Saturday, December 2, 2023

Obituary: The Majestic Lata Mangeshkar Dies at 92

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By Roy Lie Atjam

The legendary Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar has passed on February 6th  2022, at the Breach Candy Hospital Trust in Mumbai, to which she’d been admitted, sick with Covid-19.

“The divine voice has gone quiet forever but her melodies will remain immortal, echoing in eternity “ (President of India)

Lata Mangeshkar, has been widely credited as India’s most respected singer, the Nightingale.

Lata Mangeshkar was born on September 28, 1929, to classical singer and theatre artist  Deenanath Mangeshkar and Shevanti in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Her father started teaching her music at an early age. At the age of five, Lata participated as an actress in plays written by her father.

The central government decided that as a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, two-day state mourning was observed from February 6 to February 7,with the Tricolour at half-mast.

The Government of India has decided to issue a commemorative stamp (28 September) in the memory of Lata Mangeshkar.

Mangeshkar was honoured with several awards:  the Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan and  Padma Vibhushan. In 2009 the government of France conferred on her its highest civilian award  ‘Officier de la Legion d’Honneur’.

Tributes Pour in from heads of states-governments in South East Asia and further afield as Sri Lanka, Trinidad&Tobago, Mauritius, Guyana, Suriname.

Some believe that Lata Mangeshkar was the most recorded singer in history. Allegedly, she has recorded more songs than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined.

Lata Mangeshkar toured and performed in numerous countries, becoming the first Indian to perform at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London in 1974.

When  Lata Mangeshkar visited Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana (1980),  the day of her arrival was like a public holiday, the whole country seemed to have gathered in Georgetown, Guyana. Thousands of people lined the roads. They were people of all ethnicity.

Lata Mangeshkar’s influence can be felt in many songs of Soca and Chutney singers, and her voice has served as an umbilical cord between the Indian diaspora and the ancestral land of India.

High Commissioner Arun Kumar Sahu of India in Trinidad & \Tobago said Lata Mangeshkar’s career spanned over 75 years, during which she is reputed to have sung over 35,000 songs in more than 35 languages. Besides filmi songs, she has sung innumerable geet, ghazals, bhajans and patriotic songs.

New York City

The mourning of Lata Mangeshkar’s passing was not limited to India. People from around the world were grieving her demise.

A tribute to the Queen of Melody on Times Square featuring Mangeshkar smiling at new yorkers from the digital boarding as her songs played in the background.

Lata Didi or Lata Ji” as she was fondly called, enjoyed listening to Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, the Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Harry Belafonte and Nat King Cole. She also loved movies, cars, dogs, she adored  Cricket. Captain Virat Kohli said her songs had  “touched millions of people “.

Lata Mangeshkar’s  passing left a never filing void in people’s heart, however her musical legacy is being safeguarded by the 3rd  generation of singers in the Mangeshkar family. With their remarkable singing and music compositions, the Mangeshkar sisters Lata, Usha, Asha, Meena and their brother Hridaynath have set a benchmark in the music world.

Lata Mangeshkar was cremated with full State Honours in Mumbai in the presence of the Hon. PM. Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray along with his family. Furthermore,  actors Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, and Sachin Tendulk a former cricketer, Shraddha Kapoor and others paid their last respects to the music icon at the Shivaji Park.

India’s immortal Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar Lata Ji has departed, but her music has and will continue to have that impact, to comfort, motivate and entertain millions!

The name Lata Mangeshkar will remain indelible in the hearts of many!

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