This One Picture Sums Up Bollywood's Glorious Musical Legacy

If you thought Avengers: Infinity War was the biggest crossover event, wait till you recognise all the combined talent in this one picture.

A picture has surfaced on the Internet and it’s oozing greatness. Like Lata Mangeshkar-Meets-Mohammed Rafi greatness.

Like literally.

The group picture is shared by the likes of Mukesh, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Talat Mahmood, SD Burman, Lata Mangeshkar, Nargis Dutt, Madan Mohan, Mohammed Rafi and Manna Dey.

If you’re familiar with Bollywood music, then you already know about these legends and their iconic compositions. If not, let us Bollysplain:

Mukesh, better known as the Tragedy King (or as kids these days will call him the *original* Arijit Singh),  he sang majorly for the likes of Raj Kapoor, Sunil Dutt among others. He sang the iconic Jeena Yahaan Marnaa Yahaan from Mera Naam Joker and also Maine Tere Liye in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand.

Majrooh Sultanpuri, one of Bollywood’s finest lyricists, had a career spanning nearly five decades. One of the proponents of the Progressive Writers Movement, Majrooh sahab is responsible for lines in everything between O Haseena Zulfon Waali from Teesri Manzil to the iconic love ballad of the 90s – Pehla Nasha from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. Yes, the most cherished song about young love… at the age of 73.

Talat Mahmood popularised semi-classical and ghazal playback singing with his songs. He sang the evergreen male rendition to Jaaye toh jaaye kahaan in Dev Anand’s Taxi Driver, accompanied by the ethereal Lata Mangeshkar.

SD Burman – one of the biggest names in this picture of already famous personalities – his most famous collaborations came with Guru Dutt and Dev Anand. British magazine Sight & Sound named Pyaasa as one of the finest soundtracks in a film, in 2004. Burman’s work in Tere Ghar Ke Saamne and Jewel Thief cemented his partnership with Dev Anand.

Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Manna Dey – all enjoyed the peak of fame for Bollywood playback singing. Right from dominating the most number of songs through their extended eras, all three singers collaborated with the finest working musicians across the decades.

Madan Mohan, best known to my generation as the composer for Yash Chopra’s Veer Zaara, built a niche for himself with his complex, ghazal-like melodies. So much so that, he even earned himself the nickname of being the ‘ghazal ka shehzada‘ (the prince of ghazals).

Now, do you understand why we want to frame this picture and keep it right next to the Avengers: Infinity War poster in our study?