Just how much do *you* know about Lataji, who turns 90 on September 28, asks Subhash K Jha.
1. Lataji is everyone's favourite singer. But who is her favourite singer?
Well, Lataji idolises the late Kundan Lal Saigal.
She bought every album featuring Saigalsaab's songs and when the radio played his songs, she would drop everything to listen.
Sadly, she never met her idol during his lifetime.
2. Lataji learnt singing from her father Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar, and she speaks about it in some detail here.
Unfortunately, she never did spend much time with him, as he passed away quite young.
Not being able to spend time with her father remains an eternal regret.
3. Lataji swept aside all other female voices of the 1950s after her career took flight.
Curiously, she shared a close friendship with Geeta Dutt.
4. Lataji was very close to Nargis and Meena Kumari.
The one heroine she felt did full justice to her songs was Nutan. And that was probably because Nutan was a singer herself.
5. Lataji never sang for composer O P Nayyar, but it almost happened.
The recording had been fixed, the tune and the time were locked in.
For unavoidable reasons, Lataji did not make it to the recording.
OP never got over the missed appointment.
6. Lataji's sister Asha Bhosle says the iconic song, Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon was meant to be her song.
Composer C Ramachandra wanted it to be a duet with the two sisters while Ashaji wanted it as a solo.
7. Everyone loves Asha Bhosle's Dum Maro Dum from the film Hare Rama Hare Krishna. But does anyone know that composer R D Burman had planned it with Lataji?
It was Lataji who suggested that the song suited Ashaji more.
8. Everyone knows Raj Kapoor considered Lataji his muse. When they had a fallout in the late 1960s, she would not sing for Mera Naam Joker.
But when they patched up, one of the film's songs Daag Na Lag Jaye (sung by Ashaji and Mukesh) resurfaced in Satyam Shivam Sunderam's title song in Lataji's voice.
9. Raj Kapoor originally wanted to make Satyam Shivam Sunderam with Lataji in the lead. The film's story film was inspired by Lataji's life.
10. There are many biographies claiming to present the 'real' Lata Mangeshkar, but only she knows who she really is.
Her autobiography is in the process of completion, and it will do all the talking.