The recent Star Guild Awards gave singing legend Lata Mangeshkar a chance to visit the Yash Raj studios, where the awards function was held, for the first time since the death of her dearest colleague Yash Chopra.
“Yashji was very close to me," Lataji says.
"During his lifetime, I didn’t visit his dream studio although he kept inviting me. For one reason or another, my visit to Yash Raj studio kept getting postponed. Now finally when I visited the studio for the awards function, he was not there to welcome me. But I could feel his presence everywhere. The experience shook me to the core,” she added.
Apparently, Yash Chopra, who had taken an oath that Lataji would sing for all his films, was very saddened that she could not lend her voice to his last film Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
A month before his death, he expressed his regret and sorrow to Lataji, at her absence from Jab Tak hai Jaan, and to invite her to the film’s music release so that she could have a token presence in his film.
Lataji, however, declined the offer .
Says Lataji, “It was sad that I couldn’t be part of his last film but my relationship with Yashji went far beyond one score. Our bonding was beyond work. He cared deeply for this sister. I went to the Star Guild Awards at the personal request of Ramesh Sippy and Andre Timmins of Wizcraft, who had organised the function. When I went received the award, I missed Yashji very much. I was so shaken by emotion that I had to request Gulzar Saab to support me as I made my way to the stage.”