Grand old lady of Bollywood music, the nightingale of India, goddess Saraswati personified, Lata Mangeshkar would have turned 93 today. Cruel clutches of death snatched her from amongst us and we lost the most mellifluous voice ever forever.
Her story is well known – how she struggled in her early days as the responsibility of the entire family comprising 4 other siblings fell on her young and frail shoulders following the premature death of the family patriarch Pt Dinanath Mangeshkar, how her voice was initially rejected by music directors as too thin and how she overcame her Marathi background to master finer nuances of Urdu are the facts that now form part of the folklore. But her domination of Hindi playback music scenario from late 40s to early 90s that’s almost 5 decades is unparalleled and legendary. Not that she stopped singing altogether by the turn of the century, but she became particularly selective about the kind of work. She indeed sang some memorable ditties for today’s music makers such as Rahman, Jatin Lalit, Shankar Ehsan Loy but her best of work was spread over the three decades of 50s, 60s and 70s.
There’s no point in listing out specific songs of a songstress who sang thousands of songs in almost all Indian languages. Only thing we can conclude is that Lata was very special and talent like Lata is born once in centuries. She will always remain in the hearts of music lovers through her innumerable unforgettable songs!
Let’s pray for her soul to rest in peace!