India lost her Queen of Melody, Lata Mangeshkar, on the 6th of February, 2022. Lata Mangeshkar’s songs have made her immortal. Seven decades of singing, with more than 30000 songs in her lifetime; rightly makes her one of the most influential names in Indian music. The title, ‘Voice of the Millennium’, is so just perfect. My grandma heard her, my mom did and so did I. She was born on 28 September 1929 and started performing when she was 9. She stepped into the Bollywood industry in the 1940s and therefore, one can write a novel on her songs. However, I chose to write about some which are of course melodious but touched me for some other reason. You will be surprised to know, but these songs helped me virtually travel and prepare a travel bucket list.
Lata Mangeshkar’s Songs and Virtual Travel
‘Is Mod Se Jate Hai’ and ‘Tere Bina Zindagi se Koi’ from Aandhi, 1975
These two duets by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar are not only two of the most melodious songs of the industry but are extremely scenic. Kashmir, the heaven on earth, becomes all the more romantic in those two songs. The lush green Pahalgam valley surrounded by snow-covered mountains, the Mughal Gardens, and the Awantipora ruins feature in the songs. R.D.Burman, the great music composer, made Lataji and Kishore da weave magic into the songs of the 1975 movie, ‘Aandhi’, directed by Gulzar. Suchitra Sen perfectly lipped Lata Mangeshkar’s songs and Sanjeev Kumar did that for Kishore Kumar, making them songs that are ageless.
‘Iye Kahan Aa Gaye Hum’ and ‘Dekha Ek Khwaab to Yeh Silsile Huwe’ from Silsila, 1981
These 2 Lata Mangeshkar’s songs from Yash Chopra’s 1981 multi-starer movie, ‘Silsila’, were composed by Shiv-Hari. In both the songs Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan were seen romancing in the beautiful tulip garden, Keukenhof, Amsterdam. Amsterdam is the capital of Holland in Europe. The gorgeous flowers and the sweetness of Lata Mangeshkar’s voice made the songs ethereal.
‘Husn Pahadon ka Kya Kahena’ from Ram Teri Ganga Maili, 1985
Raj Kapoor’s 1985 movie, ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ has this song which is not as popular as those mentioned in this list of Lata Mangeshkar’s songs. However, the song was shot at Harsil Valley and Gangotri. The scenic Garhwal Himalaya (Uttarakhand) and Lata Ji’s melodious voice make it an outstanding song to watch.
‘Tu Mere Samne’ from Darr, 1993
The list of my favorite Lata Mangeshkar’s songs can go on and on. Even though selecting a few from the plethora of choices is hard, I choose to mention the song, ‘Tu Mere Samne’ from Yash Chopra’s 1993 super hit movie, ‘Darr’. It was Shiv-Hary’s music. While Udit Narayan was the passionate voice of Shahrukh Khan, Lata Mangeshkar was the sweet voice of Juhi Chawla. They danced on the snowy Jungfrau top, Switzerland.
‘Dil Hoom Hoom Kare’ from Rudaali, 1993
This is one of the most melodious songs out of the thousands of Lata Mangeshkar’s songs we hear. This is a very special song in every way. It is composed by Bhupen Hazarika, not a regular matter for Bollywood movies. This Kalpana Lajmi movie, ‘Rudali’, is labeled as India’s neo-realist parallel cinema as it deals with a certain social issue like the lives of professional mourners in remote rural Rajasthan. Lata Ji sang for Dimple Kapadia, who is perfectly dressed in Rajasthani folk attire. Raj Babbar and other men wear heavy turbans and have moustaches as Rajasthani men have. Sand dunes and camels are featured too. Even to this day, when I hear this song, Rajasthan is what comes to my mind.
‘Ho gaya Hai Tujhko to Pyar Sajna’ from DilwaleDulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), 1995
This song is the most special to me among allLata Mangeshkar’s songs because it is the song of my teen, my first falling in love, and my most beloved on-screen lovers, Kajol and Shahrukh Khan. This song is also responsible for me listing Switzerland on top of my travel bucket list. The Swiss villages look extraordinarily serene. In fact, most of the songs of Yash Chopra’s DDLJ feature the gorgeous landscape of Switzerland; lakes, mountains, quaint little rail station; and popular souvenirs like Swiss cowbells. This song is still my go-to song for a virtual trip to Switzerland.
Jiya Jale, from Dil se, 1998
This song is a quick and magical means of traveling to Kerala. The romance of Preity Zinta and Shahrukh Khan on the typical Kerala houseboat on the backwaters with Chinese fishing nets and coconut trees in the backdrop makes the song so sensuous. Periyar forests, majestic elephants of Kerala, and the terrific Athirappilly Falls are seen in the song. A. R. Rahman has composed this extraordinary song for Mani Ratnam’s 1998 movie ‘Dil Se’. Lata Ji (Lata Mangeshkar), at the age of 68, has poured in magic potions with her voice for Preity Zinta who was then 23. Not only among Lata Mangeshkar’s songs but this is one of Bollywood’s best ever.
Awards and Accolades
Like her never-ending list of songs, the list of her awards and accolades is also never-ending. Leaving behind all the National Awards, Filmfare, and other industry awards, she received some of India’s most prestigious awards. In 1969, the Government of India bestowed her with Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan in 1999. Next, in 1989, Dadasaheb Phalke Award was bestowed on her by the Government of India. In 2001, she was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.
In 2008, she was honored with the “One Time Award for Lifetime Achievement” to commemorate the 60th anniversary of India’s independence. France recognized her with their highest civilian award, Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, in 2007. Lata Mangeshkar’s songs have made her immortal and an integral part of lives and emotions.
A versatile writer and travel freak, discovering the world in her own casual way. Loves to immerse into the core of Mother Nature and extract her inherent beauty.