Remember the popular soundtracks like 'Dil Deke Dekho', 'Hum Hindustani', 'Aao Pyar Kare', 'Hawas' , 'Saajan Bina Suhagan' and 'Sautan'? Remember the chart-buster classics like Rafi's 'Hum Tumse Juda Hoke Mar Jaayenge Ro Ro Ke', Lata's 'Maanjhi Meri Kismat Ke', Mukesh's 'Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein', Yesudas' 'Madhuban Khushboo Deta Hai' and Kishore Kumar's 'Zindagi Pyar Ka Geet Hai'? All this memorable music is the creation of a practically forgotten lady called Usha Khanna. The talented artist has been only the second major female music director in the history of Hindi film music (the first being Saraswati Devi aka Khurshid Minocher- Homji) and is completing fifty years of her career. Even after making music for close to two hundred movies, Usha Khanna has not received the kind of attention and acclaim that she rightfully deserves.
Her life, her music and her unique achievement as a female composer have always fascinated me. So in my recent visit to Mumbai, I make it a point to complete the long-pending task of interviewing her. After pestering her with multiple telephonic requests, the lady finally agrees to meet me.