Dear Rolling Stones,
Firstly, thank you for honouring our most precious and irreplaceable Goddess Of All Melodious Things among the 200 best singers of all times.
That she is positioned at 84 is a little laughable. Aretha Franklin who is at the no.1 spot is a fabulous singer with a staggering range. But how is she better than our Lataji?How could she be? How could anyone be? Lataji is by any yardstick,incomparable. There has never been , and there can never be another like her for as long as civilization exists.
Conversant as you are with world music and inured to all the musical trends in the world, how can I explain to you, Rolling Stones, what Lataji means to us Indians?She is the Voice of India, her singing is that heartbeat on which our world revolves. If we Indians don’t hear her sing for even a day, we feel the ground slipping from under our feet.
When Lataji sings, we feel reassured that all is well in the world. Her pristine soul-piercing voice reminds us that we will survive the barbaric brutality of a world that is rapidly losing its humanism. In a world where a woman is dragged along with a car for one and half hours, that voice comes as the caress of comfort, the melody of panacea.
Kahin toh milegi kabhi to milegi bahaaron ki manzil , Raahi.
Have you heard her sing this anthem of healing? On my darkest nights when I am without hope, I listen to her sing Ae maalik tere bande hum , aise ho hamare karam,neki par chalen our badi se talen, taki hanste hue nikle dum.
After she sings, the world seems a better place.
Can Aretha Franklin’s singing heal the world the way Lataji did? We appreciate Lataji’s presence in your thoughtful balanced list of the greatest singers of all times.
But sorry, Rolling Stones, she is far above such listings.
Subhash K Jha