Please note: This is a humorous piece – pure fiction.
Lata Mangeshkar and Sachin Tendulkar, two of India’s national treasures, have redefined longevity in their respective fields. Today, Lata turns 83. And among the hordes of people who came to wish her was, Tendulkar.
Following are excerpts from a joint interview the two legends gave on the happy occasion:
Media (M): Lataji, many, many happy returns of the day. You turn 83 years old today. How does it feel?
Lata Mangeshkar (LM): Thank you. It feels great.
M: Sachin, you are present here to wish Lataji. Are you a Lataji fan?
Sachin Tendulkar (SRT): Well, who is not! But that’s not the reason I came to wish her. I call her Aai (mother, in Marathi). That should explain my bonding with her. Besides, if my international cricketing career is continuing for as long as it has been, then I owe a lot to aai.It’s her never-say-quit attitude that has inspired me hugely.
M: Sachin, which is your favourtie song of Lataji?
SRT: I like the song “Kuch na kaho” from the film “1942: A Love Story”. I hum this song while meeting the media. This is for those whom I have silenced!
M: Which song of Lataji is most popular among the Team India players?
SRT: I don’t know about the Indian team, but I guess some of my opponents like the song “Mere khwabon main jo aaye…” (The one who comes in my dreams) from “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”. I have often heard my good friend Shane Warne singing that song. (Chuckles).
M: Lataji, you have been conferred the Bharat Ratna. Do you think the time has come that Sachin too should be bestowed the highest civilian honour?
LM: Of course! It should have been done long back! Do hi to hai Hindustan ke rattan – ek main aur doosra mera anmol ratan, Sachin (giggles).
SRT: (looks towards Lata Mangeshkar and whispers) thank you, Aai.
M: Lataji, are you aware that Sachin Tendulkar was named after Sachin Dev Burman?
LM: Is that so? I didn’t know that. (Hope these media folks don’t ask me about the years when I didn’t speak with Dada Burman)
M: Lataji, though singers like you and cricketers like Sachin are the biggest inspirations in your respective fields, it’s the music director who is the boss for singers and the coach who calls the shots for cricketers. Are there any other similarities between the two?
LM: Yes, of course! In cricket, when the chips are down, it is the coaches who lift the morale of the team. In our music industry, it’s the music composers who lift music…err I mean lift the singers.
(Even as Lataji was answering the question, she sport music director Pritam entering.)
LM: Aaiye Pritamji, mein aapi ko yaad kiya abhi!
(Amrut Thobbi, an engineering graduate now pursuing Masters in journalism, is an ardent cricket fan who likes to write spoofs, like the one above. His passion for writing inspired him to give up a sales and marketing job, which he does not regret. By writing on cricket, he wants to relive his dream of becoming a cricketer. He has also worked as a freelance writer in education and technology sectors)