MUMBAI, India, February 6 (Reuters) – On Sunday, Lata Mangeshkar, one of India’s most famous cultural icons and a vocalist who defined music and melody for generations of Indians, died. She was 92 years old at the time.
Mangeshkar rose to prominence in Bollywood, and her voice has been heard on television sets, over crackly airways, and in movie theaters throughout the majority of independent India’s three-quarter-century existence, earning her the moniker “the Nightingale.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on Twitter, “I am pained beyond words.” “She has left an unfillable vacuum in our country.”
The government will observe official mourning with the flag at half-mast until Monday, according to the Home Ministry, and she will be given a formal burial later on Sunday.
According to Reuters TV partner ANI, Mangeshkar died on Sunday morning of “multi-organ failure after more than 28 days of hospitalization after COVID-19,” according to Pratit Samdani, who was treating her at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital.
“Generations to come will remember her as a pillar of Indian culture, whose melodic voice had an unrivaled capacity to mesmerize people,” Modi added.
Other Bollywood stars and politicians too paid their respects. Amitabh Bachchan, a seasoned actor, observed, “The voice of a million millennia has left us.” find out more
Television video showed tens of thousands of people gathering outside Mangeshkar’s home in south Mumbai, where police sealed roads and controlled traffic as senior politicians and Bollywood stars paid their tributes.
On Sunday evening, massive preparations were underway for her burial in Shivaji Park, a vast area in downtown Mumbai. According to police sources who spoke to Reuters, the precise time has yet to be determined, but Modi is expected to attend.
On Monday, Maharashtra, Mangeshkar’s home state and the location of the financial hub Mumbai, proclaimed a public holiday. On Monday, the state of West Bengal proclaimed a half-day holiday and requested the government to play Mangeshkar’s songs for 15 days at key crossings around the state.
On Sunday, the Indian cricket team donned black armbands to pay tribute to Mangeshkar as they began the first of three one-day internationals against the West Indies.
‘VOICE IS A GOD-GIVEN GIFT’
Mangeshkar started singing in her teens in pre-independence India, and during the course of her 73-year career, she sung over 15,000 songs in 36 languages.
Her charming voice and vast range delighted music-obsessed Indians, who heard her perform everything from patriotic songs to love numbers in films and albums.
Mangeshkar cut her teeth in the realm of Bollywood, where movies were impossible without at least six songs and where everything from romance to sadness was told via a ballad.
Mangeshkar, a classically trained singer, adapted her voice to the demands of singing for Bollywood films, even voicing songs for an actress in her 20s while she was in her 60s.
During the conflicts with China and Pakistan, her songs inspired millions of Indians to pay gratitude to the armed services. Some of her songs are used at temples, shrines, and schools as prayers.
She previously told an interviewer, “My voice is a gift from God.” “My voice taught me how to react. I became a mother when I sang a lullaby, and a lover when I sang a romantic song.”
Cabaret numbers and songs with obscene or raunchy lyrics were the only tunes she refused to perform, claiming that they did not align with her own principles. Nonetheless, Mangeshkar and her younger sister Asha Bhosle ruled the Hindi cinema business for about five decades, till the 2000s.
Detractors accused her of exploiting her Bollywood power to prevent newcomers from entering the country. Her clout was such that a proposed highway overpass in Mumbai was cancelled in 2006 after she complained that it would intrude on her privacy.
Mangeshkar won India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, in 2001. She was known for her soft-spoken personality and for wearing a saree with her hair in two schoolgirl-like braids. In 2009, she was given the Legion of Honour, France’s highest civilian honor.
In 2019, on the occasion of Mangeshkar’s 90th birthday, actor Amitabh Bachchan stated of her, “Music is incomplete without your voice.” “Saints’ task has been accomplished.”