“To receive recognition from Calcutta is very special,” began Yatindra Mishra, who has four collections of Hindi poetry to his credit. The third session of day 3 of the Kolkata Literary Festival was about “Hindi Literature Today.”
Yatindra Mishra began by speaking about some of his works about in the field of music. He described the nuances of the life of a writer where he has to encompass many aspects and that is always a challenge. The questions were being asked by musician duo Soumyojit and Sourendro. They dwelled upon one of their favourite singers, Lata Mangeshkar and asked Yatindra, what made her the number one, for so long.
Yatindra Mishra replied, “Lata ji’s journey has been a very interesting one.There is a time, when a artist starts getting recognition and that was with the songs of Laadli. She brought in something new with her songs. Lata Mangeshkar’s being was strewn with commercial success and that is very important for staying in the Bollywood industry,” he said. There are films that have been made with just her as the “star name” with the intent of marketing the movie just based on her singing. Yatindra Mishra recalled anecdotes about practice, recording and various aspects of the singer’s life. “She improvised with her singing which kept her at the top. She remains a favourite through different generations and she has a different aura. She should be included in syllabuses for budding artists to understand how to become a hit singer,” he said.
The session dwelled upon various aspects of the singers life and the experience of Yatindra Mishra’s encounters with her. “She has a photographic memory,” said Yatindra and went on to describe the three hundred hours that he was fortunate to spend with her. “She always gave answers which were fun and detailed. She talked greatly about the technique involved in singing,” he said. “The young participants of reality shows should understand the life and journey of these legends to do well in their own careers,” he emphasized.
Another pertinent question was the one about the rivalry between the two sister, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. Yatindra replied saying, “I will not answer this in detail as then nobody will read my book, but what I will say that it had become a cliche. There were set actors which each of the sister sang for.” He also added,” It is not the work of a writer to dwell more on fights and arguments but to bring out a singer’s art because that is more important.”
The session gave us an insight into the life of the charismatic singer, Lata Mangeshkar. It focussed on many different aspects, like her family life, her initial days and her struggles and successes.
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