RIPDidi: Composer Uttam Singh recalls the fun times he had with Lata Mangeshkar
Uttam Singh talks about the legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar and recalls some beautiful memory with her
Veteran composer Uttam Singh, who had an association with late Lata Mangeshkar for over six decades, shares some anecdotes about the bond he shared with the late legend:
Jo time maine Lata didi ke saath bitaya, woh main kabhi bhool nahin sakta. Uss waqt ko yaad kar raha hoon, to aakhein bhar aa rahi hain. I knew her for almost six decades. Aisa lagta hai poori zindagi unke saath bita di - either playing the violin for her, arranging music or composing songs. Humesha kaan mein headphones lagata hoon, to unhi ki awaz sunai deti hai. She loved me like a child and supported me when I was fairly new and unknown in the industry.
Jab main unke sath kaam karta tha, main unko pick-up aur drop bhi karta tha. Whenever I would reach outside her home, I had no way to intimate her, because there were no mobile phones back then. But she would always be on time. Woh mere sath aage baithti thi and two cops accompanying her would sit in the rear seat. Poore raaste hum log hansi-mazak karte jaate the. Woh kabhi apna khana bhi nahin laati thi and I would carry food for her. She loved all varieties of food, especially non-veg. We would take 1-1.5 hour lunch breaks. Humesha recording shuru karne se pehle unhe thanda chahiye hota tha. Whenever I had a recording with Lata didi, I’d keep my entire day free, because I was her driver and cook for the day (laughs).
I started my journey as a musician in 1962, and that’s when my association started with her, too. When I debuted as a composer with Painter Babu (1983), she gifted me a handmade painting for Guru Nanak Devji, made by Nanak Singh, a legendary artist. I was so touched. Also, my songs from Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) that were sung by her often made it to the list of her top songs, and that was a huge honour.
She was a beautiful person and artiste. Unke alawa, ek awaaz aisi nahin aayi jo unke pair ki mitti jaisi bhi ho sakey. There cannot be another Lata Mangeshkar.