Lata's favourite niece on her birthday

By Hindustan Times

We all know Lata Mangeshkar as an extraordinary singer, but we know little about her extraordinary personal side. On the nightingale's 82nd birthday, we ask her niece (Meena Mangeshkar's daughter) Rachna Shah to unravel her lesser known persona.

'Lata is an extraordinary human
being'
World knows she is an extraordinary singer, if you ask me and our family, she is an equally extraordinary person. She is one of the most sensitive and kind persons, and most easily affected by people's griefs. She can just give herself completely to anybody.

'Lata can never multitask'
Be it music, family or anything, when she does something, she puts in her 100 per cent. Normally people these days multi-task. But she only deals with one thing at a time and gives herself completely to it.

'She treats everybody equally'
As we were growing up, we realised she never differentiated between rich, poor, influential and powerless. She is the same with every person. Even if she knew that somebody is not in a capacity to help her in any way, she still helps the person whole-heartedly. This is the quality we love about her. As children, we imbibed this quality from her.

'She is very democratic'
She is a true Libran. She is extremely fair and truly democratic. She is there for you, if you approach her for a problem, but she would never interfere in your life. She is an inspiration for all of us and extremely encouraging.

'Lata's philosophy: Find joy in simple things'
Once we were driving for some recording of hers. She was in a car. There was this bunch of little kids begging, who had painted moustaches on their faces and they were ecstatic. They knocked at the window. I could see Lata's eyes were misty. She really appreciated the innocence in their faces. She gave money to them and a lesson to us - Little things are very important in life. These kids don't have anything, but their painted moustaches gave them so much joy. It's not just about the kids, she's extremely kind to her staff also. She is beyond regular people's thinking.

'She loves me like daughter'
I cannot even begin to explain how much she has loved me. She has brought me up as a daughter with so much love. She has been my companion in everything - illness, school problems, life problems.

'Lata, a child at 82'
She is a friend also. And at 82, she is still very much a child. Her thoughts are like an 18-year-old. The best thing about her is that she doesn't know she is Lata Mangeshkar. She is so humble, so down to earth.

'My favourite Lata Mangeshkar songs'
Kya Janu Sajan (Baharo Ke Sapnay), Aye Dile Nadaan (Razia Sultan) and Kitne Ajeeb Rishte (Page 3).

BIRTHDAY PLANS
Lata's niece tells us that there is no plan for a bash as the legend is receiving Hridaynath Award on her birthday. And the entire family would be present to cheer the singer, except Asha Bhosle who is in Dubai.

TRIVIA from @mangeshkarlata

Lata has tweeted some interesting facts about herself on her Twitter account:

*Lata's first-ever stage performance was at the age of 8 in Pandharpur, Maharashtra. She played the role of a yuvraj (prince). And guess what? The play was staged by her father's company Punyaprabhav, but he was kept in the dark about Lata enacting the role.

*Lata Mangeshkar first met Kishore Kumar in 1948. Her first duet with him was from the film Ziddi. Khemchand Prakash was the composer.

*She sang around 440 duets with Mohd Rafi in 315 films.

*Lata and her siblings called their mother Maai.

LATA CHOICE

Lata dedicates her favourite songs to greats from music world on their birthdays. Sample some:

*Her favourite Mohd Rafi song: Kabhi Khud Pe Kabhi Halat Pe - Hum Dono

*Her favourite Sonu Nigam song: Kiska Hai Yeh Tumko Intezar - Main Hoo Naa

*Her favourite Mukesh song: O Jane Wale Ho Sake To - Bandini

*Her favourite Ilyaraja song: Sathya Valaiyosai

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