The Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar is a huge fan of Ma Durga. “I’ve always been an admirer of her shakti, her determination to drive Evil out of the universe. Given the bleak situation, we need the incentive to embrace goodness more than ever before. God knows, this is the worst year civilization has seen. At least, the worst during my lifetime. I had heard about the plague that wiped away millions before my birth. But the Corona is something else,” says Lataji.
What advice does Lataji give to the Durga Maa devotees who generally throng on the roads especially in Kolkata to celebrate? “Embrace Durga Maa’s love from your homes. This year she wants you to meet her from afar. Social distancing is the urgent need of the hour. This Dussehra pray for the evil of the pandemic to be vanquished so that the next year we could return to the custom of visiting the pandaal (religious platforms) and fraternizing with friends and relatives,” says Lataji who says she enjoys singing devotionals in praise of Durga Maa the most.
“I’ve recorded many bhajans in praise of Durga Maa. They are among my favourites from my repertoire and the listeners’ favourite too,” says the Nightingale humbly as she recalls the Durga Puja from her childhood.
“It was always the time for new clothes for all of us brothers and sisters, lots of mithai. Sadly the Virus has changed the world. Never mind! We won’t let it diminish our devotion.”
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