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Lata mangeshkar, 70
  I consider her lucky for me
Yash Chopra

It's difficult to talk about Lata Mangeshkar. There's so much already been written and said about her that I can't say anything new.

Today's singers take inspiration from her, which means she is the supreme. All of us have spent our entire lives listening to her songs, her voice. I know so many people who start their day listening to her songs and end it the same way.

I consider her voice a gift from Goddess Saraswati. I donít think the history of music can start without mentioning her contribution to music.

Personally, I found her to be a very humble and nice person. She has given so much love, so much affection to me -- she is a wonderful human being.

Whenever she sings for my films, it is not as a professional singer, but as a family member. She doesn't think it is a job she has to do. She enjoys singing for my films.

I am superstitious -- and I consider her lucky for my films and me. She is just fantastic even at this age. Just last week, she recorded a song for my new film. And she has sung that song beautifully. Listening to it, I felt that her voice sounded just like 10 years ago. Very fresh and young. Her quality of voice is outstanding. I know her blessings are with us.

I donít think people, who say that her voice isn't good enough today, know what they are saying. They should listen to this new song. Not only has she sung the song brilliantly, she has also lent emotions to it. The song comes alive, as a result.

I saw her for the first time a long time ago. I was an assistant and was making Dhool Ka Phool. I saw her at the recording for that film.

That was 40 years back. We became good friends then. After that when I started Yashraj Productions, she sang for all my films. And we got closer. I call her didi. She would come for recordings any time I asked her. She never refused me. In fact, she would cancel her other commitments to come and record for me.

And I have to tell you something -- she never charged me for singing in my films. She did it absolutely free. She was very encouraging and affectionate and I wish she lives many more years and continue to sing the way she always has been singing.

As told to Sharmila Taliculam


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