After the heavenly abode of the veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar, we got an exclusive interview with renowned lyricist Sameer Anjaan who shared his memories and relationship with Lata Ji. He has closely worked with Lata Mangeshkar and grieves at the loss.
He started with praying for the deceased soul to rest in peace and for her family members to get the strength to overcome the grief. He says, “I consider myself lucky that I got the opportunity to meet her innumerable times and work with her. She has recorded 10 to 15 songs written by me and always treated me like her son. Some of the songs that she recorded for me were in her playlist as well, like “Yeh Raat Khushnaseeb Hai” from ‘Aaina’ (1993).”
He last met her while recording the title track of ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ (2001). He remembers the time when she sang the first song for him “Ek Baar Chale Aao” followed by “Ab Ayega Maza”.
Talking about their work-life he mentions, “Every time I met her she taught me something new”. He believes that, “God creates certain people for certain special work like he has created Amitabh Bachchan for acting, Sachin Tendulkar for cricket he had created Lata Mangeshkar to sing. He further believes that everybody should learn from Lata Mangeshkar’s struggle instead of being influenced by her success and glamour. Her glory of winning Bharat Ratna and many other awards came from her dedication, struggle and hard work.”
Talking about her personality he states, “She was a great philosopher and had great knowledge on every subject. You could talk to her on any topic from politics to gaming. She had such a sharp memory that even if she recorded a song 50 years back she would remember every minute detail of it. Like, she can recollect whether she went to the studio to record a particular song by train or auto or bus or a tram. She had a wonderful stock of jokes and every time I met her, she would make sure that I went mad laughing at them.”
He also shared two stories that Lata Mangeshkar shared with him once. “When she used to sing in a duet with Kishore Kumar, she always thought that his voice was very powerful on the microphone and she always had a tired voice. Lata Ji realized that after entering the studio hills to crack so many jokes that she would get tired of laughing at them. After understanding his tactics she told him, ‘Dada I won’t ever sing with you’”, he shares.
“She also shared another thing that earlier singers would ask music directors to sing the song while now, singers asked directors to teach them the song. She elaborated that in order to depict the true emotions of the director and the lyricist in the songs, she personally would ask them to sing the songs 4-5 times and that is why retro songs have that spirituality that touches your heart. We have learned all these things from her.”
Sameer’s father, Anjaan, was also a reputed lyricist and he remembers him while speaking about Lata Mangeshkar. He says, “I am very lucky that I was born in her era. She sang the song written by me as well as by my late father, Anjaan, like “Mano Toh Main Ganga Maa Hoon”, “Salaam-E-Ishq Meri Jaan”, “Dil To Hai Dil Dil Ka Aitbaar”, “Meri Sanson Ko Jo Mehka Rahi Hai” etc.”
He further adds, “Whenever he met her, I never got intimidated by her; her glamour and glory never stopped her from being humble. You always felt like a family member while working with her. She always blessed me and told me to be a good human being first apart from being a good lyricist. I will always remember Lata Ji like a motherly figure.”