India has been grappling for 20 years to figure out whether any award higher than the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna could be given to the Queen of Melody, ever since she's decorated with Bharat Ratna in 2001.
In her demise, Legend Lata Mangeshkar created, not just a void, but a crater. Rather a valley. Now, millions of nightingales should sprout in the valley of music and regale the zillions of craving ears and souls.
Name a song, it's rendered by her. Old or medieval or new. Gayatri mantra was the last song she had recorded on the occasion of Isha Ambani's wedding.
Lata Mangeshkar, a Rajya Sabha member between 1999 and 2005, was indeed perhaps the most deserving personality to have been nominated by the President of India to the Upper House from the prominent citizens quota.
The lady who had a 92-year-long stint on the earth amidst us, the humans, was a creation in herself. She is eternal. She has no death. Mortal remains of the singer may have been consigned to flames at Shivaji Park in Mumbai amid the 21-gun salute and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi must have represented India at the ceremony of her last journey to bid farewell to the body of the sweetest voice of the globe. But has she died? No. Not at all. She began her new life, now in the souls of the billion-plus people.
Even the worst of singers or the most hopeless renderer of all would have sung for himself a "Lag jaa gale…" or a "Kabutar ja ja.." or an antique number like "aayega…aayegaa…" from the days of yore, at least when alone in the bathroom.
State funeral for the imperishable and, indeed, immutable movie personality with all the three defence forces offering the ceremonial salute is an honour India gave to itself.
When her serene voice begins "Vaishnava janatho…" the world is drenched in piety.
When Lata didi asked the Moghul Saleem, right in front of his father Akbar, in the form of Anarkali, immortalised by Madhubala in 'Moghal e Aazam", "pyaar kiya tho darna kya?" the whole world understood the message. It stopped fearing anything or anybody when in love.
When the "nightingale" crooned "Jiya beqarar hai…" bahaar (spring season) indeed came alive, as if to make the songbird sing to her heart's content.
When Padmini wails appealing to the winds of Basanti to tell Raj Kapoor not to go (O Basanti, pavan paagal… naa jaa re… naa jaa), every one in the audience of "Jis desh mein Ganga behatee hai…" would have felt they too joined the chorus with her in the plea.
When the female version appeals to "O jaanewale… daaman chhudake …
Mushkil hai jeena tujhko bhulake… isse tho hai maut aasaan…" in the "Jaaye to jaaye Kahaan…"in the super hit flick 'Taxi Driver', every sensitive heart felt the melancholy of a jilted lover.
Lata didi, who lives on eternally on the lips of billions, for one last time, would you listen to the appeal of all of us?
"Aaja re…ab meraa dil pukaaraa… ro ro ke gham bhee haaraa…"
The swinging skies are ready to welcome the mellifluous singer to cuddle her up in their lap singing
"Chand ki behki nazar,
keh rahi hai pyaar kar
Zindagi hai ek safar,
kaun jaane kal kidhar
… Jhumne lagega aasman…
Lata Mangeshkar, Daughter of Deenanadh Mangeshkar!!!
Teraa mera pyaar amar… Our love for you lives on forever.
Au Revoir. Alwida…