‘Meri Awaaz Hi Meri Pehchaan Hain’ – Lata Mangeshkar | Obituary
Lata Mangeshkar's voice aced vocal ranges, and captivated millions of hearts. May her soul rest in peace!
Lata Mangeshkar, popularly known by The Nightingale of India, belonged to a rare breed of playback singers whose golden voice cast a spell over generations. The 92-year-old was widely considered as one of the greatest, most respected singers and music directors. Javed Akhtar had once said, “When you are talking about Michael Angelo, Beethoven or Shakespeare, the name says it all. Lata Mangeshkar’s greatness is her name itself. There is no other word that can encapsulate her.”
Success Was Not a Cakewalk For Her
Not many people know that the legendary singer who is now no more among us was born as Hema. However, the singer rechristened later as Lata which was named after a famous character named Latika from her father’s play Bhaaw Bandhan.
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Success isn’t a cakewalk for anyone, Mangeshkar was no different. She started singing at the age of five. However, when she entered the industry as a playback singer, she was rejected because her voice was considered ‘too thin’. She debuted her playback singing career with the 1942 Marathi movie Kiti Hasaal but the song was edited out from the final cut of the film. While her singing career wasn’t a hit, Lata began acting. She acted in over eight films from the year 1942-1948. However, with no success in films too, Lata got her first major break with the song “Dil Mera Toda, Mujhe Kahin Ka Na Chhora” from the movie Majboor (1948). It became her first super hit song which changed her life.
In her career spanning almost eight decades, Lata sang over 5000 songs in 36 languages. Whether it is ‘Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh’ or ‘Bahon Mein Chale Aao’, ‘Jiya Jale’ or ‘Humko Humise Chura Lo’, ‘Bindiya Chamkegi’ or ‘Tere Liye’ – each of Lata’s songs are evergreen and eternal.
It is also said that Lata Mangeshkar left India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in tears as she sang Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon, Zara Aankh Me Bhar Lo Pani…
Lata Mangeshkar had once said, “As a singer, you have to bring the soul to the song” and the legendary singer believed and followed this.
Lata Mangeshkar: ‘Awards Are a Token Of Respect’
Lata Mangeshkar had once said, “For me, awards are a token of respect that people are giving me. So no matter how many awards I am receiving, I always feel emotional.” There’s a long list if we were to talk about awards that were given to her as an honour of her work. In 2001, she was awarded India’s Highest Civilian Award – the Bharat Ratna. Apart from this, she was also honoured with Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Dada Saheb Phalke Award, Maharashtra Bhushan Award, NTR National Award, Bharat Ratna, ANR National Award and three National Film Awards. Lata Mangeshkar was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate by six universities of which one is by the New York University.
Lata Mangeshkar Never Listened To Her Songs?
Also called ‘The Nightingale of India’, Lata Mangeshkar was also very critical of her work. Probably, that was one of her success mantras. Once, in an interview with The Hindu, Lata had revealed that she never listened to her songs. Wondering why? Here’s what she said, “I can never listen to my songs. If at all I listen to them, I feel I could have done so much better, applied my creative mind, given it a higher rendition.”
“I can occasionally listen to my Meera bhajans and Dhyaneshwari. But beyond that…,” Lata had said.
The meaning is clear, for Lata, each of her songs had to be better than the previous one. A singer, so hard-working, so thoughtful and so talented – Lata Ji’s demise is a big loss for the music industry, for Bollywood and for the nation.
Today, the golden voice of India has fallen silent, but Lata Ji has become eternal!
Rest in peace, Lata Mangeshkar, you will be missed badly!
– Written by Chirag Sehgal
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