He was then escorted to our house. From about 9 pm Talat stayed with us almost till 3 am and then we escorted him on foot to Barnetts. The next day the crowds behaved in a similar manner. Again we had to give him shelter in our house till 3 am. But what a grand occasion that was. It is then that I saw how decent, dignified he was. On our request he sang almost the entire night, singing over and over again the song, 'Pyar par bas to nahin hal' from 'Sone ki chidiya' which was till then not released. (He also sang this at a private reception arranged by Rangshala chief Mrs Vimla Raina at her residence.).
On Sunday when he came for lunch at our residence, a friend of my sister, Rani Mulla, had also come. She requested Talat to sing, 'Hoton se gulfisha ham voh, ankhon se ashkbaar hum'. Talat had taken his meals and did not have the harmonium with him. But he obliged her and us by singing that song. Barnetts was flooded with Talat fans. I recall Prof P.C.Jain's wife coming to meet him and took his autograph which he was generously giving. He was surrounded by female fans. Nirmala Paul (sister of Asha Brown, aunt of Air Chief Brown), Shyama Bali, Teresa Dawson among others who had lined up to meet the legendary singer.
All those scenes fleeted across my mental screen once again today. Undoubtedly Talat Mahmood was a soft-spoken person, a very decent man who could not be faulted for discourtesy towards any one. I now recall some details given by him in various radio programmes. Talat Mahmood revealed that he often composed his own tunes. And one of the Shakeel's Ghazals for which he composed music was, 'Tum ne yeh kya sitam kiya zapt se kaam le liya'.
Talat revealed at Allahabad that he had composed this tune just in 15 minutes.Talat recalled how deeply impressed he was by K.L.Saigal. The Almighty has put all the sweetness, all the pathos in his throat. On different occasions he played different K.L.Saigal songs. On one occasion he said that one of his favourite Saigal songs was 'Ab mai kaah karun kit jaaoon from Dharti Mata'. Talat revealed on another occasion that he was present in the recording studios when Saigal was recording his famous song from film 'Men Behen', Ai katibe taqdeer mujhe itna bata de. And on yet another occasion he played Saigal's 'Karun kya aas niras bhai'.
I would say that his selection was excellent. Talat revealed that first disc recorded was in 1941 when he was 17. The song was, Sab din ek saman nahin tha, ban jaaoon ga kya se kya main is ka to kuchchdhyannahin thha'(The other sic was, 'Turn bk laaj se darti thin ma apna hi diwana thha'). He did act in a bit role in film 'Rajya Laxmi' in which the heroine was Kanan Devi. He recalls that the producer asked him to report on the sets. He was happy. He had himself clean shaved and went with high expectations on the sets. But there the director called the make-up man and asked him to make him up as a sadhu. Artificial beard was pasted and soon his face was totally covered with hair glued to his face. As the glue dried his skin would painfully stretch. Kanan Devi happened to come on the sets. When she saw his plight she immediately asked the makeup man to take off the hair.
Radio Ceylon often plays some of his rare hits like 'Yeh raat suhani raat nahin ai chand sitaro so jao from DiIe-e-Nadan. In this very film he also has sung two big hits, 'Zindagi dene wale sun' (his son Khalid says that this is the song for which maximum requests came whenever his father appeared on a stage show) and 'Jo khuishi se chot khaae woh jigar kahan se taaoon'. Mahmood's another song that fascinates me is: “Mera pyaar mujhe lauta do”- more so because when Talat came to our house in Allahabad in 1957 he asked me to sing any of his songs after being told that I was a great fan of his. I sang this song and he accompanied me on the harmonium; and on difficult turns and twists of the song, when he would notice that I was crossing all hurdles successfully, he would give an appreciative smile of assent. I can't forget that encouraging smile, that beautiful song, 'Mera pyar mujhe lauta do'. The smiling Talat, his magical voice is all that I remember, and care to remember.
The most popular citizen journalists' reports on merinews chosen automatically on the basis of views and comments
View more jobs