The voice which helped soar millions of imaginations is still today. She was love, she could be a mother, she could be unrequited passion. She could sing a lullaby, she could sing a ditty. She could move you to tears, she could make you want to fall in love again.
How to describe her voice? It’s that musical instrument that could assume any tenor, any form. It’s that gentle warm glow which causes a flicker in your heart. It’s a mother’s reassurance to her child. It’s a voice filled with piety and wisdom. It was a voice that survived eight decades, several generations of actors, it was a voice of hope.
The voice had secrets, the voice guided you through life, the voice which told you it will all be okay at the end of the day. From Raj Kapoor to his grand children, her voice graced all their films. From Yash Chopra to his children, she was all there. She outlived criticism, she outran the fly-by-night musicians, she outlived the legends. Her success rate is unmatched to date. Is there anything left to say about her? We can only gasp at her prolific achievements and wish her peace in her final journey. Thank you for the memories.
From singing under Datta Davjekar’s baton in the film Aap ki seva main for one of his first Hindi songs, she ruled the airwaves with one melodious song after another. Every significant musical in the Indian cinema pantheon—be it Baiju Bawra, Guide, Pakeezah, Mughal E Azam or DDLJ had Lataji’s stamp of melody firmly imprinted on them.
Lataji your songs have comforted us in the midst of all our agonies. You have shown us talent is ageless. Thank you for filling all our lives with so much happiness.
The voice with its divine clarity and oozing melody reassured us that we are never alone. A flick of a button and the voice comes on to lull us into believing that life is worth the heartache. That good things come to good people. That a voice can shows us the light and guide us forever.