‘We only know Lata Mangeshkar…’

Feb 7, 2022, 10:49 PM IST

Here is a story about legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar not many know about. In 1982 the Indian cricket team arrived in Pakistan as part of ‘cricket diplomacy’. The team’s manager was Baroda Maharaja Fatehsinh Rao Gaekwad. 

Fatehsinh reportedly enjoyed great influence in Pakistan. As part of the tour, he organised a function in Lahore, which was attended by big names in the Pakistani film industry. As the well-heeled celebrities arrived at the venue, Fatehsinh was personally introducing the team captain Sunil Gavaskar to the celebrities. One such celebrity was famous Pakistani singer Noor Jehan

Fatehsinh received her and sought to introduce Gavaskar to her. He said to Noor Jehan, “You would know who this is; he is our captain.” To this, the singer retorted, “Oh we only know Imran (Khan) and Zaheer Abbas.” 

An embarrassed Fatehsinh then turned to Gavaskar. “Sunil, you would be knowing her. She is Mallika-e-Tarannum Noor Jehan,” Fatehsinh said, pointing towards the singer. To this, Gavaskar quipped, “No I do not. We only know Lata Mangeshkar.”

This incident was narrated by Gavaskar himself some months later at a felicitation ceremony which was attended by Lata Mangeshkar as well. The ‘Nightingale of India’ could be seen wiping a tear off her eyes. 

Such was the enigma of Lata, who passed into the ages on February 6, 2022. 

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