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Let’s Clear The 2  Biggest Misconceptions About The Goddess Of  All  Melodious Things




She practised a  Mangeshkar  Monopoly…she wouldn’t  let her sister sing….She  was moody and she  cancelled song recordings… So many misconceptions  about  the immortal Lata Mangeshkar have  been allowed to fester  because she  never bothered  to correct them. It’s time to set the  record straight  for the  sake of posterity.

  1. That she discouraged  new talent . Why didn’t anyone  ever ask  the  new talent  if the Goddess discouraged  them?  Suman Kalyanpur for example, whose career is said to have suffered because she sounded  somewhat like Lataji. has  always maintained  the highest regard for  Lataji. Anuradha  Paudwal, another  alleged victim  of  the mythic Mangeshkar monopoly, used  to be  a disciple of Lataji’s illustrious  brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar, got her  first  chartbuster  Tu mera janu  hai tu mera dilbar hai in Subhash  Ghai’s Hero on Lataji’s recommendation. Sulakshana Pandit wanted to sing  all her own  songs on screen. But composers  like  Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Kalyanji-Anandji insisted on Lataji’s vocals. When  Runa Laila came to India to sing for Kalyanji-Anandji , Lataji personally congratulated  her. We once  spoke  about the mythic  Mangeshkar monopoly.  “Why Lata?”  Lataji wondered. “Only the composers  can answer that.Once  a  very big  singer asked   Madan Mohan Bhaiyya  this question and he answered, ‘Jab tak Lata hai aur koi nahin.’ I  never stopped any composer  from using anyone’s voice. On the contrary  on  many  occasions  I’d suggest  other voices  for songs that came  to me. I  remember this one incident  vividly where  actor-producer the great Om Prakash wanted  me to sing a  song for one of his  productions. As  I  was  not  free I suggested another singer’s name . Some days  later  when I met Omprakashji I asked him  how the recording went.  He was quiet and then he  answered, ‘Gana theek gaya lekin gayika ne  aapke liye  bahot bura-bhala kaha(the song went well  but the singer  badmouthed you).’ I  laughed and  told  Om Prakashji not  to feel bad. I am used to this . Neki kari aur kuwey mein dalo(do good and  let it  drown).” Personally I have heard Lataji  heap praises on  many singers that came after her including Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy , Sunidhi Chauhan and  Shreya Ghosal.
  2. That  She  Was A  Hindrance  In Her Sister Asha Bhosle’s  career:  This myth is so laughable it makes  me cry.  Here is  the  truth  about the  so-called rivalry: Lataji actually cleared the decks for her talented and versatile singers so that all  the fast-paced westernized songs went to  Ashaji. Lataji  would actually tell composers that the cabaret or dance numbers were not suited to her throat—which was  not true, if you’ve heard her sing Aa jaan-e-jaan for Helen and Iss qadar aap humko  jo tadpayenge for  Bindu  you’d know what  I mean—only so that those breathy sexy numbers  went to her sister. If  Lataji had not agreed to make space for  her sister,  Ashaji’s career  would have  never taken off. The so-called rivalry was  fuelled not by  sense of mutual hostility  but   by well-wishers who poisoned  Ashaji’s mind against her  mother-like  sister.Speaking sadly on this  subject  Lataji had once  said to me, “How can we be rivals? Why would I stop her career? She is  my own sister! We  had our differences. I had warned her  against marrying too early and I  was proven  right. But as far as our professional  rivalry is concerned it never existed. I could  never do what Asha could do. Some  troublemakers had convinced her that I snatched away Ae mere watan  ke logon from her.This  was  not the case.”
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