Mumbai: Describing her as the ‘Goddess of music’ and an ‘inspiration’, several Bollywood singers as well as actors wished the legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar good health on her 82nd birthday on Wednesday.


MUSICAL VOYAGE OF LATAJI

"I wish Lataji a very happy birthday. She is the Goddess of music. She is not only an inspiration to me, but to everyone. On this beautiful occasion, I wish her good health and many more wonderful and beautiful years ahead," playback singer Sunidhi Chauhan told the media.
        
"For me, Lataji is next to God. I feel, music is alive today only due to her. I am fortunate enough to have sung songs with her," Abhijeet Bhattacharya said.
    
Even if I don't say anything, Lataji knows that I love her and will wish all the good in life," evergreen star Dev Anand said.
   
"Lataji has been a significant entertainer, not only for our countrymen, but for everyone across the globe. We all love her a lot...If I get a chance, I would meet...and wish her," superstar Shahrukh Khan said.
    
Singer Sonu Nigam said, "I wish her very happy birthday filled with loads of love and care. I think it is our fortune to take birth in the times of Lataji. She is an inspiration for me and will always continue to inspire several other generations."

From light classical music to film songs, from ghazals to bhajans and pop, Lata has sung a variety of numbers like 'Tumhen yaad karte karte', 'Ajeeb daastan hai yeh', 'Bahon mein chale aao', 'Bangle ke peeche' and 'Choti si umar main' as well as devotional songs like 'Paoji maine Ram ratan dhan pao' and 'O palan hare'.
    
Her singing caliber and exceptional voice quality took her to the 'Guinness Book of World Records' for recording the maximum number of songs during 1974-1991.
    
Lata has bagged several awards in her singing career. These include Padma Bhushan (1969), Padma Vibhushan (1999), Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1989), Maharashtra Bhushan Award (1997), NTR National Award (1999), Bharat Ratna (2001) and three National Film Awards.
    
Talking about her glorious journey, Lata said, "I am happy and humbled. It feels great to receive so much love and support."
    
Lata will add one more feather to her cap, when she receives the 'Hridaynath Award' from Mega star Amitabh Bachchan for her contribution in the sector of music today.

The event is quite historic considering that the iconic singer chooses to stay away from the limelight on her birthdays.
    
When asked to share her thoughts on receiving the award, Lata, said, "All I can say is I am happy and proud....the award functions would be the right place to talk about it."
    
I am obsessed with work: Lata Mangeshkar

Meanwhile, on her 83rd birthday, Lata Mangeshkar gets nostalgic about family, work, love and more...

Do you ever regret not getting married?

Not at all! I've no regrets in life. I never got a chance to get married and I never thought about it. I am happy the way I am, far removed from worldly matters.

You are considered a powerful woman in the entertainment industry. What does power mean to you?

It means the power to excel in my work and not to misuse it. It's easy to get swayed by the adulation, but I've remained down to earth. Earlier, when I'd be going on concert tours, I'd rehearse for months. Hemantda (Kumar) used to laugh at me for rehearsing six months in advance. But I am obsessed with my work.

Any composer whose songs were tough to master?

Sajjad Hussain Saab's songs made me tense. We shared a beautiful rapport, but in the recording room he was relentless. Then there's my brother Hridaynath. His compositions are a special challenge.

On the personal front, you've had to look after your family when you were barely more than a child...

I must correct you here.  I am lucky. My sisters Asha, Meena, Usha and my brother Hridaynath made their own careers. I never felt financially burdened by my family. In fact, you wouldn't come across a prouder sister than me.

Do you feel your siblings did not get their due because of your stature?

Today, it's not just me who's recognised. We are known collectively as the Mangeshkar family. But, yes, to an extent the saying that other trees cannot grow under a banyan tree is applicable to my family.

It is said that Asha Bhosle moved out of your shadows to find her identity?

Yeh bilkul ghalat hai. People say all kinds of things about our relationship. There's no fight between us. We live in adjoining flats. We're constantly in and out of one another's houses. Yes, Asha left home and got married at a young age. She made a big name for herself and I'm very proud of her.

How would you rate Asha as a singer?

She can sing anything. Thank God she didn't adopt my style of singing. If she had, we'd have become competition for one another. Yeh maan-na padega ki woh bahut badi gayika hai.

Do you miss your great colleagues?

Oh yes! I miss Kishoreda (Kumar) and Mukesh Bhaiyya. I also miss Mohammed Rafi saab, Madan bhaiyya, Salil Choudhary, Shankar-Jaikishan and Hemant Kumar. Naushad saab was much more than a music director for me.

There is just one music director in the history of playback composition who never worked with you...

Yes, O P Nayyar. He was a fine music director. But his style didn't suit me. That's what he told me and I agreed. He publicly acknowledged me as the number one singer though.

(JPN/Mid-day)