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An Open letter to Lata Ji

By Padmanabhan NR

Mohd Rafi with Lata Mangeshkar and Jaikishan

Mohd Rafi with Lata Mangeshkar and Jaikishan

Padmashri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna Lataji,

There are some people who are born great, some acquire greatness and there are still others on whom greatness is thrust. You appear to belong to the third category. Fifty three years after the so-called rift with Rafi Saahab, thirty three years after his death and eighty three years of your own life time, if this is the issue that is pestering you most, you are really great. I don’t know whether it was your own inner voice only or coaxing by your ‘advisers’ that prompted you to talk like this and that too, in such a brazen manner. Whatever it may be Lataji, it is abundantly clear that with a coterie of friends like these – and with liberal inputs from your own self – you don’t require any enemies. They are available in-house. Aplenty.

Yet, I am thankful to you, Lataji. When I read and re-read your sentence that pronounces the end of duets, it gives an indication that it was Rafi Saahab who said the quit word first. Yours was only a reaction. We know our Rafi Saahab. He was mild, compassionate, caring, respectful for others feelings, soft-spoken, modest, never hurtful. It is a revelation that he also had a thus-far-and-no-further, enough is enough, discrete and bold persona that we never knew. The entire credit accrues to you for this first person account. Thanks a million again.

Then you bring in late Jaikishan’s name and that imaginary,  non-existent letter of apology. Lataji, the best way to spread a blatant lie is to believe it as the absolute truth oneself. Thereafter, the journey in substantiating it further becomes a far easier proposition. Who does not want to bask in nobility, more so people like you who revel in marauding persons around her to reach – and stay at – the top? The only problem here is that though a lie has an ethereal presence and spreads everywhere in thin air in this age of technology, it lacks firm legs to stand upon. Like the legendary Kalidas, you end up axing the same branch of the tree on which you are perched up! This world has not known a deft schemer who was also afflicted with a foot-in-the-mouth disease, you see!

May I ask you a simple question? Why did you not ask O P Nayyar for keeping you out of his scheme of things? Now, Ashaji not only happens to be your sister but also a versatile genius in her own right. Unlike the Sumans, the Vanis, the Shardas, the Jagjit Kaurs, the Mubaraks/ Shamshads and scores of others, she inherited the genes of survival from you, is her own master and would have retaliated and rebelled against you. She continued to sing with Rafi Saahab, regardless of your stance. I can very well visualize the scenario at a home where one sister patronizes the saint whom the other hates! Kaise din beete, kaise beeti ratiyaan, peeya jaane na….in constant re-play mode!!!

Most of us believed that you are Goddess Saraswati incarnate. The Goddess, indeed, endowed you with supernatural melody. At the same time, she also knew that you won’t be able to manage this largesse by way of your conduct. Humility, magnanimity, modesty, equanimity and due respect to others are traits that one has to learn and practice by him/ her. We don’t blame the Goddess. You can do only as much as take the horse to a water source; you can not make him drink it. Can you? Or may be only you can.

The room at the top is said to be quite lonely. Bharat Ratnas et-al are only covetous awards, pedestals, honours. To live up to these honours is a matter of responsibility, attitude and humility. That grace is missing. It is this aspect of yours that pains us the most. We don’t dispute your greatness as a singer. But, we do have reservations in accepting you as a role model.

Unlike Shahid Rafi and others, I don’t subscribe to the view of filing a defamation case against you. Instead, I would rather go the Lage Raho Munnabhai way and wish you a speedy recovery from this state of mind.


Padmanabhan NR

Rafi Foundation, Hyderabad Chapter.

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103 Blog Comments to “An Open letter to Lata Ji”

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  1. RAFIMURTY says:

    Dear NRP : This is a very forceful slap on the face of a singer who is otherwise synanimous with Goddes Saraswathi to all the music lovers. Her utterances at this juncture while not taken seriously by anyone, only help her in her downfall. All she needed was prominence as now she is not capable of sining anymore and not being in the hoglight seems to be unbearable to her. You have aptly remarked that one need not take recourse to any legal measures and instead wish her a speedy recover from a mental illness for she herself is the breeder.

    We can take this as one more reason to rever Rafi Sahab who remained uncontroversial. His image is only rising at the expense of all those who have tried take potshots solely due to jealousy.


  2. Narayan says:

    NRP sir
    too good a gentle, humble and a passionate emotional letter only a true Rafi Bakt can right..
    Congrats you have expressed our feelings in this and will be too happy if this letter reaches Lata ji signed by all fans in various cities…
    The interviewer subhash Jha is also equally responsible for Lata’s misconceived notion of apology letter….


  3. Good- day to all the people: May I ask if it is an oversight, the following: I did not receive an e-mail update on Moh’d. Rafi Titled” ReDiscovering Rafi Sahab through his signatures”. I was re-reading the last update titled: AN open letter to Lataji and I noticed there is a new update about the : SIGNATURES. but it did not show up in my inbox. Thank you very much. Also, I am interested in purchasing 1 copy of the book written by Yasmin Khalid Rafi in the English version. Can anyone advise me on this?. Thanks again.

  4. Karamjit Singh says:

    how to procure the book written by yasmin khalid rafi. what is the title of the book.if someone can help me i will be thankful.

  5. Binu Nair says:

    Correction to Post 44….

    It should read : on line four:
    Lata Mangeshkar was never given any Apology Letter by Rafi Saaheb.

    Amitabh Bachchan spoke for 22 minutes about the greatness of Rafi saheb at the Taj hotel during the launch of the latest book by his daughter in law Yasmin Khalid Rafi.

    I had the occassion to attend and during question time raised the issue of Bharat Ratna for Bharat Ka Ratna . Also the Mistakes in the book about royalties was pointed out to the Editor of the book and to Amitabh ji………

    Lets hope the mistakes will be corrected soon as assured.

  6. Binu Nair says:

    Lata Mangeshkar is Being Condemned every where…….So far No one has taken her name openly. Priyamvada the wife of Renowned Bhupen Hazarika has Named Lata Mangeshkar as the person who spoiled her family life.

    Lata Mangeshkar was never give and apology letter by Rafi Saaheb. That’s why she cant exhibit it.

    Meanwhile Shahid Rafi has threatened to take Lata to court over the Apology Letter issue .

    And, Lata has promised to take Mrs Bhupen Hazarika to court over her accusations about her.

    I dont think Lata Mangeshkar will go to court any time or Shahid Rafi will pursue the case of “Imaginary” Apology Letter to Lata Mangeshkar.

    Mohd Rafi saheb fans Must be happy that : Up till now there is Not a drop of dirt on the Image of Rafi saaheb.

    Let some one try it, its bound to fail time and again.

  7. dharar says:

    Rafi sahib is all time great singer and human being. We should not bother about some xyz making ridiculious statement out of his jealousy and frustration.

  8. Krishna says:

    Dear Padmanabhan ji,
    Superb Letter

  9. Ali says:

    I agree with you Sir Ahmed Kutty they are like mohd Rafi the King and Lata ji the Queen but we know queen only because of King,If there is no King there be no Queen but The King will be also The King…………..

  10. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Once the renowned south indian singer jayachandran sir told
    rafi saab and lataji is the perfect pair not only in the entire
    indian film music but for the entire indian film world and
    they are the king and queen.

    it is clear from various aspects the king deserve for that
    but it is doubtful the queen is fit for the post.

  11. Utthara says:


    We didn’t need Lata’s yesterday once more. I understand your anguish over her claims. You have echoed the feelings of millions of Rafi fans. Even I wonder why Lata has opened this Bollywood X file after so many decades. Especialy when Rafi saab is not there to defend himself. Like you said no one can dispute Lata’s greatness as a singer. And none can dispute rafi saab’s greatness either. The difference lies in the fact that Rafi sab’s greatness comes with humility and grace while Lata’s greatness is eclipsed by her attitude. To think that togehter these two legends have given us many musical gems. Professional jealousy and spats are common in any job. But for Lata to rake up an old spat now is puzzling. What does hse hope to gain from it? her statements in no way can take away rafi saab’s greatness.

    Actually we must thank her because her controversial claims have shown the world the might of Rafi fans.



  12. Ali says:

    As Lata ji said she got royalty but she wanted to other singer to get royalty also as she had,it mean she having royalty from 1960’s for 30000 songs as said by her fans so how much she paid to other for who she said wanted royalty?!!!!

  13. Sanchit Madge says:

    Dear Sir..letter very well written and thouhts very clearly portrayed. Not only Lataaji but all of us must remain humble in all circumstances. What if Lata or Rafi Saab was not gifted with the voice? It is indeed God gift and no one in the world can say that this is my voice, my wealth, my achievement, my intellect. Rafi is the greatest singer of all times, yet he faced humiliation. Though this did not deter him and he always remained a humble man. I pray to all to learn and adapt these traits in ones own life and make this world a better place to live. Thanks Rafi Saab, you will always sing in our hearts.!!!

  14. salim k says:

    Many people are missing the point. The point is not Lata wanted royalty and Rafisaab was against taking royalty.

    The key issue is that after 3 decades of Rafisaab passing away, lata should come out with such claims speaks volumes of lack of decency and common sense.

    I congratulate the author for taking the time out to write but if lata who sang for 4 decades with Rafisaab could not get 10% of hia values, what will this open letter do to make her a better person.

  15. Syed Pasha says:

    I happened to read Rafi sahab’s daughter in law’s interview at the book release function. According to her the family looks at this whole issue in a different angle. They tried to tell Rafi saab that his reasoning probably may not have been in best interest, financially. After all, all the singers in the west become multi millionaire overnight just by releasing one album because of the royalty clause that they will earn thereafter. So in that sense Lata sahiba had a valid point in demanding royalty. She was getting paid royalty anyways but she was asking royalty for other singers, according to her if singers are not in demand then royalty will ensure financial stability of those singers years later. Music company like HMV told them to go to producers and take from them and producers sent them back to record music companies and so on a so forth. Rafi sahab a gentle soul who did not care about money may well have been conned by the producers to toe on the lines that once a singer is paid money matter ends there. Rafi sahab was much in demand and merely a simple refusal from him settled the matter and no singer now gets any royalty in playback singing. and the ensuing saga between the two stalwarts gets a little murkier. Lata lost the battle to rafi sahab but i think the real winners here have been the film producers.

  16. Andrea Correa says:

    The Mangeshkar family has ‘suffered’ for their many acts in Real Life. They have gone – Lock, Stock & Barrel with Great Music Directors and Stopped Fresh Talents from Arising.

    Then, they Black mailed the composers and said that ‘they’ would Not work with any composer who take New Singers.

    People who Opposed them Lost Out in the Industry. Only Rafi saaheb gave them a Big and Tough fight and Survived – Because of His Art and Godliness…

    All these are being spoken by everyone n the Industry……….. The sisters seem to be deaf. No they are Not a s they have heard wife of Bhupen Hazarika who has accused the elder one of disrupting her family life… things which we will not print or mention here.

    The truth is Unfolding………… Let Lata tell Untruths about great and divine Rafi Saaheb and she will Inherit only Troubles for Her in her Fag end of her Life.

    She knows that Now. Carry On Lata Ji .

  17. pinakesh says:

    Lataji you are kokilkanthi, but your songs has no emotions, you cannot cry or laugh in a song like Rafi.Lataji you are Bharat Ratna, but Rafi cannot be given Bharat Ratna like Netaji Subhas or Mahatma Gandhiqo

  18. Dear Padmanabhanji,
    Millions of Rafi Saab’s fans share your views.Infact ever since this story broke about what Lataji had said about Rafi Saab, we were agitated in our minds that a great injustice was being done.Rafi Saab as we know never use to give any interviews nor has he written anything about any other personality.He was a simple soul.He would have never written any letter of apology.
    Both acquired greatness in their lives due to their talents and efforts.Both were the best though Rafi Saab can be considered the best ever.Lataji always had this complex about herself.If there was one person more loved and greater than her, it was beloved Rafi Saab.Hence this jealousy from her side.That she continues to nurse this jealousy even after 32 years of his passing away shows her insecurity inspite of achieving everything.Rafi Saab should have also got Bharat Ratna but a callous govt did not recognise him and only Lataji.
    I remember during the cassattee age, the Shradanjali series was released and Lataji in the opening statement said that she is singing their songs not to prove that she could sing better than them,etc.I immediately realised that here was a jealous and insure person who always wanted to be recognised as the Best.Only problem was,according to the entire music world,there was one person greater and better than her and that was Rafi Saab.Lataji is universally respected but not loved.Rafi Saab is respected,loved and missed.That is the difference.
    To know their range, just listen to one song a duet -Dil tera diwana hae sanam – and one understands why no one could match Rafi Saab including the great Lataji.Hope she now gives up this greatness phobia and enjoys her life.

  19. Good day folks. Please people, something definitely is getting out of hand here. I think that everyone should back-off Lataji , stop pronto. I am sorry to say this, but I see some Rafi fans retaliating on statements she made about Rafi Sahab. What they are really doing is, as the saying goes: “fighting the disease”. but doing this will accomplish NOTHING. I say, do not fight the disease, but FIGHT the CAUSE and then you will see everything in a different perspective. She is a senior citizen about age 83 and maybe, senility has stepped in. In fairness to all Rafi fans, do not allow emotions to over ride your good sense of judgement. ( I , sonilal, am a DIE-HARD Rafi devotee) Mohd Rafi is not of a passing nature, He is ABSOLUTE and not subject to change. History had the: stone age, the ice age etc. at present, don’t you think this is the RAFI age? Other singers are trying to convince the world audience about how great they are, how versatile they are, how talented they are. but they just only insult the intelligence of the listeners. RAFI never did anything like this, his voice said it all. Mohd Rafi is the Reference standard, the benchmark, by which all others will be evaluated. Can anyone shed some information on the frequency of his voice from the oscilloscope? Thanks to all the people

  20. Padmanabhan NR says:

    Dear Guru and Rangaji,

    Thanks for appreciating. After receiving every conceivable award, a place in the heart of thousands of her followers, if lataji still feels that she needs rafi saahab’s name – in whatever context – it only highlights her own insecurity or inferiority complex. The malaise is internal, within her and she has to come to terms with herself. That, in my opinion, is the only plausible explanation why she behaves in this manner, Guru.

    Rangaji, that rafi saahab came out better in duets with lataji, was/ is never in dispute amongst discerning listeners. Moreover, this was a simple reaction to her latest salvo and i would have got diverted if i had treadled on a different path. sometimes i do wonder, however, if at all there is a need to re-prove this point again and again! and what is the point in reasoning out this with a few nay-sayers whose stance is based more on arguments than cogent, coherent reasons?

    Padmanabhan NR

    Rafi foundation, hyderabad chapter.

  21. Nadeem Sundoo says:

    Mr. Sunil Kumar….post 20.

    That Lata would go into oblivion if Rafi Saheb did not patch up with her, is indeed a very interesting thought. Reflecting about it I must say that your claim carry some weight. I will give it some thought and maybe write an article about this. Could you please refer to where Binu ji makes this remark?

    Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  22. DHARMENRA VYAS says:


  23. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Contd. From my earlier post:

    It will not be out of place to make a mention of Lata’s younger sister (name: Asha Bhonsle/ Burman) here. While Lata ji at least has great regard for Rafi saab’s singing powers (even though with a feeling of jealousy), and has almost always paid highest tribute to him (even has indirectly hinted that she could not match him), but her above said sister has not spared any chance to put Rafi saab down for his singing, which is far worse than Lata ji’s jealousy-ridden grumblings. Some time back in an interview on her 80th birthday she through her jugglery of words tried to convey a couple of messages about Rafi saab. One: Song “Aa jaa aa jaa main hoon pyar tera… (Teesri Manzil)”.. she has sung better than Rafi saab. Two: In her singing career she found singing with Kishore Kumar more challenging than Rafi saab.

    She has almost completely disowned O.P. Nayyar saab, never acknowledged the contribution of music directors like Ravi in her career.

    Can there be more apt example of ‘not listening to inner voice’ or should we say ‘intellectual dishonesty’?

    So, I guess “An Open Letter to Asha Bhonsle”- a sequel to this article will be very much in order.

    -J.K. Bhagchandani

  24. sunil kumar says:

    Jagdish ji , you are absolutely right we don’t much know about other fights. why only spat with Rafi saab is known to all. this is much publicized by the media and Lata herself. Also i think is very important point mentioned by By Binu ji that what had happened had Rafi saab not patched up with her. I think she would have gone into oblivion and Suman Kalyanpur would have taken her place. This is vet interesting to know what other people think about it One thing is ure she would not have been in this position where she is right now and for that she should be thankful to Rafi saab

  25. Ahamed Kutty says:

    Dear NRji
    after a long gap we could get a very good article from you.

    rafi saab could prove through his life what should be a human
    being.he was above on all the same time this lady –
    lataji who happends to be the prestigious “bharath ratna”
    receipient, shown the culture what she have with her.

  26. J.K. Bhagchandani says:

    Dear Padmanabhan ji,

    Very good and truthful write-up, reflecting the sentiments of millions of Rafi fans.

    Lataji had issues with music director S.D. Buman also and did not sing for him for about 2-3 years. Her relationship with music director O.P. Nayyar is well known and needs no refresher. She also had fight with music director C. Ramchandra.

    In a professional life it is quite possible to have spats, fights, difference of opinion etc. with your fellow colleagues. In happens in all spheres of life. It happens in corporate world, in offices, among artists etc. But at the end of the day, when someone retires from professional life, or when someone leaves this world, all this is given a decent burial. In this case one character has left for heavenly abode as distant as 32 years ago and the other is leading a retired life. So, for her to recall an incident with augmentation of a unsubstantiated sub-story of ‘apology letter’ and giving a frame by frame account after good 48 years, where the other character happened to be the most towering personality of same profession, is a poor advertisement of the awards that she has managed to decorate herself with. It also presents a bad example for the new upcoming singers who see her as the ‘Goddess of singing’.

    The point to note is that of all the spats she had (few of them cited above in this post), she has chosen only the fight with Rafi saab to recall and advertise. Let us also hear detailed account of her fight with S.D. Burman dada. And also what had gone wrong with C. Ramchandra. And also why she could never sing for O.P. Nayyar. Agreed that the interviewer had asked a pointed question about her spat with Rafi saab, but there were better ways to reply to such tricky queries. I feel that in cases of her other spats, she will give a more dignified reply.

    This only reinforces our suspicion of her being jealous of Rafi saab’s ever growing popularity and fan following. The tinge in her heart of the fact that in many duets and ‘do pehlu’ songs she has been qualitatively out-sung by Rafi saab is too visible to be ignored. So one can say that in their duets, Rafi saab proved to be better singer; and in this duel Rafi saab proved to be a better human being (with or without apology letter).

    J.K. Bhagchandani

  27. vinod mehru says:

    dear padamabhan ji,

    Thanks for sharing your emotions, feelings and concern on the issue , what we can do, if some time mind of saraswati ( I still preferred asha ji instead of people’s saraswati Lata ji) may fail and try to gain cheap publicity at this junction of her age.

    I also feel that a long gap is passed now , and our rafi sahab, and ( jaikishan ji aur dada burman along with their another fellow music directors are not alive today to defend the statement issued by bharat ratna.

    I know that the sentiments of follower’s of of our rafi sahab are definitely hurt , but few of my friends also agree to forget the issue and keep mum.

    Dear padamanabhan ji , today’s generation also feel happy to listen the songs of our rafi sahab , here i want to mention one neration related to dear you remember one song from film aab dilli door nahi by our beloved raj kapoor sahab chun chun karti aayee chidiyaa is still part of my life , after the gap of 55 years to day my 9 month grand daughter yaashica is also enjoying the same, even she is not ready to leave my mobile in which very recently i down loaded the same song.

    with warm regards
    vinod mehru


  29. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:


    You have echoed the thoughts of millions of Rafi Fans. But we fail to understand why Lataji resorted to this, thirty years after the demise of Rafi Saab. I agree, you can be MAA SARASWATI in singing, but to be a real good human being, it is very difficult, only a Rafiji could do that.

  30. JAYAPRAKASH.G says:

    Let us be tolerant, gentle and graceful as our great RAFI SAHEB who introduced SOUL to Indian melody.

  31. Padmanabhan NR says:

    very true indeed, sonilalji,

    thanks for your valuable feedback.

    Padmanabhan NR
    rafi foundation, hyderabad chapter.

  32. Padmanabhan NR says:

    Nice thoughts, krishnanji,

    if only even the greats realized their own behavioural follies, this same world could have inspired us so much more. A doha by rahim says it aptly:

    kshama badan ko chaahiye, chhotan ko utpaat
    ka ‘rahim’ prabhu ko ghatyo, jo bhrigu maari laat.

    ( forgiving an errant miscreant is an act of graciousness by the elder; when brigu rishi kicked the lord in a rage of anger, it was bhrigu who lost his credibility, not the lord ).

    Let us hope that sanity and good sense will prevail.

    Thanks for the response.

    Padmanabhan NR

  33. Imran Ali says:

    salam to all rafians.I am a fan of sahab.can anybody suggets me the song “jag dil e diwana rut jagi vasl e yar ki”belongs to which film.It is a excellent song rendered by my beloved singer.I had listen it in radio somewhat 2yr ago.

  34. Padmanabhan NR says:

    Thanks, Achal.

    I fully agree with your concluding comments. superlative achievement in one field does not give a blanket permit to anyone to be brash or disrespectful to others. The realization does dawn on the perpetrator. But too late, alas!

    Thanks, bapatji and nadeem saaheb. your words really mean a lot to me personally. Rafi saahab himself would not have liked to ridicule or castigate a person, howsoever mean his/ her acts could have been. We, as his disciples, should embrace the same philosophy. may the best happen to lataji also.

    Padmanabhan NR
    Rafi foundation, hyderabad chapter.

  35. Padmanabhan NR says:

    Thank you, karamjit Singhji, for appreciating my thoughts.

    Lalwaniji, your comments and the links add weight to the scheming that goes on ceaselessly in the hindi film music. Thanks for the links.

    Wali saahab, i am sorry that i disappointed you. To compare rafi saahab with anyone was not my intent – implicit or explicit. He is so very far away from any body else that the next best name come only after number 101 – bharat ratna or no bharat ratna.

    Thanks, aroraji.

    Thanks, anjaliji. the modesty that you have mentioned comes into us rafibhakts naturally. it is a direct blessing from the master himself. We will do well to honour and preserve it.

    Thanks sal rafi saahab.

    Padmanabhan NR
    rafi foundation, hyderabad chapter.

  36. good day to all the goodly people. To every one making a comment regarding the issue(s) please take into consideration that , perhaps senility has stepped in and it impairs one’s sense of judgement at this age. To be aware or conscious is being clouded. If this is not to be, then someone has a bloated ego. Someone with a bloated ego, oftentimes praises themselves and self-praise is no praise. In my opinion, I think that the greatest icon of character is :” humility”, and is not bounded by space and time. Illusions, fantasies, bloated egos and backstabbers all eventually fade into oblivion. Best wishes to every one. Thanks Soni.

  37. h krishnan says:

    ” kuch toh log kahenge , logon ka kaam hai kehna, choodo bekkar ki bateein”

    From being a admired melody queen Lataji has descended to being a ” aam log”.
    As lord budhha said, if somebody speaks ill of me , and I refuse to accept it ,
    like undelivered letter it goes back to the sender.

    If you look at the sky and throw garbage, it will fall back on you.

    Whereas Mohd rafi sahab was epitome of grace, and humility, Lataji sadly has become a bundle of frustration , unable to accept the admiration still commanded by Mod Rafi sahab.

    After hearing her many songs , I am left with only one thing ” A beautiful voice “. But the emotion, the additional punch, the variation to suit the mood, the lyrics the scene which was abundant in Sri Mohd Rafi’s songs is missing.

    Today many youngsters easily sing her songs, since sweetness is required.
    Even Ashaji brought that extra oomph in her songs(Umrao jaan for example”)

    Today lataji has lost that voice quality also and perhaps that is a frightening
    thought for such a famous person.

    All us mortals are very grateful to the almighty for whatever little gifts of life god has given to us, but we do not stoop so low as to “Speak ill of the dead…”

    So sad. Let us forgive her as “She knows not what she hath done…”

  38. Nadeem Sundoo says:

    Mr. Padmanabhan NR

    A very well written article. Thanks for putting into writing what millions of Rafi fans feel in their hearts. As I see it this is exactly the different between Mohammad Rafi and Lata; had Rafi been alive today and Lata not been with us, it is simply inconcievable that Rafi would had said anything to discredit her – even if she had done something wrong, he would have concealed it! Such was his greatness! This is like comparing the Sun with an ant.

    Mohammad Rafi undoubtly have the biggest army of protectors amongst the singers of the subcontinent. They protect him from all the lies and falsehoods that the jealous people through at him – Lata, who will protect you when you are gone……I pity you!

  39. N T Bapat says:

    You have simply hijacked my words and emotions verbatim . As I am not very computer savvy , I am unable to type enough to completely express
    my anguish on Latha ‘s { I am uncomfortable even to add a JI to her name }
    As you have already wished , may GOD cure this woman of her senility .
    With love and regard to you Mr Padmanabhan .
    May your tribe increase .

  40. sunita palita says:

    Let us give to Lata Mangeshkar what is her due i.e respect and reverence for the Saraswati waas in her . The deviance may please be be left to be judged by God .Respecting HIS decision to give what she gets ,we shall honor HIS decision and not the LAta ji who we do not wish to respect .For after all she knows what she is doing ,for sure, because there is overt presence of God in her .

  41. achal rangaswamy says:

    NRP bhai,

    i couldn’t agree with you more on this.

    greatness has nothing to do with how much one has achieved. it has to do with how one handles achievement and success and the humility that accompanies it at every step.

    a large heart can store all the greatness and a narrow mind shall never even allow success to nestle there for too long.

    i sincerely wish that this lady who has sung for so long and so well too remember that there is an auditor sitting up there who is going to ask that question “anything to declare?”

    rafi saab in his inimitable way would have said- rehne do giley shikwe chodo bhi takraar ki baatein. jab tak fursat de yeh zamaana kyon na karein ham pyaar ki baatein…….

  42. Sal Rafi says:

    Superb writing Padmanaban. I enjoyed it. As post no. 3 mentioned you cannot compare The Great with any other lesser mortals.
    We all know all these ratnas and bushans are ridiculed by itself honoring some mediocre personalities for long time. If you look at the recipients (some) of these honors you would realize what I say.
    Good luck and peace to all.
    Rafi Saab……..Farishtay sent to to entertain us by the almighty. I am blessed for being able to enjoy this greatest singer.

  43. Anjali says:

    wat a humble letter penned down…rafi saab will be happy to see from above…his fans are also like him…..very modest… the saying goes.”To err is human; to forgive, divine”……
    rgds to u sir

  44. Ramachandra U Mahale says:

    Well done Padmanabhan ji.
    You said Sir.-
    “We don’t dispute your greatness as a singer. But, we do have reservations in accepting you as a role model.”
    I have slight correction to make here.
    “”We don’t dispute your greatness as a singer. But, we do have reservations in accepting you as a great human being.” It requires all the virtues to be a role model, but, she has proved just as one among the masses. This view of mine is not cast on spur of the moment but always held.

    Ramachandra U Mahale
    Mysore, India.

  45. anurag says:

    No one could reach close to Lataji in singing, except Rafi sahab.
    Listen to their duets carefully; If Lata is superior in 50% cases, Rafi too has crossed her 50% cases, where she could not do anything , just remained stunned by the singing harkat Rafi sahab did.

  46. r l arora says:

    Rafi Saab can’t be compared with any singer as he was the tallest and deserved all praise, although words can’t fully describe his greatness as a most sincere in his duties to all . He was a noblest person, kind-hearted and a best human-being.

    my regards to you Mr. Padmanaban

  47. Bushan wali says:

    I am disappointed to read the comments of Padmanabam NR.He is comparing
    Bharat Ratna lata mangeskar with a Yogi. this yogi was much much above all these medals and Puraskars.Mohd rafi was not only the greatest singer but a great humble soul and mark my words SUCH PEOPLE BAR BAR JANAM NAHI LATAY .THEY ARE BORN ONCE NOT IN A CENTURY BUT IN A YUG .
    Bushan wali
    CA. USA

  48. Moti Lalwani says:

    Somewhere I have read that Lataji has said something similar about her rift with the great maestro SD Burman. When SDB had said that they will not work together, Lataji gave a different story than what RDB had said about it. Read on URL, where both the versions, Lataji’s and RDB’s are there:

  49. Karamjit Singh says:

    Dear Padmanabhan ji

    You have rightly projected our feelings by writing this open letter to Lataji. May good sense prevails upon her. Since we are true fans of Rafi Sahab, we should
    follow the path of lage raho munnabhai. Let the people decide about this arrogant
    attitude of Lataji. Thanks .



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