1952 Parchhain Katate hain dukh mein ye din C Ramchandra
1952 Sangdil Woh to chale gaye ae dil Sajjad
1952 Shinshinaki Boobla Boo Tum kya jaano tumhari yaad mien C Ramchandra
1953 Aansoo Judaayi ki khabar hoti agar Husanlal-Bhagatram
1953 Akash So gayi chandni, jaag uthi bekali Anil Biswas
1953 Anarkali Ye zindagi usiki hai C Ramchandra
1953 Baaghi Hamare baad ab mehfil mein Madan Mohan
1953 Jhanjhar Ae pyar teri duniya se hum C Ramchandra
1954  Amar Na milta gham to barbaadi ke afsane Naushad
1954  Chandni Chowk Aa jaaye jaanewale, laut aayin baharen  Roshan
1954  Maan Mere pyar mein tujhe kya mila Anil Biswas
1954  Mehbooba Aa ek ab aata nahin dil ko qaraar Roshan
1954  Naaz Katati hai ab to zindagi Anil Biswas
1954 Shabab Jo main jaanti bichhdat hain saiyyan Naushad
1955 Garam Coat Jogia se preet kiye dukh hohe Amarnath
1955 House No. 44 Phaili hui hain sapnon ki baahen S D Burman
1955 Jhanak Jhanak Payal.. Jo tum todo piya Vasant Desai
1955 Kundan Shikayat kya karoon Ghulam Mohammed
1955 Munimji Aankh khulte hi tum chhup gaye ho S D Burman
1955 Naata Matt samjho neer bahaati hoon S Mohinder
1955 Oot Pataang Meri ulfat soyi hai yahan Vinod
1955 Railway Platform Chand Madhham hai Madan Mohan
1955 Rukhsana Tera dard dil mein basaa liya Sajjad
1955 Seema Manmohana bade jhoothe Shankar-Jaikishan
1955 Yasmin Mujhpe ilzaam-e-bewafai hai C Ramchandra
1956 Basant Bahar  Main piya teri tu maane ya na maane Shankar-Jaikishan
1956 Chori Chori Rasik balma Shankar-Jaikishan
1956 Durgesh Nandini Kahan le chale ho bataado musafir Hemant Kumar
1956 New Delhi Murli bairan bhayi Shankar-Jaikishan
1956 Patrani Chandrama madhbhara Shankar-Jaikishan
1957  Anjali Kis kisse deepak pyar kare  Jaidev
1957 Chengiz Khan Jab raat nahin katati Hansraj Behl
1957  Dekh Kabira Roya Meri veena tum bin roye Madan Mohan
1957  Gateway of India   Na hanso humpe zamaane ke hain Madan Mohan
1957  Jalti Nishani Rooth ke tum to chal diye Madan Mohan
1957  Paying Guest Chand phir nikla S D Burman
1958 Adalat Unko ye shikayat hai Madan Mohan
1958 Madhumati Aaja re pardesi Salil Chowdhury
1958 Milan Haaye jiya roye Hansraj Behl
1959 Anadi Tera jaana dil ke armaanon ka Shankar-Jaikishan
1959 Char Dil Char Raahen Intzaar aur abhi, aur abhi, aur abhi Anil Biswas
1959 Goonj Uthi Shehnai Tere surr aur mere geet Vasant Desai

Lata Mangeshkar : Eighty Eight and Going Great – Part II (1960 – 2000) 

Year Film Song Music Director
1960 Anuradha Haaye re wo din kyon na aaye Ravi Shankar
1960 Dil Apna Preet Parai Ajeeb dastaan hai ye Shankar-Jaikishan
1960 Ghoonghat Laage na mora jiya Ravi
1960 Jis Desh Mein Ganga.. O basanti pawan pagal Shankar-Jaikishan
1960 Mughal-e-Azam Pyar kiya to darna kya Naushad
1960 Parakh O sajna barkha bahar aayi Salil Chowdhury
1961 Bhabhi Ki Choodiyan Jyoti kalash chhalke Sudhir Phadke
1961 Chhote Nawab Ghar aaja ghir aayi badra sanwariya R D Burman
1961 Hum Dono Allah tero naam Jaidev
1961 Maya Jaa re jaa re ud jaa re panchhi Salil Chowdhury1962
1962 Aarti Kabhi to milegi kahin to milegi Roshan
1962 Anpadh Aap ki nazron ne samjha Madan Mohan
1962 Asli Naqali Tera mera pyar amar Shankar-Jaikishan
1962 Bees Saal Baad Kahin deep jale kahin dil Hemant Kumar
1963 Akeli Matt Jaiyyo Woh jo milte the kabhi Madan Mohan
1963 Dil Ek Mandir Ruk jaa raat thehar jaa re chanda Shankar-Jaikishan
1963 Kinare Kinare Aaj achanak too gayi Jaidev
1963 Mujhe Jeene Do Raat bhi hai kuch bheegi bheegi Jaidev
1963 Rustam Sohrab Ae dilruba nazren mila Sajjad
1963 Taj Mahal Jurm-e-ulfat pe hamen log sazaa Roshan
1964 Aao Pyar Karen Ek sunehri shaam thi Usha Khanna
1964 Ghazal Naghma-o-sher ki saughat Madan Mohan
1964 Haqeeqat Zara si aahat hoti hai Madan Mohan
1964 Jahan Ara Woh chup rahe to Madan Mohan
1964 Sant Gyaneshwar Khabar mori naa lee Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1964 Sati Savitri Jeevan dor tumhin sang baandhi Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1964 Woh Kaun Thi Lag jaa gale Madan Mohan
1965 Akash Deep Dil ka diya jalaake gaya Chitragupta
1965 Arzoo Bedardi balma tujhko Shnakar-Jaikishan
1965 Bhoot Bangla O mere pyar aaja R D Burman
1965 Guide Piya tose naina laage re S D Burman
1965 Himlay Ki Godmein Ek tu na mila Kalyanji-Anandji
1965 Jab Jab Phool Khile Ye sama, sama hai ye pyar ka Kalyanji-Anandji
1965 Khandaan Tumhi mere mandir Ravi
1965 Poonam Ki Raat Tujh bin jiya udaas re Salil Chowdhury
1966 Aakhri Khat Bahaaro mera jeevan bhi sanwaaro Khayyam
1966 Anupama Kuch dil ne kaha Hemant Kumar
1966 Aaye Din Bahar Ke Suno sajna papeehe ne kaha sabse Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1966 Dil Diya Dard Liya Phir teri kahani yaad aayi Naushad
1966 Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya Aaja re pyar pukaare Sonik-Omi
1966 Mamta Rahen na rahen hum Roshan
1966 Mera Saaya Nainon mein badra chhaaye Madan Mohan
 1967 Anita Kareeb aa ye nazar Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1967 Baharon Ke Sapne Kya jaanun sajan R D Burman
1967 Bahu Begum  Duniya kare sawaal to hum Roshan
1967 Chandan Ka Palna Paar lagaade mere sapnon ki naiyya R D Burman
1967 Jaal Meri zindagi ke charagh ko Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1967 Jewel Thief Rulaake gaya sapna S D Burman
1967 Noorjahan Raat ki mehfil sooni sooni Roshan
1967 Palki Dil ki kashti bhanwar mein aayi hai Naushad 
1968 Baharon Ki Manzil Ye daaman ab na chhootega Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1968  Mere Hamdam Mere Dost Chalo sajna jahan tak ghata chale Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1968  Padosan Sharma aati hai magar R D Burman
1968  Saraswati Chandra Chhod de saari duniya kisike liye Kalyanji-Anandji
1969 Khamoshi  Humne dekhi hai un ankhon ki Hemant Kumar
1970 Dastak Hum hain mataa-e-koocha-o-bazar Madan Mohan
1970 Heer Ranjha Do dil toote do dil haare Madan Mohan
1970 Jeevan Mrityu  Zamaane mein aji aise kayi nadaan Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1970 Kati Patang Na koyi umang hai R D Burman
1971 Amar Prem Raina beeti jaaye R D Burman
1971 Mehboob Ki Mehndi Jaane kyon log mohabbat kiya karte Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1971 Pakeezah Thaade rahiyo Ghulam Mohammed
1971 Reshma aur Shera Tu chanda main chandni Jaidev
1971 Sharmeeli Megha chhaaye aadhi raat S D Burman
1971 Tere Mere Sapne Radha ne mala japi Shyam ki S D Burman
1972 Annadata  Raaton ke saaye ghane Salil Chowdhury
1972 Ek Nazar Hameen karen koyi surat Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1972 Maan Jaaiye O mitwa, badra chhaye re Jaidev
1972 Mom Ki Gudiya Bandhan toote na sanwariya Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1973 Abhimaan Piya bina piya bina baseeha S D Burman
1973 Anamika Baahon mein chale aao R D Burman
1973 Bobby Ankhiyon ko rehne de Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1973 Chand Grahan Main jaanun naahin  Madan Mohan
1973 Dil Ki Raahen Rasm-e-ulfat ko nibhaayen Madan Mohan
1973 Hanste Zakhm  Aaj socha to aansoo bhar aaye Madan Mohan
1973 Prem Parbat Ye dil aur unki nigaahon ke saaye Jaidev
1973 Saudagar Tera mera saath rahe Ravindra Jain
1975 Mausam Ruke ruke se kadam Madan Mohan
1977 Shankar Hussain Apne aap raaton mein Khayyam
1978 Satyam Shivam Sundaram Eashwar satya hai Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1978 Tumhare Liye Tumhen dekhti hoon Jaidev
1981 Ek Duje Ke Liye Solah baras ki baali umar ko salaam Laxmikant-Pyarelal
1981 Harjaai Tere liye palkon ki jhaalar bunoon R D Burman
1982 Bazaar Dikhaayi diye yoon Khayyam
1983 Razia Sultan Ae dil-e-nadaan Khayyam
1985 Ram Teri Ganga Maili Ek Radha ek Meera Ravindra Jain
1991 Libaas Seeli hawa chhoo gayi R D Burman
1998 Dil Se Jiya jale jaan jale A R Rehman

Sargami Saga of Lataji: from Struggle to Success

                      penned down in a ‘first person account‘ through her ATM: Ageless and Timeless Melodies!

                  MI humble endeavour of an “Imagined Autobiographical Account” of the Legendary Singer

                                 Lata Mangeshkar: LAya TAal of MI Life

सुनो छोटी सी गुड़िया की लंबी कहानी…

अपने बाबा से: (soon after his death when she was just 13 years)

बाबा तेरी सोने की चिरय्या, जावे अंजाने की नगरिया…

तुम न जाने किस जहां में खो गये, हम भरी दुनिया में तन्हा खो गये…

जाना था हमसे दूर बहाने बना लिये, अब तुमने कितनी दूर ठिकाने बना लिये…

तेरा जाना दिल के अरमानों के लुट जाना, कोई देखे बनके तक़दीरों का मिट जाना…

तेरे बिना ज़िंदगी से कोई शिकवा तो नहीं, तेरे बिना ज़िंदगी भी लेकिन ज़िंदगी नहीं…

हंसी हंसी न रही और ख़ुशी ख़ुशी न रही, मैं ज़िंदगी जिसे समझूं वो ज़िंदगी न रही…

कटते हैं दुख में ये दिन पहलू बदल बदल के…


अपनी माई से: (when the responsibility of the entire family fell on her)

माई री, मैं कासे कहूं पीर अपने जिया की…

बोल मेरी तक़दीर में क्या है…

दिल का दर्द न जाने दुनिया, जाने दिल तड़पाना…

इस दर्द की मारी दुनिया में, मुझसा भी कोई मजबूर न हो…

मत समझो नीर बहाती हूं; मैं जलते जल की बूंदों से नैनों की प्यास बुझाती हूं…

दुनिया में हम आये हैं तो जीना ही पड़ेगा, जीवन है अगर ज़हर तो पीना ही पड़ेगा…


अपने आप से: (preparing herself to face the struggle ahead)

जा जा जा मेरे बचपन, कहीं जाके छुप नादान, ये सफ़र है अब मुशक़िल, आने को है तूफ़ान …

नयी मंज़िल, नयी राहें, नया है मेहरबां अपना, न जाने जाके ठहरेगा कहां ये कारवां अपना…

ऐ दिल तुझे क़सम है, हिम्मत न हारना; दिन ज़िंदगी के जैसे भी गुज़रे गुज़ारना…

उठाये जा उनके सितम और जीये जा; यूं ही मुस्कुराये जा, आंसू पीये जा…

आंसू अब तुम कभी न बहना, अपना दर्द किसीसे न कहना…

दिल ही तो है तड़प गया, दर्द से भर न आये क्यों…

ऐ मेरे दिल-ए-नादां, तू ग़म से न घबराना…

जब दिल को सतावे ग़म, छेड़ सखी सरगम…

गाये चला जा, गाये चला जा, एक दिन तेरा भी ज़माना आयेगा…

फैली हुई हैं सपनों की बाहें, आजा चलदें कहीं दूर…

कभी तो मिलेगी, कहीं तो मिलेगी, बहारों की मंज़िल राही…

कितने दिन आंखें तरसेंगी, कितने दिन यूं ही तरसेंगे, इक दिन तो बादल बरसेंगे,

     ऐ मेरे प्यासे दिल, आज नहीं तो कल महकेगी ख़्वाबों की महफ़िल…


अपने मार्गदर्शक संगीतकारों से: (when she started meeting the music directors)

पा लागू कर जोरी रे…

अभी तो मैं जवान हूं, अभी तो मैं जवान हूं…

कुछ शर्माते हुए और कुछ सहम सहम; नये रास्ते पे रखा आज मैंने पहला कदम…

तुम आशा विश्वास हमारे…

तेरे सुर और मेरे गीत, दोनों मिलकर बनेगी प्रीत…

हम तुम दोनों जब मिल जायेंगे, एक नया इतिहास बनायेंगे…

अब तो है तुमसे हर ख़ुशी अपनी, तुमपे मरना है ज़िंदगी अपनी…

मरना तेरी गली में, जीना तेरी गली में; मिट जायेगी हमारी दुनिया तेरी गली में…

मैं भारत की हूं नार, लड़ने मरने को हूं तैयार…


अपने संगीत प्रेमियों से: (soon after she gets her first playback and ‘going public’ assignment)

कोई मेरे दिल में ख़ुशी बनके आया, अंधेरा सा घर रौशनी बनके आया…

आयी भोर सुहानी, जागी आशा और मुसकायी…

ख़ुशियों के चांद मुस्कुराये रे, देखो मस्त ज़माने आये रे…

तक़दीर जगाकर आई हूं, मैं तो नयी दुनिया बसाकर आयी हूं…

आज मेरी दुनिया में दिन है बहार के, गीत मेरे होंठों पे आने लगे प्यार के…

तिरुलिल्ला तिरुलिल्ला तिरुलिल्ला रे, गाये लता, गाये लता, गाये लता रे

She came, she crooned, she conquered, she continued …  to reign supreme!!

गाता रहे मेरा दिल, तू ही मेरी मंज़िल…

आप की नज़रों ने समझा प्यार के काबिल मुझे…

तेरा मेरा साथ रहे, धूप हो, साया हो, दिन हो के रात रहे…

किसी राह में, किसी मोड़पर, कहीं चल न देना तू छोड़कर…

चलते चलते, चलते चलते…… ये कहां आ गये हम तेरे साथ साथ चलते…


अनुदर्शन (Introspection)

(reminiscing and ruminating over the seventy years rendevouz: saga from struggle to success)

अजीब दास्तां है ये, कहां शुरू कहां ख़तम, ये मंज़िलें हैं कौनसी, न वो समझ सके न हम…

वो भूली दास्तां लो फिर याद आ गयी, नज़र के सामने घटा सी छा गयी…

आज सोचा तो आंसू भर आये…

आज मेरे नसीब ने मुझको रुला रुला दिया, बीते दिनों की याद ने फिर मेरा दिल दुखा दिया…

वो दिन कहां गये बता?

हाये रे वो दिन क्यों ना आये?

अब वो रातें कहां, अब वो बातें कहां?

गुज़रा हुआ उल्फ़त का ज़माना याद करके रोयेंगे, अपनी कहानी अपना फ़साना याद करके रोयेंगे…


अपने संगीतप्रेमियों से: (a self assuring soliloquy ~ a soulful solace for ‘post’erity)

जो हमने दास्तां अपनी सुनायी, आप क्यों रोये?

रहें न रहें हम, महका करेंगे, बनके कली, बनके सबा, बाग़-ए-वफ़ा में…

हमारे बाद अब महफ़िल में अफ़साने बयां होंगे, बहारें हमको ढूंढेंगी न जाने हम कहां होंगे…

नाम गुम जायेगा, चेहरा ये बदल जायेगा, मेरी आवाज़ ही पहचान है, गर याद रहे…

तुम मुझे यूं भुला न पाओगे, जब कभी भी सुनोगे गीत मेरे, संग संग तुम भी गुनगुनाओगे…


अपने बाबा से: (a life long longing)

कल्पवृक्ष कन्ये साठी लावूनिया बाबा गेला, वैभावानी बहरूनी आला, याल का हो बघायाला?

आयेगा, आयेगा आयेगा … आयेगा आनेवाला, आयेगा आनेवाला !!

About LAya TAal

The Keep Alive music programmes have always been dominated by the songs of Lata Mangeshkar. As a curtain raiser, a reverential tribute was presented featuring her songs from 1947 to 1969 in four parts (1947 ~ 1954, 1955 ~ 1959, 1960 ~ 1964 and 1965 ~ 1969). Its offspring LAya TAal has been floated to present a series of programmes featuring exclusively the rare and classic melodies of the Melody Queen under the baton of each of the legendary maestros.

The inaugural event featured the ageless and timeless melodies of the muse and her three mentor maestros: Anil Biswas, Ghulam Haider and Khemchand Prakash; the second one incarnated the chimes and rhymes of C Ramchandra and the third, the nostalgic nocturnes of Naushad. These events set the spotlight on child prodigy singing star Prajakta Satardekar, truly blessed by Ma Saraswati, who will ‘breathe new life’ in to the timeless melodies of Lataji and keep alive the Laya ~ Taal of Lata Mangeshkar.

Manohar Iyer

The author Manohar Iyer

Manohar Iyer breathes, eats, drinks, sleeps, walks and talks nothing but music. Through his brain-child Keep Alive and the recent offsprings thereof, he has been striving to resurrect the Golden Era of Hindi Films and Film Music and perpetuate the great cinematic and musical works of the legendary filmmakers, maestros. lyricists, singers, actors and others. For more details, kindly see 'About Us'.


  1. Wow ! What an amazing tribute to the great Lata Didi ! A comprehensive and painstaking account that meticulously oozes mastery and music all over !

  2. Oôf, read in one shot… U shud be bestowed with Doctorate for ur research & presentation. So here goes, Dr. Manohar Iyerji….well done. We get to reap the fruits of ur labour by attending Ur well designed Keep Alive programs….. Thanks vv much.

  3. A masterpiece , sensitively written from the depth of heart, giving vent to those unfulfilled dreams with a choice of delectable songs of one and only Lata Mangeshkar.

  4. An Ode to a Nightingale !!
    Rich in content and value.
    Very painstakingly gathered information. A treat for vintage hindi film music lovers.
    A perfect Birthday Gift to Lataji on her 88th Birthday – wish Lataji would go through the connoisseur’s labour, nay passion.

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