Daily O

Why there cannot be another Talat Mahmood

What makes Talat Mahmood's voice unique, beyond replication?

Hain Sabse Madhur Woh Geet Jinhein Hum Dard Ke Sur Mein Gaate Hain.

Dev Anand sang this song on screen in Patita (1953). His playback singer was Talat Mahmood. Talat could well have been singing about most of his own songs.

His voice has been variously described as serene, melancholic, soulful, ultra-soft, romantic, majestic, hypnotic, poetic. But the two adjectives which truly capture the uniqueness of his voice are velvety and silken. Add to that his Lucknowi grace (he hailed from Lucknow), his Urdu diction, his inflexion, his nazakat, his intonation, his enunciation, his soz, and you have an aristocrat among singers. The vibrato in his voice, a gift of God, added that extra ‘something’ to his voice. Something beyond replication.

There have been many clones of Mohammad Rafi. There have been (fewer) clones of Mukesh. Every third Bengali, and many others, copy Kishore Kumar and Hemant Kumar (Hemant even had two soundalikes in the film industry when he was active – Subir Sen and Dwijen

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