India’s nightingale and legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar passed away a year ago. On the occasion of her first death anniversary, country’s legendary actor Late Dilip Kumar’s wife actress Saira Banu recalled a loving compliment she received from the singer.
India mourned the loss of its most loved singer Lata Mangeshkar. Not many are aware, but the singer is listed in Guinness Book of World Records. The Legendary singer had her name figured in the book in the year 1974. Credited with singing the maximum number of songs in the world that year, the singer found her name featured amongst the world’s finest. She sang more than 25,000 songs. Many Bollywood personalities paid tribute to the singer who entertained millions with her angelic voice. Amongst those paying tributes on Lata Mangeskar’s first anniversary was Dilip Kumar’s wife Saira Banu. She recalled remembering a compliment that the late singer had given her once.
“She has been my voice totally in films. I have been fortunate enough to start with her voice in my very first film Junglee. She recorded my first song Ja Ja Ja Mere Bachpan. I was fortunate enough that I watched an interview of hers a couple of years later, and when asked which heroine she thought her voice suited the most, Lata ji replied ‘Saira Banu’ I literally fell off my chair!,”Saira Banu recalled Late Singer Lata Ji compliment to her
On Lata Mangeshkar’s Death Anniversary, the actress opened up on her relationship with the singer
Saira recalled hers and husband’s cordial rapport with singer Lata Mangeshkar. Also, she revealed that it extended further to personal lives. The ties extended beyond the professional commitments and in fact Dilip Saab was the singer’s Rakhi brother. Saira remembered that she was one of the fortunate few to begin her movie career with the singer’s voice. For the unversed, Lata sang Saira’s first song ‘Ja Ja Ja Mere Bachpan’. She fondly recalled an interview of her many years ago when she took her name when asked which actress suited her voice the most. Going down the memory lane, she recalled how both Lata and Dilip Kumar would travel together in the same train. Additionally, the actress added how her late husband , Tragedy King Dilip Kumar would encourage her to polish her Urdu Language.
‘aapki Urdu bauhaut achhi hai, isse aur polish kijiye’ She always treated me as her bhabhi, but would call me ‘Saira ji’ I always told her ‘please knock off the ji, you are so dear to me, I have a personal relationship with you!’.”Saira Banu recalled her husband complimenting Lata Mangeshkar
Saira’s memory lane made the somber moment more Nostalgic
Bollywood former actress known for her iconic operformances in Padosan, Purab aur Paschim , Hera Pheri and Rajni Gandha recalled fondly many of the legend’s associations. Recalling one such instances, Saira recalled how the late singer would abide by one ritual during her visit to their place. Actress’s grandmother was a great classical singer, and she would recall how Lataji would come and touch her feet.
“She had great respect for my grandmother, who was a great singer of classical music, known as Shamshad Begum. Not the one who would do playback singing in films, people mix her up. She sang live for Colombia records. Lata ji would come and the first thing she would do is touch my ammaji’s feet (her photo), like one gives their respect to a guru.”Saira recalled how Lata would offer her respects to her mother..
Citing her recent Cataract surgery, Saira expressed sadness over inability to attend the event
In spite of the utmost respect and bond between the two, the former actress lamented over her inability to attend the singer’s event. However, she had plenty of memories to share. In one of the incidents, the actress recalled how Yusuf Saab(Dilip Kumar) introduced her during her first performance at Royal Albert Hall in London in 1974. In fact it was a historic moment, as she became the first Indian to perform live at the venue.
“It was all beautifully arranged. Dilip saab was the person introducing her on stage. It was such a happening, that an entire album was made out of her performance. Dilip sahab said ‘Yeh meri chhoti si behen…’ He said that in London! He continued ‘Bauhaut hi mukhtasar si (it means small, doll-like) Then she sang. It was historical.”Saira Recalling how
Lata Mangeshkar’s relations with Dilip and Saira remained cordial
Banu recalled how both hers and her husband Dilip Saab’s relationship remained loving throughout their lives. She recalled how both kept in touch with each other’s health regularly.
The relationship was intact right till the very end of their respective lives. Banu says the two would keep constant tabs on each other’s health.
“Whenever they would keep unwell. For many years, Dilip saab was unwell, and then Lata ji had her own problems, she got her knees operated as well. They would always be in touchm for the minutest details. It wasn’t ‘hello, how are you’, not like that. They would get into it, there would be an exchange about doctors, medicines, and discussions on it.”Both Dilip and Lata cared about each other’s health through their lives
We don’t hear voices like her daily. Lata might have left her journey on Earth, but her melodious voice keeps alive in the form of immortal songs.