The state government will confer Bangabibhusan award to Lata Mangeshkar on October 20. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will go to Lataji’s Mumbai residence and hand over the award. It was learnt that the nightingale of India has agreed to the proposal. The singer will celebrate her 87th birthday on September 28.
Lataji’s first Bengali disc was Akash Pradip Jale composed by Satinath Mukherjee. But Salil Chowdhury’s composition Saat Bhai Champa made her popular and she became a famous name in the Bengali household. Two other discs composed by Chowdhury, Na Jeo na rajani ekhono baki and jare jare ure pakhi were very popular songs. Lataji was very close to Hemanta Mukherjee.
In several Bengali films the songs sung by her became immortal. In Sankha Bela which was acted by Uttam Kumar and Madhabi Mukherjee, the famous romantic song Ke prothom Kache asechi which Lataji sang with Manna. A song sung by her Ekbar biday dema ghure ashi on the life of Shahid Khudiram creates a different sensation.
Lataji has always regretted that she could not sing a song composed by Pankaj Kumar Mallick. Once Mallick told her that he would love her to sing in one of his compositions. Later, in Shraddhanjali, Lataji paid tribute to him by remaking Mallick’s famous song in film Kapalkundala, Piya Milan ko jana.
Lataji’s relationship with Bengal is quite old. She had sung songs composed by Salil Chowdhury, Hemanta Mukherjee, Satinath Mukhopadhyay and Sudhin Dasgupta. With SD Burman and RD Burman, her relation was very cordial. Lataji had also sung Rabindra Sangeet.