After keeping away from singing for two years due to ill health, veteran Lata Mangeshkar — who’s been singing professionally since the age of 13 — is back to recording. And the 87-year-old says she was eagerly awaiting this moment.
“I’ve been missing my singing. The last two years have not been too kind to my health. But this year, I’m far better. I’ve returned to recording with my rendition of the Rama Raksha Strotra (38 couplets devoted to Lord Rama). I’ve wanted to sing it for the longest time. Now I am finally doing it... The satisfaction of singing devotional numbers is on another level. My two albums of bhajans, Ram Ratan Dhan Payo, and Ram Shyam Gun Gaan (the latter with Pandit Bhimsen Joshi), have been embraced by generations. I feel blessed.”
Last week, she recorded two couplets. “So far, I’ve done two shlokas under the supervision of composer Mayuresh Pai.”
Mangeshkar singles out the Meera Bhajans she has sung for her composer-brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar as some of the toughest. “It’s always a challenge to sing for my brother. My brother’s compositions in Chala Vahi Des and also Meera Sur Kabeera are my favourite.”
Among the bhajans she has sung in films, Mangeshkar loves Allah Tero Naam (Hum Dono; 1961) and the title song from Satyam Shivum Sunderam (1978). “I’m again singing in my favourite genre. It makes me happy,” she concludes.