Tributes kept pouring in from Bollywood celebrities even as Lata Mangeshkar’s mortal remains were consigned to the flames amid the chanting of Vedic mantras.
Karisma Kapoor, who has had several Lata Mangeshkar songs picturised on her, from “Dil To Pagal Hai” to “Zubeidaa”, shared an evocative throwback picture of the premiere of Raj Kapoor’s “Awara” (1951) on her Instagram account with the caption: “So many legends together in one frame at the premiere of dadaji’s ‘Awara’. Rest in Glory Lata Ji. The Nightingale of India.”
The picture shows a young Lata Mangeshkar standing next to Raj Kapoor. Among the many reasons why “Awara” refuses to fade out from our memory, one definitely is the Nightingale’s song, “Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi”, featured in the famous dream sequence choreographed by the dance maestro Uday Shankar’s partner, Simkie.
Rani Mukerji, the daughter-in-law of Lata Mangeshkar’s long-time collaborator, Yash Chopra, issued a long statement to convey her feelings about the Nightingale’s demise, which she described as the “end of an era”.
“Lataji was truly gifted and blessed,” Rani Mukerji, who’s married to Aditya Chopra, Yash Chopra’s son and chairman, YRF Films, said. “People would often say that Goddess Saraswati resides in her voice and what a coincidence that she left us one day after Basant Panchami.”
The celebrated actress continued: “She has left a big void in all our lives as India has lost its nightingale. She is and always will be remembered as one of the most integral people in the history of Indian cinema. Every actor, past and present, dreamt of lip syncing to her voice.”
On a personal note, Rani Mukerji added: “In my career I had the good fortune of being able to do that in my film ‘Mujhse Dosti Karoge’. I will always cherish the memories I have of meeting her. She was kind-hearted and always exuded warmth. There was truly an aura around her.”
Mukerji concluded by saying: “We as an industry can now celebrate her life and thank her for the countless memories and songs she has left us with. Rest in peace Lataji.”
For Pankaj Tripathi, his personal tribute to the Nightingale was to listen to her songs in solitude. “How else can a broken heart remember you?” he said in his emotional tweet and added: “Thank you for making the world beautiful.”
Remembering Lata Mangeshkar, yesteryear’s actress Bhagyashree said: “Lataji was blessed by Goddess Saraswati herself … a voice so melodious that it commemorated many songs for us artistes. I was lucky to have her sing my songs in ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’. It is her voice that made them so memorable. It is a great loss for us all ,,, may her soul rest in peace.”