RBN Web Desk: Haimanti Shukla has said that she was once upset by Lata Mangeshkar’s comments at a show in Kolkata many years ago. Shukla was honoured with the 2017 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to Indian music.
Speaking to the media recently, Shukla recalled, Lata Mangeshkar was once performing at a five-star hotel in Kolkata. She was about to sing a Bengali song but couldn’t remember the words. Suprakash Garagari, one of the leading sports administrators at that time, took her to Mangeshkar who then wrote down the lines. She then asked Shukla to sing a song in Bengali. Mangeshkar was immensely pleased with the rendition and praised her, Shukla said.
The veteran playback singer then asked her where she was from. Shukla said she was from Uttar Pradesh but Kolkata was her home now. Mangeshkar’s next comment, however, left a sour taste. She said that Shukla had a beautiful voice because she was not a Bengali. She was extremely upset to hear the comment, but didn’t respond, Shukla added.
The popular Bengali singer however admitted that she shared an extremely cordial relation with both the Mangeshkar sisters, Lata and Asha.
Asked why she did not work in Mumbai (then Bombay) after singing in Sai Paranjpye’s 1981 film Chashme Buddoor, Shukla said, she was already an established singer in Bengal and had enough work back home. That aside, she didn’t know anyone in Mumbai, and had no place to stay. She was also not sure whether it would be possible for her to make a mark in the hugely competitive Hindi film industry, Shukla added.