Nothing seems enough when it comes to paying tribute to the nightingale of India who breathed her last on 6th of February. People from all walks of life – film world, singing fraternity, politics, commoners and across the frontiers- have grieved at this great loss! While anything said in her honour will tantamount to showing light to the sun, some of the obituaries and tributes from Pakistan stand out. Their minister Fawad Chaudhry, cricket captain Babar Azam, iconic ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, singer actor Ali Zafar have all been at the forefront in paying glowing tributes to the nightingale. However, two of these stand out.
The first one is by an eminent surgeon of Pakistan, who’s also professor and principal of medical college. In a video post that I received on WhatsApp , he explains that when the students of his college once interviewed him as to how he perfected the art of surgery and from where he learnt this perfection, his reply took his students aback, when he mentioned that he learnt it from Lata Mangeshkar! Students, in a state of shock, asked him that Lata was not a surgeon then how he learnt the art from her? He explained to them that the way Lata perfected the art of singing – her diction, expression, notes, feelings, modulation; everything perfect every time- inspired him to be a surgeon par excellence. Like Lata, a surgeon has to be perfect in whatever he does and that too every time!
The second appeared in the Jang in the form of a couplet by the Jang’s in house poet, the redoubtable Anwar Shawoor, whose couplets are a daily dose in Pakistan’s top selling Urdu daily, like RK Laxman’s cartoon that used to be a daily staple in TOI. This couplet reads:
अब न लौटेगी लता मंगेशकर
लाख उसके सोग में हम रोएँ गाएँ
कूकने वाले परिंदे उड़ गए
सिर्फ़ कौए कर रहे हैं काएँ काएँ !
The above can be loosely translated as:
Lata will never come back
Grieve we may as much as we can right and left
Nightingale has flown away
Only caw caw by crows is now left !
While we are all expressing our grief in our own humble ways, to my mind the above two obituaries stand out!
Tu jahan jahan chalega
Mera saaya saath hoga
The famous wordings of the above Lara’s song now applies to her. Wherever we may be, her voice will never leave us!