We tend to personify gods by imagining their appearances to be like our idols. May be all devis or goddesses we see in our mothers, and hence the term Ma or mother we use in addressing all goddesses – Laxmi, Durga, Kali, Parvati, Seeta etc.
Yesterday was Basant panchami, celebrated as Saraswati Puja also in our country. Saraswati, the goddess of learning and arts, having a book, a water pot, a rosary ( Mala) and above all a Veena ( the musical instrument) is therefore, especially worshipped for wisdom and proficiency in fine arts. The moment you mention the name Saraswati, I am sure most of the music lovers in this country would imagine the face of the nightingale of India, Bharat Ratna, Lata Mangeshkar. It’s like the way we immerse Durga the day after Durgashtmi, Goddess Saraswati also chose immersion the next day of her festival in the form of demise of Lata.
A few days ago only in one of my blogs I had mentioned that we cherished the presence of these idols amongst us as they were born once in a century if not millennium! Starting her career very early to shoulder the responsibilities of her large family following the demise of her father, Dinanath, Lata had to struggle initially as at that time singers with husky and heavy voice ruled the roost. But her thin, sharp but absolutely delectable voice was soon to become the voice of all the top heroines on silver screen. Beginning with Shobhana Samarth ( mother of Nutan and Tanuja and grandmother of Kajol- Lata sang for all three generations) followed by Nargis, Madhubala, Suchitra Sen, Nutan, Mala Sinha, Sadhana, Asha Parekh, Mumtaz, Leena, Babita, Hema, Rekha, Rakhee to the next set comprising Madhuri, Meenakshi, Kajol- Lata was the voice!
And her songs are part of the compendium of Indians for all the occasions – from her early songs such aayega aane wala to later ones such as Didi Tera dewar dewana – she dominated Bollywood for more than 5 decades- from late 40s to late 90s ! There’s no singer in this country who doesn’t want to emulate her or be like her! No competition is complete without bouquet of her songs and no occasion is complete without her songs
Lata will always be remembered- for her persona, repertoire of her songs, her patriotism ( ae mere watan ke logon gives goose bumps whenever it’s played) and as a true Bharat Ratna, born once in millennium! The Goddess of music, “ Saraswati in person “ has left us but with a treasure load of ditties for generations to listen to!