Tum Mujhe Bhool Bhi Jao Toh Ye Haq Hai Tumhe, Meri Baat aur Hai Maine Toh Mohabbat Ki Hai thus go the lines of a soulful duet from Didi (1959). Who can really forget the honey sweet voice of its female singer Sudha Malhotra, who has also composed this song!! N.Dutta has composed rest of the songs of the film except this lovely duet. There are very few singers who gained respect and fame by the small amount of work they did in their career. Suman Kalyanpur, Jagjit Kaur, Mubarak Begum and of course Sudha Malhotra. Her name instantly brings to our minds the beautiful qawwali from Barsaat Ki Raat (1960). But apart from the immortal qawwali, she has to her credit some beautiful, timeless numbers from Hindi film music with which she has carved a perennial niche for herself in this genre of music world.
Beginning her musical journey at the age of 5, she sang on the radio. It is here that she was discovered by Ghulam Haider. Sudha Malhotra, a trained classical singer got her first break in 1949 in a film named The Last Message. But her big break came in 1950 when Anil Biswas made her sing a number from Arzoo. From then on began her career which has had a mosaic pattern of some really great songs.
A glimpse of such 10 songs by her (apart from the qawwali) which not only show her versatility but also give her an everlasting fame.
1. Arzoo (1950) – Picturised on a very young Shashikala, the song is given music by Anil Biswas. The song which gave her a major break.
2. Mirza Ghalib (1954) – A mujra song under the music direction of Ghulam Mohammed, it is one of the 2 songs written by Shakeel Badayuni for the film.
3. Ab Dilli Door Nahin (1957) – A heart touching song by her under the baton of Dattaram as the music director.
4. Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) – A lesser known song as compared to the other songs from this laugh riot. She sang along with Asha Bhonsle for S D Burman . The song is picturised on Cuckoo and Helen.
5. Didi (1959) – The song is a duet with Mukesh, but it is a special one since it is also set to tune by Sudha Malhotra herself.
6. Heera Moti (1959) – Once again picturised on Shubha Khote, the song also has Nirupa Roy. Music is by Roshan and Sudha Malhotra sings it along with Suman Kalyanpur.
7. Girl Friend (1960) – A beautiful duet with Kishore Kumar, rendered under the music direction of Hemant Kumar.
8. Babar (1960) – Another glorious song by Roshan and picturised once again on Shubha Khote, it is rendered very beautifully by Sudha Malhotra.
9. Kala Bazar (1960) – A philosophical gem by the combo of Shailendra and S D Burman. The song has Sudha Malhotra singing along with Geeta Dutt.
10. Prem Rog (1982) – Breaking her long hiatus from Hindi film music, she came back in a Raj kapoor film and sang along with Anwar, this peerless ghazal picturised as mujra, under the music direction of Laxmikant – Pyarelal.