Wish Lata


Lata mangeshkar, 70
  She's made for music, of music and by music
Anu Malik

So much has been said about the greatness of Lata Mangeshkar that I really don't know how to express what she means to me.

She is the reason, to a large extent, why I became a composer. The songs sung by Lataji and composed by any great composer inspired me to get into music. You just can't separate music from Lataji -- if you say the word 'music,' you have to think of her.

The romance that she projects while singing will remain an inspiration for many more decades. Of course, her voice will live on for ever. It's very tough to express oneself when talking about her. I sometimes feel we've exhausted words to explain what Lataji is all about.

Jeeya bekarar hai is the first song that made a deep impact on me. The other songs that I can't get out of my system are songs composed by Madan Mohanji -- like Lag ja gale, Aap ki nazaron ne samjha, Tu jahan jahan chalega mere saaya saath hoga.

The more I hear her the more I feel that we won't find another Lataji in the new millennium. See, the verve with which she sings, Rangeela re or Aa jaane jaan.

There are numbers which drive me crazy -- you could actually see pictures in some songs. Like in Meri ankhon se koyi neend liye jaata hai, the way she has said neend... it's just maddening.

Recently, I saw Sangam on television. I heard her song, Har dil jo pyar karega woh gaana gayega, and then she says deewana -- the way she infuses mischief into her voice in just that one word...it's incredible. Hats off to the Raj Kapoor/Shankar-Jaikishan/Lata Mangeshkar combination. The kind of romance that she projects, with such subtlety, is beyond definition.

She lives the songs. I told her once that the song -- Main tumhise poochti hoon/ mujhe tumse pyar kyon hai... -- makes me feel that a thousand jars of honey are falling from her tongue, and she was amazed! There are so many such numbers.

She makes my heart beat faster even today and she makes me feel that life is worth living. I could go on and on about her songs which inspire me. She is music. She's not flesh and bone, but a personification of music.

Though she hasn't sung a lot of songs for me -- she's always inspired me and indirectly been the cause of my being what I am. As I said, she's made for music, of music and by music! She has contributed so much to all of us... May she live for ever.

As told to Lata Khubchandani

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