Lata Mangeshkar: Bridging Generations


On February 6, it was two years since an era that began for Hindi cinema in 1947 ended. Reams of reams (!) have been written about Lata Mangeshkar and one has to truly ponder on what is not. One angle, not very commonly thought of, is how this legendary Bharat Ratna winner employed her vocals not just for two generations of actresses but also sang for succeeding generations of composers and worked with two generations of lyricists and co-singers.

Naseem Banu / Saira Banu

Lata Mangeshkar commenced playback singing in Hindi films in 1947, by which time most of Naseem Banu’s career was over. However, Lata did get to sing at least one song for her if not more, Chhodo chhodo ji piya in Ajeeb Ladki (1952) while she remained Saira Banu’s prime voice all the way from her debut in Junglee (1961) with Kashmir ki kali hoon main and more, through April Fool, Shagird, Victoria No. 203, Paise Ki Gudiyan and others.

Meenakshi Shirodkar / Granddaughter Namrata Shirodkar

Meenakshi Shirodkar was a big name in the 1940s in particular and Lata sing with the star-singer in Tum ho maa badi maa in the 1945 Badi Maa even before her featured playback debut in Aap Ki Sewa Mein (1947). Meenakshi was a star also in Marathi films and so, Lata also sang with her in the film Chimukla Sansar (A tiny world). In both films, Lata had also herself acted and the songs were filmed on her.

The actress’ son was an eminent doctor known as Dr. Shirodkar and he married actress Gangu Bai, whose daughters were Shilpa and Namrata Shirodkar. And after a full 53 years, Lata lent her voice for Namrata in Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai!

Jayashree Shantaram / Rajshree

Who can forget Ganga maiya mein jab tak yeh paani rahe from Suhaag Raat (1969) that Lata vocalized for the petite Rajshree? But this one-time top star’s mother, also a big name, also had Lata singing for her in Kya dil ka lagana (with Talat Mahmood) in the 1952 Parchhain.

Tanuja / Kajol

Kajol had Lata singing for her in films like Yeh Dillagi, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Dushman, and decades before that, Lata sang for mom Tanuja in films like Jeene Ki Raah, Izzat, Do Chor and in the iconic Roz shaam aati thi from Imtihan. Lata also sang three songs in Hamari Beti, which was directed by Shobhana Samarth, Tanuja’s mother, which were all filmed on Shobhana’s elder daughter, Nutan.

Mala Sinha / Pratibha

Lata’s hits for Mala Sinha span classics in films like Anpadh (Aap ki nazaron ne samjha), Himalay Ki God Mein (Kankariya maar ke jagaya), Aasra (Neend kabhi rehti thi) and many more. But she also managed to open her score for Mala’s daughter Pratibha, who managed to do only a handful of films, with the solo Patang jaisa dole re in her debut film, Mehboob Mere Mehboob in 1992.

Babita / Karisma Kapoor & Kareena Kapoor

While Babita had more songs with Lata than with anyone else (Raaz, Farz, Jeet, Haseena Maan Jayegi and more in the 1960s and 1970s), she also sang for Karisma Kapoor (including in Dil to Pagal Hai) and Kareena Kapoor Khan (Bewafaa, Mujhse Dosti Karoge!) in the 1990s and millennium respectively.

Dimple Kapadia / Twinkle Khanna

Who can forget the songs of Bobby and Lekin among others? If Lata’s songs for Dimple (also in movies like Saagar, Rudaali and more) were classics, the voice also fitted daughter Twinkle, 16 years her junior, just a few years after Rudaali in Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai!

Master Vinayak and Nanda

If Lata’s songs for Nanda included evrgreens like Allah tero naam (Hum Dono), Yeh sama (Jab Jab Phool Khile) and Ek pyar ka naghma hai (Shor), she got terrific support from Nanda’s actor-filmmaker father, Master Vinayak. After the early death of her father, Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar, Lata was given many chances to act and sing as well in his movies in both his Marathi and Hindi. Master Vinayak and Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar had been great friends.

Nargis / Zaheeda

Among Lata’s timeless classics is Rangeela re from Prem Pujari. And Zaheeda, on whom the song was filmed, was the niece of Nargis, whose association with Lata, come Barsaat, Awara, Andaz, Mother India or the actress’ home production, Raat Aur Din remains legendary.

Close associations of Lata Mangeshkar with parent and offspring

Here is where we list unions of Lata with these brilliant names among composers with one standout collaboration mentioned for each in a vast repertoire.

Lata Mangeshkar with composer Chitragupta (left) and lyricist Anjaan. She also worked with their sons Anand-Milind and Sameer Anjaan respectively. Photo: Publicity Photo


Chitragupta (Dil ka diya jalaake gaya / Akash Deep) & Anand-Milind (Aake teri baahon mein / Vansh)

S.D. Burman (Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai / Guide) & R.D. Burman (Raina beeti jaaye / Amar Prem)

Roshan (Rahe na rahe hum / Mamta) & Rajesh Roshan (Yeh raaten nayi purani / Julie)

Sardar Malik (Hui yeh humse nadaani / Chor Bazar) & Anu Malik (Saajan mera uss paar hai / Gangaa Jamuna Saraswati)

Aparesh Lahiri (Many Bengali songs) & Bappi Lahiri (Chalte chalte / Chalte Chalte)


Anjaan (Meri saanson ko  / Badaltey Rishtey) & Sameer Anjaan (Kabhi khushi / Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…)

Jan Nissar Akhtar (Yeh dil aur unnki nigahon ke saaye / Prem Parbat) & Javed Akhtar (Neela aasmaan so gaya / Silsila)


Mukesh (Dum bhar jo udhar / Awara) & Nitin Mukesh (Zindagi kin a toote ladi / Kranti)

Kishore Kumar (Kora kagaz tha / Aradhana) & Amit Kumar (Yaad aa rahi hai / Love Story).



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here