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World Photography Day: India’s Most Famous Amateur Photographer Lata Mangeshkar



Lata Mangeshkar

Bet you didn’t  know this. But Lata Mangeshkar who is  legendary for her singing , is  an outstanding photographer.In fact there were  exhibitions  of her photography when she was younger and so  devoted  to her  Rolleiflex camera it went everywhere with her.

“Yes I loved photography. My camera  used to be  my constant companion  everywhere.I’d take it with me to the studio and  take  pictures of  my colleagues at work. I’d click my parents , my sisters  and brother at home. I  loved photographing  the outdoors,” recalls Lataji fondly.

So skilled and  adept was she at  clicking pictures that  it was seen as an alternative career  for her. “I don’t know what I’d have done if I wasn’t a singer. But  photography was definitely a feasible option.It’s a pity that the art  of clicking pictures has been  replaced  by digital  photography. People now take all their  pictures on  their phone.The sheer  joy of capturing cameras  through the lens of  an old-fashioned camera  is lost.”

Lataji has reams and reams of self-clicked photographs  in her home. “It would require  weeks if not months to go through my photographs. Maybe some day.”

Very often  Lataji  was  known  to carry her favourite accessory(the Rolleiflex ) to the recording studio and click her  musical team in  unguarded moments.

Lataji is  also a keen  student of  painting. Her  favourite painter is the  French Claude Monet.

In fact she  pointed  out  the influence of Monet on the  cinema  of Sanjay Leela Bhansali who while admitting to Monet being a  big influence,was  stunned by the supreme songstress’s keen observation.

No  wonder  Gulzar Saab calls her a “sampoorn  kalaakar”.  A complete artiste.

Laughs Lataji, “Gulzar Saab is  himself a  sampoorn kalaakar. He  directs films, he  writes  poetry  and lyrics. He has  authored many books of prose and  poetry.I believe  every  artiste  has to be  aware  of  the world  outside his or her  domain. Raj Kapoor Saab and Raj Kapoor Saab   not only direct films .They take  interest  in  every aspect  of their cinema. Bhansaliji  even composes  his own music,” says Lataji who  in her youth also composed music for some Marathi cinema  .

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