Source : Google photo of Lata Mangeshkar
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Synopsis: This blog is about a blessed child who won the hearts of all with her divine voice that mesmerized everyone who had ever heard her sing. She died yesterday leaving a void that generations will find hard to fill. The whole country mourns but she will never die.
She was a child born with a gift but no one knew, not even her proud parents to what height her gift would someday take her. Her voice made people stop in their tracks even when she was a child of five years. She loved to sing that made people mesmerized. Her doting father who was a musician himself gave her all the help she needed in order to flourish and flourish she did beyond anyone’s expectations.
Her oval face and lustrous big eyes made her look lovely . Her thick and shiny black hair reached her waist when she was a teenager but it was her voice that drew attention of everyone. They said that she had a divine voice that penetrated your soul and left an impression forever.
She was born on September 28,1929 to classical singer and theater artist Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar and Shevanti in Indore, Madhya Pradesh of India. Her father started teaching her music at an early age. By the time she was five Lata was seen participating as an actress in plays written by her father.
Source : Google photo of Lata as a teenager
She left her small town to take music lessons from a maestro in Mumbai who taught her to sing in flawless Hindi that came to the notice of the movie industry. It recognized in her a God gifted talent but felt that her voice needed more training to reach her full potential. Those were the early days for her in the movie industry where there was the need for a playback singer like her.
The actors and actresses in the Mumbai movie industry rarely sing or play any musical instrument so there was a need for someone like her to sing. The actresses then lip synced the songs that were played in the background so she was called a playback singer. She remained in the background although she had appeared in some movies when she was young but she preferred to sing more than anything else. Her LP records sold everywhere and later her songs in cassettes became popular so it started to make her prosper but she was very young and her long career in the music world had just got started.
She worked with song writers and prominent music directors of her time and sang duets with almost all the famous male singers that only added to her fame. She hardly ever needed to rehearse a song before recording it because she had this unusual talent to pick up the song and sing it with perfection that surprised her recording engineers.
In short she became a phenomenon and started to sing in Marathi as well as Bengali that made her a sought after playback singer everywhere. I remember her songs when I was just a child. They were played on radio because there was no television in those days. Her patriotic songs were played during the Independence Day and the Republic Day.
She made stars out of young and beautiful actors and actresses in their early days by singing for them as a playback singer so they bonded with her easily and kept that bond even when they became famous because they never forgot who made them famous. Yet she remained a humble person who avoided limelight. She became the invisible nightingale of India.
The government gave her the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna meaning jewel of India . France honored her with their award for her melodious voice and awards and recognition came her way like a tempest. She was awarded Padma Bhusan, Padma Bibhusan and Phalke award earlier by the Government of India. Her awards are too numerous to mention that made her the most awarded singer of her time.
She sang for more than 80 years in her long career and sang more than 25,000 songs for more than 2,000 Indian films, that were recorded by the highly acclaimed sound engineers of her time . The iconic singer was known as the “Queen of Melody” and the “Nightingale of India.” She sang in New York and Albert Hall in London. She sang everywhere that impressed the world even if they did not understand her language. They analyzed her voice to know how she could sing like a teenager even when she was old. They never found the answer.
The years had taken the toll on her health but not on her voice. She sang less and less and started to fade into the background until one day she got covid. The doctors gave her the best medical help available in India so she struggled on for nearly a month until this morning when she breathed her last. The whole country was in shock.
The condolences started pouring in from all over the country and the world beyond. The President, the Prime minister and the stars of the movie industry all sent their condolences. The Prime Minister flew in a few hours ago to pay his last respect to the nightingale of India who sings no more.
Her mortal body draped in the tricolor of the national flag was given a state funeral and the nation has gone into two days of mourning.
The priests chanted Vedic hymns while preparing for her final rites in the Hindu tradition. Thousands of common people went past her body to get a final look before the flames consumed her body and turned it into ashes.
There was an unprecedented outpouring of grief at her death that had silenced her divine voice forever but her thousands of songs remain because she had made her place in the heart of everyone forever. India will never forget her songbird who sang the glory of her land, the beauty of her land and the valor of all who stand guard in the freezing cold of the Himalayas to protect the country.
She sang — “ O the people of my land, fill your eyes with tears while you remember the sacrifice our brave soldiers have made to keep us free.”
While watching her body burn, I felt a void in me that made me think how fleeting life is that spares no one . It is how you live that matters more than how long you have lived. The songbird lived her life well and left behind a legacy that the others will find very hard to match.
This video will bring her voice to you where she sang in the praise of all who have sacrificed their lives for the country. It will bring tears to your eyes when you understand the words. An era has ended and a national icon has taken her rightful place in the hallowed company of the greats who have made a difference in the lives of all.
Link : https://youtu.be/sdyPozsx_6M
Source : U tube video of Lata Mangeshkar singing Aye mere watan
I will miss Lata Mangeshkar. She will now take her place in the galaxy of stars in the Universe and twinkle there forever.
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