The term Yug is hard to explain but very easy to get. It is a period or a cycle of civilization that we only understand after it ends. This past week was certainly the closure of a Yug in musical history.
Lata Mangeshkar passed away on February 6, 2022 at the age of 92. Never has the world seen a singer of this magnitude and it is unlikely we ever will again. To say anything else is superfluous.
We will simply remember two of her songs that had the most meaning and the most impact. The first one came at a very bad period in modern Indian history. In 1962, a thoroughly unprepared Indian army was dealt a humiliating defeat in the Himalayan range by the Chinese Army. Two months later, Lata Mangeshkar sang the following emotional tribute to the fallen Indian soldiers & asked the people of India to never forget their sacrifice.
She sang this immortal tribute on India’s Republic Day on 26th January 1963 & the entire Indian people listened. Below is the original clip of that moment in 1963:
Him-aalaya has always been the head of Indian civilization & she reminded the people of who died to protect it ( at min 3:12 of the clip above):
जब घायल हुआ हिमालय (when Himalaya was wounded,
खतरे में पड़ी आज़ादी (when freedom was in danger,
जब तक थी साँस लड़े वो (as long they had breath they fought
जब तक थी साँस लड़े वो
फिर अपनी लाश बिछा दी (then they laid down their corpse
संगीन पे धर कर माथा (their head supported on their bayonets
सो गये अमर बलीदानी (they slept in immortal sacrifice
जो शहीद हुए हैं उनकी (remember them who gave became martyrs)
ज़रा याद करो क़ुरबानी
No one has forgotten that or what Himalaya means. Recall last year when 20 Indian Soldiers of the Bihar Regiment were surprised & killed on orders of Xi’s henchman general, others of that regiment went down & killed 40-45 Chinese soldiers including their commanding officer. That intensity, that determination to avenge is a part of the Indian Army since 1962 & the above immortal song by Lata Mangeshkar.
There is no end to the list of romantic, devotional songs sung by Lata, songs that remain in the hearts to rasiks of Lata. Just search on YouTube & you will see clips that will keep you busy for days.
But we want to highlight one that was dear & extremely important to Lata’s heart, the poem that highlights the meaning of freedom:
We believe this one, composed by the great freedom-warrior Savarkar whom she regarded as her 2nd father, was the closest to her heart & it remains so for us as well.
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