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Lata's voice continues to charm

Bollywood singers speak to Arnab Banerjee about the melody queen. HTSpecial: A tribute to Lata | Wish her | Pics

india Updated: Sep 28, 2006 23:18 IST

Born in a family of artistes, legendary Lata's voice has maintained its ageless quality, and popularity among her fans. Despitegiving many unforgettable hits to Bollywood, the melody queen feels that sheisstill available for that one good song.

"I still am available for that occasional good song, if any," she was heard on the tube telling eager fans. "But I don't know why they (composers) don't call me and often complain that I am not available or am travelling," she giggles in her infectious mirth laden laughter.

"I feel I haven't done much to promote classical music," she was heard lamenting on the tube recently.Sure enough, many music directors still believe they could have done better "had Didi sung some of our creative efforts." While most would give that one mission a try, others would shy away from it.

Lata Mangeshkar turned 77 on Thursday.

Both Kavita Krishnmurthi and Alka Yagnik are still in awe of her, despite being achievers in their own right. "I swear by her.. she is the ultimate


.. I don't think anyone could reach anywhere near her in terms of talent, hard work, ease, tonal quality, classical base or clarity," confesses Yagnik. Kavita, who started her career as a dubbing artist for Lataji, has tremendous regard and admiration for her 'ultimate idol."

Singers Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal, feel that neither there is anyone like her at present nor would there be anyone even anywhere close to her. "She is the perfect voice, matchless, supreme and incomparable, " they echo in unison.

Not only female singers, even male singers like Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan, Abhijeet believe that though she is 'exhausted' they would give their right arm to sing with her, "Or stand next to her," as director Sanjay Leela Bhansali puts it, who listens to her album


with Jagjit Singh as also her Meera bhajans religiously every day.

'What we classical musicians cannot achieve in 45 minutes trying to interpret a raga, Lata


does it in four minutes flat," Pandit Jasraj pays his compliment decisive definitive final verdict. And then there's Jagjit Singh, who has "deep regrets for not being able to record with her more often."

Why do filmmakers insist on getting their songs recorded in her voice? Even the likes of Anu Malik and AR Rahman would have none of lesser known singers croon for them, "when the original perfect Diva is available." Surely there has to be something magical, charismatic and Godly about her for her to carry on for over five decades.

First Published: Sep 28, 2006 19:25 IST