Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Exhibition on Lata and my unpublished notes

With Snehasis Chatterjee and Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta
September 27, 2013: Today evening I attended the media preview of an exhibition on Lata Mangeshkar by Snehasis Chatterjee, an ardent fan of Lata ji and a collector of Lata memorabilia. The three day exhibition (from September 28th to 30th) at the Jamini Roy Art Gallery of ICCR is being organized jointly by Prabha Khaitan Foundation and ICCR, Kolkata, to pay tribute to and celebrate the 84th birthday of the “Nightingale of India” tomorrow.
The formal inauguration of the exhibition would be held tomorrow afternoon which I shall not be able to attend as I will fly out to Delhi for another function which I had committed earlier. Mr Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati, is scheduled to inaugurate the exhibition tomorrow. So I was there at the media preview of the exhibition today with special guest and invitee Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta who is also the top popular singer of Bengal today.
Swagatalakshmi, herself, a Lata fan, took a lot of interest to walk through the whole exhibition which had on display some of Lata's rare songs and earliest gramophone recordings. Snehasis had entered the Limca Book of Records in 2001 for his collection of rare Lata Mangeshkar memorabilia which includes posters, records, LPs, audio cassettes and CDs in many languages which he has collected in the past 23 years.
With Swagatalakshmi at the exhibition preview on Lata Mangeshkar
There was a heavy downpour during the event which did not dampen the spirit. I still remember that I had last met “The Melody Queen of India” in personal on November 29th, 2002, at the Sahara evening flight. At that time Lata ji had come to Kolkata on an invitation from Dona Ganguly (cricketer Sourava Ganguly's wife). Those days I used to write articles for Sabrang the weekly Hindi magazine of Jansatta.
During the flight I had approached her for an interview and, in a very rare gesture, she agreed. I call it a rare gesture for Lata ji usually kept away from the media glare. She asked me to swap seats with her niece for the interview. For some reason I never published that interview though I still have with me the notes that I had scribbled.
Once again, last year I thought of writing the interview for a newspaper some nine years later, however, that too never materialized. Perhaps, there is a right time for everything.
ess bee

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