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By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Monday, October 16, 2006
"Woh kehte hain na....that moment changed my life," says Rekha about the moment when the Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar called her 'Mahalaxmi' at Lataji's birthday celebrations on September 28.
"That moment changed my life," exults the diva. "You know, Lataji and I share a very special rapport that goes back to when I was probably 2 or 3 years old. That was when I heard her singing in my sleep. And what a way to be woken up! She was singing Aaja re pardesi from the film Madhumati. My mother used to hear this song at full volume. I'd jump up in my cradle and start dancing."
Rekha remembers every detail of that encounter. "I even remember the timing, and what my mom was wearing, and what perfume....So last month during Lataji's birthday celebrations I told her that I used to hear Aaja pardesi....Pardesi to miley nahin lekin iss bahaane mujhe meri Lata Didi mili. "
Rekha also recited Gulzar Saab's poetry Tumhi se janmoon to shaayad mujhe panhaan miley from her starrer Astha for Lataji. "It was so apt for Lata Didi. I went a step further and said, I wanted Lataji to be born from my womb." Rekha sighs, "What can one say about birthdays? I had no duas to give her. I think she's so cute. That's why I'd like her to be my daughter." It was at this point of Lataji's birthday celebrations that the Nightingale referred to Rekha as 'Mahalaxmi'.
Rekha confirms, "Yes, I just died at that moment. The general public may have a high opinion of me. But her? The woman I worship? That moment has changed my entire view of life . It was a very positive kind of Tsunami....it changed my life. After hearing her call me Mahalaxmi, it would be perfectly all right if I drop dead right now. It's a moment that is engraved in gold in my mind. Actually my mother used to say I'm a very special child. 'You're a Devi that's born out of my womb.' I used to laugh. But now Lata Didi saying this is front of so many people. I don't think my life will ever be the same again."
Adds Lataji, "I know she's genuinely fond of me. I love my songs for her in Ghar and Silsila. I find her very clean-hearted. Ek din to kamal hua...suddenly I was told Rekhaji had come visiting. We chatted like two sisters all evening. She told me she wanted to learn singing. She never forgets to wish me on my birthday. Her love me for me isn't put-on."
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