We have covered Hemant Kumar’s Lata Mangeshkar, Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle’s songs earlier.
We now move over to the ‘Long Tail’ of the skewed distribution of Hemant Kumar’s female songs. Hemant Kumar has used the ‘other’ known Hindi female playback singers more as an exception only. Raj Kumari had one dance number in Anand Math (1952). Shamshad Begum has two solos and two FF duets, Sudha Malhotra has one solo, one FF duet and one (an iconic) MF duet – that we will take up discussion separately- and Suman Kalyanpur has two FF duets, and Usha Mangeshkar has one solo and two FF duets. We also have a very rare Mubarak Begum, Sulochana Kadam FF duet and a song by a classic trained singer Lakshmi Shankar, as well
Dil Ka Paimana Hai, Ulfat Ka Hath Hai – Anand Math (1952) – Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
Sheila Ramani is so gracious as lead dancer in this court dance song.
Kaisi Lagi Karjeawa Mein Katar – Ferry (1954) – Lyrics: Rajinder Krishna
Hemant Kumar has used a classic trained singer for Mujra Song. From the initial dialogue in the clip, it seems that the song is seen by the daughter (Geeta Bali) as her mother has to perform for such mehfils
The song is in two parts. The second part has Geeta Bali singing the song on the screen. The feeling of pathos is very clearly felt in the way song is rendered in this part. The context of this change would be clear only when one has seen the film.
Kaisi Lagi…..Jiya Jaye To Jiya Jaye – Ek Hi Rasta (1956) – with Asha Bhosle – Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
The song is a duet dance song, so typically planned to celebrate special occasions.
Pyasi Hai Mamata Meri Aaja Dheere Dheere Aa – Maa Beta (1962) – Lyrics: Prem Dhawan
Hemant Kumar has so melodiously weaved lathos of mother being away from her offspring in this lullaby.
Hemant Kumar has used Shamshad Begum for four songs, of which a duet, with Ravi, from ‘Daku Ki Ladki” (1954) do not seem to be traceable on the internet
Meri Itni Araj Hai Huzur Se, Pyar Karna Magar Door Door Se – Hamara Watan (1956) – Lyrics: S H Bihari
We have here a classic mujra song.
Hum Kisi Se Na Kahenge Chup Chup Se Rahenge– Yahudi Ki Ladki (1957) – with Geeta Dutt – Lyrics: S H Bihari
The song is set to what has now become familiar Arabic dance tunes (thanks to n-number of films based on stories from that milieu) to the listeners of Hindi film songs. Both the singers have been accorded freedom to sing in their natural range.
Pyar Jata Ke Lalchaye Mora Balama –- Hum Bhi Insaan Hai (1959) – Lyrics: Shailendra
This seems to a mujra-styled dance song. Shamshad Begum is her at vintage best, even in 1959.
Mujhe Tarke Taaluk Samjaya Jaata Hai – Sahara (1958) – Lyrics: Bharat Vyas
Hemant Kumar has so easily been able to present a signature mujra song – with prominent tabla thaaps (beats), beginning of the stanza without the support of any instruments and of course the use of most ubiquitous instrument of a mujra music – the sarangi.
Suman Kalyanpur is present in only two FF duets. Both the duets are perfectly composed FF duets, but have differently blended the inherent vocal qualities of different singers in the respective songs.
Kabhi Aaj Kabhi Kal, Kabhi Paraso – Chand (1959) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Lyrics: Shailendra
The song appears to be public dance stage show. As such, both the performers are expected to move and sing in perfect synchronisation. Hemant Kumar has achieved this synchronization in the vocal part of the songs by perfectly blending almost similar sounding voices of Lata Mangeshkar and Suman Kalyanpur.
Phulwa Band Maheke Dekho Dali Dali – Ham Bhi Insaan Hai (1959) – with Geeta Dutt – Lyrics: Shailendra
Shailendra has captured the two points of views of friends in the song, who seem to be visiting the flower garden – both see different hues in the same settings in which both are present together. Hemant Kumar has enlivened this effect by using two naturally different voices – those of Geeta Dutt and Suman Kalyanpur.
The song seems to have been inspired from Meghla Bhanga Rod Utheche (The Sun Rises in the Clouded Sky) – Tar Aar Par Nei. – Pratima Badopadyay – composed by Nachiketa Ghish, lyrics: Pulak Banerjee
Mubarak Begum, Sulochana Kadam
Bharat Ke Lok Geet (Fashion, 1959) is collection of folk songs from different regions.
The song can be heard by clicking on this link
Other than these, he has also chosen to experiment with Bengali female playback singers, like Ratna Gupta, Pratima Banerjee, Aarti Mukherjee, his wife Bela Mukherjee and his daughter Ranu Mukhrtjee, Bula Gupta etc.
We will take up Hemant Kumar’s songs of ‘Other’ (Bengali Female Singers in the next episode.
Originally published on SoY as Hemant Kumar’s Female Playback Singers . This is the edited and improved-on-the-inputs-of-discussions thereupon version