Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar, a great admirer of Mehdi Hassan, regrets missing the chance to sing with the ghazal king. The two greats did come together for a rare duet called ‘Tera Milna’ but their voices were recorded separately and mixed later.
Hassan died in a Karachi hospital yesterday following multiple organ failure. He was 84.
“It is my bad luck that I could not sing with him when he was healthy and active. Now, I can only regret. His death has left a huge void in music. Last year we lost Jagjit Singh and now Mehdi Hassan,” Lata told PTI.
Following his illness in the late 80s, Hassan cut down on his singing but he was very keen to record a song with Lata.
An album “Sarhadein” with their first and last duet “Tera Milna” was released in 2010. Hassan composed the song himself.
He recorded his part in Pakistan in 2009 and Lata recorded her version in India in 2010, which was mixed later.
Unfortunately, Hassan was so ill by that time that he could not understand the song.
“When our one and only duet was launched, we sent him tapes of that but he was critically ill at that time and could not understand the song. It is very unfortunate,” said the Bharat Ratna awardee.
Recalling her first meeting with Hassan, Lata, 82, said it was in Toronto years back.
“My first meeting with him was in Toronto. I don’t remember the year but it was ages back. He was performing there with Farida Khanum and I was in Kingston. I went to Toronto to meet him. He stood up on the stage and welcomed me very warmly.
“We met 3-4 times after that. In fact, during his illness also, he came to my home in Mumbai and had lunch with my family.” Hassan was one of Lata’s favourite singers.
“Everyone liked him, admired him. Singers like him are born once in a millennium. All his songs are good. One of my favourite is ‘gulon mein rang bhare’. I have some of rare cassettes of his live concerts in London,” said Lata.
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