- Ustad Hamid Ali Khan, Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, Tina Sani, Humaira Channa and others wish India’s most respected singer a very happy birthday
As Lata Mangeshkar, one of India’s most celebrated playback singers, prepares to celebrate her 89th birthday on Friday (Sept 28), Pakistan’s top singers pay tribute to the legendary musician and thank her for giving the world many memorable songs.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Ustad Hamid Ali Khan, Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, Tina Sani, Humaira Channa and others separately wished Lataji a very happy birthday and commended her on her marvelous services to the music industry.
Born on September 28, 1929, in Indore, a city in India’s Madhya Pradesh, to a family of musicians, Lata is the second vocalist after MS Subbulakshmi who was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, in 2001. Besides Dadasaheb Phalke Award, she is the recipient of three National Film Awards, Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award and many more.
Ustad Hamid Ali Khan, one of Pakistan’s leading classical musicians and the brother of the Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and Ustad Bade Fateh Ali Khan of the prestigious Patiala Gharana, wished her a very happy birthday and discussed how much he is fond of her music. “Her music is an inspiration to all of us,” he said.
“I wish her a long, healthy and prosperous life because, for me, Lataji is an extraordinary singer who lives in the hearts of people of all ages,” he said. “I have no words to explain how sweet and melodious her voice is,” he further said and added that her personality and humbleness are among her many admirable traits.
“Unki awaaz kanon mai rass gholti hai (her voice is pleasurable to the ears),” he said. When asked about his favourite songs, the maestro said, “Lataji’s Hay Re Woh Din is among my favourite songs,” referring to the song composed by Ravi Shankar for 1960’s film Anuradha.
The Indian government has also conferred on Lata the title of ‘Padma Shri’. France also conferred on her its highest civilian award (Officer of the Legion of Honour) in 2007. She has recorded songs for over a thousand Indian films and has sung in over 36 regional and foreign languages, though primarily in Hindi and Marathi.
Shafqat Amanat Ali, another shining star of the Patiala Gharana, wished her on her birthday and said, “May she continue to lead and guide the music industry for many years to come. India’s entertainment industry is incomplete without Lataji. I cannot thank her enough for her services to music and wish her many great years ahead.”
Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the two states of India, instituted the Lata Mangeshkar Award in her honour in 1984 and 1992 respectively. In India, she is known as the ‘Queen of Melody’, ‘Voice of the Nation’, ‘Voice of the Millennium’ and ‘Nightingale of India’.
Classical and Urdu ghazal singer Tina Sani, recipient of the Pride of Performance Award and Lifetime Achievement Award among others, also wished Lata Mangeshkar on her birthday and paid respects to the legendary singer. “I pray for her long life and good health,” she said. “Lataji is a wonderful singer and has command over the Urdu language which is evident from the flawless pronunciation of Urdu words in her singing,” she said.
When asked about her favourite Lata songs, she said, “Beeti Na Bitai Raina, a song written by Gulzar for 1972 film Parichay, and Raina Beeti Jaye of 1972 film Amar Prem, are quite difficult songs sung by Lataji and are among my favourites.”
Humaira Channa, one of Pakistan’s accomplished artists and six-time Nigar Award winner, also wished Lata Mangeshkar on her birthday. “I wish Lataji a very happy birthday and pray that may she continue to inspire generations of music lovers, especially singers. She has an immortal voice and an amazing personality and I have no words to praise her,” she said.
“Lataji aik bohat he sureeli aur manjhi huwi God-gifted awaz ki malik hain. Unki Awaz bahut he pakeeza tasawur daiti hai. (Lataji is a maestro with a God-gifted melodious voice and helps us comprehend reality in its purest form),” she said. “When Lataji sings, it is majestic,” she added.
IN HER OWN WORDS: “As a singer, you have to bring the soul to the song. I think playback singing has a lot to do with voice acting. I would suggest to all the youngsters to understand the character, situation and the story behind the songs. That is when you can add soul to the rendition which, I think, is missing in today’s music,” she told an Indian news service last year.
“More than a trophy, it is the love and affection that people shower on me by listening to my songs years after years that touches me. For me, awards are a token of respect that people are giving me. So, no matter how many awards I am receiving, I always feel emotional,” she added.