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'Lata had an affair with Bhupen'

By Hindustan Times

Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar had an affair with Bhupen Hazarika. His estranged wife Priyamvada Patel Hazarika told a local TV channel ahead of the Assamese balladeer's first death anniversary on November 5.

"Lata started a big affair with him," the octogenarian Priyamvada told DY365 in an interview aired on Saturday prime time.

Hinting that Lata was one of the reasons why she left the balladeer, Priyamvada said Bhupen and Lata shared one of the three bedrooms in their Tollygunje apartment whenever she came to Kolkata.

On one occasion, music director duo Kalyanji-Anandji told her in Gujarati that it was futile to stay up late expecting Bhupen to return to her bedroom.

"Lata was crazy after him, and he told me Priyam in India if a musician wants to come up, his songs have to be sung by Lata Mangeshkar. I asked why should you be in the room with her the whole night, he said ketiyaba koribo laage (sometimes you have to do it)," the Ottawa-based Priyamvada said.

Many in Assam are aware of Lata and Bhupen's affection for each other.

But this is the first time that anyone has made the 'affair' public.

In his autobiography Moi Eti Jajabor (I am a Nomad), Bhupen wrote about a big Mumbai-based singer in his life. He wrote how his wife returned downcast after seeing off Lata at Kolkata airport.

He wrote: "I asked Priyam what happened, and she said maanuhjone kotha eta koley bhaal nalagil (I didn't like what she said). What did she say, I asked again. Priyam replied: 'She told me her love for you is no less than mine as your wife'."