'Lag Jaa Gale Ke Phir yeh haseen raat ho na ho', a song I'd worn out on my cassette because my mother asked me to listen to all late Lata ji's songs. I remember, as Lata Mangeshkar's voice echoed out from the cassette player, tears fell down my mother's cheeks.
I wanted to know where Lata's singing voice had taken her. For me, Lata Mangeshkar's songs will always remind me of the rich duality of my culture and upbringing. I no longer have my yellow Walkman, nor the worn-out cassette, but I'll always have the memories of a singer who spoke to me in ways others simply couldn't.
Like me, most of us have grown up with memories associated with Lata's singing. All of us have one or two particular lata songs that give us a nostalgic high. Bollywood music is the music of the common man, the masses. And Lata was loved by the adoring masses of India.
Let us talk to some of the residents of Dwarka and know from them about their favourite Lata songs and memories attached to them.
Richa Navani, Artist from Dwarka, says,
"Ey mere watan ke longon , Ajeeb dastan hai yeh. Aaj phir jeene ki tammana. I grew up hearing the songs of lata Ji. It is very disheartening that she left us. While growing up I was encouraged to listen to music than watch tv. Her songs were always on the radio and later on cassettes which we had bought in huge numbers. Hindi Bollywood music can not be imagined without her.” My favourite song by Lata Ji is 'Meri Awaz Hi Pahchan hai'.”
RK Jain, President of Dwarka Senior Hub, says,
“I am an ardent fan of Lata Ji. She will continue to live in my heart till I am alive. I being a singer has often sung her song on-stage performances. So much so that I have been dubbed as the Lata Mangeshkar of Dwarka Beats and Dwarka Kala Sargam, the two music groups with which I am associated. My favourite song is 'aayega aane wale' from the film Mahal.”
Subash Chugh, President of Senior Citizens welfare association Dwarka, says,
"No one can compete with her when it comes to singing. There is no word to express the joy I'd get from her songs. Although all her songs are really special and beautiful, it is impossible to select one of them. However, still, in the year 1966 when I was studying in college, I used to listen to this song 'Rahe na rahe hum mahka Karenga maheka Karega' again and again. This is one of my favourite songs from the movie 'Mamta' in which Suchitra sen Ji and Ashok Kumar's performance was excellent."
Madhumita Acharya Biswas, Founder of Melody Foundation and MF Studios, says,
“Lata Mangeshkar was true 'Suro ki Devi' and 'Swar Kokila', Queen of Melody. Her death has caused an irreparable loss to the music world. It was a dark day for me. I am very shocked and feel devastated. She has taught us how to sing a song. She leaves behind billions of admirers. Lataji’s magical songs have a variety of emotions like romance, patriotism, happiness and sadness. She covered everything and enthralled listeners every time.”
She added, “Bengali songs were very close to her heart and her Bangla pronunciation was very sweet. She has a lot of Superhit Bangla songs. We are so blessed that our upbringing was in an era when we could listen to Lata Ji's melodious voice. Her songs and music will be always be remembered and continue to be listened by generations to come. There cannot be another Lata Mangeshkar.”
Anil Kundra, a resident of IDC, Sector-11, Dwarka, says,
“The country's pride and music world's Shirmor Swar Kokila, Lata Mangeshkar Ji's demise is very sad. Our heartfelt tribute to the holy soul. Her passing is an irreparable loss to the country and all music lovers. Lata didi was an intense patriot. She has always had a firm faith in the ideology of Swatantraveer Savarkar. Her life has been full of many achievements. Lata Ji has always been an inspiration to all of us for good deeds. She was always an inspiration to all music lovers. Would like to pay my tribute to her with one of her famous songs from a 1960 Movie “Patang” – “dene wale Kisi ko garibi naa de maut de magar badnasibi naa de denewaala.”
Sadique Siddiqui, a resident from Sector-8, says,
“I am deeply saddened by Lata Mangeshkar Ji's demise. A voice that defined Indian music for generations, her legacy is truly unparalleled. My favourite song of hers is 'Mausam hai Ashiqana' from Pakeezah.
Ramesh Mumukshu, a resident of Dwarka, says,
“Her voice could truly mesmerise anyone. My favorite song is आपकी नज़रों ने देखा प्यार के काबिल मुझे. The music is by Madan Mohan.”
Ravi Jaitely, General Seceratory of Senior Hub, Dwarka, says,
“No one can match Lata Ji, you can't have another Lata for decades to come. We are lucky to have enjoyed her songs since our childhood. One can't just pick a song of hers but still हवा उड़ता जाए मेरा लाल दुपट्टा मल मल का. Carefree song, याद करो और गुनगुनाओ.”
Sushil Kumar, President of Dwarka Forum, says,
“I, on behalf of Dwarka Forum, pay tribute to Bharat Ratna Lata Didi. Our condolences to the family members and all other countrymen as we believe that all our loved ones are for Lata didi. We are too small to talk about Lata Ji. Her songs touch billions of hearts all around the world. Her contribution to the music industry is so huge that it is almost impossible to fill the void created by her demise. Everyone talks about her songs but she was also exceptional as a human being. Her life has been an open book with so much struggle since her childhood. This itself is the inspiration for any one of us. Her thoughts, opinions on nationalism and nation-building also tell about her persona. These lessons will always remain for all of us including generations to come. May God peace to such a noble soul.”
Karuna Srivastava, retired All India Radio additional director general, says,
"My favourite song of Lata Ji is tum 'Na Jaane Kis Jahan Mai kho gaye', 'maan dhole Mera tan dhole' and 'Lag jaa gale'. Lata Ji was truly a melody queen and having such a nice voice is irreparable. I am not sure if we will get another Lata in the times to come. Also, I want to share when I was in college and my friend asked me my dream, I still remember I said I want to meet lata Ji and my dream came true and I met her when I was working at All Indian radio."