Few stars in India are afforded the honour of a state funeral but as crowds gathered at Mumbai’s Sivaji Park, it was reminder of Lata Mangeskhar’s unique appeal.
Hundreds of people from all ages and backgrounds lined up to get a glimpse of her funeral pyre, and say a final farewell.
As a Bollywood playback singer, Lata Mangeshkar’s voice was the soundtrack to hundreds of Indian films – and to countless more lives. Her songs were played at weddings, funerals and national events. Her career spanned more than seven decades.
She leaves a legacy as old as independent India itself. It’s hard to name an artist as prolific – aside from her sister Asha Bhosle who was among the mourners at today’s funeral.
Lata Mangeshkar has recorded more songs than The Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined.
Affectionately known as India’s “Didi” or sister, for millions in this country, and around the world, this loss feels personal. If Bollywood is the soul of India, then Lata Mangeshkar was its beating heart.
* Vaidyanathan is BBC’s South Asia Correspondent
Leave a Reply