Life on earth is not eternal and Lata Mangeshkar’s life was no exception. But following her demise last Sunday, her cultural contribution not only to India, but to the world will always be eternal.
At the age of 92, Lata lived an exceedingly bountiful life, one of which would hardly be emulated, but would be the benchmark for future icons. There is no doubt that she would be missed today and in the future.
India gave Lata the world, and she in turn gave the world entertainment at several levels. Her name would always be embellished in our hearts and minds for all generations, in similar manner as Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore.
She was a world cultural diplomat, who gave our present civilization a new process in life, for her musical interludes over seven decades gave mankind cultural freedom, away from the politics and international warfare.
Lata’s life would continue to resonate in our homes and in public places for posterity, and we remember her visit to our shores in the 1980s.
Her life gave us a renewed sense of solidarity ushering peace, concord and harmony in a troubled world of disease, including Covid 19, hunger, untruths, deception and hate. Her voice and her melodies gave mankind renewed life to live in peace, concord and harmony.
She was virtuous and she gave mankind a new hope, a new message to ignore the tensions and troubles in life, but to silently fight the challenges, hoping one day, life would be better and happier.
Lata redefined culture as we knew it, for she was a citizen of the world. In fact, she was in the world, as the world was in her, distilling confidence in every man and woman. There is no doubt that the world has become poorer with her demise, but she did not leave the world in a vacuum, but in her more than 30,000 songs and renditions, a message is inscribed for each and every one of us.
The question that now befuddles us is, will there be a replacement for her now or in the future. I doubt it, because there was only one Lata Mangeshkar. And each one who aspire to her persona, would have to carve her own.
The world is not poorer with her demise. The world is now richer with her contribution to world civilization and humanity. She has left a message for all.