Lifetime Achievement Award for Lataji

Kolkata:  Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar was
tonight honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by a
leading Bengali TV channel.

Accepting the award, 81-year-old Lata, whose 30,000 songs
in 20 languages are unparalleled in the world, acknowledged
her musical bond with Bengal over the years.

“I can read and write a little Bengali,” Lata said in her
brief speech while observing that her mother language Marathi
is very sweet and has an affinity with Bengali.

“I sang many songs in Hindi. Next to it, I sang in
Marathi and Bengali. My brother Hridaynath has set to music
many songs in Marathi and also in Bengali. His Bengali songs
have earned popularity.

“Ki bolbo? Bangla bhasha khub bhalo. Kintu ami bolte pari
na. (What should I say? The Bengali language is very good. But
I can’t speak in Bengali),” she said when requested to speak.

Noting that she saw herself very close to Bengal, Lata
said she had read novels of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.

“I have read novels of Bankimbabu and Saratbabu.
Saratbabu is my favourite. I have read all his novels more
than once.”

The legendary singer, who was given a standing ovation by
a galaxy of musical stars present at the function, said the
entire Mangeshkar family were devotees of Ramakrishna and
Swami Vivekananda.

Thanking the organisers, she said “I never expected this.
The entire Mangeshkar family is grateful to the organisers for
the award and the honour.”

The award by channel 24 Ghanta comprised a citation, an
angavastram and a trophy which were handed over to her by
classical vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty.

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