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‘I don’t want to be born again’ ~ Lata Mangeshkar.

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" Nothing in this world can happen without God's mercy — that's my firm belief. I was raised in a very religious family and follow the precepts of Hinduism. Though I love my religion and might think it to be the best, I respect all religions as much. I frequently visit and derive tremendous peace from all places of worship, be it a temple, church, durgah or gurdwara. I have to pray every night before sleeping and I have my own puja room at home.

Besides reciting formal prayers, I keep having informal conversations with God — it's more of telling than asking. If somebody has hurt me, been rude to me or wronged me, I confide in God as I would to a friend or my mother. But I never wish that any harm should befall that person because I believe very strongly in karma. If somebody wrongs me, I take it in my stride thinking I must have wronged that person in my past life, I had once lent a large sum of money to a man which he didn't return. Though my family was annoyed with the losses I had to incur, I viewed it as a debt I had to repay this person in my previous life which was carried forward to this life.

I've read the Gita and certain preachings I strongly believe in — one being to do one's duty without caring for the fruits. I remember when I entered the film industry in 1947, my father had just expired. At that point, my only wish was to earn money for my family. The name, fame and adulation which followed by 1948 was God's wish. I had neither expected nor asked for fame. To date, I pray to God before each recording. I constantly thank God saying, 'I'm not so big, you made me big.' These thoughts are always on my mind. If he so wishes, everything can finish in a second.


Man tends to forget God in his happy times. But one should gracefully accept sorrow as willingly as one accepts happiness — that's what life is about. I certainly feel God's presence a number of times — while singing, while recording, when I'm alone, when I hear a good song or one of my father's songs. And I believe that miracles do happen. In all honesty, I have experienced certain things which probably nobody would believe — they're what we call miracles. We all come into this world with a purpose. It's our duty to complete the task assigned to us. I suppose God wanted my services for singing. But I'm sure had I not given it my hundred percent, he would have taken this gift away from me. I would attribute my success totally to God and my parent's blessings. I only worked hard in what they gave me.

I'm very content in life. Anyone who truly believes in God is bound to be. People ask me why I never married? To that I say that, God gave me a job to do and I'm very satisfied with my work. Yes, like everyone else, I do have my moments of sorrow. But my sorrow is very temporary. What I cannot bear is to see other people suffering. I feel a sense of joy by helping such people.

One cannot escape one's destiny, but by thinking good thoughts, helping others and doing good deeds, I feel, we can lessen a sorrowful fate upto a point. Ram, we believe, is Vishnu's avatar. Despite being a king's son he had to endure an exile for fourteen years. That was his destiny. But because he did good deeds during this period, killing Ravan being one of them, he saw good times again and succeeded in creating 'Ramrajya'.

What we are experiencing today is 'Kalyug'. Though I might not be alive, I firmly believe that God will descend upon this earth once again to set things right. If I were to meet God, I would ask him to put an end to the injustice in this world. I wish he would tum this world into a beautiful garden where mankind lives in peace. And though I do believe in rebirth, the only thing I would ask of God for myself is that I should not be born again. "

( As Lata Mangeshkar told to Kanaka Singh, originally published in Bombay Times on May 11, 2000 )


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