Indian melody queen Lata Mangeshkar was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by a leading Bengali TV channel yesterday. While accepting the award this 81-year-old veteran, who has unparalleled 30,000 songs in 20 languages to her credit, acknowledged her musical bond with Bengal over the years.
Lata whose mother language is Marathi shares a special affinity with the language Bengali, “I can read and write a little Bengali. I sang many songs in Hindi. Next to it, I sang in Marathi and Bengali. My brother Hridaynath has set to music many songs in Marathi and also in Bengali. His Bengali songs have earned popularity," she informed.
When insisted to say a few lines in Bengali, Mangeshkar, known as the Indian Goddess if singing told, "Ki bolbo? Bangla bhasha khub bhalo. Kintu ami bolte pari na. (What should I say? The Bengali language is very good. But I can't speak in Bengali)." The playback singer went on to inform that she has read novels of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. “Saratbabu is my favourite. I have read all his novels more than once," she said.
The legendary singer who was honoured by giving a standing ovation by a galaxy of musical stars present at the function told that the entire Mangeshkar family were devotees of Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. "I never expected this. The entire Mangeshkar family is grateful to the organisers for the award and the honour."
The award ceremony organised by channel 24 Ghanta presented Lata with an Angavastram and a Trophy which were handed over to her by classical vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty.