Wish Lata


Lata mangeshkar, 70
  She can never go wrong
Bappi Lahiri

Lata Mangeshkar is an old friend. I knew her through my father Aparesh Lahiri who was a music director in Calcutta. Lataji has worked with him in the past.

I have been a tabla player since the age of four. The first film I gave music for was a Bengali film called Dadu. This film is really very dear to me since Lataji, Ashaji and Ushaji -- all three of them sang for it.

I am not exaggerating when I say I owe my career to Lataji. I say this because it was Lata Mangeshkar who told V Shantaprasad to make me his disciple. I would say my career took off after that. I came to Bombay at a very young age.

I am extremely lucky I have done so many songs with Lata Mangeshkar. In my career spanning 27 years, I have had the good fortune of singing with Lataji several times.

While I was composing the music for Himmatwala, I remember this particular incident. Lataji had sung Nainon mein sapna, sapnon mein sajna for the film. In the recording studio itself, she said this song would become a big hit. And what a hit it was! On numerous occasions, she has made such predictions. She is one person whose predictions always turn out to be true. Lataji is Lataji. She can never go wrong.

She has also encouraged me to sing. She has always told me I have a very different and good voice. Her encouragement really means a lot to me.

Lata Mangeshkar is a living legend. She has had a career of over 50 years. To my knowledge, there really isn't anybody like that in the whole world. I can say she is blessed by Goddess Saraswati herself. Her voice is God-gifted. She is one of a kind.

As told to Kanchana Suggu

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