Yash Chopra's soul sister, muse and Mata Saraswati- reincarnated Lata Mangeshkar isn't singing in the director's new venture. It's a first in his long and illustrious career as a filmmaker. From the time Yash Chopra turned producer-director in 1973 with Daag, Lataji's voice has been integral to Yash Chopra's creativity and cinema right until his last directorial venture Veer-Zaara.
In a conversation with this writer Yashji gushed, "Lataji has always been so kind to me. She can never say no to me. As long as I am there and she's there, she'll continue to sing for my films. She's a legend beyond all human definition of the word. She's my sister and I'm so proud of her. That's why I say she's one singer who doesn't follow music, music follows her. When I see her I feel very small and humbled. There're no words to describe her. She's truly the Bharat Ratna. I'm blessed to have her love."
To therefore find Lataji's name missing from the credits of a new Yash Chopra film would be shock to the audience, akin to Agra without the Taj Mahal.
While Yashji refrained from any comment a source close to the new project reveals that the decision to bypass Lataji was taken by Aditya Chopra and the rest of the team.
Says the source, "Yashji was adamant that Lataji sing. It's a commitment he has made to her and to himself. Yashji's new film's music composer A R Rahman and lyricist Gulzar were also keen to bring together the 'Jiya Jale Jaan Jale' Lataji-AR-Gulzar team together once again. But the rest of the crew felt Lataji's voice didn't match Katrina Kaif's voice at all. They regretfully decided to make do without Lataji's voice."
When one touched base with Lataji on the matter, she had no clue why she was not singing for the new Yash Chopra film. "I don't now know what Yashji has in mind for me. If he calls me I will go without a second thought. He's very dear to me, like my brother. Whether I sing for his new film or not doesn't take away my love for him. Maybe there's nothing suitable for me this time."
Apparently, Yashji known to be an extremely simple and emotional soul has not been able to face up to Lataji after this painful swerve away from the voice that added so much to his cinema.
Some of Lataji's memorabilia for Yash Chopra