Be yourself, says Lata Mangeshkar!

Fanney Khan seems to be a really unusual film. Anil Kapoor plays a taxi driver, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has a very short role and the ‘heroine’ – such as the story goes – is a well filled young lady. The movie is a tribute to the veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar; Kapoor’s character in the film is a fan, so much so that he names his daughter ‘Lata’. And while Lataji does not watch too many movies these days, she did see bits of Fanney Khan and was pleased with it, we heard. “It is very flattering to be still thought of as a hero and an icon. I’ve been lucky to be emulated for decades now!” She started her musical career when she was just 12, needing to support her family. She still sings, but focuses more on devotional music. And she has some valuable advice for singers of today. Lataji said, “Do not be another Mohammed Rafi Kishore Kumar, Lata, Asha Bhosle or Mukesh. Be yourself.” She and her peers had lessons to teach the new lot, especially their dedication to their craft and to music. Learn from us, the senior singer said, “But do not imitate us.” Golden words, indeed!