Down a musical memory lane

Lata shares how she started her association with the music composer on a note of dissent

Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar has not sung many songs for Ravindra Jain. His fixation on the voice of Hemlata was well known. But the little that she sang for him, Lata made it worthwhile. The veteran composer succumbed to a multiple organ failure on Friday evening in Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital.

Lata, who is shaken by his demise, remembers Jain as someone who was very clear about what he wanted. “And he wouldn’t budge from his stance,” she says. “I think the first song I sang for him was Tera mera saath rahe from Saudagar. We started our professional association on a note of dissent during the recording of this song. It was composed at an impossibly high scale for a female singer. I remember when Shankar-Jaikishan had given me Ajee roothkar ab kahaan jayeyiga in Arzoo I was appalled by the high notes. ‘Yeh aap kiss baat ka badla le rahen hain mujhse (For what are you taking revenge from me)? I asked them. I had similar thoughts when I heard Ravindraji’s song too. But he was firm. ‘Nahin nahin, aap se ho jayega (No, no you will manage),’ he insisted. The song turned out beautifully.”

That was the beginning of an association that culminated in the songs of Raj Kapoor’s Ram Teri Ganga Maili. Raj Kapoor heard Jain sing Ek radha ek meera at a public performance. He immediately got up from his seat walked up to the dais and gave Jain a token currency note saying, “This song is mine. You will be doing the music of my next film.”

Says Lataji, “Raj Kapoor was very excited that Daadu — as Ravindra Jainji was called by everyone — would be doing the score for Ram Teri Ganga Maili. And what beautiful melodies I got to sing in this film! There was Ek radha ek meera, then the film’s title song and Tujhe bulaye yeh meri baahein. After that film, Raj saab signed him again for Henna. Sadly, he passed away after we recorded two of the songs. One of the songs Baaju mein woh hai was a typical Raj Kapoor song. But when his son Randhir took over Henna he dropped that song. I was very hurt by that.”

The other Ravindra Jain composition Chitthiye that Raj Kapoor recorded for Henna before passing away also has a history. Lata recalls, “Raj saab told me that I had to express the sentiments of both the Pakistani and Indian beloveds, played by Zeba Bakhtiar and Ashwini Bhave. It was a challenge. I remember many people including singer Suresh Wadekar came to hear me record that song.”

Lata remembers Jain as a happy and talented man. “Look at the melodies he created in Chit Chor like Tu jo mere sur mein, Jab deep jale aana and Gori tera gaon bada pyara. He was a jovial and a warm man. Whenever he called, he would insist we meet either at his home or at my place. He used to say some really funny jokes. When I learnt about his illness, I called up his wife. I wanted to go see him. But everything happened so suddenly,” says the singer. Fighting her tears, she adds, “On my last birthday he posted lovely wishes for me on Twitter. I’ll always treasure them.”

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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