When Runa met Lata | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 14, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 14, 2011

When Runa met Lata


“Hearing 'I'm a fan' from a living legend is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was on top of the world,” said Runa Laila.
The diva recently met 'Bharat Ratna' Lata Mangeshkar at the latter's residence in Mumbai.
“I performed at several Puja celebrations in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. On October 2, I performed at the celebration hosted by Rani Mukerji's family and on October 4, at singer Abhijeet's programme. Alamgir and I met Lataji on October 3. Though the meeting was supposed to last 30-40 minutes, we ended up chatting for a couple of hours,” said Laila.
“I met Lataji for the first time in 1974 -- at my concert in Bombay (now Mumbai). That was my first show in India. Lataji was the chief guest at the concert, organised by ICCR. In 1975, I did playback for a film, 'Ek Se Badhkar Ek' (music direction by Kalyanji Anandji); Lataji attended the mahurat (launch) of that,” recalled Laila.
Since mid-'70s, the two singers haven't had a chance to meet one-on-one, according to Runa Laila.
“Her (Mangeshkar's) nephews and nieces were telling me that they love my music and that's when Lataji said 'I too am a fan'. I received gifts -- a sari, two of her recent CDs. That has to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life,” said Laila.
Asked what the turnouts were like at her recent concerts in India, the diva said, “I was surprised to see a lot of teenagers in the audience. I'd say the turnouts were impressive.”
In recent years quite a few of her popular songs have been remixed in India. What's her take on that? “I think these songs should be 'remade' and not 'remixed'. The artiste, who originally recorded a particular song, should sing the remade version too. Several renowned artistes have recorded 'Dama Dam Mast Qalandar', but each has done it in his/her signature style. If someone is inspired by my cover of the song and decides to remake it, I should be the one re-recording it,” Runa Laila said.
PTV (Pakistan TV) wanted to honour the artiste with a Lifetime Achievement Award on the occasion of its 47th anniversary. But due to the unstable situation in Pakistan, Runa Laila has sent regrets.
The artiste is busy with playbacks for Bangladeshi films. Among the young music directors, she mentioned Emon Saha, Shawkat Ali Emon, Bappa Mazumdar and Adit to be gifted.

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