Lata Mangeshkar: Nightingale of India

By:  Gayatri Kolwankar

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Born on 28th September 1929, to famous theatre actor and singer Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar, Lata is the eldest daughter among his 5 children. Fondly called as ‘Didi’, Lata mesmerized the entire country and the world with her eternal soulful voice. As the singer turns 88 today, let’s find out some unknown facts about our beloved Lata Didi.

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Real Name ‘Hema’:

Lata who started singing at the tender age of 5, was born with name ‘Hema’. Her father Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar later changed it to ‘Lata’, after a famous character ‘Latika’ from his play ‘Bhaav Bandhan’.

Started career as ‘Actor’ and not as ‘Singer’:

Due to sudden demise of her father, Lata had to take care of her family. Lataji acted in 8 movies. Later she made her singing debut in Marathi movie ‘Kiti Hasaal’ in 1942 which was never released.

Moved Pandit Nehru to tears:

It was a memorable moment for everyone when Lata sang ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo’, in 1962 when we lost a war with China. Her expressive performance moved then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to tears. Lata’s voice has made the song immortal and is cherished even today.

Cricket Enthusiast:

Everyone close to Lataji knows that fact that the songstress is a die-hard cricket fan. She never misses a cricket match especially if India is playing. Lata Didi has been ardent fan of Sachin Tendulkar and always wished him on his achievement. In 2016, Lata also dedicated a song to Virat Kohli after his double century against London in a test match.  

Here is wishing Lata ji a happy Birthday!

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