BollyOz's tribute to singing legend Lata Mangeshkar!
It was really saddening to hear the passing away of Lataji… she was an icon of India, I would rather say a global icon and as many say, the voice of India… Lata sang tens of thousands of songs in around 1,000 films, in 36 languages.
If any Indian film playback singer that one would instantly recognise by her voice, was Lata…
I am going to talk about Lataji in the same vein what probably everyone knows… but in a personal way, as to how her song, music, voice connected with me…
Lata Mangeshkar’s mellifluous soulful voice resonates deeply with you… if you look at the variety of emotions that Lata’s songs represents and the immediate connection one has to her voice is amazing… her to romantic songs uplift you, make you feel alive, the sad songs can pierce your heart, and shatter it to pieces… the heroic songs can make you want to rise to the occasion, the in-song tongue in cheek banters of Lata and Kishore can make you smile…
One can discuss Lata’s music in terms of the rasa-aesthetics, the nine emotions or rasa from Shringar, Veera, Shanta, Hasya, Karuna, Adbhuta, Bhayanaka, Raudra and Bibhatsa, that her various songs represented…. But mostly as Hindi Cinema required her songs were in Shringar rasa… but, I also enjoyed the karuna rasa songs… those have been my favourites.
For me Lata’s songs are a connection with my parents…. It is a nostalgia that strongly binds and connects with my childhood and growing days… both my parents were big film, and film music buffs… especially my mother… thus, Hindi songs were a constant… and discussions on Hindi cinema were endless… I still remember songs of Lata, Kishore, rafi playing in the background as we inquisitively ask our mother to narrate us Hindi film stories… I never realised how strongly was I connected with Hindi cinema songs, especially those of Lata, Asha, Kishore, and others… I realised that connection only when I was in Australia, and the moment I would hear Hindi songs, the voice of Lata, Asha and Kishore… it will instantly take me home. make me feel at ease… provide a certain motivation too… especially during the initial phase of struggle in this country.
Yes, the contribution of Lata Mangeshkar to Indian cinema is unparalleled… no matter what many are trying to argue at the moment regarding her political leanings, for me Lata as an artist transcends that boundary… I am not here to pass my opinion on her political thinking, but on her enormous influence as a singer, and as an artist… let me take a moment to pay my respect to the artist that always had a larger than life presence on our family, society, and culture… to argue on her politics, well there will be another time!
Mangeshkar fought strongly for singers’ right to royalty in on the songs they’d helped to make famous, leading a battle for singers’ royalties that stretched for much of her career. This also created much friction with many of her colleagues, especially Mohammad rafi, who was against artists wanting any royalty, once they have been paid. Probably, rafi sa’ab would have admired Lata’s foresight now… as Singers across the globe have battled for royalty rights… and this has changed the music industry drastically, for better. In India it was only by 2018 that royalty to singers was somewhat streamlined.
If I have to talk about the songs of Lata that are my favourites, well they are countless… but on my playlist, some of the songs that are constant are:
1. Lag Jaa Gale - Sadhana, Lata Mangeshkar, Woh Kaun thi!
2. Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa To Nahin | Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar | Aandhi 1975
3. Is Mod Se Jaate Hain | Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar
4. Kis Liye Maine Pyar Kiya | Lata Mangeshkar | The Train 1970
5. RAHEN NA RAHEN HUM – Mamta – 1966
6. Ajib Dastan Hai Yeh | Video Song | Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai | Raaj Kumar, Meena K | Lata Mangeshkar
7. Dheere Dheere Machal | Surekha Pandit | Tarun Bos | Anupama
8. Aap Ki Ankhon Mein Kuch - Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Ghar
9. Tera Mera Pyar Amar | Dev Anand | Sadhana | Asli Naqli | Lata Mangeshkar
10. Tum Aa Gaye Ho Noor Aa Gaya Hai | Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar | Aandhi
11. Na Jaane Kyun Hota Hai Ye Zindagi Ke Saath – Choti Si Baat
12. Kahin Na Jaa Aaj Kahi Mat Jaa | Bade Dilwala (1983)
13. Humne Dekhi Hai Un Aankhon Ki Mehakti Khusboo | Lata Mangeshkar| Khamoshi 1969
14. Tasveer teri dil mein jis din se utaari hai
15. Jaa Re Ud Jaa Re Panchi - Mala Sinha, Dev Anand - Classic Hindi Sad Song – Maya
16. Dil Tadap Tadap Ke (HD) - Madhumati Songs - Dilip Kumar - Vyjayantimala - Lata Mangeshkar – Mukesh - Madhumati
17. Tune O Rangeele (HD) | Kudrat (1981) | Rajesh Khanna | Hema Malini | Lata Mangeshkar