'For many years, we didn't speak.'
'But then family is family. We made up.'
Lata Mangeshkar regrets not being able to meet Asha Bhosle on her younger sister's birthday on September 8.
"Unfortunately, we are living though a pandemic," Lataji tells Subhash K Jha.
"Asha is far away in Lonavala for the last five months. We couldn't meet for her birthday, but we did speak on the phone. She called to get my blessings. I don't think her birthday is complete without my best wishes," she adds.
And to think that people consider them rivals.
Lataji brushes off the gossip. "That is an outdated rumour spread by malicious people," she says.
"Yes, we did have our differences when Asha married someone far older than her at an age when she was too young to understand the repercussions. For many years, we didn't speak. But then family is family. We made up."
What about the fact that Lataji overshadowed her sister?
"Dehkiye, jo Asha gaa sakti main nahin gaa sakta, halaanke jo main gaa sakti woh Asha araam se gaa sakti (look, what Asha could sing, I could not although she can comfortably sing what I can)."
"I couldn't have sung Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja or Mera Naam Hai Shabnam," says Lataji adding, "I wish her many more years of superlative singing."
"I wish we had met on her birthday. Hopefully, we will meet soon once this coronavirus starts receding."
Lataji did meet her other sister Meena who celebrated her birthday on September 7.
"Meena lives close by," she says. "She came home to cut a cake, but I wasn't allowed to step out of my room."
"Maine dur se Happy Birthday gaa ke wish kar diya."
Lataji will turn 91 on September 28.