There is no easy way to describe the huge void left by her passing, but one is reminded of what the screenwriter-poet Javed Akhtar said about Lata ji in Nasreen Munni Kabir's book, Lata Mangeshkar… in her own voice. "If you take all the fragrance, all the moonlight, all the honey in the universe and put them together, you would still not create a voice like hers."
Lata ji's story is about incredible talent, but it is also a lesson in grit and astonishing determination. The composer SD Burman blacklisted her for nearly half a decade between 1957 and 1962. She fell-out with Mohammed Rafi for a few years in the mid-1960s over the question of royalty. She displayed a visionary quality in wanting playback singers to have a share in the profit.
The Lata Mangeshkar phenomenon is an incredibly unique one. She outranks her female peers from the industry, even those that faced the camera, by some distance.
Away from cinema, few Indian women have captured the nation's imagination like her...The saree-clad Lata ji was didi to everyone, a divine figure, soothing millions through the magic of her songs.