She treated every song as her first

She treated every song as her first

My professional association with Lata Mangeshkar began when we worked together on the first song I wrote for Silsila [1981]Saw a dream, then this series happened. It was an honor for me to have two of my favorite singers, Lataji and Kishorda. [Kumar] brought my words to life. After that we kept on meeting.

Lataji was a larger than life person who was extremely talented and focused on her work. Each singer treats her first song with utmost focus; Lataji used to do this for every song. To me, Lataji was a great artist like Michelangelo, Beethoven and Shakespeare. In the history of mankind, we should throw out such extremely talented people from the chains of human civilization. Such people belong to a different league and are the epitome of perfection. They remind us that perfection can prevail among the mediocre. There was no one like Lata Mangeshkarji, there will be no one…

While people know about his famous singing, few know that he had a great sense of humor and sharp observational skills. Although she appeared reserved, she spoke openly and honestly whenever we met. She always had a funny comment up her sleeve. We would often share jokes if we had seen something strange. one more [remarkable trait] He had an incredible memory. She will remember the events that happened more than 50 years ago in every minute detail.

Tongue – that was another matter. Being a Maharashtrian, she could speak Marathi fluently. But because she had to sing Hindi film songs, Lataji learned Urdu early in her career. His Urdu pronunciation was perfect. He sang innumerable songs in his career spanning over 70 years, but you can’t point to a single song where he misspelled a word. Perfection is a mirage that you keep on following, but you never reach it. Lataji was a rare example who achieved this.

Javed Akhtar

Her quest for perfection led to an important factor in singing – Lafjo [words], She would always take the song, and write it by hand. Then, she would line up a few words, put commas and hyphens. It was her process, and only Lataji knew what she meant. After that, she would go after Mike and we would see her magic. Don’t know what the pulse used to add to the song – she would create magic, though she never changed a word or a melody.

Lataji never sang with only her voice but was a mixture of voice, intellect [dimaag] and heart [dil], She understood the emotion and subtext of the song. Where did they come, we had a line, ‘Hua more soft, my evening dhalte.’ Mulayam means soft, and he made it feel soft through his pronunciation. Similarly in the song Mati Re [Godmother], the line goes, ‘I am tired of fighting with life’. When she sang Thak Gayi Hoon, you could feel the exhaustion.

Lata Mangeshkar with Kishore Kumar

[She showed that trait again] When he sang Tere Liye for Veer-Zaara (2004). It is about two young lovers who after 22 years of separation are finally reunited in their old age. The song is about defeat and desolation. In his voice you can feel the acceptance of complete defeat. The person who has lost everything, that expression of sadness and love was in his voice, not in love. You could feel every emotion in his songs. This is rare and difficult to do because he had to sing a song in under five minutes. There was no lap or rehearsal. But her singing will be expressive as she will put her heart, soul, emotions and experience into it. His ability to do it for each song made him great.

While Lataji was revered in India and abroad, there was a time when she was also the most popular Indian in Pakistan. Many respected poets and poets of the country, including the popular poet Parveen Shakir, have written poems on him.

Meeting Lataji felt like a special occasion in itself. ‘I am meeting Lata Mangeshkar’ – the thought itself was a source of respect and joy. For all of us who knew her, she will always remain ‘Lata Mangeshkar’ – in reverse comma.
As told to Upala KBR



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