Gaata Rahe Mera Dil……. Birthday Special – Lata Mangeshkar

Published on Oct 04 2016 - - Expat Ride - -

Mohammed Saifuddin –

The melody queen, who overpowered the time with her intact voice spanning over the decades and lent her soulful voice to many actresses across generations, Lata Mangeshkar turned 87 recently. During this period many voices emerged and disappeared but her magical voice still spreads the melody and she continues to rule over the industry. Even at this age, her velvet voice is a source of spiritual satisfaction for many; specially for those who believe that music is food of soul.

wp_ss_20161004_0001Lata’s spectacular career began in 1942 when she was just 13 years old and it spread over seven decades. During this period there was not a single voice which can withstand with her. She holds the record of singing for the heroines of three generations. In the 1990’s, when Lata ji sang for Kajol, she had completed a record for singing for three generations of the same family. She had sung for Kajol’s Grand Mother Shobhna Samarth, her mother Tanuja and Aunty Nutan. In addition to this, Lata ji has sung for many heroines in their debutant films and helped them to get name and fame with the first film itself. The list of such actresses is very long and spread from Nargis, Madhubala and Nimmi in 1940s to Kareena Kapoor in the new millennium.

Lata Mangeshkar sang for all the successful heroines during the last seven decades. They include Nargis, Madhubala, Nimmi, Nutan, Nanda, Saira Banu, Babita, Hema Malini, Rakhee, Yogita Bali, Zeenat Aman, Dimple Kapadia, Tina Munim, Poonam Dhillon, Jaya Prada, Rati Agnihotri, Amrita Singh, Mandakini, Raveena Tandon, Manisha Koirala, Priety Zinta, Ashwini Bhawe etc.

She coupled with all prominent male singers for duets but interestingly more than half of her songs were solo. The number of her solo songs is 3,482 while with Mohammed Rafi she sang 450 duets, while 348 with Kishore kumar and 161 with Mukesh.

Similarly, she worked almost all the music composers except OP Nayyar. She sang 689 songs with Laxmikant Pyarelal and 461 with Shankar Jaykishan while 355 with R D Burman.

Totally Lata Mangeshkar sang more than 5400 songs for over 200 heroines.

As Lata Mangeshkar rendered her voice to almost all the actresses for three generations, worked with almost all the male singers and music composers, her contribution to the film industry in unmatched. Bestowed with many recognition and awards including Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Maharashtra Bhushan Award, NTR National Award, ANR National Award, Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award and many more Lata Mangeshkar is the true living legend of the country.

2This year Lataji, has decided not to celebrate her Birthday, in honor of the soldiers who were martyred in Uri just few days before her birthday. This gesture of nationalism reminds us of her patriotism. In view of our soldiers being died so brutally in Uri, she requested her fans and well-wishers to send money to the bereaved family of martyrs instead of sending her flowers and gifts.

This patriotic gesture reminds us of her famous song “Ae mere watan ke logo”. Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was moved to tears when Lata Mangeshkar sang this in 1963 at New Delhi. She sung this song to pay homage to Indian soldiers who laid their lives for the country in the 1962 war.

In Dec 1999, as I was enthusiastically heading towards the Raj Bhavan guest house in Hyderabad, as the legendary Lata Mangeshkar arrived there to receive the NTR Award conferred to her by the state government. Even though she met the media representatives at the scheduled press conference, still she happily accepted our request for an exclusive one to one interview. The interview was published in Munsif daily.

Going down the memory line, it was almost 16 years back and still her words resounds in my ears. On this occasion of her birthday, when she turned 87 years young, we at would like to pay our richest tributes to the melody queen of the glittering filmdom.

In that interview Lataji was very concerned about the usage of heavy western music in Indian movies and said the so called popular music will move towards disastrous situation. Symphony and opera is used in west but previously it was very melodious and attractive. She said children should be taught classical music. The new signers should work hard and practice regularly then only they can excel in their field.

1At the initial stage of her career Lata used to copy the style of Noor Jahan but later on many singers copied her style. When asked how she feels about this, she said she is happy if the younger generation of signer copy her style. She is fond of old movies and likes Shahrukkh and Amer Khan.

She is impressed and inspired with her father Dina Nath Mangeshker, Aman Ali Bhindi Bazar wale, Amanat Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ameer Khan, Subba Lakshmi, Mani Ratnam Pillai, Bismillah Khan, Ravi Shankar, Vilayat khan, Ali Akbar Khan etc. Among the singers of her generation, Lataji likes KL Sehgal.

Great maestro Bade Ghulam Ali Khan once said “She never sings out of key!” and Noor Jehan quoted “Lata is Lata. No singer like her has ever been born.”

Lata Mangeshkar is so soft spoken that listener feels as if he is talking to a little child. Long live Lata Didi. The yahind team wishes her to see numerous birthdays and many more songs to her credit in future. We dedicate her popular duet Gaata rahe mera dil……..

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