Here’s what Lataji said about her singing skills | Lata Mangeshkar| his tastes and hobbies
New Delhi: Known for being extremely down to earth, Lata Mangeshkar once said that her singing was not some kind of miracle or anything out of the ordinary and that whatever happened was God’s will because “many sang better than me, but maybe they didn’t get it as much as me”.
She was also of the opinion that success should not be allowed to go to your head.
“I am very grateful to God that my success had no detrimental effect on me. I could have turned my head, I could have not thought about the end of myself,” she said. .
“If I’m talented, it’s by the grace of God. Who could have imagined that I would be so famous? Ok, I can sing but my singing was not some kind of miracle. My singing has nothing amazing. Many have sung better than me, but maybe they haven’t gotten as good as me. It’s His goodness alone. So how could I lose my mind?”
These remarks were made in a book ‘Lata Mangeshkar…in her own voice’, written by television producer and author Nasreen Munni Kabir and published by Niyogi Books in 2009. The book was based on ‘Lata in Her Own Voice a six-part documentary series that Kabir made in 1991 and was produced by Hyphen Films Ltd for Channel 4 TV in the UK.
Based on Kabir’s conversations with the legendary singer, the book sheds light on the work and life of the extraordinarily gifted, deeply modest and God-fearing Mangeshkar.
The singer also mentioned how she used to come up with all kinds of excuses when she was learning to sing.
“I was very young and I preferred to play. I pretended to have a headache or a stomach ache. It was always something. protested, saying, “I feel shy to sing in front of you. I’m scared.”
“One day Baba sat me down and said, ‘I know that I am your father. But a father is also like a guru. sing better than him. Never think how can I sing in his presence? Remember this. You must excel your guru.’ I never forgot Baba’s words,” she said in response to a question about the lessons she learned from her father, musician and theater artist Deenanath Mangeshkar.
Mangeshkar also went on to say that film music is not well liked in her home. The family preferred classical music.
“Baba didn’t like movies. We weren’t allowed to go to the cinema – except for the movies made by the Marathi filmmaker Bhalji Pendharkar and the new theaters in Calcutta. Baba believed that their productions had value. good music and sensible stories. He always loved Saigal Sahib and so did I. At home, I sang his songs, especially “Ek bangala bane nyaara” from the movie “President”. Saigal Sahib songs at home, but no other movie songs. I didn’t care much either.” she said.
So how did Mangeshkar finally manage to change her father’s mind, who didn’t like the idea of acting in movies or singing for them but loved acting?
As a child, she once convinced one of her father’s disciples to allow her to play a part in a play. He reluctantly agreed and she played her part. But when Mangeshkar’s father learned of this, he was furious. His wife, however, tried to calm him down and pleaded for the child to be left to his own devices.
“He didn’t say another word to me. I don’t know what happened to him, but soon after he asked playwright Kothiwale, who had worked with him before, to write a children’s play for me. Kothiwale wrote ‘Gurukul’ in which I played Shri Krishna and my sister Meena was Sudama,” she recalled.
She continued to play smaller roles in films after her father’s death to support the family before taking up singing full time.
Among his other loves was photography.
“In 1946, I was on location shooting and took a picture of someone standing by a river. I was intrigued by the photography. I spoke to Madhavrao Shinde, the film editor, of my interest and he taught me the basics: how to load film and what kind of camera I should buy. The first camera I owned was a Rolleiflex. I bought for Rs 1,200,” she said.
But Mangeshkar couldn’t always enjoy shooting landscapes because “every time I got out of the car to take a photo, someone would recognize me and start talking to me. Soon a crowd would gather and I could barely see the scenery. beyond the wall of supporters”.
She was also a cricket enthusiast.
“The first test match I saw was with my sister Meena at Brabourne Stadium in Bombay in 1945 or maybe 1946 – it was a match between Australia and India.”
Some of the players she liked and saw them play include Gary Sobers and Rohan Kanhai (both from the West Indies); Richie Benaud, Ray Lindwall, Alan Davidson and Neil Harvey (all from Australia) and Indian stars like Mushtaq Ali, Vinoo Mankad, Vijay Merchant, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar.
Mangeshkar even had a signed photo of Don Bradman on which he wrote: “To Lata!
Over time, she started watching cricket on television.