In 1977, Lata Mangeshkar sang the lyrics, “Meri awaz hi pehchan hai.” and to date, it remains true for the legendary singer, rightly known as the Nightingale of India. Her legacy consists of over 30,000 songs in different languages like Hindi, Marathi, Bengali and other regional languages.
I still remember my first introduction to Lata Mangeshkar. I was in class three and saw an advertisement for wristwatches with a song in the background. Before I knew it, “Lag ja gale, ke phir ye haseen raat ho na ho" and the melodious voice of Late Lata Mangeshkar had found a place in my heart forever.
It even became my ringtone for the very first time when I got a mobile phone in class 10th. So every time I received a call, it brought a smile to my face. Unknowingly, I started enjoying every song of Lata Mangeshkar and her voice became my love language. The song “Aapki Nazaron Ne Samjha, Pyaar Ke Kabil Mujhe" became very special for me when I saw my parents dance to it on their marriage anniversary.
“Ajeeb dastan hai yeh. Kahan shuru kahan khatam. Yeh manzilein hai kaun si. Na woh samajh sake na hum.” Whenever I visited my grandparents' town in Dehradun, this song used to buzz in my aunt’s kitchen. The slow burn of spices and herbs have their magic but I'm sure the song added some more flavour to that meal.
“Luka chuppi bahut hui, saamne aa ja naa. Kahan kahan dhoondha tujhe. Thak gayi hai ab teri maa.” This is another song that has inspired me to write one of my poems, ‘Dakiyan’. This made me realise my love for writing narrative poetry.
The adage 'old is gold' becomes true for Lata Mangeshkar as her songs reflect the golden era of Hindi music- Songs that can be termed as therapy. The power to calm one's senses reflected in her voice inspires me to pursue a perfection that Lata knew by heart.
Although the milenials were really young when Lata spun the magic of her voice in Bollywood old movies, Yet, many are deeply connected to that era, through her voice.
Prithvi Raj Chuhan(26), a Hindi writer shared “Ae mere watan ke logo, song is closest to my heart. As it always makes me remember my childhood. We used to celebrate in school during republic and independence day and it is the closest memory to my heart till now.”
“Her 80’s and 90’s songs are all worth listening to. Lata Mangeshkar is another personality like A PJ Abdul Kalam about whom we can never hear or say something negative. According to me, her patriotic songs are one of the best.”
Nitin(23), a Hindi poet expressed “I love to listen to Lata Mangeshkar ji’s songs and I even sang the ‘lag ja gale’ song for my girlfriend.” While talking about the movie ‘Veer Zaara’ he mentioned “ I remember songs from this movie were so mesmerising for me. That only those songs forced me to watch the movie.”
Raman Khera(24), a journalism student says “I used to listen to Lata ji’s song on my grandpa’s radio every evening. One of the favourite song of my grandpa was ‘Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa nahi’ since then Lata ji is my favourite and whenever I listen to this song, it reminds me of her.”
Suyash Pandey (23) shared one of his beloved memories of his parents “After listening to songs of Lata ji like Rahe na hum, Yara sili sili and Ajeeb dastan, I sometimes feel I’ve been born in the wrong generation. Lata ji was the incarnation of Saraswati and I hope, I could have met her. Songs of Lata Mangeshkar transport me from reality to a world of dreams. Somehow, by sharing her songs with someone, sometimes you can communicate better than words.
Sharing an anecdote, he says, "My father impressed my mother by singing her ‘Yara sili sili’ of Lata Ji, before marriage. When we came to Delhi in 2009 to my dad, the same song was my dad’s ringtone. So whenever he got calls. My mom always asked him to let the phone ring so that she can enjoy listening to the song.”
Snigdha Banerjee (22), a singer from Udaan, music of your heart band, shares “I think every millennial person relates to the fact that Lata Ji's song has a power to move us. It does not matter how modern we become. I feel there she is a thread that attaches three generations me, my parents and my grandparents. Whenever we hear Lata Ji's songs, we all can connect with her immediately with equal measures of emotions.”
"While talking about her culture she opines “Being a Bengali, lata ji’s songs are very close to my heart. Like ‘omer Moena go’, ‘tomake Shona te nan’. Her closeness to the Bengali songs makes me feel her deeply. As I am growing I can get the feeling and meaning of her songs. It’s not only about the singers but also the writers and lyricists of the songs which make it perfect.” she adds.
Sharing an anecdote, she says, “I recently gifted a caravan to one of my grandparents and they loved it because it contains most of Aasha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar songs. Even now every morning my mom plays this song while cooking and I feel that her voice and her songs never get too old."