Is Lata Mangeshkar a Tom, a Dick or a Harry?


What a stupefied amazement it causes when you hear some one calling a giant sized legend in herself Lata Mangeshkar as some Tom, a Dick, or a Harry, but it did happen in actual terms when Shahid Rafi, Mohd. Rafi’s son, gave her names as such some time back, as per the news appearing through media. The matter related to some dispute between Lata Mangeshkar and Mohd.  Rafi in early 1960s in relation to some royalty rights in which context the story says that Mohd. Rafi got annoyed at some stage announcing his decision not to sing with Lata any more to which Lata ratorted that, not he, but she will herself not do any duo with him unless he submitted a letter of apology to her. Shahid Rafi has strongly reacted saying that she is tellling a lie as she has gone much old and is unable to correctly remember the old things. He also said –

“There is no letter. Father was a much greater person than her, and I will not have any Tom, Dick and Harry talk about him like that.”

Shahid has also threatened a legal notice to Lata in the  matter. Whatever might have been the dispute or difference of opinion between the two great personalities, some trivialities like this are common in the film industry, why film industry alone, it is a general phenomenon obtaining in any field of activities. Lata Mangeshkar is a great living legend breaking the records of every one in the film industry and even outside, and so was Mohd. Rafi in his life time legacy of which is quite fresh even to-day. Both these artists had to struggle hard in their early days of their struggle to establish themselves in the films. Lata Mangeshkar had a tough time when competing with great singers like Mubarak Begum, Suman Kalyanpur, Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum, but finally she emerged victorious. Mohd. Rafi too had very difficult days as he had to face great challenge from another legend K.L.Sahgal and Mukesh besides Talat Mahmood. He had to work very hard. It took him full three months time to do necessary rehearsal for his initial level hit song

Suhaani raat dhal chukhi, na jane tum kab aoge”.

Criticism by any one including some family members of the concerned artists is alright, but there has to be some limit to it. Himalayan stature of the living legend like Lata Mangeshkar, in no measure, permits any body to talk so loose and call her a Tom, a Dick, or a Harry.

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Author: neelkanth

Certainly not a celebrity but do have inquisitiveness to know things, realise them and live them to the extent possible. My interest in History, Art of Living and behavioural science is an element that inspires me.Am a poet,an author,a consultant, an advisor on computers and behavioural science.Served as Director in Central Board of State Bank of India.Remained associated with trade union activities and industrial relations as President,All India State Bank of India Staff Federation.Led a delegation on computers to several countries abroad number of times as from State Bank of India/ Banking Industry. Was twice accorded with NATIONAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE by All India Freelance Journalists Association, Chennai (India). My email address is: neelkanthshahi@gmail.com

19 thoughts on “Is Lata Mangeshkar a Tom, a Dick or a Harry?”

  1. IT IS REALLY VERY UNFORTUNATE THAT SUCH LOOSE COMMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE AGAINST A LEGEND LIKE LATA MANGESHKAR. LATA IS A SHINING GEM/DIAMOND IN THE CROWN OF INDIA AND EVERY INDIAN IS PROUD OF HER. IT TAKE CENTURIES TO PRODUCE ONE LATA MANGESHKAR. MAY GOD BLESS HER WITH A VERY VERY HEALTHY LONG LIFE. LONG LIVE LATA JI….

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  2. It was turn of Shahid to eat cake of publicity which comments of ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ format provided to him. Else who knows Shahid. People know Tom, Dick and Harry as immortal character of some saying. But Shahid ……. Who Shahid…????.

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  3. thats just an angry son defending his demised father, if someone said such a thing about my father i might have lost my temper too.

    i respect rafiji and lata mangeshkar both as artist, rafiji was far superior than lataji but thats not the point here. the point is if you are respectable to others you should control your tongue- then the truth is age often blunts sharpness of our brain.

    the remarks which lataji made were really provocative- i am not rafiji’s daughter but i too sniggered a little.

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  4. Sir………. What Mr. Shahid had commented reflects only immature pitrabhakti…. A common Indian have a deep sense of regard for Lata jee and Late Rafi jee… You have very rightly observed that limits should never be crossed…..

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  5. Lata is a legend. But in comparison to Rafi, everyone can be Tom, a Dick or a Harry

    The music industry knows how Lata has used her feminine power to get songs. Her affairs with music directors are well known. She should know better than to speak ill about another legend.

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  6. Look like some one trying for fame , Whatever might have happened But he shouldn’t have use such words. telling Rafi greater than lata is his foolishness .

    Always dead person get more fame and legend Due to legacy . some people may feel such thing but it’s not true Lata M. is far greater than Rafi.

    For male singer you get many names of past most kishor kumar , Mukesh

    but the female singer only one name you remember of past legend
    lata mangeshkar.

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    1. Both were great singers .What if they had differences,they later reconciled.Singers are born and not made. It is only luck, dedication and industry that helps in scaling heights.If they did not sing together Suman Kalyanpur got her opportunity.Comparisons should not be made .We should only pray for them. Any son would defend his late father .Why would he go against somebody like Lataji who praises Rafi Saab always and one who sang so many great memorable hits with Rafi Saab.

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  7. Lata is a great singer and I respect her, but her comment about Rafi Sahab offering her a letter of apology is unfortunate. Rafi sahab was better placed in the music industry than Lata ji in 60s. All the great music directors and actors wanted Rafi sahab to render his voice for their songs. On the other hand Lata ji was facing a tough competition from Suman Kalyanpur, Asha, Hemlata and Mubarak begam in those days. Why would Rafi sahab apologize to her ? Again if Lata ji has that aleged letter of apolology, then she must accept Shahid’s challenge and show that letter to him.

    In my view Lata ji should not raise this issue 32 years after the death of great Rafi Sahab, when he can not defend himself.

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  8. No doubt that Lata ji is a legend. We are not doubting on her abilities as a singer. But that does mean that she should try to defame Rafi Sahab.

    Whatever you say or think millians of Rafi fans can never accept that Lata ji is better than rafi sahab. Rafi sahab was much more versatile than Lata ji. Rafi sahab was on the top in those three years in which Lata did not sing with him.

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  9. Why on first place, our Nightingale digging the graves. They had well publicized dispute on royalty issue 50 years ago. Why to raise this issue after 50 years and with fresh information!!!! Mind boggles.
    I’m not happy with shahid Rafi’s choice of words, but I think Lata Ji asked for it.
    Late Ji is a great singer but not the most upright person on earth.
    She has no right to defame Rafi Saheb who was such a fine humble soul.

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