SONG IN HER HEART
Between lofty words and platitudes, everything there is to say about Lata Mangeshkar's vocal prowess has already been said ad nauseum. Truth be told, she lost my 'favourite singer' mantle to younger sister Asha Bhosle sometime in the early '80s (and later dropped to third place below the far less prolific but intense Geeta Dutt), when time was tied to the hands of the faithful radio set, and Laxmikant Pyarelal were challenging the limits of her chords with compositions like "Solah baras ki baali umar ko salaam" (Ek Duuje Ke Liye, 1981). It must be clarified that this is merely a matter of preference and not a critical assessment of her oeuvre.
But Hindi cinema is replete with Lata classics that warm the cockles––she is, after all, our most prolific singer and blessed with timbre dipped in divinity––from the time before shrillness of pitch drowned the sweetness of voice, most evident in several of Madan Mohan's best compositions.