08 May 2012

Talat Mahmood - singer unnoticed by India Post…



Hain Sab se Madhur Woh Geet Jinhen Hum Dard ke sur men Gate Hain…..


9th May is the death anniversary of  great Gahazal King Talat Mahmood whose soft velvety voice touched millions of hearts. His unforgettable songs “ Jalte Hain Jiske Liye”…Hain sab se Madhur woh Geet  Jinhen Hum Dard Ke sur men Gate Hain..are still remembered…

Picture 020

With Talat Mahmood at a Music Concert - Kanpur 1989

While writing this post about the great singer..I remember a music concert at Kanpur when I met him. Here is the photo of a concert at Kanpur held in 1989. From my school days I was a great fan of him and here I am pleased to share photo with his autograph given to me !!  His voice had always given me an extraordinary  cool and soft feeling ……That’s why I  love his songs…… As a person he was as gentle as his soft voice….I am proud to have a personal letter written by Talat Mahmood  to me…of course at that time I was too young and normally school and college students at that time  did not like to listen to old singers as it was the time of Jagjit Singh Pankaj Udhas and Talat Aziz… However Kishore Rafi Mukesh Lata Asha and Hemant were always popular with all and even today .…..My taste was quite different from my friends of my age group….With new songs I also loved to listen old songs…. I  wish to share here that How I developed a liking for old songs it is only because of my Uncle Dr Rakesh Pratap Singh who has the finest collection of  Hindi Film songs in India on 78 R.P.M. Gramophone Records cassettes and now on CDs ! Now he has prepared a complete digital data of the songs chronologically and artiste wise ! In his collection he has some very rare songs on 78 RPM records which are not available any where. I got a chance to listen old songs from the very young age…..But today the time has changed …… new songs come and go…but a good music  always leaves an impact on the listener’s ears…Those songs are never forgotten and remembered always…!!   

This Post is a tribute to the great singer Talat Mahmood and I have an earnest request to India Post  to issue a commemorative stamp on him !!


Talat Mahmood (February 24, 1924 – May 9, 1998) was a popular Indian playback singer and film actor. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 1992, he had a unique style of singing. He was famous for singing ghazals. He was honored with the First 'BEGUM AKHTAR AWARD' in 1975 for ghazal singing .His voice was full of pathos and emotions and his flawless rendering of songs always touched the heart of people.

Like his other contemporary singers he was never tempted to sing the sub-standard lyrics only for the sake of money.

In August 1991, Dr. Rakesh Pratap Singh of Kanpur, published his compilation of all the film and non-film songs, geet, ghazals,etc.sung by Shri Talat Mahmood,named as"TALAT GEET KOSH".This book was releasdd by Talat Mahmood and Naushad at Talat Saheb's residence in Bandra,Mumbai.


Indian Postage Stamps have already released  stamps to commemorate the works of his contemporary singers: Hemant Kumar, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar and Mohd Rafi.Therefore we all music lovers of India strongly recommend for the release of a 'Postage Stamp' in memory of great singer Talat Mahmood.


Talat Mahnood

'King of Ghazals' Talat Mahmood was born in a highly cultured but conservative family in Lucknow, India, on Feb. 24, 1924. Talat showed his musical leanings from a very young age and would enjoy sitting through all-night music soiree's listening patiently to some of the biggest names in Indian classical music. Later, for a very short period of time Talat studied music at Marris Music College, before people began noticing his natural singing talent and offers to sing began to pour in.

Talat Mahmood began his music career at the young age of 16 when he began singing the ghazals of Ghalib, Dagh, Mir and Jigar on All India Radio, Lucknow. His voice had a quality distinct from all other singers. HMV was quick to notice this and offered Talat his first disc in 1941, "Sab din ek samaan nahin tha, ban jaoonga kya se kya main, iska to kuch dhyan nahin tha". Indeed how prophetic were these words. Little did Talat know that he was soon to rise to become the greatest name in ghazals on the Indian sub-continent !

In 1944 came the smash hit "Tasveer teri dil mera behela na sakegi". It took the country by storm. It's popularity was so phenomenal and unrivalled that even today it remains one of the biggest non-film hits! This disc brought Talat fame throughout India and soon he was beckoned by the Calcutta Film Industry, which was then the premiere hub of film production in the 40's. Apart from singing many hits, Talat also acted in the first 3 of his 13 films there - "RAJLAXMI", "TUM AUR MAIN" and "SAMAPTI".

But fate had even bigger things in store for Talat and in 1949 he came to the Hollywood of India - Mumbai. His name and fame had already preceded him and people in the Mumbai Film Industry were already aware of this handsome and talented young singer and soon he was offered the song "Ae dil mujhe aisi jagha le chal jahan koi na ho" composed by the then reigning music director Anil Biswas and picturised  on the great Dilip Kumar. The combination was electrifying ! The record was an overnight success and set the trend for the filmi ghazal.

In Talat Mahmood, the music directors  found the perfect voice for ghazals. His diction and intonation were word perfect. His expressive style and emotional nuances were unparalleled. The mellowness, sweetness and pathos in his voice set him apart from all the other singers. Here was a voice that was fresh !  The style absolutely new !!  He was unanimously hailed as "The King Of Ghazals", a title  he consolidated over the period of years to become the greatest name in ghazals !!!  His film solo's and romantic duets numbered in hundreds as hit after hit followed. Talat soon grew into a living legend.

However, the handsome young  'King of Ghazals' did not go unnoticed by the film producers, who besieged him with offers to act in their films. Such was Talat's aura, that for his film 'Dil-e-Nadaan', producer-director A.R. Kardar, launched an 'All India Beauty Contest' to hunt for a beautiful girl who would play the heroine opposite the young and immensely talented superstar Talat Mahmood !!!  Talat was to finally accept 13 films with top heroines like Nutan, Mala Sinha, Suraiya, Shyama, Nadira and others before he decided that acting was not his forte.  And hence, Talat gave up acting to concentrate on singing.

Pyar Par Bas to Nahin one of my favourite songs of film Sone Ki Chidiya . This song is picturised on Talat Mahmood and Nutan.

Towards the late 60's the filmi ghazals and good romantic songs gave way to the electronic rhythms of the disco generation. Disliking the new trend towards loud meaningless music, Talat decided to cut down his film singing assignments but continued his non-film ghazal recordings.

As a singer, Talat has already secured a place in history. Over the years, the King of Ghazals has created a catalogue of songs for generations to come. His fan following straddles the globe. He strides like a colossus in the field of ghazals - a KING whose name is surpassed by none !!!

Talat Geet Kosh :

A Catalogue of all songs of Talat Mahmood

by Dr Rakesh Pratap Singh

This is a complete book on songs of Talat Mahmood. The book includes film and non film songs of Talat in Hindi and other regional languages. The book is available with the author.  Those interested in this book may contact Mr Rakesh Pratap Singh Email : rakeshpsingh@yahoo.com Ph 09450141410


Author with Talat Mahmood

TALAT GEET KOSH T.G.K.back cover



Read more about of Talat Mahmood :  A Golden Voice Talat Mahmood

View : Ek Shaam Talat Ji Ke saath

courtesy : Dr R C MIshra – Kanpur  - Blog : Life And Music


Dr.R.C.Mishra said...

Talat Saheb was a singer of royal temperament and he was a perfectionist of his own style of singing.No one could copy his singing which incorporated the classical raga base and the 'Bhav'inheren in the lyrics.He still stands as a unique singer of film world.Thanks to Jiwan Jyoti Ji who brought in light a perfect article on him and we support her appeal for issue of a postage stamp on TALAT MAHMOOD as early as possible. Dr.R.C.Mishra

Dr.R.C.Mishra said...

This is really a true tribute to the Prince of Ghazals with a silken voice"Padma Bhushan Talat Mahmood".The Postage Stamp on him is a genuine demand of all yrue music lovers of the world.Who will forget his ghazals in films:'MIRZA GHALIB' and 'JAHANARA'.Thanks and congratulations to JeevanJyoti for bringig out such an informative and illustrated article.

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