Alvida nahi, phir milenge: Diaspora remembers Lata Didi

Sunayana Kachroo, film producer, writer, lyricist

“Jab kabhi bhi sunogey geet mere, sang-sang tum bhi gungunoge” — through pain, silence, shock and bouts of tears, admirers of the legend Lata Mangeshkar Ji were singing her songs as the news of her transition into the other world spread. It was as if she was personally consoling us, telling us that she is right here, omnipresent in the sound of the universe. 

“Main agar bichadd bhi jaaoon kabhi mera gham na karna, mera pyar yaad karke kabhi aankh numm na karna”. 

I am extremely fortunate that I have had the opportunity to share my poems with her. 

“Smaay ke prvaah sey guzra jhulsaa chandan hua , Bhaav jab kagazon pe utra mehka arpan hua, Shabd jab aarth se juda thehra madhuban hua ,Aapke Swaron se milaa,sanwraa aur kundan hua”

Alvida nahi, phir milenge!


Sneh ‘Sunny’ Thakkar, Festival Director- IAAC Music Festival, Indo–American Arts Council

Her voice is etched in every atom of my body and it is what I heard at every waking breath. My ‘Jeevan Adhaar’, That is what Didi is for me and much more.   

This is how I chose to remember her — Her childlike smile and innocence, her witty sense of humor, her constant love, kindness and generosity. A big part of me thinks India is orphaned now but she will continue to be the Goddess the whole nation looked up to and worshipped. I find solace in knowing that she is with her Baba and Mai.

I consider myself to be incredibly fortunate that I received so much love and blessings from her. I will truly cherish the times I was able to spend in her divine presence, our phone calls and messages. I know that she is always with me. 

I consider her to be a gift and a blessing from the Universe that will keep on giving for generations to come. I pray she will continue to bless me and people all over the world. 

Shashi Malik, AIA national EC member

Music and sounds bring a sense of calmness, happiness, and peacefulness but also music is composed specifically to facilitate dancing. Lata ji was able to sing all types of music and entertain our world. 

Her painful voice for patriotic songs for battlefield soldiers, her voice in motivate songs, her voice in kids’ songs, her voice in romantic songs, her voice in dance party songs, her voice in Bhajans — no matter what was the composition of lyrics and music, she was able to master it for 80 years, 

My favorite songs are of Lata Ji are Phaili huia hai sapnon ki baahen; Ajeeb Dastaan Hain Yeh; Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha, Chalte chalte, chalte chalte, Yunhi koi mil gaya tha


Her voice, her memories, will stay in our hearts and minds for years to come. 

Rekha Chichara, film producer

After the worship of Goddess Saraswati, Lata ji left us with full state honors. Seems like Ma Saraswati just gave her place in her heavenly abode. She will always live on and her voice will be with us. 

I love this song by her: “Aye Malik Tere Bende Hum.”

Jab Tak Suraj Chand Rahega, Lata Mangeshkar Naam Rahega

Jyoti Gupta, Founder of several musical groups

There are no words which can adequately describe her musical talent. She was often compared to Goddess Saraswati for her singing talent.

I can’t express my feelings better than these lines. Jab Tak Surjaj Chand Rahe Ga, Lata ji Apka Nam Rahega.

A female singer can get no better compliment than being compared to Lata Ji. I am a musical devotee of her from a very early age. I have sung more than 1,000 of her songs on YouTube. 

I have founded many musical groups named after Lata Ji. One of them is Rafi Lata Fan Club. I have organized singing of Hanuman Chalisa on Zoom to wish her speedy recovery from her sickness. I also got the privilege of attending Lata’s concert in Madison Square Garden. 

As you know, she was extremely patriotic. She put her soul into singing this evergreen patriotic song: Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo, Jara Ankh men BHar Lo Pani…’

Amit Parasnath, veteran journalist

Whenever I interviewed her, I was treated like family. She always offered me tea and lunch or dinner. When I would fondly tease her, she gave me a girlish chuckle as she often told me stories about her love for cricket and photography. I remembered the lilt in her intonation and astounding vocal range, the twinkle in her eyes and the agility of her witty sense of humor.

Her voice and songs crossed geographical and generational boundaries and since India gained independence, the voice of Lata Mangeshkar filled the home of every Indian, whether rich or poor, on this planet with joy and happiness.

In one of my conversations with Lataji, she said, “I was never married because I’m very content in life. God gave me a job to do and I’m very satisfied with my work. Yes, like everyone else, I do have my moments of sorrow, which is only temporary. But I cannot bear to see other people’s suffering. I feel a sense of joy by helping such people.”

Images courtesy of ., Picasa and Tejram Sharma | Welcome to The South Asian Times

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