This year has been tragic for the veteran singer on personal front and so she has decided not to celebrate the day with fanfare.

"Recently, my elder sister Meena's husband passed away. And before that my younger sister Asha lost her daughter Varsha. This has been a bad year for the family. Even outside the family, there's so much happening that is not right. I see no reason to celebrate," Lata said.

‘Didi Aur Main’

Sources say, Lata's brother Hridayanath Mangeshkar has planned a very special homage to his sister's timeless voice in the form of a marathon eight-hour concert in Pune. It is entitled Didi Aur Main.

The concert will have various musicians and singers paying musical tribute to the voice that has defined feminine beauty on celluloid for six decades.

Lata said, "I've heard about the concert. It is my brother's way of showing his love for me. I won't be there at the show because if I am present the singers would feel very self-conscious."

The L to R of ‘Lata MangeshkaR’

Here's a tribute to the legend that's 'true to her name'.

Lata was born in Sikh Mohalla, in the princely state of Indore

At five, she began working as an actress in her father's musical plays

The Mangeshkar family's last name used to be Hardikar. Lata’s father, Deenanath, changed it to Mangeshkar

Asha Bhosle, Lata’s sister, has been official recognised by Guinness as the most recorded artist in music history. The record was held by Lata earlier

Mohammad Rafi and Lata did net got along during their careers. According to Lata in a recent interview, they fought over royalty rights, and vowed not to work with each other. She also claimed that the matter was resolved following a written apology by Rafisaab, a statement challenged by his son Shahid Rafi

Against the backdrop of the Sino-Indian War in 1963, Mangeshkar sang the patriotic song ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo’, which moved then PM Jawaharlal Nehru to tears

Naushad (music director) and Lata’s combination was magical. Their association resulted in memorable songs in ‘Baiju Bawra’ (1952), ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ (1960), and ‘Kohinoor’ (1960). ‘Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya’ from ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ has achieved cult status

‘Gata Rahe Mera Dil’ from ‘Guide’ (1965) remains among her most popular duets with Kishore Kumar

Even though she was nominated as a member of Rajya Sabha in 1999, Mangeshkar did not attend the sessions regularly, which invited of wrath of many members of the House. Lata stated ill-health as the reason for her absence

She has sung songs in over thirty-six regional Indian languages and foreign languages

Her first Hindi song was ‘Mata Ek Sapoot…’ for the Marathi film, Gajaabhaau (1943)

‘Kyun Yahan Hota Hai’, the song from ‘Heroine’ (2012) was actually recorded for ‘Corporate’ in 2006, but not used in the latter

‘Aayega Aanewaala’ from Mahal (1949), which was picturised on Madhubala, was among Lata’s first major hits

R D Burman and Lata made for a formidable composer-singer duo during the 1970’s. Their popular works include ‘Raina Beeti Jaaye’ from ‘Amar Prem’ (1972), ‘Chadhti Jawaani’ and ‘Kitna Pyara Wada Hain’ ‘Caravan’ (1971), Aaj Na Chodenge from ‘Kati Patang’ (1971), and many memorable songs from ‘Aandhi’ (1975)

Memorable Songs of Lata ji 

Bindiya chamkegi, chudi khankegi (Do Raaste, Laxmikant Pyarelal)

Lata and LP remained partners-in-rhyme for decades because of chartbusters such as these. In this song, a pug-nosed Mumtaz distracts nascent superstar Rajesh Khanna from studying with the help of Lata's caramel-coated vocals. Lata impresses with the fluidity of her

Punjabi rendition and her feistiness, which even LP's rumbustious dhols cannot subdue. And can anyone cry as musically as Lata does before an antara?

Inhi logon ne le leena (Pakeezah, Ghulam Mohammed)

What inspired a non-dancer like Meena Kumari to perform a mujra with so much verve? I presume it was Ghulam Mohammed's blend of tabla, ghungroo and sarangi and Lata's tuneful voice which skewers even as it locates the poignancy in the suggestive lyrics.

Tere bina zindagi se koi shikwa toh nahin (Aandhi, R D Burman)

A very popular song but still a perennial favourite with me because it is a high water mark in singing, composition, picturisation and lyrics (Gulzar). Lata evidences the ability to capture the depth and dimensions of the insightful lyrics.

Husn haazir hai mohabbat ki sazaa pane ko (Laila Majnu, Madan Mohan)

Lata's full-throated rendition of Laila's (Ranjeeta's) bittersweet paean to love earns extra credits for being the swan song of the Madan Mohan-Lata jodi.

Mere naina saawan bhadon (Mehbooba, R D Burman)

The haunting number is a Lata genre by itself. Brimming over with romantic longing, Lata's voice takes several silky turns till it builds up for the high amperage line: gagan pe chamki, beetey samay ki rekha.

Salaam-e-ishq (Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Kalyanji Anandji) 

Lata's gilt-edged lilt and Rekha's exquisite adas are amply aided by Anjaan's evocative lyrics. It was a golden year for Lata with the Satyam Shivam Sundaram songs and the title song of Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki also proving to be immensely popular.

Sheesha ho ya dil ho (Asha, Laxmikant Pyarelal)

The film was ironically named after her singer sister, Asha, but the hit songs were sung by Lata, especially this plaintive plea.

Yaad aa rahi hai (Love Story, R D Burman)

It was a new decade with a batch of new star sons but, amazingly, Lata continued to be the voice of the new heroines in these youthful films: Rocky, Love Story, Betaab.

Solah baras ki baali umar ko salaam (Ek Duuje Ke Liye Laxmikant Pyarelal)

Time and again, LP pushed Lata to strike higher notes and she picked up the gauntlet as always.

Yeh galiyan yeh chaubara (Prem Rog, Laxmikant Pyarelal)

To her credit, Lata could still project the innocence of a young bride full of expectations as portrayed onscreen by the young Padmini Kolhapure.

Dikhayi diye yun (Bazaar, Khayyam)

A refreshing reminder that Lata could sing a ghazal in a way that lets the subtext emerge and in which the emotions cut to the bone.

Nainon mein sapna (Himmatwala, Bappi Lahiri)

In 1983, Lata had several hits including Souten's Shayad meri shaadi ka khayal, Betaab's Jab hum jawan honge, Hero's Nindiya se aayee bahaar; but did not really distinguish herself. She chose to cut down her workload considerably.
 
Aye dil-e-nadaan (Razia Sultan, Khayyam)

Khayyam jettisons heavy orchestration and Lata's voice too has a dreamy, finespun quality as the song conjures images of a caravan wandering the sand dunes in search of emotional succour.

Sun sahibaan sun (Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Ravindra Jain)

The folksy, radiating-good-cheer song took the country by storm.

Main teri dushman dushman tu mera (Nagina, Laxmikant Pyarelal)

Lata's voice quality changed perceptibly in the eighties but the hits kept rolling. Her combination with LP spawned hits for over 25 years.

Mere pyar ki umar ho (Waris, Uttam Singh)

Modern songs may have had a more masala beat but I hanker for the simple allure of such songs.

For Lata, the hits continued. After Maine Pyar Kiya and Chaandni in 1989 she worked largely with select banners such as the Rajshri, R K, and Yash Chopra. Lata sang the songs for the two biggest blockbusters of the nineties: €Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge , when she was 65, and at 84 is still a true-blue cultural phenomenon.

 

JPN/Mid-Day/Agencies

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