Lata Mangeshkar renders a new-age 'prison anthem'

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, July 21 (IANS) Lata Mangeshkar sang "Ae malik tere bande hum", a song that inspired prisoners in V. Shantaram's film "Do Aankhen Barah Haath" in 1957. Now Madhur Bhandarkar has the singing legend render a new-age 'prison anthem' in his latest movie "Jail".

"We want Lata-ji's 'Daata sun maula sun' to be the new-age 'Ae maalik tere bande hum'. We want youngsters to embrace it and get to know the endless magic of Lata-ji's art. It has the potential to be hummed and sung in schools and colleges for all times to come," Bhandarkar told IANS.

Lata's "Ae malik tere bande hum" went on to inspire generations of Indians imprisoned in their prejudices and daily despondencies. Now 52 years later when Bhandarkar conceived the song, he wanted only Lata to sing it.

"I'm not just a Lata fan. I am her fanatic. When she agreed to sing 'Kitne ajeeb rishte hain yahan par' for my 'Page 3', I felt I had achieved one of my biggest dreams. And now to have her sing for me again, and that too for a film that stars Neil Nitin Mukesh, whose grandfather Mukesh was very close to Lata-ji," the director said.

The prison anthem in "Jail" entitled "Daata sun maula sun" is written by a first-time lyricist Ajay Garg.

"When he recited the lines for me, it was there and then decided that no other singer but Lata-ji has the right to touch these words," said Bhandarkar, known for his creative excellence in films like "Chandni Bar", "Page 3" and "Fashion".

The director says it didn't take him much to convince the singer to go behind the mike for the song.

"I've kept in touch with Lata-ji since 'Page 3'. When I told her it was a song for my film composed by Shamir Tandon, who had done 'Kitne ajeeb' for her, she was immediately interested and asked us to send the tune," he said.

Lata was also enamoured by the idea that the film starred her Mukesh-bhaiyya's grandson Neil. She is very close to the whole family.

Interestingly, in the last decade Lata-ji has sung two bhajans "Oh paalan haare" ("Lagaan") and "Ek tu hi bharosa" ("Pukar") - both for A.R. Rahman.

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