While the Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar and her illustrious sister Asha Bhosle have been awarded the doctorate many times over, their talented composer-brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar received his first doctorate from the Lokmanya Tilak University in Pune this week.
Speaking from Pune the soft spoken Hridaynath Mangeshkar said, “Lata Didi is a Doctor. She’s also the Bharat Ratna of India. Asha Didi is also a doctor and Padma Vibhushan winner. I am also a Padma Shri. Now it’s my turn. Three honorary doctorates in one family where none of has had the privilege of higher education is indeed a singular honour. More than for myself, I’m proud to be bringing this honour into my family.”
With brutal honesty Hridaynathji admits Hindi cinema has never been kind or generous to him. “The last Hindi film for which I composed music was Lekin in 1990. Thereafter no Hindi projects came my way. I’ve kept myself busy with Marathi films and stage performances. But it would be wrong to say that I didn’t need Hindi films. The truth is, Hindi cinema didn’t need me.”
Ask him why his illimitable knowledge of music was not found to be useful for Hindi cinema and Hridayji says, “Perhaps they thought my compositions were too complicated for the average listener. I needed work. But Hindi cinema eluded me, and that’s truth. However I’ve no regrets. I never ever asked anyone for work.”
Adds his sister Lata Mangeshkar, “We have three Dr. Mangeshkars in the family now. More than my own doctorates I am proud of my brother’s doctorate. He is so quiet and self-effacing, he never asks for anything. I’m very happy to say the work that he has done and all the achievements are his own. He never asked me to recommend him to any producer. I am glad my brother is self made.”