Veteran music composer Anu Malik is totally shattered at the loss of Lata Ji’s demise. The versatile composer shared an extremely close bond with Lata Ji. In an exclusive interview with KiaGia.com, he opens up about Lata Ji and revisits their bond in a very emotional manner.
Being in the industry for nearly 45 years, Anu Malik has got the chance to work with Lata Ji on multiple projects including ‘Gangaa Jamunaa Saraswati’ (1988), ‘Awaargi’ (1990), ‘Radha Ka Sangam’ (1992) and ‘Dil Dhoondta Hai’ (2001). His collaboration with Lata Ji was a class apart and his melodies extracted an unheard side of her voice especially in their last collaboration, “Badal Ko Garajne Do” from ‘Dil Dhoondta Hai’ with Udit Narayan.
He says, “Lata Mangeshkar is a great singer, a great human being and to me my mother. I literally grew up in Prabhu Kunj where Asha Ji and Lata Ji lived side by side separated by a connecting door. As a kid of 15 years, I would always land up in their home and I was always welcome. I’m glad that I have known her personally. I am blessed that she sang some of my beautiful compositions. She loved my songs, “Bali Umar Ne Mera Haal Woh Kiya, Jaan Chura Di Meine Dil De Diya”, “Bicchuwa”, “Do Bol Kehke Hum Doh Haare”. But she was particularly fond of “Saajan Mera Uss Par Hain” and not many people know that I played the harmonium for that track apart from being the composer.”
He further says, “The way she sang “O Radha Tere Bina Tera Shyam Hain Adha”, I was mesmerized. Lata Ji was someone I could call up anytime and she would answer the call and talk to me, there were so many topics that we discussed. She was one person who hardly spoke much to people she didn’t know personally but she always loved me, my wife Anju, my two daughters Anmol and Adaa.”
The composer fondly recalls of a small story in Mehboob Studio during the recording of one song from ‘Radha Ka Sangam’ with Lata Ji with whom he shared a great connection. He states, “Lata Ji always has a peaceful face when recording even the hardest and toughest songs. Her face would always remain calm in the studio. Lata Maa always removed her chappal before entering the singing monitor cabin for all her songs that she has sung for every composer including me. But this time, I noticed that while she was singing my composition, she pushed her toes inside the carpet, as she was reaching the high notes. This showed how she was feeling the strain at that time. I immediately cried when seeing this.”
“Today when I look back it’s like she is not gone. I’m very destroyed at this point of time. I lost a mother again after losing my mom six months back. Many people feel the same way, the world feels the same way. Music will never be the same again because her voice guided my music. When she sang for other great composers, I felt that she was teaching me. She has taught all of us not just to be good composers but to be good human beings everyday.”
My heart is filled with anguish
My heart is filled with sorrow
— Anu Malik (@The_AnuMalik) February 6, 2022
“There are many beautiful stories, anecdotes and topics we touched upon that was a learning experience. All I can say is that the Hindi music industry, actually all the 36 languages she sang in, has lost the soul of music. A part of the musical heritage has died but her legacy lives on. When I say a part of the musical heritage has died, it’s because she was music, she was completely music and just imagine she died close to Vasant Panchami. She was a Saraswati Maa blessed … blessed child.”
The bond between Anu Malik and Lata Ji goes a long way back and when asked in an interview in the ’90s about comparing Lata Ji with the current crop of singers, he shared, “It’s not fair to compare other singers to the greatness of Lata Ji”.
Lastly he concludes, “May her soul rest in everlasting peace and may she always guide us through the darkest times like the shining light that she always has been to us. Om Shanti.”
The bond he shared with Lata Mangeshkar was extremely affectionate. On her 90th birthday, Anu Malik said in an interview with a reputed news channel, “…may she live 90 thousand years..”. He also had mentioned how Lata Didi has kept music alive and world brightened up (Didi hai toh duniya haseen hai, didi hain to sangeet zinda hai).