Mukesh’s best happy duets

September 17, 2011

Mukesh duetsHaving recently done a list of happy songs of Mukesh, I had no intention of doing another Mukesh post anytime soon. But dustedoff, AP Joshi and Subodh Agrawal in their comments entered into an earnest discussion on ‘happy’ duets of Mukesh and requested I do a list of my favourite such duets. This opened the floodgates of my memory and several beautiful duets came streaming in my mind. About the same time another amazing coincidence happened. I heard on radio, after at least four decades, a most fabulous Mukesh-Lata duet lying in deep recesses of my memory. This post is an outcome of all these happenings.

Duets are a special class of film songs, which I feel are more than the sum of their parts. I also hold that a peppy song becomes peppier in a duet, especially if the male singer is one whose natural instinct favours soulful, slow emotional songs. You would see this in Mukesh duets I am presenting. It becomes more pronounced in case of Talat Mahmood, as if the presence of a female singer lets him come out of his own shackles. That is for some other time when I get to write about Talat Mahmood. For the moment I invite you to savour my favourite ‘happy’ duets of Mukesh.

1. Thane kajaliya bana lun with Lata Mangeshkar from Veer Durgadas (1960), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music SN Tripathi

This is the song that made me overcome my hesitation to do this post now. Unfortunately only the audio of the song is available, but from its beautiful music, beat and variation in pitch one can imagine the dance must have been out of this world. Before Lata’s voice fully tapers off, Mukesh joins at high pitch and glides smoothly to low pitch when Lata joins in a seamless manner as if passing the baton in a musical relay race. Its tune was etched in my memory, though I remembered only snatches of its lyric. I could never have traced it on my own because of its mukhda in Rajasthani (the lady tells her lover I would transform you into kajal and keep you shut inside my eyelids), but it must have been destined that Vividh Bharti should play this song about the time my readers were asking for my favourite Mukesh duets.

2. Tujhe chand kahun ya phool kahun with Lata Mangeshkar from Sunehri Nagin (1963), music Kalyanji Anandji

What if the actors are Mahipal and Helen if the song is so good? Another B-grade movie, but a fabulous duet. AP Joshi mentioned that contrary to popular perception, Mukesh sounds good at high pitch also. Mukesh is mesmerising at low pitch, but this duet is a prime example that at high pitch also he is beautiful. If you think of it, in his iconic solo Ye mera diwanapan hai (Yahudi), he starts the recital part Dil se tujhko bedili hai at high pitch and glides down effortlessly to the main song at low pitch.

3. Kahe nainon mein kajra bharo with Lata Mangeshkar from Badi Bahu (1951), lyrics Prem Dhawan, music Anil Biswas

Early 1950’s and Anil Biswas – class would always show. Folk based songs have something enchanting and universal about them.

4. Chura le na tumko ye mausam suhana with Suman Kalyanpur from Dil Hi To Hai (1963),lyrics Sahir Ludhiyanvi, music Roshan

Contrast this unrestrained duet with the sad solo version by Suman Kalyanpur Yun hi dil ne chaha tha rona rulana teri yaad to ban gayee ak bahana; you would agree with my theory about the duets being more than sum of its parts, and bringing in extra zest.

5. Begani shadi mein Abdullah diwana with Lata Mangeshkar from Jis Desh Mein Ganga Bahti Hain (1960), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankat Jaikishan

The dacoit Sardar’s daughter Padmini falls for the simpleton Raj Kapoor, who is completely clueless about women, heart, love etc. She throws enough hints about her feelings for him. She even mentions she might get married one day. Raj Kapur gets excited and proclaims he would sing at her marriage party. Idiot! But lovable, and she cannot help dancing and singing at this queer character. The song starts primarily as a Lata solo and you can feel the impact when Mukesh joins in.

6. Dekho mausam kya bahar hai with Lata Mangeshkar from Opera House (1961), lyrics Majooh Sultanuri, music Chitragupta

My first song was by SN Tripathi from a B grade film. Here is another foot tapping lovely duet from a B grade film composed by his once assistant Chitragupta, picturised on Ajit (the villain we all know) and B Saroja Devi.

7. Lagi tumse lagan sathi chute na with Lata Mngeshkar from Saranga (1960), lyrics Bharat Vyas, music Sardar Mallik

I have to now stop describing films as B-grade. Saranga was a landmark score of Sardar Malik (father of Anu Malik). Though he was hugely talented, he could not hit the big league. This beautiful duet picturised on Sudesh Kumar and Jayshree Gadkar is but only one of several fabulous songs in this movie (Every Mukesh fan would know Saranga teri yaad mein).

8. Humse hoti mohabbat jo tumko with Asha Bhosle from Mohabbat Isko Kahte Hain (1965), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Khayyam

Mukesh with Asha Bhosle is not a natural combination. But what a lilting duet on Shashi Kapoor and Nanda composed by one of the greatest composers Khayyam who never compromised his standards. He was not counted in the big league but while his giant contemporaries fell by the wayside in 1970s and 80s, he achieved great commercial success as well with films like Kabhi Kabhi, Umrao Jaan, Bazaar etc. You can notice Mukesh opening recital Tum isko khel samjhe ho, followed by mukhda by Asha Bhosle at normal pitch. Then Mukesh joins in at high pitch with Chhod do tum ada roothane ki and glides down to low pitch. Again at his next turn he follows the same pattern with Is qadar lag rahi ho haseen tum at very high pitch and comes down effortlessly. Beautiful!

9. Ye wada karo chand ke samne, with Lata Mngeshkar from Rajhath (1956), lyrics Hasrat Jaipuri, music Shankar Jaikishan

A foot tapping duet picturised on Pradeep Kumar and Madhubala, but Mukesh in his sweet voice beckons you to enjoy the song in solitude of night all by yourself.

10. Ye kisne geet chheda with Suman Kalyanpur from Meri Surat Teri Ankhen (1963), lyrics Shailendra, music SD Burman

If you consider the longest lasting, and the largest variety of singers for whom any music director has composed everlasting songs, SD Burman would be perhaps the undisputed king. His talent is awesome, another great duet from this film Tere bin soone nain hamare figured in my best ten list of Rafi-Lata duets.

11. Dil lootnewale jadugar ab maine tujhe pahchana hai with Lata Mangeshkar from Madari (1959), lyrics Farooq Qaiser, music Kalyanji Anandji

Among KA’s earliest work and what great talent! An immortal song on perfect B-grade stars. Laxmikant Pyarelal were their assistant. The mentor and protégé would later rule the music world in 70’s.

12. Duniyawalon se door jalnewalon se door with Lata Mangeshkar from Ujala (1959), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan

Shammi Kapoor had not yet fully switched to Mohammad Rafi, therefore you have a different Shammi flavour appropriate to Mukesh. The duet is great all the same.

13. Tum chal rahe ho hum chal rahe the magar duniyawalon ke dil jal rahe hain with Lata Mangeshkar in Duniya Na Mane (1959), music Madan Mohan

The same year and similar song in which the lovers talk about going far away from this world which is so jealous and intrusive about two people in love. This breezy duet makes even a staid Pradeep Kumar let himself go and join the revelry with carefree Mala Sinha. Contrast the peppy duet with Mukesh’s solo version which is in his typical melancholy style.

14. Mano ya na mano with Suman Kalyanpur from First Love (1961), lyrics Gulshan Bawra, music Dattaram

Suman Kalyanpur’s biggest asset – that she was born with a voice like Lata Mangeshkar’s – became her curse.  But her solos and duets with Rafi and Mukesh are among the most beautiful songs of their class.  See Suman Kalyanpur outshines Lata Mangeshkar for a more detailed article on her.

15. Tum kahan le chale ho with Lata Mangeshkar from Poonam Ki Raat (1965), lyrics Shailendra, Salil Chaudhry

Even as the lady is asking the hero where is he taking her, she is thoroughly enjoying this journey to the unknown. A beautiful composition by Salil Chaudhry.

16. Ankhiyon ka noor hai tu with Suman Kalyanpur from Johar Mahmood in Goa (1965), lyrics Qamar Lalalabadi, music Kalyanji Anandji

Is it a happy or sad song? While Sonia Sahni lip synchs Suman Kalyanpur, Mukesh’s voice is coming from her invisible lover, whose presence is felt through a dancing flower or footprints.

17. Nee baliye rut hai bahar ki with Lata Mangeshkar from Kanhaiya (1959), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan

If you are as thrilled as Raj Kapur at getting married, even if you do not know dancing you would not feel inhibited to break into a jig.

18. Hum tum ye khoyee khoyee raahein with Lata Mangeshkar from Rangoli (1962), lyrics Shailendra, music Shankar Jaikishan

A beautiful duet picturised on perfect B-grade actors (I have no clue who they are nor do I want to quote second hand information from the internet).

19. Dil se dil ki dor bandhe from Chhaya (1961), lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music Salil Chaudhary

If the heroine is in sari (which was the norm those days), the hero too is in dhoti kurta. But they can still have a romantic day out in the woods and the sea (Oops! by the end of the song Sunil Dutt’s dhoti has become pyjamas and Asha Parekh has changed into more than one salwar kurta even though they were not carrying any bag which could allow them this sartorial experimentation in this wilderness).

20. Mehboob mere mehboob mere with Lata Mangeshkar from Pathar Ke Sanam (1967), lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Laxmikant Pyarelal

Laxmikant Pyarelal were now emerging as the top composer duo, displacing the titans Shankar Jaikishan. By 1967 they had established their distinct style of melody. Here is my top LP favourite. I am aware, in a voting Sawan ka maheena pawan kare shor or Yug yug se ye geet milan ke from Milan would perhaps win hands down, but my own favourite is Mehboob mere.

I have been generally stopping at ten in my favourites lists. But in this case even after ten there were several which I found impossible to leave out. Therefore, you have a rather longish list of twenty. What is interesting is that it still leaves out several songs mentioned by readers in my earlier Mukesh post. That just shows what inexhaustible reservoir of wonderful music we have.  These are my personal favourites and I had indicated my list would contain surprises.

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dustedoff September 18, 2011 at 6:53 am

Thank you for that, AK! I loved that list – there were many songs there that I’ve heard before (I’ve seen most of the films from which you’ve drawn your list), but I’d forgotten about some of the songs. Oddly enough, my two favourite songs from your list – Hum-tum yeh khoyi-khoyi raahein and Dekho mausam kya bahaar hai – are the ones from films that I’ve never watched!

Lovely songs. Thank you.

2 Subodh Agrawal September 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I admire your ability to discover hidden gems. Some of the songs in the list are new to me, and I consider myself a sort of expert on Mukesh!

As you rightly said, there are surprises in the list – those of omission. I miss songs like ‘Dam bhar jo udhar munh phere’, ‘Khayalon me kisi ke’, ‘Hamsafar mere hamsafar’, ‘Dil tadap tadap ke keh raha hai’, ‘Phir na keeje meri gustakh nigahi ka gila’ etc.

3 AK September 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

@dustedoff
Thanks for your compliments. ‘… are the ones from films that I’ve never watched‘ – reminds me of our interaction on your blog about your policy of including songs only from the movies you have seen!

@Subodh Agrawal
Can not believe any song from this list would be unknown to you!

Of the songs you have mentioned, Dam bhar jo udhar muh phere, Khayalon mein kisi ke and Phir na kije meri gustakh nigahi ka gila are also my top favourites and hopefully should figure in some theme later. But I could not think of them belonging to this category. I find the first impact of these songs is melancholy.

4 KBS Sidhu September 20, 2011 at 7:25 am

Would this song a merit a slot in this collection?

“Ye mausum rangeen sama….”: Modern Girl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0MikdtceR0

5 AK September 20, 2011 at 9:53 am

@KBS Sidhu
Absolutely. Which just shows even 20 is not enough to accommodate all the great songs. Thanks for mentionening this song. Here is the song:

Ye mausam rangeen sama by Mukesh and Suman Kalyanpur from Modern Girl, music Ravi

6 Ashok Vaishnav September 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm

May I just one more to this fabulous list:
Mahetaab Tear Chahera, Kis Khwab Main Dekha Hai, Aye Hushn-e-jahaan Batala, Tu Kaun main Kaun Hun – Aashiq – Shnakar Jaikishan.
I do agree that the list will have always some or other favorite when one has limit the selection according to certain rules.
But I could not resist the tempataion to hum this song the moment I saw title of the post.

7 Subodh Agrawal September 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm

The song ‘Hum se hoti muhabbat jo tumko’ kept reminding of something. Finally the penny dropped. This is the tune in which Firaq’s popular ghazal ‘Bewafa yoon tera muskurana’ is normally sung. I wonder if the ghazal singers have taken this from this song; or both the song and the ghazal are inspired by a traditional tune. I suspect the latter.

8 AK September 21, 2011 at 10:15 am

@Subodh Agrawal
This is a great connection. Now when you say it, it all comes to memory. I have heard it mostly in qawaali style. I remember it has been also used in films, I remember a line in the antaraUnke paon mein mehdi lagi hai, wo ane jane ke kabil nahin hain, though I am not able to place the song right now.

9 Subodh Agrawal September 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Maine khat likh ke unko bulaya, aa ke qaasid ne dukhda sunaya;
unke paon me mehndi lagi hai, aane jaane ke kaabil nahin hain.

10 arvind September 22, 2011 at 9:21 pm

http://youtu.be/hycUYY8GxnQ
this lata mukesh duet is from MALHAR produced by Mukesh.

11 Subodh Agrawal September 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Any guess why Suman Kalyanpur has figured so often in great duets with Mukesh?

12 AK September 26, 2011 at 9:45 am

@Subodh Agrawal
She has figured in great duets with Rafi too. One possible reason could be that Lata Mangeshkar might have been too busy or inaccessible. But when I hear Suman Kalyanpur’s great duets or even solos, I would not replace her with Lata. She was a terriifc singer in her own right.

13 arvind October 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm

http://youtu.be/FjIncJDms20
this mukesh geetadutt duet…..tumse hi meri zindagi meri bahaar ho tum….is from APNA GHAR.

14 Subodh Agrawal October 8, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Came across this one on Youtube: Teri Shokh Nazer Ka Ishara from Patang -http://youtu.be/ghkL_35oeSM

15 AK October 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm

@Ashok Vaishnav
I am sorry I am late in acknowledging your comment. Most of the songs of Ashiq were fabulous. Another reader has quoted a number of songs from Ashiq on my post on Mukesh’s happy solos.

@arvind
I have some other great Mukesh-Geeta Dutt favourites, but I wanted songs for this post which are unarguably chirpy. Same goes for the Malhar duet, which is a great song by itself.

@Subodh Agrawal
You seem to have some sort of telepathy with me. Teri shokh nazar ka ishara is my great favourite. I had a close choice between this and another Chitragupta composition Dekho mausam kya bahar hai. Since both sounded similar I decided to take one of them – I chose the latter. But one can very well choose:

Teri shokh nazar ka ishara by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar from Patang

16 A P JOSHI October 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Thanks AK for the post, the list really surprised me.
Thanks once again.

17 KBS Sidhu October 11, 2011 at 5:48 pm

We also eagerly await SHARDA Songs…

18 KBS Sidhu October 15, 2011 at 8:57 am

Suman Kalyanpur-’Roothe ho sanam to phir kya hai…’ in ‘Lal Bungla’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHxL6xpBIwY&feature=related

Discovered on Youtube; lovely song.

19 AK October 16, 2011 at 12:11 am

@KBS Sidhu
Roothe ho sanam to phir kya ho I had not heard before. Seeing Sujit Kumar as the hero was interesting.

Which Sharda song you mean? I can not think of any which could fit in Mukesh’s top duets.

20 arvind October 16, 2011 at 8:26 pm

the joy of innocent love!!!!!
http://youtu.be/bePK6Ht-RN0
…..sochta hoon ye kaya kiya maine……from ……HAMARI YAAD AAYEGI…….
debut movie of tanuja n ashok kumar(son of kidar sharma who directed this movie.)

21 AK October 17, 2011 at 7:51 pm

@arvind
What a wonderful song! Snehal Bhatkar was too good. Though this song would not have occurred to me as belonging to this post.

22 milind desai May 28, 2012 at 8:15 pm

I am searching for a rare non filmi song of mukesh which as a child I used to hear on Vivid Bharathi: Ho gaya barbad mohabbat jatane me , jee nahi lagta ab jamane me. I wonder if anyone can guide me as to where I can locate this song. I have been searching for it for many days but to no avail, so please if anyone has any information on this song please pass it on to me . Thank in advance.

23 arvind November 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm

“….main khushnaseeb hoon mujhko kisi ka pyar mila…” a mukesh lata
duet from the movie …tower house (1962).

24 arvind November 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm

sorry,missed providing the link to the tower house duet(ref: comment # 23 above). here is the link:

25 AK November 25, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Arvind
A terrific song. It is amazing how many absolutely outstanding songs have been picturised on Ajit. However, for this post I chose songs which were also fast paced and peppy.

26 arvind May 8, 2013 at 8:03 pm

“main jaanti hoon tum jhooth bolte ho”…a lata mukesh duet from
MEM DIDI (1961)

http://youtu.be/1Y-dI1WsXUk

27 Canasya May 9, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Mukesh’s baritone voice becomes magical in conjunction with a female voice as in this Baware Nain number with Rajkumari (Mujhe sach sach bataa do)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N21x9JFIMw

Because this post is about Mukesh’s happy duets, my #1 choice would be one from the SDB stable: Mukesh singing for (surprise!) Dev Anand with Suraiya in Vidya (Layee khushi ki duniya)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=6hmTpHx1Gc4

One more SDB song from Chupke Chupke would probably make the cut here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=v2lxsXa_Nkk

And any such list would be incomplete without this 1965 RDB marvel from Teesra Kaun (Pyar ka fasanaa)

To complement Sardar Malik’s Saranga song posted above by AKji here is another of his compositions (Baharon se puchho with Suman from Mera Ghar Mere Bachche)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=prWdqI9MV68

Let me close this post with a fabulous Chitragupta hit: Jab se ham tum – Mukesh & Kamal Barot in Main Shadi Karne Chala.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEOpUkcpn-U

Another version below has been sung by Rafi and Suman providing enough ammunition to Mukesh and Rafi fans for endless debate. I have not seen a Rafi fan yielding yet, but I personally prefer Mukesh’s version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwXibEo2EXU

28 AK May 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Canasya,
“Any such list would be incomplete without ..” So true. Pyar ka fasana bana le dil deewana is exactly up my line for this post. Mujhe sach sach bato do is one of my greatest favourites. Layi khushi ki duniya is also outstanding. But these songs would not have occurred to me for this post, for which I was looking for foot-tapping numbers. But surely they would figure in some more appropriate theme. Bagon mein kaise ye phool khilte hai is somehow beyond my period of interest. Post-70s, a song has to be very special to touch me. Other songs you have mentioned are superb and have figured on this blog earlier. Thanks for your detailed comments.

29 k karade August 3, 2013 at 12:39 am

mukesh and suman kalyanpur duets are marvelous

30 gaddeswarup February 23, 2014 at 5:21 am

With my usual predilection for careless browsin, I might have missed it. I noticed this yesterday
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qglcAY9j7M

31 AK February 23, 2014 at 8:56 am

Gaddeswarupji,
This fits in perfectly here, with beautiful dance by the couple.

32 N Venkataraman February 23, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Gaddeswarupji,
Nice song. Nice to see your comment after a long time

33 gaddeswarup February 23, 2014 at 5:30 pm

I visit the blog regularly but do not have much to say. Also I am active on Facebook on other topics that have been occupying much of my reading time.

34 arvindersharma April 6, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Foot tapping nos. by Mukesh/Lata was the criteria of this article.

‘Aayi saawan rut aayi’ a Mukesh-Shamshad Begum gem from Naushad’s Mela could join any such list.

Another beauty is Mukesh/Lata duet from ‘Jalti Nishani’, ‘Dil hai beqarar kyun’. Anil da has given an excellent contrast music to this no. A must listen.

The purpose of our participation is to enrich the forum and it should not be a critical analysis. Let us enrich our lives with what we have and share it in our dwindling tribe.

35 AK April 7, 2014 at 7:51 am

Sharmaji,
Ayi sawan ritu ayi not only fits here, but should figure near the top. But I was preserving it for some other list. This is a somewhat asymmetric duet, being dominated by Shamshad Begum and Naushad’s characteristic chorus. But the song is my great favourite, let us have it here:

Ayi sawan ritu ayi by Mukesh and Shamshad Begum from Mela (1948), lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad

Heard Dil hai beqaraar kyun was new for me. But I would not put it in the list of foot-tapping and peppy songs. Anil Biswas did give an extremely peppy song, which I have included at #3. Since YT has removed the link, here it is again.

Kahe naino mein kajra bharo

Sharmaji, you have already enriched the forum a great deal in a very short while. Even critical analysis is welcome. I would not like the readers to feel constrained in expressing their views, the only caveat being that some decorum in language is maintained and personal attacks are avoided.

36 Rajesh Nanavati April 16, 2014 at 7:26 am

Great compositions of Mukesh duets songs enhanced by other songs in many good comments here. I may not have read all these contributions that carefully. But did we miss Sangam song “o mere sanan o mere sanam” ?
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ11YUfPjwU

37 AK April 16, 2014 at 11:44 am

Rajesh Nanavati,
Are you sure it can be classified as a happy duet?

38 Rajesh Nanavati April 16, 2014 at 7:23 pm

That is a good question about that song. It seems song was sung with lots of love feelings and do not see any thing that unhappy in that song. Any comments from other readers?

This is good one “Tumhari Mast Nazar”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09TUHltj8xo

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