The voice of melody queen Lata Mangeskar transcends any description. Even pages can fall short to accommodate the fathomless range of the living legend that defies any boundary.
Those lines still resonate through every music lover’s soul ‘ Meri awaaz hi, pehchaan hai’ . A voice that can breathe life in a dead man , some say, and it is true, when the voice emanates from a solitude, millions turn their ears, enthralled by a captivating moment, carrying you on the wings of a melody that is everlasting and eternal. Shoot you up to a space where you weave a nest on the wings of the wind.
Without Lata, the music of Bollywood is drab and the posterity still struggles to live within those inimitable melodiousness and produce jingles out those who try hard to make themselves relevant .
As described by Pandit Jasraj once and he recalled, ‘after listening to a song blaring out of a loudspeaker at a function, in an afternoon, ‘sarafat chhord di meine’ Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan whispered to himself, ‘qumwaqt’. When Jasraj wanted to know whom did he called qumwaqt, Ustad said, that was Lata..’ Kabhi besoora nahi hoti! (never gets off rhythm).
Dilip Kumar on Lata
That is Lata, the irreplaceable and unconquerable nightingale whose edition once echoed out of the Royal Elbert hall when the claps never stopped till Lata herself appealed for a pause. ‘Those claps never signify the pinnacle of an illustrious career, but that was just the turning of a page’ said Dilip Kumar who was compering the event for his “sister” (Dilip Kumar used to address Lata as sister only) Lata Mangeskar.
No music lover can ever choose a ‘kinara’ (side line) from the empress of music, somehow gets drawn by the lines of Lata, ‘Naam gum jaega, chehra ye badal jaiga’, a memorable composition by Gulzar, in a fabulous throwback to an era that none has been able to recreate so far.
She could mesmerise by her romantic numbers to a spot on the mountains where steppes and dales meander down below and she could even create hair-raising sentiments through number by Rabi ‘ Ye mere batan ke logon, jara…..’.
Today she turned 90.