25 days ago
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Swara Kokila Lata Mangeshkar is 91 years old today. He was born on 26 September 1929 in the house of Pandit Dinnath Mangeshkar in Indore. He is the eldest of five siblings. Bollywood musician Udit Narayan shared his experience of working with Daily Bhaskar to congratulate Lata Didi on her birthday on this special occasion. He said that singing with Lata Didi is the biggest reward of my life.
Udit Narayan said, ‘First of all I would like to congratulate Sakshat Saraswati, Bharat Ratna, Kokila Kanth for their happy birthday. At the age of five or six, the sarpanch would listen to music on the transistor’s head and wonder how these people could sit inside it and sing such beautiful songs. Well, came to Mumbai after a lot of fighting.
Working with Lata Didi is like getting Bharat Ratna
‘In my generation, I have sung with Lata Mangeshkar in more than two and a half hundred films. This is a big achievement for me. The Government of India awarded me the Padma Shri in 2009 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016, but the work I have been able to do with Lata Zia is my biggest reward. I realize that I have received the Bharat Ratna. I have had the opportunity to share the stage with Lata Zia many times.
Lata Didi called for a stage show and could not sleep at night
‘This is a December 1, 1992 issue. Lata Ji told people that I want Udit Narayan in this show. When I got the news that Lata Didi had done such a thing, she could not sleep at night due to happiness. Luckily, my birthday is also December 1st. When he went to sing, he congratulated the announcer Harish Bhimani on stage and asked me to give him the title of ‘Prince of Playback Singing’. Not only that, he also presented me a gold chain on stage.
During the recording, Lata Didi was shocked to see DDLJ
‘Lata Didi came in front of me in the studio until the picture Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge sang – Mehndi Laga Ke Layana …. I was panicking in front of them. I said- Didi, if you are sitting in front, how can I sing? He said – I’m here to hear you. But it was not possible for me to sing in front of him. Then he said you do something but today I will sit here and listen to your songs.
‘Okay when I felt like I was going to get nervous, he started telling me jokes etc then Yash Chopra came. They ordered food etc. We all had dinner together. Later he went to the recording room and said that I would sit here and listen to your songs. Then I sang Mehndi Laga Ke Layana … song.
Bholi C Surat … Lata Zia’s only song
In those days Lata used to take my name from the filmmaker several times to sing with him. Bholi C Surat Ais Masti Khadi Khirme Sharme … The song is filmed on Madhuri Dixit and Shah Rukh Khan. It was my only song but Lata Jit is just talking about it. In fact, the situation was such that Shah Rukh Khan sang in the film and Madhuri Dixit was seen to be interrupted.
He came home and said he would have another tea
The songs of ‘Bir-Zara’ Janam Dekho Lo Mitte Murti Dooratb … have songs by the late Madan Mohan Ji which I sang. Lata Jit heard this song, she called me and said, congratulations to you. You sang Madan Vaiyar’s song very well. I was shocked to hear from him. Then he said I came to the studio for recording.
I requested him that you be near my house. I would consider myself lucky if you received your blessing at home. At first, he refused, but 2 hours later, he saw his car approaching my house.
When the sister came home, we all drank tea and ate poh. My parents were at home at the time, so Didi talked to them for about 4 hours. This time when he was leaving, he started saying that he should get another tea from Darjeeling. All right, I’m overwhelmed by his blessing. As he left, he placed his forehead on his feet and prayed.
I had the good fortune to sing with him in many more films including ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’, ‘Bir-Zara’, ‘Saptam Akash’, ‘Dushman’.
(As Udit Narayan told Umesh Kumar Upadhyay)