04 March, 2021

Song Of Life Diary

The 'Prince of Playback Singing' Udit Narayan reflects on his career and life...

Song Of Life Diary
Voices From The Sky

Good fortune comes through many ways. Lata Mangeshkar, the Nightingale of India, calls me the ‘Prince of Playback Singing’. I’m naturally thrilled! I’m fortunate to have sung over 200 songs with her. That may sound like the standard cliché to those who don’t know how much beyond the pale I was. In my childhood, radio was a luxury beyond the reach of our family. My father, Harekrishna Jha, a small farmer with five children, struggled to make both ends meet. I used to sneak into the houses of the local zamindar and mukhiya to listen to songs on their transistors…I’d get mesmerised by the songs of Lata Didi and Mohammed Rafi. Who can blame me for not entertaining, even in my wildest dreams, the thought that one day I could be singing with them!

It was a long, zigzag journey from that unlit village of mine to the moment in 1979 when composer Rajesh Roshan offered me my first break—to...

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