Of simplicity, talent and ideology…

If there is one image that I found defining of Bharat Ratna Lataji, it is this.

Simplicity, talent and ideology all captured in one frame.

From morning, I have read a lot of op-eds, each trying to outdo the other in paying tribute to her. Between nightingale, silence and loss of one’s voice (ah and yes, end of an era), everyone says nearly the same things, seemingly focusing more on the language than the feeling.

But what can be the feeling? How can one express it? A career that started in 1942, which, to put things in perspective, was the same year when Amitabh Bacchan was born…that in itself stands testimony to the once-in-many-generations talent and longevity that she possessed.

To think of it, she started singing in the age of gramophones, and right until the age of Spotify and Apple Music…wow.

And can one really compile a top-10 list of her songs? It would surely be an exercise in futility. There may be a top 100, but try compiling that one as well. It’s not possible.

Rather, one can just sit back and pick a random playlist of the best songs from the past 70 years, or better still, for every decade in the past 70 years, and one voice will overwhelmingly dominate ALL these lists. I don’t have to spell it out for you now, do I?

So, when one looks back at the life of Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkarji, one can find a lifetime of dedication to an art, and the ability to connect with your grandparents, your parents, yourself, and possibly your kids as well. Just these two factors are enough to gauge her greatness.

Today is not a day of mourning. Everyone who is born, has to die. Today is a day of sweet melodies, when we think of a life well-lived and one that touched the hearts of billions of people. What a warm feeling, what an inspiration to be living in the times when Lataji lived, and sang for all of us.

ॐ शान्ति लता दीदी।एश्वर आपकी आत्मा को शान्ति दे।