Lata Mangeshkar’s birthday: Sister Meena reveals why Lata stopped singing, ‘She doesn’t enjoy today’s film songs much’
Lata Mangeshkar’s sister Meena talks about their childhood and the legendary singer. ‘I feel when God gives you everything, he also takes away a few things. Didi got everything — name, fame, money — but she could not have a family.’
Did you know that Lata Mangeshkar started working when only 12? And that the KL Saigal fan was blown away by his film Devdas (1936)? Well, one person had a ringside view of the legendary singer’s journey, struggles and successes — her younger sister, Meena Mangeshkar-Khadikar.
“My most joyous memories of Didi are from her childhood, one which was taken away from her. We are only two years apart. So, I’ve grown up close to her. I clearly remember her laughs, songs, and what all she did as a child,” she says.
Talking of Mangeshkar’s childhood, could the singer have enjoyed it more if she hadn’t started working at such a young age? “I feel, had our father (Master Deenanath Mangeshkar) not passed away so early, Didi would have been a classical singer and her path would have been different. Our parents were traditional. So, they might have married her off. And maybe, she’d have had a family and kids. If he was there, everything — including all our lives — would have been different,” feels the singer.
The 88-year-old calls all of it “God’s will”. “I feel when God gives you everything, he also takes away a few things. Didi got everything — name, fame, money — but she could not have a family. But like a fantastic sister and daughter, Didi ne apni sabhi zimmedariyan bahut acchi tarah se nibhayin hain,” she adds.
Meena is set to release the Hindi version of her biography of her sister, Didi Aur Main. The book’s Marathi original, titled Mothi Tichi Savali, was released last year. Mangeshkar, who turns 90 today, will launch the book at her residence. “Since it is about Didi, I will be the happiest if it’s released in all languages. I kept thinking what I should gift my sister. Then, I was like, ‘I gave the book’s Marathi version to didi on her last birthday. Now, let me gift the Hindi one, and remind her of her childhood all over again. I can’t think of a better gift,” adds Khadikar.
With biopics the order of the day, what about a biopic on her sister, after the book? “Didi isn’t in favour of it,” Khadikar adds with a smile.
Why has Lata Mangeshkar stopped singing? “No one knows, but about 10 days back, she recorded a song for a Marathi movie. She doesn’t sing much now, especially for films. She takes up a song only if the lyrics and music are good. Music is her life. But she doesn’t enjoy today’s film songs much due to the lyrics and heavy-duty beats,” reveals Meena Mangeshkar-Khadikar.
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