Remembering Lata Mangeshkar, the Nightingale of India


Zenil Koovejee

Lata Mangeshkar sings one of her most famous songs at a concert in Mumbai.

People around the world honored Lata Mangeshkar, admirably known as the Nightingale of India for her unforgettable voice, following her death at the age of 92. 

“To me, Lata Mangeshkar is an excellent singer and really a symbol of India. She will definitely be sadly missed,” said Jassi Dhaliwal (‘24). 

With a career spanning more than half a century, Lata Mangeshkar has had a long-lasting impact on Indian communities throughout the world and with the help of her unique voice, has been an iconic symbol of Indian culture and a true ‘Queen of Melody.’

“I think it is important that Lata Mangeshkar had a career going over multiple generations, because her music has had an impact on all of us. We’ve heard her through some of our favorite movies, and this includes our parents and grandparents,” said Meghana Kumar (‘24). 

Mangeshkar, who rose to prominence after her first major hit ‘Aayega Aanewala,’ has created 25,000-30,000 songs in the span of her career, and voiced over 1,000 Indian movies. Some of her most famous tunes include ‘Tujhe Dekha Toh,’ ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham,’ ‘Jo Wada Kiya Woh Nibhana Padega,’ ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya,’ ‘Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha,’ ‘Humko Humise Chura Lo,’ and countless others. 

“Personally, my favorite Lata Mangeshkar song is Tere Liye from the movie Veer Zaara. I love how soothing it is and the meaning behind it. It has a great message,” said Aparna Hothur, a longtime fan of Mangeshkar. 

Awarded with the Bharat Ratna (India’s highest civilian award) in 2001, Mangeshkar also sang, ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon,’ a song that not only inspired Indian nationalism during the Indo-China war, but also emphasized the significance of maintaining traditional Indian values and principles. 

“Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon was a popular song, because it represents patriotism. I also think that she sings this song with a lot of love and devotion to her country,” said Kumar.

Mangeshkar, who ultimately passed away due to COVID-19 complications and multiorgan failure, was hospitalized for 21 days prior to her demise. The government of India, in response to her passing, also ordered a two day national mourning period under which the national flag flew at half-mast in places throughout the country. 

“I think it’s great that the government issued this mourning period, because Lata Mangeshkar really did deserve it. She gave so much of her life to the music industry and India – she really has earned the honor,” said Dhaliwal.

Lata Mangehskar, cremated at Shivaji Park in Mumbai, will forever be remembered for her perpetual legacy of eminence in the music industry and her supreme ability to touch the hearts of millions with her once-in-a-lifetime voice. 

“She has impacted people of all different walks of life. I will truly remember her forever,” said Hothur