Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022
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When Lata Mangeshkar Thought Kishore Kumar Was 'following' Her

Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar recorded their first song together "Yeh Kaun Aaya Re" for "Ziddi", starring Dev Anand, Kamini Kaushal and Pran.

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Lata Mangeshkar 1929-2022 PTI Photo

Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar had some of the best musical collaborations to their credit, but their first meeting began with a misunderstanding as the Melody Queen thought the singer was "following" her.


In her book "Lata Mangeshkar: In Her Own Voice", documentary maker and author Nasreen Munni Kabeer writes that the singing icon recalled with great amusement the first time she met Kishore Kumar on her way to the Bombay Talkies studio. Mangeshkar said she was working with Khemchand Prakash on 1949's "Ziddi" when she crossed paths with Kishore Kumar.


Mangeshkar had taken the local train to Malad, a suburb in Mumbai, where Bombay Talkies was situated. Kishore Kumar's elder brother and actor Ashok Kumar was the owner of Bombay Talkies.


Kishore Kumar was also in the same compartment, seated close to Mangeshkar and also got down at the Malad Station and was virtually walking behind her till she reached the studio.


“I would take the train from Grant Road to Malad and one day Kishore da got on at the next stop. I thought he looked very familiar and wondered who he was. We both got off at Malad. Bombay Talkies studio was a long way from the station and that day I decided to take a taanga. And Kishore da hired one too," Mangeshkar told Kabeer for the book, published by Niyogi Books.


Mangeshkar thought Kishore Kumar was stalking her and complained to music composer Khemchand Prakash, the musician credited with discovering the singer, on reaching her destination.


"We rode along and finally we both entered the studio. I thought to myself, ‘something strange is going on here. This fellow is following me,’" she recalled.


"I asked Khemchand Ji: ‘Uncle, who is this boy? He’s following me.’" Prakash cleared her confusion, she said.


 "He laughed and said: ‘He’s Kishore. Ashok Kumar’s brother.’ That day we recorded our first duet ‘Ye Kaun Aya Re Karke Sola Singar.’”


Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar recorded their first song together "Yeh Kaun Aaya Re" for "Ziddi", starring Dev Anand, Kamini Kaushal and Pran. 


The singers went on to collaborate on memorable duets like "Gaata Rahe Mere Dil" from "Guide" (1965), "Kora Kaagaz Tha Ye Mann Mera" from "Aradhna" (1969), "Hum Dono Do Premi" from "Ajanabee" (1974), "Tere Bina Zindagi Se" from "Aandhi" (1975), and "Dekha Ek Khwab" from "Silsila" (1981), among many others. 

With PTI inputs.

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