The men who fascinate Lata

Published On: 2013-12-23

Author: Subhash K Jha

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The men who fascinate Lata

Source: TOI

Date: May 23. 2010


Lata Mangeshkar tracks celluloid heroes and tells Subhash K Jha what she loves about them…


Amitabh Bachchan

“I don’t know where to start when it comes to Bachchan saab. Jiss qadar woh zor se wapas aaye… amazing! (I marvel at the way he bounced back after severe setbacks.) When it comes to perfection as an artiste, he’s 110 per cent perfect. Give him any role, and he slips into it effortlessly. I’ve never seen him repeat himself. He made me cry in Baghban. I recently saw Black and can’t get over his performance. Kamaal ke actor hain…(He’s a fabulous actor). And he sings well too! I’ve listened carefully to Holi khele and Tu kahan main yahan in Baghban. They are in sur. Singing in sur is far more important than maintaining taal. His voice is God’s gift to him. His performances are impeccable. On a social level, we meet once in a while. He’s charming and always talks with restraint. His pedigree is unquestionable. When I started singing in 1947, I began reading up on Hindi litterateurs including Premchand, Mahadevi Varma, Jaishankar Prasad and, of course, Harivansh Rai Bachchan. I’ve read Madhushala several times over; also his bulky autobiography which is a unique work of self-revelation. I don’t know whether Bachchan saab knows this, but I truly respect him and Jayaji. Mere dil mein unke liye khaas jagah hai. (They hold a special place in my heart.)”



Hrithik Roshan

“Hrithik has the fluidity and rhythm to move effortlessly through songs. I think he got this sense of rhythm from his grandparents. His grandfather was a great composer and his grandmother a very good singer. His uncle Rajesh Roshan is a well-known composer and even Hrithik’s father Rakesh has a very good music sense. His musical heritage comes alive in his dance moves. Hrithik’s a brilliant actor too. Woh itna sundar acting karta hai ki main hairaan ho jaati hoon. (I am stunned by his acting.) I think his greatest gift from God is that he looks very innocent. His eyes are so deep and transparent…”




Rishi Kapoor

“Everyone in Raj Kapoor’s family has a sense of music and rhythm. Rishi Kapoor carried the tradition of the dancing hero to a new height. He brought in a new style. He’s one of my all-time favourite heroes. Even today he looks so handsome. Is he my favourite Kapoor? Haan kahungi, kyun nahin? (I’d say yes, why not?) Now there’s Rishi’s son Ranbir Kapoor. I believe he’s wonderful. But I haven’t seen much of his work.”



Shah Rukh Khan

“I first saw Shah Rukh in a serial called Fauji. There was something special about him. Then I saw his film Chamatkar and later Deewana and Baazigar, in which he played a negative character. It was quite evident that Shah Rukh could play any kind of role. I remember him saying somewhere that he had no sense of rhythm and dance. But I saw him in Ruk ja o dil deewane in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Chaiyyan chaiyyan in Dil Se. Ussmein itna sahi dance kiya tha unhone. (He danced so well in these songs.)”



Aamir Khan

“Aamir Khan is another favourite. I loved his dancing in Radha kaise na jale in Lagaan. In Aamir’s case every mannerism, including the dance steps, is dictated by the character he plays. He never steps outside the character’s orbit. That’s what I like about him.”



Richard Gere “I spent one unforgettable afternoon with Richard Gere. And I personally took photographs of our meeting! I invited him to visit Dinanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune but he was in a hurry as he had to return to the US on the same night to be with his family for Christmas. What a simple and unaffected man. He was wearing a simple shirt with a pair of jeans. On his wrist was a tulsi mala which he probably used for his Buddhist chanting. I gifted him a statue of Buddha.”