Lata Mangeshkar is the greatest playback singer that Hindi cinema has ever seen. And there's no doubt to it that her melodious voice resides in all of us.
Almost every aspiring Indian woman singers would have craved to sing like Lata Mangeshkar. But not everyone can be Lata Mangeshkar. There is only one.
Recently there was the case of Ranu Mondal who sang herself into fame with Lataji's 'Ek pyar nagma hai' from penury and anonymity.
Himesh Reshamiyya even recorded a song with the lady, who was dazed by all the attention. The euphoria and praise soon got out of hand. The rumours amplified.
In an interview with IANS, when Lata Mangeshkar was asked about Ranu Mondal, Lataji neither sounded excited nor happy.
“I feel imitation is not a reliable and durable companion for success. By singing my songs or Kishoreda's (Kishore Kumar), or Rafi Saab's (Mohd Rafi), or Mukesh Bhaiyya (Mukesh) or Asha's (Asha Bhosle) numbers, aspiring singers can only get short-term attention,” she said.
She also added, "And it won't last. But if anyone gets benefited from my name and work then I feel fortunate.”
Lata Mangeshkar feels great concern for the talent on the music shows on television. "So many children sing my songs so beautifully. But how many of them are remembered after the first flush of success? I only know of Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghosal."
Lataji's advise to aspiring singers: "Be original. By all means sing the evergreen songs by me and my colleagues. But after a point the singer must seek and find his or her own song."
Lataji gives the example of her own sister. "If Asha (Bhosle) had not insisted on singing in her own style she would have remained in my shadow forever. She is the biggest example of how far individuality can take one's talent to."