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February 6, 2022. Since it was a Sunday, I woke up after 9:00 am as compared to other work from home days around 8:00 am. My morning routine involves checking the news first and sipping my morning tea. Mom usually wakes up early to prepare breakfast. Luckily my 1.5 yr old daughter and wifey also woke up around the same time as mine.
I had barely started sifting the news headline when I read – Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar passes away. She was 92 and died of complications due to COVID-19. Thank you, China, your Wuhan virus has claimed another celebrity along with tens, thousands and millions across the world. I digress.
I was saddened but not shocked. The Indian Nightingale as she was affectionately called – aged gracefully. She was in the hospital in January of the same year. Her health improved and then suddenly deteriorated. I knew that her time has come to leave the world and eventually as with any old people – she would die. No one lives forever and we must accept the predictability of an unpredictable life.
I was not prepared to write this blog post as I had something else in my mind. Why I am writing is because I grew up listening to her songs.
The late Lata Mangeshkar was not an ordinary person. She was known for her melodic singing. It was not just lyrics, not the composition but her singing which touched everyone’s heart.
During the hey-days when songs were equally important in Hindi Cinema, the song needed to be meaningful. The lyrics must touch the heart of the listeners. They still do. Playback singing had reached a different level at that time.
She sang a total of 30,000 songs in 36 different Indian languages. She is a Maharashtrian and sang Marathi and Hindi songs as well. I was not aware that she sang in 36 languages! Isn’t that incredible? Her versatility is beyond question!
I don’t wish to do any comparisons here. But, Celine Dion is the only western singer IMO who can match up to that level of versatility. She can sing in French, Spanish & English. I have heard some of those songs in other languages.
Lata Mangeshkar isn’t about what she sang – it was how she sang those songs. Very few people actually do that.
If you don’t understand the language she sang, just listen to how she sang those songs. Although Indian classical singing is still sung and maintained today – none can sing the way she does. Not one singer has been dubbed as the next Lata Mangeshkar.
I am not well-versed with the ‘technical’ aspects of singing, but I know a good singer when I hear one. Being a music producer has its perks!
Her style of singing was unique. It wasn’t long when her singing became an influential singer in her own right. Her career spans since the 1940s. She has a rich cultural history of singing.
I was not aware that she sang in languages other than Marathi and Hindi. With such a rich legacy, it was no doubt that she was bestowed with many awards both Indian and international.
I grew up listening to her songs apart from Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosale (Lata Mangeshkar’s younger sister).
Down below I have mentioned some of my favourite songs from the legendary singer, what song, in particular, is your favourite? Let me and the others know in the comments:
Song: Ae Dil Ae Nadan
Film: Razia Sultan (1983)
Lyrics: Jan Nisar Akhtar
Song: Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh
Film: Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960)
Music Director: Shankar Jaikishan
Song: Yara Silli Silli
Music Composer: Bhupen Hazarika
Music Director: Bhupen Hazarika
Song: Morni Bagama Bole Adhi Raat Ma
Movie: Lamhe (1991)
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi
Music Director: Shiv-Hari
Song: Dil Deewana Bin Sajna Ke
Movie: Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989)
Lyrics: Asad Bhopali
Music Director: Raam Laxman
The above are just a fraction of the songs I have mentioned. I am fond of the songs and there are many more.
Thank you for your music Lataji, you will be missed but your songs will live forever. may your soul rest in peace.