By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: What have Bollywood divas to say about their brothers on Raksha Bandhan?
Lata Mangeshkar: “More than a brother, Hridaynath is the son that I never had. When I sing for my brother I feel a mixture of elation and fear. He’s such a perfectionist. To work with him is taxing but ultimately very satisfying. When I sing for other composers I’m always unsure about whether I’ve done my best. Hridayanath doesn’t hesitate in ticking me off if I go wrong. Even if I go wrong with one word he doesn’t let me off the hook. He makes me sing it a hundred times over no matter how tired I get. At the most he’ll let me off until the next day. But he must have the flawless recording. I agree with him when he says, ‘Right now only the recordist and I can hear you. But tomorrow the entire world will hear you. How would you feel if listeners pinpoint the errors in your singing?’ He’s a very knowledgeable human being and not just in the field of music.Hridayanath is very particular about the way I sing. And I like that. He makes me sing until I achieve the quality he desires. Hridayanath always says, ‘In a recording room there’re only ten people to hear you. Once the song is recorded 10 crore people will hear it. So who loses face? People will say Lata doesn’t sing the way she used to.’ He’s as particular with any singer, whether it’s my sister Asha or Usha. Happily Hridayanath has the knowledge to achieve a high quality in the recording. He not only has a sound base in classical music but also listens to the old songs of my father(Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar) and uses them as a foundation for some of his compositions. I’m always on tenterhooks singing for him. He’s a very learned musician. His knowledge of Marathi literature and poetry is so vast. He’s familiar with both modern and non-contemporary poets. By God’s grace all my albums with my brother have been perennially popular. My first non-film album with Hridayanath was Mogra Phulela 35 years ago.And that’s still selling…It wasn’t a conscious decision to not work together for so long. Nothing materialized for one reason or another…. My brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar’s album of Meera bhajans Chala Vahi Des is an all-time favourite. It’s fallacy that I refused to sing Meera bhajans for anyone except my brother. I sang Jaidev’s Main janoon nahin piya ko Milan kaise howe ri in Chand Grahan and Jo tum todo piya for Shiv-Hari in Silsila. I refused to give playback to the film on Meerabai when Gulzar made it. Meera is very close to my heart. I couldn’t bear the thought of any actress sing her songs while playing Meerabai. Laxmikant-Pyarelal , then R.D.Burman left the project. Then Gulzar Saab brought in Pandit Ravi Shankar. I also love what my brother made me do in Maya Memsaab and Lekin. In the CD of Lekin there’s a Ghazal Dil mein lekar which didn’t feature in the film. I love that as well.
Shabana Azmi: “My brother Baba is most precious to me. He is my son, my friend and guide.Raksha Bandhan is a festival I get most sentimental about. This year I am at my native village Mijwan for Raksha Bandhan. I feel really sorry that I can’t be personally present to tie him the raakhee. I make sure I am with Baba on this day. I think I missed being with my brother for Raksha Bandhan only 4-5 times in my entire life. Sadly, this is one of those years of absence. Baba is my most precious gift. I don’t need anything from him. He doesn’t allow anyone else to tie a raakhi on him. No mooh-boli bahens for my brother! I wouldn’t tolerate them.”
Parineeti Chopra: “My brothers Sahaj and Shivang are my buddies ever since they grew up. I am the eldest. So I am going to be pampering and spoiling them this Raksha Bandhan.”
Pooja Bhatt: “I am older to my brother Rahul. So tradition be damned. I’ll be gifting him this Raksha Bandhan, not the other way around.”
Manisha Koirala: “I have the most precious gift in the world. My brother Siddhartha. I always wish him happiness and success, and not just for Raksha Bandhan but every single day. I consider myself the luckiest sister in the world. More power to my adorable bhaiya.”
Celina Jaitley: “My brother Vikrant is a major in the Indian army.Considering the crisis at the LOC he may soon be deployed f,as he is on the special forces. The only Raksha Bandhan wish I have for him is to be safe. And to have a lil baby of his own soon as he’s newly married.”
Bela Sehgal: “I am very lucky to have a wonderful brother like Sanjay(Leela Bhansali) . He is thoughtful caring and loving, understanding and always concerned about my well-being. For Raksha Bandhan I pray for his good health and the super-duper success of Ram Leela. The only gift that I want from him is that he should always continue to love me.”
Divya Dutta: “My brother Dr Rahul Dutta is more a friend than an elder brother.And he knows exactly what I want. The other day I liked a piece of jewellery while window-shopping. Before I knew it, it became my Rakhi gift. He is traveling but will be back in time for me tie the rakhi.”
Minissha Lamba: “My brother is the closest person I have in Mumbai.And just to have him around is gift enough on raksha bandhan.”
Pooja Bedi: “I deeply miss my brother Siddharth who died 15 years ago.And I’m grateful for my brother Adam who is 12 years younger to me.Being so much older I don’t look at him in the traditional role of the protective brother. On the contrary I feel I need to protect him and take care of him.All I expect from him is some time to spend together and oodles of love.”