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(1930 - 1972)
Mubarak Begum

Mubarak Begum's is the rich voice that sang 'Hum haal-e-dil sunaayenge, suniye ki naa suniye' for Madhumati (1958) and the haunting “Kabhi tanahayiyon mein yoon, hamari yaad aaygi”. The quality of her work for Hindi films makes up for the lack of quantity; the owner of an enticingly gorgeous and sweet voice, she retains a permanent place in the hearts of all music lovers.

Mubarak Begum could not get her foothold in the Hindi film industry as a leading playback singer due to many reasons. In spite of her sweet voice and flawless renditions, she was rarely chosen by the composers. She struggled to get good singing assignments during early phase of her career. Even later, when she happened to sing seven songs in the Kamaal Amrohi film Daayaraa (1953), the film sank and with that her hopes of making it big in the Hindi film playback industry as well.

Her big moment, however, finally came when the legendary film maker Bimal Roy gave her the song "Haal-e-Dil Sunayenge" in the film Madhumati (1958). The song was one among the many hits in the extremely successful movie.

Somehow, luck continued to elude Mubarak Begum, with only an occasional hit over the subsequent years. With her soulful voice and melody, and the haunting effect her voice had over listeners, she could not quite reach the heights she ought to have.

Geeta Dutt sang only one duet with Mubarak Begum even though they were contemporaries for over 15 years. The song was recorded for the movie Haar jeet in the year 1954, directed by Pandit S. D. Batish. This was the peak time of the MD's career as it was for the lyricist Aziz Kashmiri. The song 'Bechain hai, betaab hai, Ek dil ka fasana sunle' shows off both the voices of Geeta Dutt and Mubarak Begum in fine fettle and is a very enjoyable duet.

This is the time when both singers' were at their melodious best. The song demonstrates the 'joie de vivre' one feels when in love. The song begins with Geeta ji's sultry drawl "Bechain Hai" and Mubarak ji joins in the fun with a naughtiness filled "Ehe". The same repeats with Geeta ji's "Betaab Hai" and Mubarak naughtily agreeing "Oho" And then the magic begins. This is a sample of the lyrics to follow,"Ek Dil Ka Fasana Sun Le, Zaalim Hai Zamana Sun Le, Mere Dil Ko Thaamna Sajaniya Aa" and "Aankhon Aankhon mein Fasana Keh Gaye Aa Aa Dekhne Waale Tadap Kar Reh Gaye Oho Tadap kar Reh Gaye." This song is truly a connoisseur's delight.

Both singers also sang a trio with Meena Kapoor (a long song of around seven minutes), Mile Dil Aankh Sharmayi for Hulchul in 1951 but it was not released on the records. Perhaps if someone has the film they can provide the song.

It is a pity that the composers did not call for these two melodious voices to sing together more often.

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