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Rahe na rahe hum...

We lost a true 'Ratna' last Sunday!

Om Shanti Lata Mangeshkar Ji! Her passing away felt like a personal loss!

Lata didi, as was she lovingly called, personified melody.

A career spanning 7 decades. To me she personified singing.

What I loved about her was what singing meant to her. Her craft!

It provided her bread, her identity.

It got her fame, and love and respect.

Yet, when you hear her speak in so many of her interviews, you'd too like me get the sense how she worshipped her craft with all the humility. She humbly reflected how hard she had to work to get better at it but acknowledged how it was because of grace of the God and the blessings of her parents, she became who she was.

Here's a legend who personified singing to generations yet you could feel the respect and love she had for the craft. She was a student of music. Never tried to become the master.

Read a story narrated by the lyricist Prasoon Joshi who penned the song Lukka Chuppi for the movie Rang De Basanti. “The song will always remain special. We spent a few days together, she came to Chennai and lived there with us. One thing I observed was that she hadn’t changed at all. She would rehearse a lot before a song even then. And till she was not satisfied, she would continue (singing). The kind of dedication she had for her work was huge,”

“She would not think of her as a legend and would rather practice a lot. She would sing for herself. She would satisfy others with her work. Sincerity never left her, I learned that from her,” he added.

May be this is the stuff legends are made of. Sheer practice. Hard work. Devotion. Respect and love towards the craft. And finally being a student of the craft. Forever.

Sachin Tendulkar. Ustad Zakir Hussain. Late Irrfan Khan.

Just a few other legends in my book.

Read about them and you'll see the commonality.

May be this separates greatest from the greats. And their humility and sincerity commands the respect and love they get.

We all try so hard to master the things we are working on but I guess the true success and happiness lies in being a lifelong student. Staying Humble. Staying Sincere.

I will miss you Lata Didi! Your voice shall live forever!

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