• Saturday, May 21, 2022

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Lata Mangeshkar: India bids farewell to icon with full state honours

Lata Mangeshkar (Photo credit: SEBASTIAN D’SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Mohnish Singh

MILLIONS of music fans are mourning the loss of Lata Mangeshkar, who passed away on Sunday morning (6).

The legendary singer  was laid to rest at Shivaji Park maidan in Mumbai with full state honours on Sunday evening.

Prime minister Narendra Modi flew down from Delhi to pay his respects and her last rites were attended by several dignitaries including politicians and leading personalities from the Indian film industry.

Actors Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Mangeshkar’s sister Asha Bhosle, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, former chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis and current chief minister Uddhav Thackeray were among those who attended the funeral and paid their last respects.

Modi’s website highlighted on Sunday the special bond he shared with the singer, who had in 2013 said she prayed for him to be India’s prime minister.

Actress Anushka Sharma remembered the late legendary singer and wrote on social media, “God speaks through beautiful voices. Sad, sad day for India as our nightingale leaves her mortal body. Lataji’s voice has immortalised her forever. She will live in our hearts through her music. My deepest condolences to her family, friends, and fans. RIP Lataji.”

Screenwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar said, “I was privileged that I knew Lataji personally and she sang my songs as well. It is a rare artiste who achieves such excellence in his field that he cannot be compared with anyone else. Lataji was this person.”

The legendary singer passed away today at the age of 92, breaking a billion hearts. She was admitted to Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital in early January after she tested positive for Covid-19 and was also diagnosed with pneumonia. Around January 28, she was taken off the ventilator, after she showed slight signs of improvement. However, on February 5, her condition deteriorated and doctors put her back on ventilator support.

Lata Mangeshkar, known as the ‘Nightingale of India,’ had rendered her voice to songs in several popular Indian languages, including Hindi, Marathi, and Bengali.

She was honoured with the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Dadasaheb Phalke Award as well as several National and Filmfare Awards. Her last complete album was for Yash Chopra’s 2004 directorial Veer-Zaara, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, and Rani Mukerji.

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