In Lata Mangeshkar, India Loses Its Most Mellifluous Voice, An Artist Who Will Inspire Generations to Come

"Lata di died at 8.12 am due to multi organ failure after over 28 days of COVID-19 diagnosis," Dr Pratit Samdani, who was treating the singer at the Breach Candy hospital, told reporters.

Updated: February 7, 2022 2:02 AM IST

By News Desk | Edited by Victor Dasgupta

In Lata Mangeshkar, India Loses Its Most Mellifluous Voice, An Artist Who Will Inspire Generations to Come
India's Nightingale, Lata Mangeshkar, passes away at 92

Lata Mangeshkar, India’s Nightingale, is no more. She breathed her last at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital. In Lata’s demise, India has lost her voice that enthralled, entertained and inspired generations of singers and masses alike. From Rahein na Rahein Hum to Lag ja Gale to Ae Mere Watan ke Logon, Lata Mangeshkar’s songs have been the epitome, the gold standard, the ultimate benchmark of singing in India.

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Lata Mangeshkar, whose mellifluous voice inspired millions across the country, departed for the heavenly abode on Sunday at 8.12 am leaving her countless fans in tears. Soon the news of her demise broke, thousands of people gathered outside the hospital and lined the streets to pay their last respects to the woman whose voice they woke up to, listened to as they went about their day and as they turned in for the night, their accompaniment in every mood and every hour.

“It is with profound grief that we announce the sad demise of Lata Mangeshkar at 8:12am. She has died because of multi-organ failure after more than 28 days of hospitalisation post COVID19,” Dr Pratit Samdani, who was treating her at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital said.

Lata who had been in hospital since January 8 was diagnosed with Covid with mild symptoms. She was also diagnosed with pneumonia. “She is no more. She died in the morning,” her younger sister Usha Mangeshkar told PTI, confirming the news that one of India’s most well known and well loved personalities was no more.

“Lata di died at 8.12 am due to multi organ failure after over 28 days of COVID-19 diagnosis,” Dr Pratit Samdani, who was treating the singer at the Breach Candy hospital, told reporters.

The government announced a two-day “state mourning” for Mangeshkar, who had a prodigious almost eight-decade career in which she sang an estimated 25,000 songs in as many as 36 Indian languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Kannada, and across classical and other genres.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and wrote, “I am anguished beyond words. The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people.”

Official sources in New Delhi said a wireless message had been sent out to state chief secretaries by the Union Home Ministry that the national flag will fly at half mast from February 6 to February 7 throughout India.

There will be no official entertainment in this period.

The body of the singer was first taken to her Pedder Road residence Prabhu Kunj and later to Shivaji Park for her multitude of fans to pay their respect before the funeral at Shivaji Park around 7 pm.

President Ram Nath Kovind Expresses Grief

“Lata-ji’s demise is heart-breaking for me, as it is for millions the world over. In her vast range of songs, rendering the essence and beauty of India, generations found expression of their inner-most emotions. A Bharat Ratna, Lata-ji’s accomplishments will remain incomparable,” the president said.

Rahul Gandhi Pays His Tributes To Lata Mangeshkar

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said she remained the most beloved voice of India for many decades” and added that her immortal golden voice will continue to echo in the hearts of her fans.

Considered one of the greatest playback singers in Indian cinema, Mangeshkar received several film awards and honours like Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Dada Saheb Phalke Award, and multiple National Film Awards.

The film world she had worked with for decades expressed their condolences too.

Bollywood Celebrities Paid Their Last Tributes

She has left us The voice of a million centuries has left us her voice resounds now in the Heavens! Prayers for calm and peace…,” Amitabh Bachchan said in his personal blog.

Actor Waheeda Rehman, who danced to Mangeshkar’s playback most memorably in “Guide” in “Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai”, and “Piya tose naina laage re”, said there was magic in her voice.

“We shared a very friendly and warm relationship. She had such a beautiful voice and her songs will be remembered for years to come Behind this magic was a lot of hard work and determination, Rehman told PTI.

Actor Shabana Azmi said, “Lataji ..our national treasure no more ..her voice lit up our lives , gave us solace when we were sad , gave strength when we were low..Thank you Lataji and RIP.”

Manoj Bajpayee echoed many when he tweeted that a golden era of the music world has truly ended!.’

Known as the Queen of Melody, Nightingale of India, and simply the legend, Mangeshkar started training in singing at the age of five. Her last song, presumed to be lost, was released last year in October, 79 years later.

Mangeshkar’s unforgettable songs include ‘Lag Jaa Gale’, ‘Mohe Panghat Pe’, ‘Chalte Chalte’, ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ , ‘Ajeeb Daastaan Hai’, ‘Hothon mein aisi baat’, ‘Pyar kiya to darna kya’, ‘Neela asman so gaya’, ‘Pani Pani Re’.

Such was the pull of her voice that Bade Ghulam Ali sahab, a musician that Mangeshkar greatly admired, is believed to have said that Kambakhq kabhi besuree hee nahee hoti (She can never be out of tune) .

Many, including some the biggest musicians and actors, equated her voice with that of ‘goddess Saraswati’. And fate willed it that she died a day after Saraswati Puja.

Mangeshkar acknowledged the love but remained humble till the end.

“Some people call me ‘Saraswati’ or say that I have her blessings. I believe I have the blessings of my parents, our deity Mangesh, Sai baba and god, she told PTI in October last year, which probably was her last interview.

It is their blessing that people like whatever I sing. Otherwise who am I? I am nothing. There have been better singers than me and some of them are not even with us. I am grateful to god and to my parents for whatever I have today.

Watch Lata Mangeshkar’s Last Rites:

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Published Date: February 6, 2022 8:53 PM IST

Updated Date: February 7, 2022 2:02 AM IST