Best songs of 1950: Wrap Up 2

August 29, 2015

And the award for the Best ‘Other’ Female Singer goes to?

Suraiya-Rajkumari-Shamshad Begum-Geeta DuttThis year, too, I faced the familiar dilemma I faced last year while reviewing the best songs of 1951: whether to make a combined list of the best female solos or split it in two – Lata Mangeshkar and ‘Others’. Male solos which I reviewed in my last post do not pose this difficulty. This was best underscored by Mumbaikar 8’s comment: there is not much to wriggle about in male solos. It is both a question of numbers and diversity. The female solos outnumber male solos by a factor of four to one. Within the female solos Lata Mangeshkar had established her position as the frontrunner by miles. As per Venkataramanji’s statistics she had 20% of female solos, in all, in the year, whereas in my Select List she has 32%. The other dominant singers were Geeta Roy and Shamshad Begum accounting for about 41% of the total songs, but in my list they had 31%. Thus, Lata Mangeshkar not only had a large share in the pie, her share in the memorable songs was even larger. I described this phenomenon as flattening of the pyramid. Many readers gave two separate lists, but tried to give a combined list, too, by including 3 or 4 of Lata Mangeshkar and apportioning the rest among the ‘other’ singers.

Share in female solos in 1950

Some of the other singers gave their career-best songs in the year. Rajkumari became identified with her songs in Bawre Nain. Suraiya’s songs in Afsar would be reckoned among her best. Geeta Roy’s songs in Jogan are exceptional. And there is a surprise uncommon singer Jayshree with absolutely beautiful Ambua ki dari pe bole re koeliya in Dahej, which almost everyone has included, even in a combined list of best ten.

Some comments underscore the importance of ‘other’ singers. Mumbaikar8’s best singer is Lata Mangeshkar, but her best song is Geeta Roy’s Dagmag dagmag dole naiya from Jogan. Arvind’s best singer is unambiguously Geeta Roy for Jogi mat ja.  Arvinder Sharmaji’s best singer is, as expected Lata Mangeshkar, but he says special mention must be made of Geeta Roy’s songs from Jogan (presuming a combined list is made) . SSW has added a beautiful Geeta Roy song from Khel: Saajna din bahure hamare. I thought I had given a fair representation to her, but her fans can’t have enough of her.

I had completely missed Nalini Jaywant. She was a very accomplished singer. Jignesh has added several of her songs from Muqaddar and Hindustan Hamara.

Another omission in my list was Asha Bhosle. Venkataramanji rued that it would have been better had she been represented. Some readers mentioned her Birha ki rat mose kati nahi jaat from Biwi.

For every singer who has been well represented by her well known songs, readers stretched the boundaries and gave many more songs beyond my Select List, some of which they also included in their top ten. Ashokji has started a mega exercise taking off from my overview post. He has written six separate posts on the best female solos: three for Lata Mangeshkar with various music directors, one for Suraiya, one for Shamshad Begum and one for Rajkumari and Geeta Roy and others.

Thus, it is clear that ‘other’ singers deserve a separate post for themselves this year, too. However, making a final list of the best ten ‘other’ female solos is a mind-boggling exercise. I would proceed from my Select List to include songs that are undoubtedly extremely melodious and well-known, and see if any room is left to include songs from outside. The top slot has to be either Geeta Roy (Jogan) or Suraiya (Afsar) or Rajkumari (Bawre Nain) or Shamshad Begum (Babul). Some of these singers deserve more than one song in the top list. Jayshree makes a sure entry. Meena Kapoor’s Mori atariya pe kaga bole also deserves a sure entry, being one of her signature songs. If there is any room left after that, I would try to take one of Nalini Jaywant and one of Asha Bhosle. Thus, the following list seems to be a fair representation of the best ten ‘other’ female solos in the year. The order in the top five may vary from person to person.

Best ten

1. Jogi mat ja by Geeta Roy from Jogan (1950), lyrics Meerabai, music Bulo C Rani

With Pandit Omkarnath Thakur and Juthika Roy, this song has a very daunting legacy for any film playback singer to attempt to sing. Yet Geeta Roy is able to bring out the pathos in this bhajan. My choice was between this song or Ghunghat ke pat khol re – the readers’ choice, too,  varied between these two. That song, too, has a powerful Juthika Roy legacy. I go for the former, because Geeta Roy does a competent job in this sada-suhagan Bhairavi.

Some readers might find my praise somewhat lukewarm for a song I am placing at the top. We have heard Juthika Roy. But Jogi mat ja would forever be identified with Pt Omkarnath Thakur. He takes us to a different plane.  I am presenting his iconic bhajan to experience the spiritual bliss.


2. Man mor hua matwala by Suraiya from Afsar, lyrics Pt Narendra Sharma, music SD Burman

We have seen SD Burman-Suraiya association is limited to just three films (Vidya, Afsar and Laal Kunwar) and 14 songs. Her major composers were Naushad and Husnlal Bhagatram, creating about four times more songs. Yet her songs in Afsar would rank among her best. I often remember a word used by Subodh to describe some songs: झूमना. She literally casts a spell and makes your heart sway when she sings Man mor hua matwala kisne jadoo dala re.


3. Nain deewane by Suraiya from Afsar

SD Burman adapts Rabindrasangeet She din dujone to create an equally timeless melody.


4. Ghunghat ke pat khol re by Geeta Roy from Jogan, lyrics Meerabai, music Bulo C Rani

In this song, too, comparison with Juthika Roy is inevitable. But Geeta Roy’s rendering is able to make a mark for itself. Kudos to Bulo C Rani.


5. Chhod babul ka ghar by Shamshad Begum from Babul, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad

Shamshad Begum with 16 solos has the maximum number of songs in my Select List after Lata Mangeshkar. If I don’t have the constraint of numbers and giving representation to a mix of singers, I would choose her 5 or 6 songs, all of which are superb. Her two songs – Tahsreef rakhiyeji tashreef rakhiye (Chhoti Bhabhi, HB) and Kateele tore naina raseele raseele (Nishana; Khursheed Anwar) have figured in my ‘Special Songs’. Babul itself has some more immensely popular songs, such as Dhadke mera dil haye jawani, Jadoo bhare naino mein dole jiya and Na socha tha ye dil lagan eke pahle, some of which have found place in readers’ lists. I choose Chhod babul ka ghar because it is one of the iconic vidai songs.  This long clip has multiple versions of the song, including the well-known Shamshad Begum version.


6. Sun bairi balam kuchh bol re by Rajkumari from Bawre Nain, lyrics Kidar Sharma, music Roshan

Kidar Sharma writes Ib kya hoga instead of Ab kya hoga, and Rajkumari singing for the impish Geeta Bali creates a magic which will give her long popularity on music reality shows long after her career in films had come to a stop.


7. Ambua ki dari pe bole re koeliya by Jayshree from Dahej, lyrics Shams Lakhanvi, music Vasant Desai

Jayshree has six songs in this film. I don’t know how many songs she has sung in her career. But this one is clearly her most famous and extremely popular. A sure entry in a field crowded by stalwarts.


8. Mori atariya pe kaga bole by Meena Kapoor from Ankhen, lyrics Bharat Vyas, music Madan Mohan

This has figured in my post on atariya songs. Some singers get identified with a particular song. Mori atariya pe kaga bole is one of the songs which has become Meena Kapoor’s identity.


9. Rakhti hun main pyar tera by Nalini Jaywant from Hindustan Hamara, music Vasant Desai

Nalini Jaywant has come in for discussion earlier on SoY when we speculated how such an accomplished singer could not achieve greater heights. She debuted in 1941 in the era of actor-singers with National Studios director Virendra Desai’s Radhika. She sang about 40 songs in 10 films, her last song being in Chingari (1955). Anil Bhargav suggests in his Swaron Ki Yatra that had she given as much attention to her singing as she did to acting, she could have been a better singer. She had tough competition in the vintage era, followed by Lata Mangeshkar era, when she must have thought there was no point in riding in two boats. She sang two songs (including a duet with Balak Ram) in Hindustan Hamara and three songs in Muqaddar in 1950; all are very pleasant to listen to. I had missed her completely in my Select List. You have this melodious song thanks to Jignesh; you can’t disappoint someone as enthusiastic as him. He forced us to take a closer look at Nalini Jaywant.


10. Birha ki raat mose kaati nahi jaat by Asha Bhosle from Biwi, lyrics Nazim Panipati, music Aziz Hindi

This song would not have figured in my list of top ten in the face of my many favourites of Shamshad Begum and Rajkumari still out. Purely my personal opinion, Asha Bhosle was not there in the early 50s. This one is in deference to some readers’ request.

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dinesh K Jain August 29, 2015 at 2:14 pm

AK, it is all very well to have all these categories and sub-categories like, male, Lata, non-Lata female, duet-romantic, duet-LDDS, duet-non romantic, and so on, but I do hope in the end we will also have one unquestionable “The Best Song of the Year”, without which, to my mind, all this exercise becomes rather devoid of meat – no, no meat, rather devoid of point or substance!

2 AK August 29, 2015 at 2:52 pm

One reason for doing five ‘bests’ categorywise was precisely the difficulty in selecting one overall best song of the year. Say, for 1953 how do we say which is better between Ye zindagi usi ki hai and Zindagi denewale sun/Shaam-e-gham ki kasam? One can still make some sense categorywise. When we found that in some years other female singers’ songs were exceptionally good, and it was not possible to club them with Lata Mangeshkar’s songs, we decided to split the female solos in two parts.

But I am not ruling out your point. Since all the songs are on the table, in my final summing up I would try to cover it.

PS. In the series on best songs of the year, we have only 4/5 distinct categories: (1) Male solos, (2) Other Female solos, (3) Best of Lata Mangeshkar, (4) Duets, (5) MD.

3 Anu Warrier August 29, 2015 at 8:03 pm

You know my views on ‘best’. 🙂 I will just sit back and luxuriate in all the songs you have listed, all the songs that your avid readers will list in the comments, and exult in the fact that we have so many, many melodies to lose ourselves in. I have nothing to add to this discussion, so I will let others who are better at analysis than I am set the comments section on fire.

4 mumbaikar8 August 29, 2015 at 10:56 pm

Setting comments on fire ? Though I am not better at analysis.
I have nothing to say about choices and favorites, it is entirely personal. But I fail to understand the equation.
Lata’s songs 20% = 10 songs
Other’s songs 80% = 10 songs.
This equation is beyond my understanding.
P. S. Your love for Geeta and Asha is obvious in your pie chart:)

5 AK August 30, 2015 at 12:08 am

I know your views. But when we break down into convenient groups, we can legitimately talk of 10 bests of ‘so and so’. Therefore, my exercise is not antithetical to your views. You could have issues with Dinesh, because he is looking for the best song of the year.

Guess who said it? “My singer of the Year LATA”
Not AK, but Mumbaikar8 in comment #118 in my overview post about the best songs of 1950. Your new additions are mostly Lata Mangeshkar songs, and very few Geeta Roy/Asha Bhosle songs.

I am not trying to score a clever argument. The fact is Lata Mageshkar was, for most of her career, a class by herself. She had proportionately very large number of memorable songs. Therefore, it should be no surprise that her 20% would yield 10 of superlative quality, which others’ 80% would do. In case you feel my bias is reflected in the pie chart, your chart or even charts of known Geeta Roy/Asha Bhosle fans would not be much different.

6 Shekhar August 30, 2015 at 6:15 am

A low quality video clip of “Mori atariya pe kaga bole” on Nalini Jaywant is on YouTube at

7 AK August 30, 2015 at 10:45 am

Thanks a lot. Because of poor quality of videos, I have to often compromise and put up audios. But it is nevertheless delightful. Is Nalini Jaywant waiting for you or Bharat Bhushan?

8 arvind August 30, 2015 at 10:57 am

I think we should not go for 2 awards.the moment we say the “best ‘other’ female singer” we have prejudged the issue. let there be one combined does not matter if lata emerges on the top,yet again. in my opinion only one lata song would make to this single list. ‘koi kisi ka deewana na bane’ from the movie sargam.

9 AK August 30, 2015 at 11:52 am

Here is an inveterate Geeta Dutt/Asha Bhosle fan speaking! Even though I entirely disagree with you (that only one Lata song would make to the combined list), I have to thank you for providing another perspective.

Incidentally, it used to be a single list. The separate lists came out of readers’ suggestions.

10 Shekhar August 30, 2015 at 1:02 pm

AKji, If I were not an atheist, I would have been tempted to say NJ waiting for me in the heaven! 🙂

11 Dinesh K Jain August 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm

I had not realised this issue of one single best song of the year would actually be so contentious, but I again venture to stick my neck out and express my fervent hope that we would eventually identify that one single song, not only for this year, but for each year that we examine, and in the end we would also have one single best song of ‘all times’…the Pinnacle if you please. If necessary we can resort to voting (we are a democracy after all), and if it comes to that we might even allow AK the casting vote even though we all know he will opt for a Naushad number in the voice of Shamshad Begum.

12 AK August 30, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Your point noted. I don’t know how far it is practicable. But your sarcastic comment at the end. I have to say Hum aah bhi bharate hain to ho jaate hain badnaam. Wo qatl bhi karate hain to charcha nahi hota.

13 SSW August 30, 2015 at 5:48 pm

Perhaps, you shouldn’t have a best song. Too many variables. You can have a favourite song, singer etc. At least that is viable. Most people don’t listen to songs in their totality anyway. They just hear them.

14 AK August 30, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Let us play by the ear. Dinesh thought a best song is possible. My view is we can at best talk of four bests: male solos; other female solos; Lata solo; duets. But readers can post in whatever way they want. That time would come in my final wrap up.

15 mumbaikar8 August 30, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Lata was on the rise and was singing for all the major MDs, no one can deny her capabilities. She got the best and she delivered the best.
Geeta’s 10% share in your select list to her 23% share of total list was not a fair representation. (my opinion)
Har Har Mahadev was one of the ten box office hits of the year; music played a huge role in that, your select list did not include a single Geeta song from that movie, just one example.
I added more Lata songs but then I did not like few Lata songs on your list.
Agree to “The fact is Lata Mageshkar was, for most of her career, a class by herself. “But here we are not discussing her career.
1950 the Lata Geeta ratio of 5:1 I cannot agree upon, not matter how cleverly you argue.

I did not get the meaning of totality. Is that subjective?
For me totality will be: understand meaningful lyrics for you something else?

16 AK August 31, 2015 at 10:36 am

Let me try to be as unclever as possible. If you make corrections for my biases, which I have always admitted, some Lata Mangeshkar songs, which you find below par, would be eliminated from the Select List; some songs would be added which you and other readers have mentioned. If you take into account all the comments, the net would be plus. There would be some additions in Geeta Roy/Asha Bhosle. If you limit the correction to only these two boxes, i.e. Lata and Geeta/Asha, and do the pie chart again, others’ share would be reduced obviously, but the changes in Lata and Geeta/Asha may throw some startling result (depending on the manner in which the additions are divided in the two boxes – I am including Geeta Roy/Asha Bholse in one box for convenience). It would be half an our exercise, please try that.

More interesting is the combined quality argument. Arvind makes a bold statement that in the combined list of best 10, only one Lata Mangeshkar song would come in, and read with his comments on the main post, that would not be the top song. I hope he is not overcorrecting.

17 arvind August 31, 2015 at 12:52 pm

liking a song or not is very personal/subjective.
if the final list does not have the geeta dutt song at the top or has more than one lata song it is fine .

18 SSW August 31, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Mumbaikar8, since we are discussing songs, totality means everything lyrics, voices, and accompanying music (preludes, postludes, interludes etc.).

19 mumbaikar8 August 31, 2015 at 5:32 pm

If the list is personal I cannot and shall not contest, you know my view on personal choices.
If it is colored collective then only I question to your Lata’s 5 quality songs to Geeta’s 1.

Got it!
But then there is something in between just hearing them and listening in totality.
I confess I do not get all the interludes, preludes and postludes, would still say I do not mere hear a song.

20 AK August 31, 2015 at 5:49 pm

Nothing is personal. I have asked you to delete whatever you want and add whatever you want, and redo the pie chart.

21 SSW August 31, 2015 at 6:07 pm

Mumbaikar8, precisely. That is why a “best” song is an artificial construct or a best novel or a best poem, best music, best painting , best science etc.
You can have your favourites though.

22 mumbaikar8 August 31, 2015 at 8:21 pm

Reading few comments I was questioning myself whether I was overstepping in your personal territory, I am relieved I am not. Thanks.
I have my view on your final Lata Geeta ratio of 5:1, have expressed it and would like to rest at that.
Going back to pie chart I feel does not matter anymore (we are in final wrap up now).

23 Jignesh Kotadia September 2, 2015 at 2:16 am

Thank God, ultimately internet services started today in Surat after 6 days ban..and i came out of isolation room.
I stayed 2 full days (26 and 27) in closed doors in my home doing my favorite hobbies : Listening-singing ohfm and making poetries. I have completed that ” Yakrit ” stanza in a full-fledged poetry in these days that i will publish on SoY in next days. I rarely get such leisure time at home to fulfil my hobbies but when i get it, it has been always in a forceful way either by flood or by riot 🙂 The anti-police riots were at peak in the streets, following the merciless Laathi charge on Patidaar people gathered for Reservation movement in Amdavad..govt properties were damaged severely. There after internet was disabled to stop the provocation being done by the social sites esp. Whatsapp.

Thanks for your Concerning email that i saw only today.

24 Jignesh Kotadia September 2, 2015 at 2:27 am

🙂 I am also a Paatidaar 🙂

Name : Jignesh
Surname : Kotadia
Cast : Leuva Patel
Native : Gondal (Saurashtra)
Religion : OHFM

25 AK September 2, 2015 at 9:39 am

Welcome back. I like your spirit. The thought of being locked out of Internet for six days is scary. I can’t visualise how the life would have gone on – banking, railways, flights – they would all come to a standstill. You go to a bank and you are told the system is down – five minutes appear as eternity.

Looking for your song, I hope you are going to post it in Devnagari.

26 Hans September 2, 2015 at 5:57 pm

Quite an interesting discussion going on. Mumbaikar8 has raised an important point which seems to be right. Arvind’s individual opinion has also been labelled as of a Geeta/Asha lover though in jest. I have seen overall stats of singers for 1950 in HFGK. Geeta sang the most number of songs in the females. She had 93 solos as against 87 of Lata and both had equal no of duets – 52. Geeta is represented by 8 solos and 4 duets in AK’s list. Out of the 8, six are from Jogan which is special so could not be ignored. Of the remaining 82 solos of Geeta we have only 2, while Lata has 27 from almost an equal no. Nobody would dare say Geeta was such a poor singer. Asha had 25 solos and 13 duets and none of her songs made the list. AK has said that 20 % of Lata is better than 80% of others. On this analogy, as we go back in the earlier years, we may witness a spectacle that 10 or 15 songs of Lata would be equated with 500 of others.

Even in 1950 (which is not the best year for her), Suraiya’s share in the select list is 14 out of 30 solos, which percentage is better than Lata. Is she on this reasoning the best singer. Suraiya produced gems at 11 or 12 the equivalent of which Lata could not produce even at age 18. What should that mean. Naushad who was running after Suraiya when she was not even in her teens labelled her as singing girl next door which effectually means an ordinary singer and also said she had limited range. Was this jealousy, because Suraiya was getting enormous fees for her films(more than even the trimurti of Dilip, Raj and Dev) when he was still working under contract. What would have happened if she had been a full-fledged playback singer.

SoY awards have always been influenced by the Lata effect. Lata wins female solo award. Only that duet wins the award which has Lata in it. Male solo award cannot go to Rafi, who was her bitter rival and most of the people think him a better singer than Lata. And who knows the best MD award is also reserved for the one who gives Lata the best treatment. That is my opinion and nothing more should be read in that.

27 Ruhi Krishnan September 3, 2015 at 9:05 am

@Hans – Perhaps that is because in her prime (late40s/50s/early 60s) there was no one to touch Lata in her virtuosity, much less surpass her?

The amount of Lata bashing that goes on in the name of ‘being fair’ to other singers is incredible. She reached the heights she did because of her indisputable talent, her sheer dedication and hard work. If music directors made a beeline for her, it is because they knew that she could sing any song that they composed for her.

Geeta Dutt is my favourite singer, but even I cannot deny that Lata – in her peak – was simply divine. She could do no wrong. There simply wasn’t a singer who could come anywhere near her in technique, voice control, skill or range. It is not for nothing that Suraiya said of Lata: “Noor Jehan was born great, Lata achieved greatness and I had (singing) greatness thrust upon me.”

And yet, that does not mean that Suraiya or Geeta or Asha were not great singers in their own right.

Why is it not possible just to enjoy the songs that have been sung by all the great talents who have given us such a treasure to listen and enjoy, and not tarnish their legacy by petty accusations and this ongoing (but unsolveable) debate of ‘Who is greater than whom?’

28 AK September 3, 2015 at 9:53 am

Welcome to SoY and thanks a lot for your comments.

29 Ashok M Vaishnav September 4, 2015 at 8:51 am

The wrap-ups have now reached such an exalted status of putting across author’s own view quite clearly while giving due weight to all other differing views, that one eagerly awaits each of the wrap-up treatise.
These analyses and the discussions have become very engrossing read in their own right.
So… enjoying this one as well, simply as a reader …..

30 N Venkataraman September 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm

It’s been such a long time since I wrote/ posted my comments on SoY. Feeling good to be back among friends after a long layoff.

The selection of best 10 ‘other’ female singers were as expected. The inclusion of Asha Bhosle’s song was the only surprise.

The idea of having a separate post for ‘other’ singers is good. In a combined list Lata Mangeshkar’s songs would have taken up three slots, if not more, which means, as many songs less from the other singers’ list. In any case, I would like to see your combined list of the best ten female solos, culled out from the readers’ selection.

31 Ashok Kumar Tyagi September 4, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Could I barge in with a different perspective?
Let us divide a film song into five factors : lyrics, Music composition,singing, presentation by the actors’ during shooting of the song including scenario or indoor set being used, and fifthly, overall situation of the song in the story being enacted in the film. Now which factor should carry more weight? Or do all the factors carry equal weight? These questions are not easy to answer. To simplify let us take a song :
Ab ke baras bhej bhaiya to babul – film Bandini(1963).
Shailendra wrote beautifully, composition and musical arrangement by Sachin dada was faultless, song rendition was great, actors did an adequate job – when camera turned to Nutan her face showed the pathos magnificently ; What would have happened if it was an ordinary film and the song not jelled properly with the story(Jarasandh had written a masterly story for Bimal Roy). This was an unforgettable song. Can we give credit to one, two or three persons.
I beg to state that a song is not a top song exclusively because of its singer or singers. All the five factors have importance.
This begs a question. While selecting top songs of a year, if we say that going by singers would not the correct procedure, then how should we go about it? Binaca Geetmala used to go about it in their own way. The method used by them also invited criticism, however, Ameen Sayani used his sauve speaking powers to deflect criticism.
Learned and experienced people could trigger a thought process on the issue in question..

32 AK September 4, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Welcome back. Hope you are now going to stay regular. I agree there has to be two lists. Whether one can make a viable combined list is contentious because some very extreme views.

33 AK September 4, 2015 at 6:37 pm

If you catch up with old posts in year wise reviews (you can see the links in the sidebar on the right), you will find that I am doing best in different categories: male solos, female solos (Lata/Others) and duets. I have so far avoided doing an overall best, because to my mind that is not doable. This suggestion has come for the first time this year. I shall try to address it in my future Wrap Ups.

Your other points are spot on. Thanks a lot for your comments.

34 Jignesh Kotadia September 4, 2015 at 8:41 pm

Tum kahaan the kahaan rahe saahib
Aaj hoga hisaab barso me

35 Dinesh K Jain September 8, 2015 at 10:17 am

Allow me to revert to my very seriously meant suggestion to identify one single song at the end of the exercise as the Best Song of the Year, and eventually also one Best Song Ever.

Now ‘best’ is a difficult exercise in what is essentially a subjective realm, so I would suggest that best for our purposes here would be identified in the same manner as you identify best for various sub-categories, which really means the best by general consensus among the aficionados here, that is, the most popular among us.

And, if we all decide to insist only on sub-categories only, then we might as well complete that kind of exercise in the following manner to do full justice to the idea:

Female Solos: Lata, Non-Lata; Duets: With Lata, Without Lata; Male Solo: With (virtual) Lata, Without (virtual) Lata (let me explain the virtual part: Male Solos where Lata could or could not have been singing along); Blues: Lata, non-Lata; Classical: Lata, Non-Lata; and so on…

If any of you thought I was being sarcastic or in lighter vein, you are right. I for one cannot comprehend any sub-categorisations as Lata and non-Lata. Lata won every award, including Bharat Ratna, and I should believe that we all agree she is the best ever, ‘The Nightingale’, then what is wrong if she is found to be the best female singer more often than not?

I would rather see which is the one Best song of the year, and, then, who its creators are. Why so much excessive emphasis on its singers alone?

Let me hasten to add, while closing my long remarks, that I am also quite content the way we are going, and enjoy it every bit. Please, AK, take my above comments only as made in a constructive spirit.

36 AK September 8, 2015 at 3:32 pm

I must say very forcefully that neither I nor any reader, as per my understanding, presumed that you were not being serious. I don’t think there was anything to create this impression in your mind. We were only talking about practical difficulties in selecting an overall best.

You are right that Lata versus non-Lata is not a usual classification. The need arose because it was felt that the former’s dominance was so overwhelming in early 1950s that a combined list maight miss ‘other’ singers. I feel this situation will continue only till 1949 or 1948 at most. Pre-1948, Lata Mangeshkar would be to other singers what others are to her in later years.

37 Dinesh K Jain September 8, 2015 at 4:32 pm


No need to be forceful – it does not match your natural style. When I said “very seriously”, it was only to try to ensure that it is not lost sight of under the sand of time. But thank you anyway for reassuring me.

“Practical difficulties” is what I have been unable to understand. The process of identifying the best song of the year would be and should be exactly the same as for any sub-categories. The difficulties would also be exactly similar; it is just a matter of perception. As a matter of fact, I am keen on this exercise more particularly for pre-1954, for there was no Binaca Geetmala then.

I have no difficulty either with any sub-categories with or without Lata. I do appreciate the distinction. And as for sub-categories, I say the more the better. But let that not detract from the need, as I perceive it, for one best song for each year.

You cited a previous year, mentioning 3 different songs. In my own preference, it is a no-brainer; I would instantly choose Sham-e-gham ki kasam! But the weight of the general consensus might well lean towards another song. Let us try to find out.

Thanks for your patience…

38 AK September 8, 2015 at 6:18 pm

I accept unhesitatingly that the emphasis was unwarranted, and it does not go with my natural style. Rest is a matter of views.

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