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Lata Mangeshkar on Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Death: India Has Been Orphaned

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar opens up about her close relationship with Atal Bihari Vajpayee as she mourns the former PM's passing away.

Updated:August 17, 2018, 11:46 AM IST
Lata Mangeshkar on Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Death: India Has Been Orphaned
A file photo of Lata Mangeshkar. (Photo: Getty Images)
As India mourns the death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar — who shared a close bond with him — has also expressed her immense grief over the death of her “Dadda”.

"He was like my father. He called me Beti. I feel I've lost my father all over again,” she told IANS.

Condoling his demise, she said “When I saw the glow on his face, his persuasive oratorical powers and his love for the arts, I was always reminded of my father (musician-stage actor Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar). He was a noble soul. No words of praise can do justice to him. Atalji was never short of words. But I am."

Praising the BJP patriarch, she added, “Atalji hriday se kavi the aur swabhav se sadhu (he was a poet at heart and a saint by nature). He was a visionary and India made rapid progress during his primeministership. He could see the future. His speeches were works of art. When he spoke, the nation listened. I still have his speeches on my mobile phone. I can listen to them for hours. In his going India has been orphaned.”

Talking about their equation, she fondly said, "He was very close to me, and I to him. When we Mangeshkars inaugurated a hospital in Pune in my name, I asked Atalji to do the inauguration. He happily agreed and gave a rousing speech — as usual — where he said he was in a dilemma as he thought naming a hospital after me was not right. ‘There should be a music academy named after Lata Mangeshkar, not a hospital. Now what do I say? That people should fall sick so that this hospital named after my Beti would run?' There is not one orator in Indian politics, or for that matter in India, to match Atalji."

Interestingly, in 2014, Mangeshkar contributed to a music album of Vajpayee’s poems. Recalling the "unforgettable" experience, she said, "It was officially released in his home in Delhi. All the poems in the album, that we named 'Antarnaad', were handpicked by me and composer Mayuresh Pai. When Atalji saw the poems we had selected, he was very happy, specially with 'Geet naya gata hoon', which was among his personal favourites.”

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