Parineeti says she didn’t drink a drop to play the alcoholic in The Girl On The Train. Lataji has never tasted a drop of alcohol. Still she has sung some extraordinary songs about drunkenness which are masterclasses in slurring without stumbling. Strange, you would expect the other more uninhibited sister Asha Bhosle to indulge in such a vice-like grip on the microphone. But then the myth about Lataji being the sober and the other sister being sexy is effectually and completely broken in these songs about being blissfully sloshed.
1. Kaise rahun chup ki maine pee hi kya hai hosh abhi tak hai baqi, aur zarasi dede saqi aur zarasi(Inteqaam): A classic ode to inebriation this party song has Sadhana taunting provoking and embarrassing her loverboy Sanjay Khan in from of his party guests. Lataji slurs over the words so convincingly listeners were convinced she had taken her astonishing artistry a few ‘pegs’ higher. Laughs Lataji, “How can one sing if one were to actually drink. It’s a performance, just like an actor who plays a killer. He doesn’t come on the sets with real blood on his hands.Composers Laxmikant-Pyarelal believed I could do anything. Even sound drunk on screen.” They were so right.h
2. Sharaabi Sharaabi mere naam ho gaya(Chandan Ka Palna): Meena Kumari who stumbled sizzled and slurred across the screen was battling the bottle at the time in her real life. Lataji sang this R D Burman composition with a pronounced slur in her voice. It is incredible how closely her singing voice matches Meena Kumari’s speaking voice. “Meenaji was very fond of me. She loved my hair and wondered how I kept it so long,” In those days Lataji’s pleats literally touched the ground.While her voice soared to sky even when acting sloshed.
3. Na chhero kal ke afsane karo iss raat ki baatein(Raat Aur Din): Shankar-Jaikishan’s startling ode to inebriation features Nargis slithering tipsily across the screen in a druken stupor singing Shailendra’s poetry about living in the present. The entire song is rendered in a hazy slur by Lataji. “When I asked about the song situation I was told Nargisji was drunk in the scene. I sang accordingly careful that that the beautiful words didn’t get slurred.”
4. Haan jee haan maine sharaab pee hai(Seeta Aur Geeta): Hema Malini who has never tasted alcohol says the electric effect she created of being sozzled was entirely the singer’s doing. “Lataji has emoted so well in that song, given just the right punctuations pauses and hiccups , I just had to follow her voice.” R D Burman’s composition is indeed unique. But it’s the singing that elevates the number. Note how Lataji trips over the line ‘Haan jee haan…na jee na!!!” Anyone would mistake her plush rush of gush for a real lush.
5. Chhor mera haath mujhe peene de aaj saree raat mujhe peene de pyasi mar jaaongi jeene de(Subha-o-Sham): A complete unknown gem , this is a timebomb in a glass every word a plea to let the drinks flow, the let let jaam-session begin .Waheeda Rehman who doddered her way through the fabulous song recalls, “Yeh ladki bahot pareshan tthi.She gets drunk and creates a scene in a poarty. Lataji jab gaateen hain toh hum heroine ko zyada kuch karne ki zaroorat nahin hoti.She does all that needs to be done.” Cheers to that.
Image source: SpotboyE archive
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