Subhash K Jha talks about Usha Uthup and her missed opportunity to sing with legendary late singer Lata Mangeshkar

How Usha Uthup Missed Her Only Chance To Sing A Duet With Lataji

Believe it or not, the the druggies’ anthem Dum maro dum mit jaye gham from Hare Rama Hare Krishna was to be sung by Lata Mangeshkar!! It was designed as a duet featuring Lataji and Usha Uthup. Eventually Usha Uthup’s portions were retained wile Lataji’s portions in Dum maro dum were re-recorded: with Lataji’s go-ahaeh!

Composer Rahul Dev Burman’s orginal plan was to do the song as a sober-versus-stoned anthem on drugs. But then the film’s producer-director-leading man Dev Anand, who had a keen ear for music, suggested Asha Bhosle for Dum maro dum.

“Lata sang two beautiful solos Phoolon ka taaron ka, Ho ho re ghungroo and a lovely duet Kanchi re for me in Hare Rama Hare Krishna. Dum maro dum didn’t seem right for her,” Dev Saab told me.

That’s how Asha stepped in. Even after her sterling singing the song almost didn’t make it into the film.

When Dev Anand heard Dum maro dum he told RD he found it strange and decided to drop it from the film. In a panic RD pleaded to at least let the song be part of the film’s soundtrack album, if not part of the film.

Eventually Dum maro dum was filmed and became one of the biggest hits of RD and Asha’s career.

Ashaji once told me Dum maro dum was the most requested song at her live concerts after Oh mere sona re(Teesri Manzil).

Lataji’s take on switchover: “The songs I sang were meant for me. The songs Asha sang were meant for her.Dum maro dum was meant for Asha.”