Meri Aawaz Hee Pehchaan Hai – Lata Mangeshkar, an Emotion
While the playback technique was still taking baby steps in Hindi film music, a skinny teen-ager girl was also struggling to find her feet in the arena playback singing which was full of already well-established stalwarts. Despite all the initial rejections, discounting and the formidable competition, she did not give up; and through her divine rendition and incomparable playback skills, soon rose to fame to never look back. It seemed as though she and playback singing were made for each other. She became like a live university of playback singing and subsequent generations of playback singers proudly followed her footsteps in their career. She is a national icon, she is as wonderous and magnificent as the Taj Mahal!
There is no feeling that is untouched by the vast expanse of her songs rendered by her over a period of seven decades; and she has become an inevitable part of the daily lives of millions of Indians. Be it the people listening to radio just for entertainment, music afficionados or experts in music, everybody is equally enthralled by her songs. No one would be able to remember a single day that was spent without at least one of her songs. Rather, our day starts and ends with her songs. To quote lines from a couple of her sweet songs that describe her charisma – “Tere khayalon mein, tere hi khwabon mein, din jaaye, raina jaaye re…” or “Dhadkan mein tu hai samaya hua, khayalon mein tu hi tu chhaaya hua”.
The news that has hard-hit the nation this morning is simply indigestible! How can she be no more? She is just here, everywhere around us – on the radio, on the television, in the discs, in the mobiles and in every feeling in every heart! Her voice is as vital a part of the Indian air as oxygen, and we breathe it daily! She is ubiquitous and will always remain so! Her voice is in our souls, a feeling to be experienced only through soul. “Sirf ehasaas hai ye, rooh se mehsoos karo.” The idea of paying homage to her is totally unacceptable and the repetitive lumps in throat and the tears eager to roll out of eyes are making it yet more difficult.
One reaches where he or she is destined to; and she was destined to arrive as the pole star on the firmament of the Hindi film music to revolutionise it and shape it up afresh. Doesn’t one of the first songs that announced her arrival say the same thing? “Aayega aanewaala!” She came, she sang, and she conquered!
Her contribution to Hindi film music is more than crucial. He saccharine voice will continue to enchant the music lovers for centuries to come. “Rahen na rahen hum, mehka karenge!”
Though she will be out of sight (really!!??), she would never be out of our minds. Can we imagine the world without her voice? We can’t! She is and will remain unforgettable and immortal!
Tum mujhe yun bhula na paaoge,
Jab kabhi bhi sunoge geet mere,
Sang sang tum bhi gungunaaoge!
Her celestial voice will remain an indelible and perpetual identity of India. “Meri aawaz hi pehchaan hai…”
There is only one sun, only one moon and only one Lata Mangeshkar! There was no one like her before and would not be in future, for millenniums to come. Her voice is a best example of Satya, Shiva and Sundar. Just like “Ek soorya hai, ek gagan hai, ek hi dharti maata”, there is and will always be “Ek hi Lata Didi”.
Though she will always be around and with us, our eyes would still look for her, would be eager to see her make another public appearance and address the nation with at least a few lines in her sweet voice, hoping that the news is just a rumour and it’s nothing more than hide and seek. “Luka-chhupi bahut hui, saamne aa ja na!”
When the harsh reality would eventually sink into our hearts, our hearts will sink into our boots and keep on repeating a rhetorical question – “Tum na jaane kis jahaan mein kho gaye?”
Howsoever unpleasant and insufferable the news is, we will have to accept it, albeit with profound grief. With her departure for heavenly abode, an era has come to an end. Nevertheless, she will remain an inseparable part of the Indian heritage . It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that she is in the genes of us Indians. We are lucky to have witnessed the miracle named Lata Mangeshkar and the brick-by-brick creation by her of a grand musical edifice that will continue to fascinate the generations to come. While the mortals on the earth are lamenting her departure, the immortals in the heaven would perhaps be looking forward to enjoying another Amrut-kalash that she has carried with her in her voice….