I wish her many more years of singing
She's turning 70 and she's still supreme, still at the top. I wish her every happiness and many more years of singing. So that this country can still enjoy her voice.
I remember when Master Ghulam had first used her to sing in Majboor. We were all surprised that he had used a new voice.
I used to be very close to him and asked him what kind of a singer she was and he'd said, 'Arre apne Dine ki ladki hai,' (she is our Dine's daughter) referring to Master Dinanath Mangeshkar who commanded a lot of respect as a foremost artiste in Maharashtra. She sang two songs for him and the film had done very well.
But when Kamal Amrohi made Mahal, he utilised her voice to its magical extent. Aayega aanewala was and will remain an all-time classic. The composer was Khemchand Prakash, but I still hand it to Kamal Amrohi to ask for this kind of song. The film was a musical mystery and the way he had utilised Lata Mangeshkar's voice is something.
I remember Ghulam Haider said at that time that if this young girl keeps her balance, she will touch the sky. His words were, 'Woh aasman ki bulundiyon ko chhuyegi. Which she did.
I first had her sing for me in Pyar Ki Baatein for Nargis Arts. The music was to be done by Bulo C Rani, but he fell ill and asked me to complete the songs. Lata sang two songs, one of them being Ab kahan jaayon pasbaan koyi nahin... This was my fourth or fifth film.
She has sung some beautiful songs for me, the one that comes to mind immediately is Ay dil-e-nadaan (Razia Sultan). I started working with Lata in 1949 and we've had a good time working together.
What can one say about her? She's God's gift to us -- to the people of this country and indeed, to the world.
As told to Lata Khubchandani
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