By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: The ongoing tussle between filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi and Priyamvada Patel Hazarika, the estranged wife of her mentor-companion-soulmate of 40 years the late Bhupen Hazarika, has now taken a bizarre turn, with Kalpana resolving to take firm legal action against her for insinuating an affair between Hazarika and Lata Mangeshkar.
In an interview to a local TV channel DY365 on Assam, Priyamvada Hazarika has hinted at an affair between her late husband (Bhupen Hazarika) and Lata Mangeshkar.
But Lajmi, a life-long devoted companion to Hazarika and also a self-confessed diehard admirer of Lataji, is stunned by what she sees as a “pure sublime relationship between two iconic artistes being reduced to a crass and cheap late-night soap opera by a spurned and angry woman who was obviously looking for revenge.”
Kalpana, who left for Assam to prepare for Bhupenda’s firstdeath anniversary on November 5 along with the trust that she has set up on behalf of the late composer, spoke just before her flight took off and asserted her determination to “fight on behalf of Bhupenda and Lataji who don’t deserve this kind of cheap treatment”.
Kalpana in fact sent a lengthy SMS to Lataji after the interview that Mrs Priyamvada Hazarika gave to the TV channel.
The message reads, “Pujya Pranam Lata Didi. It is with great sadness that I am messaging you. We are all horrified by Bhupenda’s estranged wife of 50 years Priyam’s damaging blasphemous, slanderous, irresponsible interview mentioning your revered self and Bhupenda’s revered self with such cheap and false accusations. The tragedy being Bupenda is not alive to protect your and his tarnished image.”
Sounding deeply incensed and wounded by the seemingly irresponsible statements of the late musician’s US-settled estranged wife Kalpana said, “I am too shocked for words. You know as well as I do what a wonderfully healthy creative and spiritual relationship Bhupenda shared with Lataji. He adored her, like we all do. A few years ago when Bhupenda was very unwell he wanted to meet her. Lataji graciously invited him and me home and we spent some time misty-eyed watching Bhupenda’s face light up with reminiscences of the times they shared together as two kindered artistes.When Bhupenda was dying in hospital she called and comforted him like a mother.To make such cheap insinuations can only be the work of bitter vengeful mind. Chee!”
Shedding light on the rapport that Bhupenda shared with Lataji, Kalpana says, “Bupenda worshipped Lataji all his life. He said, to me and to you, how fortunate he was to have been born in the same century as Lata Mangeshkar.”
Pausing for breath, Kalpana said, “I am on a flight to Assam. It’s Bhupenda’s first death anniversary. The trustees of the Bhupen Hazarika Cultural Trust and I will take legal recourse to combat this defamatory and perverted falsehood. I will fight to my last breath to undo this damage done to Lataji and Bhupenda’s iconoclastic reputation. The Mangeshkar family is going through tough times right now. To burden them with such a cheesy insinuation at a time like this…not done! We’ll fight this out.”