Best songs of 1950: Wrap Up 1

July 12, 2015

Songs of Yore Award for the Best Male Playback Singer goes to?

Talat Mahmood-Mukesh-Rafi-Manna DeyThe year 1950 too shows, like 1951,  that male solos were far outnumbered by female solos (by about a factor of 4), both in the total songs and in my Select List which comprised about 15% of the total songs of the year. There have been many additions by the readers to the Select List. These are overwhelmingly female solos, and within that Lata Mangeshkar songs. If we include those songs the Select list would be about 200, and the female solo dominance over male solos would be even more pronounced. Such overwhelming asymmetry was a feature of film songs in general across all the years. We leave the reasons for such difference for another time; we limit ourselves in this post to intra-male solos’ analysis.

Venkataramanji’s statistical analysis greatly enhances our overall understanding of the relative share of different singers in the total number of songs in the year, and their share in memorable songs as reflected by my Select List in my overview post. Let me mention some important facts:

    • The year had 30 male singers in all.  The Select List has songs of 12 singers. Thus, as many as 18 male singers must have gone completely unnoticed even during those days.
    • Out of the above, four singers – Talat Mahmood, Mukesh, Rafi and GM Durrani – accounted for a little more than 50% of the songs, 26 other singers sharing the balance.
    • Between the 4 dominant singers we find that Talat Mahmood and Mukesh had proportionately larger share of their songs becoming hits as compared to Rafi’s. I had described this phenomenon as ‘inversion of pyramid’ last year. To have a sense of the numbers, Talat Mahmood had about 11% share in the total male solos, but in my Select List he has 21%. 

One reason for this is the special niche of Talat Mahmood and Mukesh. They got relatively smaller number of songs of their type which had a higher success rate. Because of the dominance of these two singers in the year (this was the feature in 1951 too), as you run down the list of 24 solos in the Select List, you may feel all their 8 songs deserve to be in the final ten, leaving room for only two other songs. Since there are some very good songs by other singers too, we subconsciously do some rationing by limiting Talat and Mukesh songs to, say 5, and distribute the remaining 5 to other singers. Venkataramanji has included 3 of Talat and 2 of Mukesh, Ashokji has done it the other way round. Several readers have given their final vote, which is either for Talat and Mukesh. So it is clear which way the wind blows. The Mukesh favourite is Teri dunia mein dil lagta nahi, whereas Talat Mahmood favourite is Ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal. Arunji is unambiguous: it is Talat Mahmood and the song is Ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal. Ravindra Kelkar’s list of ten is topped by this song, but he qualifies that the list is not in any particular order.  Jignesh’s best singer is also Talat Mahmood, but it is for an unexpected song Jab kisi ke rukh se zulfein aa ke lahrane lagin from Anmol Ratan. This composition is as good as any, but Anil Biswas’s song has achieved some kind of legendary status. Jignesh sure knows his Vinod; he is not awed by reputation.

A measure of Talat Mahmmod and Mukesh’s pole star position in the year is Ashokji’s further exploration on his blog.  Taking off from my overview article, he has written six posts on female solos, and two on male solos: one each on Talat and Mukesh.  In these he presents many more songs than are there in my Select List.

A very interesting comment is by Mumbaikar8. Her best singer is Talat Mahmood, but she says Manna Dey brings the most to the table. I take it to mean that the best male  song as opposed to the best singer is Upar gagan vishal, according to her.

In discussions several readers added a fairly large number of solos outside the list, most of which were new to me and, I am sure, to the readers. Mahesh, whose name rhymes with Mukesh, added four of his solos: one from Raj Mukut, one from Ram Darshan and two from Bebus. I especially liked Hey priye tumhare swagat ko from Ram Darshan, composed by DC Dutt. Venkataramanji added some good songs from unreleased films: Nazar aa nigaahon se chhup janewale by Shankar Dasgupta from Piya and Khela khel mohabbat ka by SD Batish from Kamini. Ashok Vaihnavji adds an interesting GM Durrani song from Madari: Main koi jhooth bolya, which could be the precursor of the famous bhangra from Jaagte Raho, Ki main jhooth bolya.

These additions introduce us to some hidden gems, and also give us some very interesting insight into the music of that period. Venkataramanji has included one song in his final ten from outside the Select List. The song is by GM Durrani from Khel – Apni mehfil mein phir ek baar – composed by Sajjad Husain. Ashok Vaishnavji also included in his ten a song from outside the Select List – Kadam kadam badhaye ja by Chitalkar from Samadhi. He also added an icing on the cake, a non-film song by Talat mahmood, Mera pyar mujhe lauta do. However, generally the final choice remains within the conventional Select List.

Before jumping to the final conclusion, it is prudent to do this exercise in two steps. Going down the list I make a First Cut of the most memorable songs singer-wise.


Talat Mahmood
1.  Ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal
2.  Jab kisi ke rukh pe zulfein aa ke lahrane lagi
3.  Mera jeevan sathi bichhad gaya
4. Teri duniya mein dil lagta nahi
5.  Preet laga ke maine ye phal paya
6.  Akele mein wo ghabaraate to honge
7.  Na thamate hain aansoo na rukte hain naale
Manna Dey
8.  Upar gagan vishal
Krishna Dayal
9.  Aa ja nigahon mein aa ja
Kishore Kumar
10.  Ada se muskuraye ja
Shankar Dasgupta
11.  Dukh se bhara hua hai dil
Arun Kumar
12.  Jab tum the hamare aur hum the tumhare
GM Durrani
13.  Ye duniya bewafai ki wafa ka raaz kya jaane
14.  Apni mehfil mein phir ek baar
Khan Mastana
15.  Unki nazaron se koi nazarein mila ke poochhe

You would not be off the mark if you choose the final ten from the above list. The Best Song would be surely one from the above list. The exercise is now more manageable. Let us do it by inclusion. It is difficult to leave any of the five songs of Talat Mahmood-Mukesh. In the remaining five it is fair that we take Manna Dey’s Upar gagan vishal, which has an important place in his singing career as the song which gave him a major launch pad. If we don’t go by reputation, Krishna Dayal’s Aa ja nigahon mein aa ja should be a sure entry. No one who listens to this song can fail to be mesmerized by it. We should include one by Rafi at least as recognition for having the largest number of songs in the year. Either of the two songs is equally good. Let us take Akele mein wo ghabrate to honge as it was the first hit song of Khayyam-Rafi combination. It is now really a toss-up for the two remaining slots. My own favourites are Kishore Kumar and Arun Kumar’s songs, but readers have generally mentioned Khan Mastana, GM Durrani or Shankar Dasgupta’s songs. I would let my choice be overridden by others’ choice and take two songs from them.

Having selected the Final Ten, their ordering would broadly fall into two boxes. Talat-Mukesh five songs take the first five slots. Within that 1-2 are Ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal and Teri duniya mein dil lagta nahi. The bottom five slots are taken by the other singers, their inter-se order may vary widely from person to person. Within these parameters I have given the final ordering using my preference.

Best 10 Male Solos of 1950

1. Ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal jahan koi na ho by Talat Mahmood from Arzoo, lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Anil Biswas

Reams have been written on this song.  Talat Mahmood had earned renown as a singer of non-film ghazals and geets, and had also sung a few film songs before Arzoo.  But to this song goes the credit to have placed him as a top playback singer and the voice of Dilip Kumar.  It has figured prominently in my post on Anil Biswas’s songs for Talat.


2. Teri duniya mein dil lagata nahi by Mukesh from Bawre Nain, lyrics Kidar Sharma, music Roshan

After the failure of his debut film Neki Aur Badi a year earlier, Roshan could have gone into oblivion, but Kidar Sharma had faith in him. Almost every song of this film acquired iconic status.  It is one of the best ever of Mukesh.


3. Jab kisi ke rukh pe zulfein aa ke lahrane lagin by Talat Mahmood from Anmol Ratan, lyrics DN Madhok, music Vinod

One of the forgotten composers, Vinod was hugely talented.  I paid a tribute to him about four years ago in my series on Forgotten Composers Unforgettable Melodies.  And I find this song figures at the top in the list. Talat Mahmood’s voice is as silky as a lady’s tresses.  This song is Jignesh’s top choice for the Best Male Solo of the year.


4. Mera jeevan sathi bichhad gaya from Babul, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad

Jignesh does not care for reputation.  This would have been higher in my list.  Hans gives more credit to Naushad than Anil Biswas for launching Talat Mahmood in a big way.  It is another matter that this film effectively became their first and last association.


5. Preet laga ke maine by Mukesh from Ankhen, lyrics Raja Menhdi Ali Khan, music Madan Mohan

Madan Mohan creates outstanding music in his debut.  Morning shows the day.


6. Aa ja nigahon mein aa ja by Krishna Goyal from Dahej, lyrics Shams Lakhanavi, music Vasant Desai

Normally I include those songs as ‘Special Songs’ in the overview article, which are not likely to make it to the final list.  But readers are as much charmed by it as I am, and figures in many main lists.  Born in Jammu in 1927, after educatio and learning music there, he joined Lahore radio as a singer.  The desire of singing in films pulled him to Bambay where he got his first singing assignment in Krishna Sudama (1947), under Shyambabu Pathak. He sang two bhajans in the film which were picturised on him.  In his next film Raees (1948) he sang three duets with Shanti Sharma.  His songs in Dahej got him recognition.  He sang in 7-8 more film in the 50s, but could not go far because of his limited range.


7. Akele mein wo ghabarate to honge by Rafi from Biwi, lyrics Wali Saheb, music Sharmaji (Khayyam)

Khayyam had not yet started using his real name.  In the early 50s Rafi was overtaken by Talat Mahmmod and Mukesh, not in total number of songs, but in songs that became memorable.  Rafi would of course become arguably the greatest playback singer, and he would have some excellent songs with Khayyam.  This song has an important place as their first hit.


8. Upar gagan vishal by Manna Dey from Mashal, lyrics Pradeep, music SD Burman

Having debuted as a singer in Tamanna (1942), it took Manna Dey eight years to get recognition as a major playback singer with this song.  None among the mainstream singers could do philosophical message songs better than him, who would earn renown for singing in open full-throated voice.  Naturally it has figured at the top in my post on his songs by SD Burman.


9. Unki nazaron se koi nazarein mila ke poochhe by Khan Mastana from Hanste Rehna, lyrics Farooq Qaiser, music Wadhawa

Born in November 1917 in Agra in a music loving family, Hafiz Khan a.k.a Khan Mastana learnt the sitar from his father.  He later came to Calcutta, where charmed by KL Saigal, Pankaj Mullick, KC Dey, his interest shifted from playing the sitar to singing.  After singing in radio, he shifted to Bombay where he got his first singing assignment in Bahadur Kisan (1938) under Mir Saheb.  He got fame and prominence when he sang for Minerva Movietone’s films of Sohrab Modi.  Sohrab Modi took him as music director in Wasiyat (1940). During 40s he was among the top singers, and earned great fame and wealth.  But in a vagary of fortune as happened in several cases in the film world, he died in penury on 6 March 1972.


10. Dukh se bhara hua hai dil by Shankar Dasgupta from Jaan Pehchan, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Khemchand Prakash and Manna Dey

Born in 1927 in Bengal, Shankar Dasgupta, inspired by his mother, started learning classical music at the age of eight. He also played the violin.  He debuted as a singer in Milan (1946) under Anil Biswas.  He sang about 50 songs in 31 films.  He was endowed with a very sweet voice, but his range was limited.  He worked as assistant to Anil Biswas. He gave music as an independent music director for the film Sheeshe Ki Deewar (1954).  Dukh se bhara hua hai dil is one of his best and is extremely melodious.


To sum up,

The SoY Award for the Best Male Playback Singer of 1950 goes to Talat Mahmood.


The Best Male Solo of 1950 is Ae dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal jahan koi na ho.


The profile of Krishna Goyal, Khan Mastana and Shankar Dasgupta is based on Anil Bhargava’s Swaron Ki Yatra.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashok M Vaishnav July 12, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Even as individual preferences are bound to vary, this analysis and choice(es) would carry the AYEs in any fractured vote – assembly.
We at SoY are certainly not the one when it comes to take a collective call.
SO, very happily, I cast my vote in the favor of the proposal.

2 Jignesh Kotadia July 13, 2015 at 12:04 am

Very balanced ranking of male solos Akji. Obviously Ai dil mujhe aisi jagah is the choice of majority music lovers. I dont see any disagreement in me either you opt Ai dil mujhe aisi jagah,, Teri duniya men of Roshan,,Upar gagan vishal of SDB or Mera jeevan sathi bichhad gaya of Naushad or any of your list at no. 1 place.. Bcz all them are equally superb. I just tried to throw some light on an equally outstanding song which is overshadowed by other songs of that era. I love the romance filled in by velvetty voice of talat, so real lyrics, so brilliant tune made by Vinod.

One should read the article on this song written by Sudhirji on Atul’s blog.
In Sudhirji’s words:
(The moon generally does not venture out during the daytime. For if it does, then no one can see it, and no one would pay any attention – for daytime is the time of the sun. No matter however enchanting the moon may seem by itself, daytime is not the time for it.

A superb gem of a melody, and an absolutely delightful rendition by Talat Saab – but a melody that escaped much attention for it got released in the same year as ‘Ae Dil Mujhe Aisi Jageh Le Chal’ from the film ‘Aarzoo’. The year is 1950. The said song from film ‘Aarzoo’, set to music by Anil Biswas and picturized on Dilip Kumar, became rage with the listening public and a major hit for that year. And in that glory, this lesser heard melody got overshadowed.

The words, they are exquisite. The melody, it is simply sublime. And the voice – on listening this wonderful ghazal, one can understand why his voice is compared with a touch of velvet. Listen and enjoy this vintage Talat sound, and feel the velvet in his voice.

jab kisi ke rukh pe zulfen aa ke lehraane lagi
hasraten utth utth ke armaanon se takraane lagi

As the tresses caressed and played
With her face, her cheeks
The intense longings in the heart
Arose and vied with the desires in the mind

mil gayeen aankhon se aankhen bhool se ya jaan kar
wo bhi sharmaane lagey aur wo bhi sharmaane lagi

As the eye met
Maybe per-chance
Or may be on purpose
She blushed self-consciously
And the eyes, they timidly withdrew

dard jo paidaa huaa hai dil mein dil kaise kahe
dhadkane dil ki kahaani dil ko samjhaane lagi

How can heart tell about
The aching that emanates in the heart
The throbbing heartbeats
Explained this tale to the heart)

The period of Talat’s reign was very short, from 1950 to 1955, but it made the core part of our golden era, And with 1948-49 it made the most melodious portion (1948-55) of hfm. The music which was very soft, high quality, meaningful with best ever poetries, soothing to ears, driving towards trance.

I am in a dejected mood tonight because Federer lost !! Ohh no not again !! Kisi surat lagi dil ki bahel jaaye to acchha ho… Tamanna ek naye saanche me dhal jaaye to acchha ho… Mere dil ki nazar ko thokaren khana nahi aata.. Andhere badh rahe hai shamma jal jaaye to acchha ho….

3 mumbaikar8 July 13, 2015 at 1:23 am

No opposition whatsoever!
Agreed Federer loss is heartbreaking but how can you feel dejected, Sania won, that calls for celebration.

4 AK July 13, 2015 at 9:04 am

Thanks for your ‘Aye’ vote.

Jab kisi ke rukh pe zulfein is my great favourite too. It indeed got swamped by some of Talat’s songs that carried big names and banners. Thanks a lot for your detailed comments.

Thanks a late for your unambiguous support, which has become rare these days. 🙂

Jignesh, Mumbaikar8,
I too wanted Federer to win, because the records he was chasing (8/18) made it special. However, I was dejected not by his loss, but because he could not reproduce the form he showed in the semi against Murray. In the last two sets he could not match up to Djokovic. So cheer up, the better player won.

5 Jignesh Kotadia July 13, 2015 at 12:13 pm

Mumbaikarji, Akji
Thanks for sharing the same interest.

6 Ravindra Kelkar July 13, 2015 at 12:42 pm

A very apt summary & final selection of songs. I agree with your no 1 choice of Ae Dil Mujhe Aisi Jagah by Talat.
I was also disheartened by Federer’s loss. So, I listened to some of my favourite OP songs & regained my happy frame of mind. I have tried it a number of times & it never fails…….

7 AK July 13, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Ravindra Kelkar,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

8 mumbaikar8 July 13, 2015 at 10:05 pm

AK, Jignesh,
I am sorry I should have included Leander and Sumit in celebration.

9 ksbhatia July 13, 2015 at 11:13 pm

AK’ji ;

With wimbeldon in mind; the selection of songs and wrap up deserve ‘love all ‘ as well . I am happy for Talat’ s songs selection . They were really milestones in his career . The choice for best MD remains to be seen between Anil biswas and Naushad. It is going to be a close fight 7-6 or 6-7 !

10 Jignesh Kotadia July 14, 2015 at 12:07 am

Ravindra Kelkarji
You are absolutely right. OPN songs are a Sanjeevani remedy which can restore a dead body to life ! Full of life, Full of zest, Full of melody, Full of positive energy !! It really kicks out the garbage of gloominess from mind. Especially the second run of OP in 60’s is amazing ! In compare to OP creations i can put the SJ-Rafi songs of 60’s (esp. with Shammi) equally zestful and lively.

11 Anu Warrier July 14, 2015 at 12:56 am

Not being a great fan of ‘best’ anything, since that is so subjective, I will content myself with listening to the wonderful melodies you posted, and listed. 🙂

12 AK July 14, 2015 at 2:36 pm

But you do give ranking to songs you post on your blog on different themes! Why do you take a passive approach here? I am sure you have your own best in the year.

13 Anu Warrier July 14, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Hey, AK, of course I don’t rank them! Marna hai, kya? 🙂

I say they are ‘my favourites’, and they are; I don’t claim anyone of them to be the best song in that theme, or the best song by that composer/singer. Sometimes, as in my latest post, they are chosen on sheer whim.

14 N Venkataraman July 14, 2015 at 9:30 pm

The selections are as expected. I have every reason to be pleased since my selection goes with yours, except for one song.
I find 5 of your special songs in your list of 15 (not 16; Ada se muskuraye ja was mentioned twice), and two of them have found a place in the final ten; Unki nazaron se koi nazarein mila ke poochhe and Aa ja nigahon mein aa ja.
BTW, the name of the MDs (Vasant desai and Wadhwa) for #6 and #9 are missing.
On the whole a well balanced selection and summary.

15 AK July 14, 2015 at 11:01 pm

Thanks pointing out the oversight. Just shows that every piece needs to be read by another person; I missed it in multiple readings.

In male solos, expectedly, there is a great deal of unanimity. We have relatively small numbers, many of which are milestone songs. Female solos will involve a lot of juggling.

16 Ravindra Kelkar July 15, 2015 at 4:17 pm

I agree with you that SJ-Rafi combo for Shammi Kapoor is also full of life & zest. I many times wonder why most of the song critics choose sad mood songs over happy mood songs when they go for ranking. I personally like to see happy faces around me so that I also catch their mood. When I listen to songs I generally make it a practice that I end it with a happy song so that it keeps me in a happy frame of mind.

17 Jignesh Kotadia July 16, 2015 at 12:31 am

Yes, we do not want to see dejected faces in our routine bcz they can demoralise us…But on the contrary that is not the case in OHFM !! The thousands of sad songs made by our versatile MDs work on the homoeopathic principle : SIMILIA SIMILIBUS CURENTUR. They alleviate the sadness inside us, normalise the upsurge of negative energy and lead us to a joyous mood !…Despite of the gloomy writings ( Main zindagi me hardam rota hi raha hun..Or.. Main hun aisa deep ke jis me na baati na tel..) they actually never instil gloominess in us…But Roger Federer does it easily by loosing finals..

18 Siddharth July 16, 2015 at 12:07 pm

Thanks for the detailed and balanced analysis once again.
I think Talat was unbeatable in first half of 50s like Roger Federer was few years back.

I agree with your interpretation of sad songs.
I was doubly sad on Federer’s loss as my all time favourite Stefan Edberg also ended up on losing side.

19 AK July 16, 2015 at 3:47 pm

Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

20 Jignesh Kotadia July 17, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Thank u very much for the confirmation about sad songs science.. And also for sharing a common passion for Master. He should retire now, instead of continuing to give major jerks causing misery to his fans four times a year..hence we can fully concentrate on SoY 🙂

21 Arunkumar Deshmukh July 17, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Ravindra Kelkar ji

Hai sabse madhur vo geet jise hum dard ke sur mein gaaten hain…..


22 Hans July 17, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Listen to the following Rafi songs of 1950. I will give my detailed comments later.

1. Hum ishq men barbad hain – Ankhen
2. Sahil jo dubo de kashti ko – Baawra
3. Bahut purdard hai ae sunane walo – Birha Ki Raat
4. Lut gaye lut gaye – Chhoti Bhabhi
5. Door se ek pardeshi aaya – Surajmukhi
6. Mangi muhabbat mili judai – Gauna
7. Jalte deep bujh gaye – Jalte Deep
8. Meri lut gayi duniya pyar ki – Khamosh Sipahi
9. Gareebon ki kismat men rona – Meena Bazar
10. Zamana ho gaya fariyad karte – Shaan

23 shalan Lal July 18, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Dear AK
I was impressed that a very good analysis of the songs of 1950 was done and also the expert readers put in their contributions to decide the year’s award. All opinions were done free of any kind of pressure.
When songs started playing importance in the success of Hindi films, composers, singers etc then bad forces started acting in and sparks flew up as we have seen or rather heard at the Binaca Geetmala Charts and the eventual breakup of Shankar Jaikishan team, the most creative and impressive partnership.
My opinion is that both songs of, Talat and Mukesh, should have won the joint award on the basis that both singers touched the heart even now they do. The writing of the lyrics were class one of literary values, the compositions were bespoke to the stories of the films and the characters of the actors and acting of the actors and the directors of the films filming the songs, the Hindi phrase expresses the correct meaning “ सोनेमें सुहाग ”.
All these are outstanding landmarks in the history of the making of the Hindi Films popular not just in the Indian subcontinent but other parts of the world as well. I know a Sri Lankan friend who goes laboriously to understand the meaning of the filmy songs. This person brought to my notice the result of this contest of the songs of the 1950.
Then later on we arrived at an apex of the Hindi films in 1957 and saw and heard the glory of “Pyasa” In my view “Pyasa” is far too superior to “Mughal-e Azam” which had fortune of numerous “Urdu Ke Adib” in writing process.
Shalan Lal

24 AK July 18, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Shalan Lal,
In some cases I have done joint awards too. This one was also very close. Both the songs have similar underlying of disenchantment from this world, most probably born out of failure in love. Both the singers were known for the pathos they brought to life with their voices.

I think we should compare the comparables. Pyasa and Mughal-e-Azam are very different products, which we enjoy at different levels. One is serious cinema Hindi films had rarely seen before, the other was a historical spectacle at a stupendous scale. How do you compare the two? If you say Pyasa‘s music was superior to Mughal-e-Azam‘s, it is open to serious challenge.

25 Ravindra Kelkar July 19, 2015 at 4:49 pm

Yes, I know, it’s a very good song indeed. Still, the words are half true for me. Why can’t happy songs be “Madhur”? My temperament is such that, I find happy songs more effective. The sad songs become a bit monotonous after a while for me. I need to iterject a happy song in between to retain the concentration of listening to the next sad song.

The song from Jalte Deep is very good & I had included it in my top 10 songs of the year. Rafi’s singing as well as voice quality is superb.

26 Shalan Lal July 19, 2015 at 5:37 pm

Thanks for your statement about the Mughal-e-Azam. I do not want to take away its glory on its production values etc. It has got mesmerizing dilogues and script and very good acting. Perhaps too much brooding on thepart of Dilip K acting as Jahangir. He was doing Hamlet out of theindulgent prince.
Yes, they are two different in perspectives. I was thinking from the point of view of, as both are biographical and both were scripted by the Urdu writeres and MA got almost all existing writers contributing to the over all get up. While Pyasa’s music and lyrics were, according to me, highest literaray creation on the screen. Nothing like that happend to date in the Hollywood films. It won French Award long after the death of Guru Dutt. This was a passing remark I made for deciding my understanding of the songs you chose. But you had taken in consideration the readers views. so I have no dispute over there. My choice is decided on the points I mntioned.
Shalan Lal

27 AK July 19, 2015 at 9:06 pm

Shalan Lal,
Sahir Ludhiyanvi had earned renown as an Urdu poet, before he started as a lyricist. He has a higher standing in Urdu adab than Shakeel Badayuni. But literary merit is only one part of a film song. To each his own.

28 Shalan Lal July 20, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Yes indeed. There is no contest over the merits of the lyricists. MA could have been made better lyricswise as so many skilled writers were brought in to make the film on the par of similar historical extravaganza of Hollywood films.

Shalan Lal

29 ksbhatia July 22, 2015 at 12:05 am


I totally agree with your comments @24. It makes a sense when we compare Anarkali with Mughal- E – Azam . Comparing Mughal E Azam with Pyassa would be like comparing Casablanca with the Gone with the wind . Both the movies , though classics , have subject which are mile apart.

30 Shalan Lal July 22, 2015 at 2:19 pm


Your comparioson is apt.

But I was comparing the writings of both films and not the production values of both the films. “Pyasa as I see is literature on the screen” with no gaints writeres like those contributed to the Mughal-e-Azam.

Some times ramzataz of Mughal-e-Azam blinds us and our brain bccomes blurred and we do not see the points being raised or we do not want to see those points. We are carried away by too much bright sunlight.

It’s the literature I am talking and not anything else. Sadly with all the great writers contribution in writing and making Akabari legnd bigger than what was the reality of the time was not looked by the writeres and K.Asif as well. They all wanted to bask in the centureis of the Image of “Akabar the Great” or great Mughals!

Mughal-e Azam is more on the par of “Cleaopatra” of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. All the shine of the tinsel town and less matter.

Shalan Lal

31 Ashok Kumar Tyagi November 13, 2015 at 11:15 am

AK ji,
Another well analysed and brilliantly written article.
Though a lot of sad songs by male singers are on view in 1950, in hindsight, moving out of the lyrics we find that apart from Hemant, the major singers had a happy and fruitful year. Even those who were to slowly fade away, e.g. Durrani, Khan Mastana and Shankar Dasgupta had their moments in 1950. In this respect, 1950 makes us happy.

32 AK November 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

Ashok Kumar Tyagi,
Thanks a lot for your appreciation.

33 Ashok Kumar Tyagi June 28, 2017 at 7:47 am

AK ji,
Myself and my brother had a discussion on this post of yours and also on few other personalities of HFM.
You have rightly stated that 1950 was very important for Talat. If we run the clock forward to 31 December 1960 (11 years), the status of Talat thereafter goes as follows.
a) Roshan, SDB and OP Nayyar drop him.
b) Ravi, SJ and Jaidev use him in one film each.
c) Anil Biswas, Khayyam and C Arjun (themselves got limited films) give him some good songs.

d) Leaving Jahan-Ara, Madan Mohan gives him only a couple of songs.
e) Chitragupta makes excellent use of his velvet voice in Hindi/Bhojpuri films.
f) Surprisingly, it is Salil Choudhary who gives Talat superlative songs.
This brings up another point. SD Burman is supposed to be the most democratic MD because he gave very good songs to all major male singers – but that is only upto 1960. Thereafter Rafi and Kishore get most of his songs, with Mukesh and Manna Dey coming in a few times. In contrast, Salil Choudhary, SJ, Chitragupta and Ravi make a better distribution among male singers (except that Hemant Kumar got less chance with them).

34 AK June 28, 2017 at 12:11 pm

This is an interesting observation. I like the use of the term ‘democratic’. Without being Talat-specific, my off hand impression is that apart from SD Burman, the most democratic music director should be Roshan across male and female singers. Any view on this? While on this, I may also observe that in the vintage era, all the music directors were per force ‘democratic’ with respect to female singers, because there was no Lata Mangeshkar before Lata Mangeshkar.

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