The Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar shares a very close relationship with Dream Girl and parliamentarian Hema Malini. They go back a long way and they continue to share a close bonding.
Says Hemaji, “Lataji sang for me in my first film Sapnon Ka Saudagar in 1969. Ever since then she has been my voice. Her singing has enhanced my screen presence and my performances.”
In fact Hemaji would insist on Lataji’s voice .When Lataji refused to sing for Gulzar’s Meera (as she had already recorded Meera Bhajans for her brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar and did not wish to do them again) Hema nearly walked out of the project.
“Yes,” Hemaji avers. “Lataji and I are in each other’s thoughts constantly. When Esha’s daughter was born Lataji sent gifts and best wishes. It is very rare to come across someone so distinguished and yet so warm and gracious in an industry where relationships are made and broken every Friday. I am lucky to have many permanent relationships here.”
Lataji in turn insists Hema Malini is very special. “There is something distinctly royal and graceful about Hemaji. In fact I feel she would’ve been the perfect Rani Padmavati for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film 20 years ago.”