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Lata Mangeshkar, the woman in long plaits and a plain sari, who has received the Bharata Ratna (2001), Padma Bhushan (1969), Padma Vibhushan (1999), three national awards, four Filmfare Best Female Playback awards and several others for her melodious singing, the ‘Nightingale of India’ continues to win fans as she celebrates her 83rd birthday.
Starting her career at the age of thirteen and still continuing for over seven decades, having sung more than 28,000 songs (the most recorded ever after Muhammad Rafi), Lata Mangeshkar is a woman of determination, will power and commitment.
Actor Jaya Bachchan’s comment, “No heroine feels she has arrived until Lataji sings for her,” says it all. Though she feels her voice is no longer suitable for today’s cinema and music, she sings for her music company, L.M Music, and also records songs for her own label, which has had sixteen records so far. Besides her rich repertoire of film music, she has also song many devotional songs; within films too, her oeuvre includes songs of romance, pathos, flirtation, separation and every other possible situation.
In 1984, the state govt of Madhya Pradesh instituted the Lata Mangeshkar award in her honour. Even now, she feels there are new destinations to be reached and that an artist’s goals and achievements can never have a full stop.
Why we find her inspiring:
– For the hardworking and devoted attitude towards her work.
– For believing and demonstrating that while age may slow a person down, it need not stop her altogether.
– For living life on her own terms, in an era when women rarely could be single or even independent.
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