Remembering Lata Mangeshkar on her 93rd birth anniversary 

Millions of people have been enthralled by her timeless music

author_img Chokita P Published :  28th September 2022 04:59 PM   |   Published :   |  28th September 2022 04:59 PM
Lata Mangeshkar. Photo credit: Twitter

Lata Mangeshkar. Photo credit: Twitter

Lata Mangeshkar was known to have captivated millions of hearts via her work in the Indian film industry, whether it was through patriotic songs, love songs, or her timeless melodies. The singer had over 25,000 songs to her credit and has recorded music in over 15 Indian languages. On the occasion of her 93rd birthday, let us not forget how her voice served as a coping mechanism in the lives of India's common people.

When Lata Mangeshkar sang Uthaye Ja Unke Sitam, a newly independent India was still processing the atrocities of Partition. It felt like a soother for hurt hearts — the song from the 1949 film Andaz — which starred Nargis Dutt, Raj Kapoor, and Dilip Kumar. With music given by Naushad Ali, the song had the same impact on listeners on the other side of the border since separation pains were felt equally on both sides. Mangeshkar, a 20-year-old newcomer from Kolhapur, was regarded as a superstar and the epitome of genius due to that piece of music. Mangeshkar's influence was considered so profound that generations of people have grown up singing her songs, listening to her music, and hoping to be just like her, in the case of female performers.

At the age of 20, she performed Aayega Aane Wala (Mahal, 1948), which is still considered a soother of grief. Surprisingly, her voice didn't lose its elasticity with age and she was still able to sing intricate musical sections with ease. The singer, who performed Beeti Na Bitai Raina in 1972 and won her first National Award, was significantly a different person singing Aaja Re Pardesi in the romance/musical Madhumati in 1958. When Lata performed Mere Khwabon Main Jo Aaye, she was 66 years old (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, 1995). She is known to create a different version of herself for each musical rendition.

Filmmakers and musicians quickly realised that Mangeshkar's presence in a production indicated trustworthiness and high standards because of her magnetism. The composer, lyricist, and singers were hired for the project long before any actual filming took place. This meant that several movies with poor box office performances had excellent music composed by Mangeshkar that was heard by audiences via radio, a common form of entertainment in those early years following Independence. In actuality, it was radio that popularised her voice throughout the nation and made her the face of Hindi playback singing. 

She was seen as a pillar of the country's culture, entertainment, and music, which served as a unifying force and drew people together. Every Durga Puja celebration in West Bengal featured her Na Jeyo Na as the primary composition. Bollywood also changed as movies shifted to less formulaic clichés. Mangeshkar was known for tremendous success in music, setting norms for playback singing as directors went towards authenticity in depiction. Lata Mangeshkar was referred to as the ‘Nightingale of India’ because of her enchanting voice. She was also referred to as the voice of the country, the queen of melody, and the voice of the millennium. 

Lata Mangeshkar has been revered for decades as the performer of timeless songs like Lag Jaa Gale. The song is comforting and has the ability to take the listener on a nostalgic journey. The song, which included Madan Mohan's melody, created a lasting impression on listeners' hearts and thoughts. In February, at the age of 92, she lost her life owing to multiple organ failures.

E-mail: chokita@newindianexpress.com

Twitter: @PaulChokita

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