1950 found Geeta Roy in a tough spot. The undisputed reigning singing sensation and queen she was for the past three years (1947 to 1949), she suddenly found herself relegated to the second position. It was the onslaught of Lata Mangeshkar wave that took the country by storm. Lataji who was also a struggling singer trying to get a foothold in the fickle industry, suddenly had not one, or two, but three back-to-back blockbuster hits in 1949. It was Mehboob Khan’s “Andaaz” with music by Naushadji, and a dashing young actor who was destined to become The Showman, Raj Kapoor’s “Barsaat” which had music by a pair of new, young, and trailblazing youngsters named Shankar and Jaikishan, and Kamal Amrohi’s “Mahal” with music given by Khemchand Prakash that had so many numbers that became chartbusters and contributed to this success. The haunting melody “Aayega Aanewaala” by Lataji from “Mahal” even today reverberates in the hearts of millions of moviegoers and for good reasons.
Lataji’s climb to the top was not unexpected and least surprising. She came from a rich musical background and was well trained in music and singing. When she got her break into the movies, just about the same as Geetaji, everybody knew that she will achieve lofty goals and scale to new heights. The question was how long will it take for her to accomplish this. It happened so quickly was a surprise. Lataji has to thank not just her background and training but also these three smashing hits that happened in the same year. With this unfamiliar situation facing her, Geetaji went unperturbed with her business, that is singing. She took the second spot as graciously as she reigned the top spot. It takes a special human being to come out of these unexpected calamities unscathed. Geetaji was a very special person indeed. Her capacity to be both sensual and sensitive at the same time when singing her songs always gave her an edge