By Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Hungama News Network
It's a quiet Diwali for 'the Nightingale's' at home with the family. No special plans after the celebrations earlier during the week when her brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar turned 72 on Sunday.
"Every year, there's a kind gentleman in Pune who organizes a musical event for my brother's birthday. This year was no different. We've all been involved with that until Sunday. So Diwali two days later would be slightly low-key. Of course the children would have their fun with the usual Diwali celebrations," says Lataji.
After Diwali, she intends to get her knees operated for arthritis. The operation would be undertaken at the Mangeshkars' hospital in Pune.
Although her knees give her more trouble these days than she had ever bargained for the Nightingale's throat continues to be in tremendous shape. Having recorded Sai Baba Bhajans with sister Usha Mangeshkar, Lataji forever making melodic moves, now gets to be heard in a rare unreleased film song. The song 'Chanda Ki Chandni' is an unreleased gem discovered and re-packaged from Yashraj Films.
Since the Nightingale hardly sings film songs nowadays and her last film song was A R Rahman's lullaby 'Luppa Chuppi' the film Rang De Basanti, the release of a new song is an event.
A bit of inquiry on how the song materialized reveals it was the Lata bhakt Yash Chopra's idea to release the song. Says a source, "Yash Chopra shares an extremely emotional bonding with Lataji. They don't only share the same star sign but their birthday is separated by only a day. And they get along like a house on fire. Yashji keeps Lataji entertained with his jokes. Lataji reciprocates with her songs. Yashji in fact insists that as long as she is around, no one else will sing in his films. That of course has changed now, what with the new guard led by Aditya Chopra opting for other voices. But when Yashji came to know about the unreleased song in their archives, he immediately wanted it released as a Diwali gift for Lataji's fans. So you could say this song 'Chanda Ki Chandni' is Yashji's gift to Lataji for Diwali. He calls her his Saraswati Mata."
Nudge Lataji's memory about the song and she immediately recalls it, "It was supposed to be part of Yashji's Dil To Pagal Hai. But the song didn't fit into the story. So they took it out. I never thought they'd use it later."