Fondly called the ‘Nightingale of India’, Lata Mangeshkar throughout her distinguished career sang more than 30,000 songs in over thirty-six languages ( though some reports peg this number to be around 20,000.) This means Lata ji sang for virtually every heroine – engulfing millions worldwide in the magic of her astounding vocals (Fact: she even got her vocals insured after a health scare in 1960.) Such was her supremacy even over the minutest details of a musical composition (not to mention her fierce hold on the range of emotions) that she single-handedly managed to move the entire nation to tears with her rendition of ‘ Ae Mere Watan ke Logo.’ Lata ji’s contribution to Indian music has been simply unparalleled. She, in fact, was one of the few singers of Indian origin to have performed at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, London.
Coming to the wedding and wedding-related numbers, Lata ji has sung some brilliant numbers that sound fresh to date. These songs, if you ask us, or anyone as a matter-of-fact, are evergreen in nature. They are beyond the dimensions of time or the date on the calendar. Lata ji through these brilliantly sung numbers ( and, I say this as a listener who grew up on a staple musical diet of her songs) managed to encapsulate the various facets of an Indian wedding – from a bride’s state of mind; her longings and complaints about her beloved – to the blossoming romance between the newlyweds. Her wedding songs, hence, succinctly capture the joie-de-vivre of Indian weddings, along with the customs these weddings come associated with.
Lata ji’s last song was the recording of Gayatri mantra for the wedding of Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal. The divine mantra was believed to be recorded without any retakes on the part of this legendary singer. As the singer passed away recently, after a long hospitalization, we look at some of the wedding songs she sang in the course of her glorious career.
Maaye Ni Maaye from the movie Hum Aapke Hain Koun is a song about a girl who tells her mother about how she lost her heart to a stranger. She via song, coaxes and cajoles her mum to get her married soon before she starts growing restless in love.
Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna from DDLJ is a song about the exchange of romantic lines between a couple in love. Mehendi Laga Ke Rakhna is considered to be one of India’s best-known wedding songs – even after more than a decade of its release.
Ye Galiyan Ye Chaubara is another brilliant track sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Picturized on the yesteryear actress Padmini Kolhapure, the song depicts how a bride experiences those pangs of separation from her family as she gears up to start the new chapter of her life with her husband and in-laws.
Didi Tera Devar Deewana from Hum Aapke Hai Koun is a light number that captures the fun aspect of an Indian wedding. The song, which in the movie, is filmed as a part of an ongoing celebration in the family, is about the series of complaints Madhuri Dixit’s character Nisha has against her elder sister’s brother-in-law.
Featured in the movie Jyoti, Thoda Resham Lagta Hai is a song about what it takes for one to love the main character of the film. The main character through the lyrics of the song describes the qualities she seeks in her partner.
Dil To Pagal Hai is a perfect song for those who believe being in love can make their world go merry-go-round. The song perfectly apprehends the essence of what love can do to an individual. And, as the saying goes, ‘what a heart wants, it wants.’
Sooraj Barjatya’s family entertainer Hum Aapke Hai Koun is called ‘one big wedding tape on 70 mm’ for a reason. The movie has more than 14 songs pertaining to the different shades and moods of an Indian wedding. One of its songs Waah Waah Ramji, for instance, is a song about how two individuals were brought together with the help of their family members – and by the grace of God.
Sung jointly by Lata Mangeshkar and Udit Narayan, Humko Hum hi se Chura Lo (steal me from me) is a number that scores high on the feeling of love. (Isn’t love the ruling emotion for the month of February?) We recommend you to use this number for a couple’s dance at your wedding reception to experience the true beauty of it.
Tuje Dekha to Jana from DDLJ is another song, all die-hard romantics will relate with. The song is about how love changes the outlook and perspective of two individuals when they fall for each other.
Joota Chupai (hiding the shoes of the groom by the team bride) is an important wedding tradition in many parts of India. The song Joote Do Paise Lo from Hum Aapke Hai Koun highlights the practice of this fun-meets-cute tradition. It dwells on how the members of the team bride and the team groom enter into rounds of intense negotiation to gain what they want (a brief explainer about the process: the members of team bride negotiate with the members from team groom to part ways with the groom’s shoes they have hidden somewhere) On second thoughts, these fierce negotiations by the members of Team Bride can put the entire jury members of Shark Tank to shame. (Aren’t these bridesmaids the real sharks?) So which of these Lata Mangeshkar’s songs are your favorites? Do let us know in the comments below.