One of the gems of the Hindi film industry, Lata Mangeshkar turns 82 and even after spreading the magic of her voice for seven decades she is still singing songs with aplomb.
Thanks to her successful long journey and her body of work, she has become an institution in herself and a guiding force not just for budding singers, but also for established artists.
“It’s our good fortune that we have taken birth in the times of Lataji. She is our goddess of music and she is always going to be an inspiration for our generation and the generations to come,” singer Sonu Niigaam told IANS.
Starting her career in 1943 at the age of 13 with the song Mata ek sapoot ki duniya badal de tu for Marathi film Gajaabhaau, Lata, who is called the Nightingale of India, went on to record songs for more than 1,000 films in 36 languages.
From classical to romantic numbers to ghazals to bhajans, she made her mark in a variety of genres.
Even at this age her zeal to sing is the same which was evident when she sang Tere hasne se for Satrangee Parachute that released this year.
“Lataji is my teacher, my inspiration and it is because of her that I’ve loved music so much. I want to wish her all the happiness in the world,” said Shreya Ghoshal.
Shaan says that “Whatever you say about Lataji is less. All I want to say is that the divinity that she has in her voice is unique and very different. Whatever the song might be, she adds dignity to it. Very subtly she brings out the expressions in a song. She is an institute in herself and the only one among so many.”
Lata, who is the voice behind evergreen lilting melodies like Aaja re pardesi, Kahi deep jale kahi dil, Beeti na bitaai raina, Tere bina zindagi se, Tere bina jiya jaaye na, Naino mein badra, Chalte chalte and Yaara sili sili, made it to then Guinness Book of World Records from 1974 to 1991 for having made the most recordings in the world.
Not just for singers, for actors and filmmakers too, the Bharat Ratna recipient is the voice that gave Hindi songs the quality that will be remembered for years.
“I think for any actress Lataji singing for her is a blessing because we all know what incredible talent she has. We can only hope that she lives for many many years to come and sings forever,” said Dia Mirza.
Filmmaker Yash Chopra feels proud that an artist like Lata was born on Indian soil.
“For an artiste to be at the pinnacle of her career for 69 uninterrupted years is an unprecedented feat in any field anywhere in the world and we are proud that an Indian, our very own Lata Mangeshkar, has achieved this,” Chopra had told IANS.
“I have been fortunate to have worked with her for over five decades from my very first film, Dhool Ka Phool till my most recent film Veer Zaara.
“As a director, I can vouch that Lataji makes each song her own. She adds so many characteristic nuances, making it easier for an actress to enact and for the song to stand the test of time. They say that people follow music, but in Lataji’s case, music follows her.”