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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

I always marvel at the way Bachchan saab bounced back: Lata Mangeshkar

Bollywood Hungama   October 14, 2013
First Published: 14:46 IST(14/10/2013) | Last Updated: 15:28 IST(14/10/2013)

"When it comes to Bachchan Saab,I don't know where to start. I always marvel at the way he bounced back after those severe setbacks that he suffered financially. And his career too was going through a lean phase. Lekin jiss qadar woh zor se wapas aaye….amazing! He's 110 percent a perfect artiste. Give him any role,and he slips into it effortlessly. I've never seen him repeat himself. If he was an emperor as a young man, today he plays older menwith the same majesty.In Baghban he made me cry. I recently saw Black and I can't get over his performance. I haven't seenanythinglike this!….Kamaal ke actor hain….

And he also sings, and sings quite well!I don't know if he can sing every type ofsong. But whatever hedoes sing, he sings in sur. His songs 'Holi Khele' and 'Tu Kahan Main Yahan' in Baghban are in sur. I've listenedto them carefully,Singing in sur is far more important than remaining in taal. It's God's gift and Bachchan Saab has it. His voice is God's great gift to him. When he speaks you can hear his performance on screen as well as see it. His performances are impeccable.

On a social level, we meet once in a while. Recently we met at Javed Saab(Akhtar)'s birthday party. More recently he gracedthe function for my father's death anniversary where he was given the Deenanath Mangeshkar award. He arrived on dot, and was hischarming self early inthe morning. He always talks with charm and restraint…never too much and never too little.I believe he had shooting throughout the previous night. His energy level leaves me breathless…His pedigree is unquestionable.

I remember when I started singing in 1947I began reading up on Hindi litterateurs including Premchand, Mahadevi Varma, Jaishankar Prasad and of course Harivanshrai Bachchan.I loved reading them. I wanted my Hindito improve.Any free moment, while travelling or waiting atthe studios, was spent reading them. I've read Harivanshrai Bachchan's Madhushalaseveral timesover, also his bulky autobiography which is truly a unique work of self-revelation. Poet-lyricist Pandit Narendra Sharma who was like a father to me, was very close to Harivanshraiji. I met him several times at Narendra Sharma's home. Narendra Sharma whom I called Papaused to respect Harivanshraiji a lot. He used to call him bandhu. I couldseethe mutual love betweenthe two…Coincidentally, Manna Dey also got the Deenanath Mangeshkar award along with Amitabh Bachchan. If I remember correctly, Manna-da has sung Bachchan Saab's father's Madhushala.

What an amazing man Bachchan Saab is, and as I said, what an amazing comeback! After a dizzying spell of superstardom, his luck gave way so badly that his fans and admirers would be in tears at his plummeting fortunes. And then look at how he climbed back to stardom. Do people really say we're the two icons of this country? Nahin nahin….Woh pehle hain main unke baad hoon. Main itna badaa manti hoon unko. I don't know whether he knows but I truly respect Bachchan Saab and his wife Jayaji. Mere dil mein unke liye khaas jagah hai."

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