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“There never will be another like Lata Mangeshkar. It is something impossible to recreate” – Lalit Pandit

“There never was a Lata Mangeshkar. There never will be another like her. It is something impossible to recreate…ho jaati hai toh ha jaati hai….ho gayi.The creation named Lata Mangeshkar is a mixture of many factors and qualities. Numerous attributes have gone to making Lata Mangeshkar, Lata Mangeshkar. We all know she is a Bharat Ratna, that she has sung innumerable incomparably beautiful songs, that she has done this done that…that she has contributed to civilization in a way no artiste has done…We all know this . But you know what? Lata Mangeshkar is beyond all of this. She was, she is, an amalgamation of all the experiences that she has gone through, all the talented composers she met and worked with…they all contributed something vital to her personality. They all contributed to making her an extraordinary human being.”

“Just think about how gifted those composers that Lataji worked with were, each one an individual each a genius with his own style of composition. Lataji followed their instruction to the minutest detail. She learnt something vital from each composer, absorbed their talent and incorporated it into her singing. Her discipline her riyaz and control over her pitch would remain an example for generations to come for all times. The process that made her cannot be replicated. Those artistes who created the masterpieces for her to sing are no more…Lata Mangeshkar happened just as the creation of this earth happened. There are many explanations for how the earth was created. But the truth is, it is what it is…There is no explanation for the phenomenon called Lata Mangeshkar. Why did people reflexively rise to their feet when she entered a room? What was it in her personality that commanded such unprecedented reverence? Everyone wanted to know her. Very few actually did. She had this astonishing sense of humour, her witty remarks during her conversations with those who knew her kept them laughing and smiling. As a commercial artiste she is a complete bestseller. If she sings for a composer he is sure to get at least one million followers. We, my brother Jatin and I, got that chance when we did Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. And we worked really hard to justify the windfall in our career. I feel if Lataji had not sung for us, our songs wouldn’t have been half as successful. I would like to remember how nervous and excited my brother and I were: how would she treat us, what would she think of our songs. Let me tell you, for a new composer to have Lataji sing for him is an unbelievable happening. Every composer wished that Lataji would at least sing one song for him. To have her actually sing for any composer of my generation was a dream-come-true.”

“Lataji’s family and mine were both classically inclined. Lataji ko classical singing se bahot lagao ttha. She wanted to be a classical singer. All the Mangeshkar sisters were into classical singing, and of course their only brother Hridaynath. My father was a classical singer. He would often go to Lataji’s home and we kids would tag along. Lataji had once mentioned it to me, ‘Aapke Pitaji ghar aate tthe aur aap bachche log bhi unke saatth aate the, chote chote bachche. Aur tum sabse chote. Main tumhe table pe khada kar deti tthi bachchon ke saath mike tak pahunchne keliye.’ That Lataji remembered this meant a lot to me. She knew how much my family had struggled. She was so happy to see me and my brother break out.”

“I remember Lataji had said in an interview with her brother Hridaynath that she liked Jatin-Lalit’s music. She didn’t say this about anyone else, only us. To hear her give us her certificate of approval, what bigger achievement can we hope for? Lataji ka hona ek adbhut ittefaq hai. Bass ho gaya. Saraswati Mata Saraswati Mata ke paas chalin gayeen.”


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