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Rahein Na, Rahein Hum: How Lata Mangeshkar’s Soulful Songs Shaped My Childhood

With all these fond memories of her, it's quite difficult to fathom Lata didi’s death whose voice comforted me and shaped my life.

Updated: February 6, 2022 1:23 PM IST

By Ritu Singh

Rahein Na, Rahein Hum: How Lata Mangeshkar’s Soulful Songs Shaped My Childhood

Lata Mangeshkar Death: I grew up in a household whose walls resonated with the soulful voices of great singers like Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Hemant Kumar, to name a few. Every morning, my father or my aunts would play the wonderful melodies crooned by these singers on tape recorder and I would casually sing along. Without knowing their names initially, their songs somehow became a constant in my life. Even though I was a bad singer, as a child, I would pride myself on memorizing the lyrics of Lata Didi’s songs like Aayega Aanewala or Rahein na Rahein Hum.

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There was this time in Class 3 when our teacher asked us all to sing our favourite song and of course, mine was a Lata one. I was terribly shy but I remember singing Ajeeb Daastan Hai Ye, and that too the entire song. That was the first time I ever sang in public. With all these fond memories of her, it’s quite difficult to fathom Lata didi’s death whose voice comforted me and shaped my life immensely.

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As I grew up, I took a deeper interest in her songs and was absolutely fascinated by the range and variety of her voice. Her unprecedented style of singing and the way she moulded her voice to suit a particular heroine was beyond impressive. I still remember the time when my uncle got me a Walkman and I spent hours listening to ‘Rula ke gaya sapna mera’, ‘Ye zindagi usi ki hai’, ‘Ja re udd ja re pannchi’ etc on my terrace, lost in her voice. Needless to say, her songs evoked a lot of untapped emotions in me, making me sing, smile, sob and sigh. Such was my passion for her songs that I used to maintain a diary and used to carefully jot down the lyrics of all my favourite melodies of her and wanted to know more about her life. (Sadly, there was no Google those days).

Her songs impacted me in other profound ways too just like any great piece of art does. I remember how I forged a connection with my now-best friend just because of our shared love for Rafi and Lata songs. When I moved to Delhi for my higher studies, singing her songs along with my best friend on those anxious nights over the phone, really calmed my nerves. Whether I was going through a heartbreak, or just had a bad day, her songs like Hum Pyar mein jalne and Aaj Kal paon zameen pe made me feel less alone and also lifted me up. More so, her songs were a constant companion during those lonely train rides back home or those beautiful summer evenings in my days as a student in Delhi University. It might sound silly now, but her romantic songs made me dream a little and believe in love. As a full-grown adult, every time I feel low, I find myself searching for her songs in my YouTube playlist, because it reminds me of my carefree childhood days which were so intricately dotted with her voice.

Even though she is gone, I consider myself very lucky to have grown up savouring her sweet voice and its everlasting imprint on my senses and memories. No amount of praise is lavish enough to describe the supremacy and melodiousness of her voice. I am not an expert of Music, but will just remember her with a smile and a tear, maybe. I don’t know about other millennials, but the walls of my house will always echo with her immortal voice. As an ardent fan, it’s the least I can do to keep her memory alive.

(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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Published Date: February 6, 2022 1:22 PM IST

Updated Date: February 6, 2022 1:23 PM IST