The passing of Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar is a loss for all music lovers, but for singers, musicians and people who were lucky enough to meet the iconic singer, the loss is profound. HT spoke to some of them from Uttar Pradesh and they shared their memories of “The Nightingale of India”.
Folk singer and Padma Shri Malini Awasthi told HT from Dubai: “It’s the same broken feeling I had after Appaji (Girija Devi, his guru) left. I met Lataji once in Mumbai and she asked me “photo chahiye?” I sat next to her feet but she stopped me from sitting there and then with a smile she put her hand on my shoulder. I can still feel that heat. On her 80th birthday, she mentioned my name in an interview on HT Brunch, with Javed Ali and Sonu Nigam, who I will always cherish.
Singer and music composer Harshit Saxena treasures the custom special edition diamond-set Swaranjali watch that Mangeshkar gave him during the Voice of India final in 2007. sign of respect. Everyone would like to sport a diamond watch, but for me, it is a blessing from Maa Saraswati. It is the greatest treasure and his words ‘aap bahut achcha gaate hain’ still ring in my ears. I met her twice during this period, but since then I never had the opportunity to meet her,” he said.
the Haal-e-Dil The singer also recalled asking her who she liked more, Kishore Kumar or Mohd Rafi. “Since I am ardently Kishore da, I asked her this question but she smiled kindly and said to me: ‘Mujhe toh dono ke saath ga ke bahut maza aaya’ (I loved singing with both of them).
Producer-director Gajendra Singh, the man behind series like Saregama and Antakshari, shared how he managed to convince her to take part in the series after 12 years of persuasion.
“When I arrived at her house, the Ganpati festivities were underway and I couldn’t decide who to admire – Lord Ganesh or Lataji – such was the deity in the room. I feel blessed that she was convinced to participate in the final of Voice of India because of the talent we had and since then she has never appeared on any show,” said Singh from Azamgarh.
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui and Tanu marries Manu’s return famous singer from Lucknow, Brijesh Shandilya considers herself extremely lucky to have met her in a recording studio. “It was like a magical moment. I was completely dumbfounded. Then she asked my name and when I touched her feet she blessed me saying ‘Ishwar aapko tarakee de.’ Later she asked about my songs and it was such an overwhelming moment for me.
Lyricist-writer Manoj Muntashir tweeted: “Alvida didi. Aaj akhen nam hain, lekin jeevan bhar yeh sochkar muscurata rahunga ke mere kalam se nikle pehle geet ko dDidi ne awaz dhi hai. The song was Chal Hansa for the show yatra.
Rait Zara Si (Arangi Re) and Mimi Famous Indo-Canadian singer Shashaa Tirupati, who was trained in Prayagraj and under the gurus of e Banaras Gharana, said: “I have flashbacks of my childhood. Her songs were my first and constant companion and guru, alongside Rafi Sahab. The connection I felt with her made me listen to her recordings as early as the 1950s, myself being 5-6 years old. My mother heard me hum Lataji Jao Re Jogi Tum Jao Re while playing with my siblings when I was only five years old. It was the springboard to my aptitude, my training and my beginnings in music as a way of life.
Lucknowite and Bulleya-Famous singer Amit Mishra regrets that his wish to meet her will never come true now. “Although I never met her personally, her blessings and words of encouragement that she used to send to singers and award winners were very inspiring. We are blessed to have lived in a time where she was there,” he said.
Full House 4 and Bhuj – Pride of India Songwriter-singer Vipin Patwa said, “She unknowingly trained and mentored so many Eklavyas. She has been and will be the embodiment of ‘sur’ and ‘sadhana’ for all musical artists like me,” he said.