At a recently held musical concert in Dubai, veteran composer-singer Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar – brother of internationally renowned singer Lata Mangeshkar formally announced the launching of Lata Online (www.lataonline), a web museum on Indian melody queen Lata Mangeshkar. Asian Lite reports.
Conceived and created by Sharjah-based writer-journalist and a pediatrician by profession Dr. Mandar V. Bichu, Lata Online is a huge repository of songs, videos, photographs, articles, interviews and tributes; a well-organized archive of everything related to Lata, as the diva is fondly called.
The web archive’s editor-curator Dr. Mandar V. Bichu who is an unabashed admirer of the legendary singer has already penned two acclaimed books- Gaaye Lata Gaaye Lata (in Marathi) and Lata-Voice of the golden era (in English) related to her music.
Explaining his vision on the project, to Asian Lite, Dr. Bichu said, “Even though through my books, I have given my own perspective on her art and sociocultural influence, I now want to involve a much larger community of readers and writers in appreciating her incomparable contribution. Launching of Lata Online is a step in that direction. World Wide Web has dissolved the physical distances and boundaries and it has provided limitless opportunities for creative collaboration. This medium of internet provides the perfect setting for an all-encompassing global museum on Lataji.
Lata Online (www.lataonline.com) has already archived more than 4000 videos/songs, hundreds of photographs and dozens of insightful articles, interviews and tributes. It is a work in progress and will keep adding new material. Lataji’s music and her persona have influenced millions of people world over and this is a true collaborative effort. The song-video links that can be played on the site have been uploaded by hundreds of Youtube uploaders. The articles and tributes have been written by so many artistes, writers and music lovers.
“Earlier this rare reference material was scattered. As an editor and curator of Lata Online, my job is to bring like-minded writers together and make this stuff available to general public at one portal. It is a total labour of love,” Bichu states.
“The greatest challenge that I face in making/maintaining this archive is when the curated Youtube video links simply disappear or become defunct, sometimes because of copyright issues and sometime for totally unknown reasons. I am still trying to find out a solution to circumvent this problem,” he adds.
Pt. Hridaynath Mangeshkar, besides being Lataji’s brother, is a singer-composer par excellence and a legend himself. Many of Lataji’s finest albums have been composed by him. “So who’d be better than him to launch Lata Online?” Bichu asks. Bichu’s creative projects have consistently received unstinted corporate support from Xpress Money and the UAE Exchange.
Lata and Hindi film music lovers can now visit www.lataonline.com