By Arundhuti Banerjee
Mumbai, Sep 2 (IANS) Singer-composer Baiju Mangeshkar, who is the nephew of legendary singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, says being born and brought up in the Mangeshkar family naturally gave him a musical inclination and also instilled a sense of discipline.
“As a child I never felt that Lata aunty is a star because at home she was really that simple, whether she was talking or singing. It is her second nature to be in sur (tune) — besura kya hota hai humein pata hi nahin tha (we didn’t know what it means to be out of tune),” Baiju told IANS.
He added: “Of course, about their stardom and how they are adored by the world were things we got to know when we travelled with them on international tours. Sangeet (music), sur (tune), art — everything is practiced in our household in a manner that it has become second nature for us since childhood. We started understanding how difficult it is to hit the correct note as vocalists when we started learning music formally. By then, we had a sense of sur in us.”
He opened up on the best learning he imbibed, growing up in the household of the first family of musicians. “There is a different kind of humility, discipline and worship of music that I have seen while growing up. If you know Lata aunty and Asha aunty you must be knowing how, with every song, they recall the music composer, the lyricists along with others.
“We talk about giving credits to musicians and writers today, but they have been doing it every time by mentioning their names. That is how, in a way, they inculcated the habit of giving credit to artistes. Also, I would say that Lata aunty and Asha aunty are very emotional about music,” said Baiju who is the son of noted musician Hridaynath Mangeshkar, who is the brother of Lata and Asha.
Baiju, who got a huge exposure to the world of music and travelled with his aunts since childhood, recalled one of the first stage shows: ” As you know our formal training in music started from a tender age. In a US tour with Lata aunty, I remember singing as one of the children in the chorus of ‘Aai mere wataan ke logon’.
“It was not about me singing but watching from a corner of the stage how the whole audience was thrilled by Lata aunti’s magnetic voice. I think Asha aunty and Lata aunty are really the chosen ones by the Almighty because when they sing sitting in front of you, you feel the energy, the aura.”
Baiju, who recently released his new album “Within You”, recorded his first song at the age of 10. In 2014, he released his Sufi album “Ya Rabba” with Lata Mangeshkar.
Admitting it is tough to choose his favourite songs of Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, Baiju said: “For Lata aunty, it has to be ‘Allah tero naam’ and ‘Lag ja gaale’. When it comes to Asha aunty, there are few Marathi songs she sang for my father and those are very close to my heart.
“In Hindi, I cannot really choose one! I think agar main ek gaane ka naam loon toh doosra gana naraaz ho jayega (if I name one song, another would be upset). All the songs by Pancham (RD Burman) uncle. Also a very old song of Asha aunty, ‘Jaane kya haal’. Actually they and their songs are so close to my heart that I really cannot choose!”
(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at [email protected])