Singer Lata Mangeshkar, who mesmerised millions with her golden voice in a career spanning seven decades, turned 81 on Tuesday, spending a quiet day with the family even as fans, including famous names, wished her a happy birthday.
The Bharat Ratna winning singer who has lent her voice to generations of Bollywood actresses from Madhubala to Kajol, is celebrating her birthday in her ancestral home in Kolhapur, said sources close to her.
"I don't celebrate my birthday. I performed the Puja and 28th September is just like any other day for me," Lata told PTI. The evergreen singer held the Guinness World Records for having recorded the most songs in the world from 1974 to 1991 and continues to be the favourite singer of top filmmakers like Yash Chopra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Meanwhile younger sister and fellow singing legend, Asha Bhonsle, led a host of A-listers who wished the singer on Twitter. "My favourite Female Singer and also my Elder Sister Latadidi celebrates her Birthday today. Too bad I'm in Hong Kong & can't attend her birthday. Will miss her as I am in Hong Kong, but my well wishes are always with Lata didi (sic)," wrote Bhonsle who also posted a old picture of them together.
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, who has collaborated with the singer in films like Jail and Page 3, was among the first to wish the acclaimed singer. "Wishing u Lata Didi many happy returns of the day....May god bless u with good health..love..,nd peace (sic)," Bhandarkar tweeted.
Lata too is an active member of the micro blogging site and had posted a message on Monday thanking all her fans. "I feel fortunate that my birthday falls close to two of my favourite people- freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and filmmaker Yash Chopra. I send my best wishes to Yash ji and pray that he lives for another hundred years," Lata had tweeted.
Starting her career in 1942 with songs in Marathi, Lata's first Hindi song was Paa lagoon kar jori for Vasant Joglekar's movie Aap Ki Seva Mein in 1946. Two years later, composer Ghulam Haider gave Lata her first major break with the song Dil mera toda in Majboor and rest has been history. Lata went on to record songs for over 1,000 Bollywood movies and has sung in more than 36 regional Indian languages.
The singer has lent her voice to some of the most popular and evergreen songs in film history including Pyar kiya to darna kya from Mughal-e-Azam, Aaja re pardesi from Madhumati and Bahon mein chale aao from Anamika among hundred others.
Lata continues to lend her voice to select projects and is excited about her soon to be released duet with Shehanshah-e-Ghazal Mehdi Hassan. "Mehdi Saab always wanted to sing with me. In fact he sent me 2-3 recorded songs years back but he had to quit singing due to his prolonged illness. "Tera milna is one of them. I recorded my version here in Mumbai and Mehdi Saab's version was recorded in Pakistan a year back. We have made a duet compiling the two versions," said Lata.
Meanwhile, the melody queen has also defended A R Rahman over the Commonwealth Games theme song fiasco.
She said that people should not expect every song of this genius composer to be a rocking hit. "I have not heard the song. What I am hearing is continuous criticism, which I don't like at all. Rahman is an extremely dedicated composer and people are getting too harsh because of just one failure," Lata Mangeshkar told PTI .
"It's just like people should not expect century from Sachin (Tendulkar) in every match. It happens in music also. Even the veterans do mistakes sometimes. I cannot say that every song of mine is perfect. Many a times I am not satisfied with what I have sung," said the Bharat Ratna awardee.
The CWG theme song "Oh Yaaro, Ye India bula liya" has got a lukewarm response. People have been saying that it lacks lustre and was either a result of a hurried job or the composer's powers were no longer as potent as before.