Vijayawada recalls melody queen's visit
Deccan Chronicle.| Md Illyas
Dr Nageswara Rao said she, along with her younger sister Usha Mangeshkar and another relative, stayed in his house
People gather to catch a glimpse of the funeral procession of late Bollywood singer Lata Mangeshkar who died in Mumbai. (Photo: AFP)
VIJAYAWADA: Lata Mangeshkar visited Vijayawada to receive an award from Dr. Pinnamaneni and Seetha Devi Foundation in 1993 and was amazed by the Goddess Durga temple on the Indrakeeladri Hill.
Foundation managing trustee Dr C. Nageswara Rao, speaking to Deccan Chronicle, recalled the day the city eagerly waited for the melody queen’s arrival in Vijayawada on 16 December 1993 and he received her in the Vijayawada railway station by driving his car onto the platform.
Dr Nageswara Rao said she, along with her younger sister Usha Mangeshkar and another relative, stayed in his house. As she wished to visit Durga temple, they took her to the hilltop temple and she was amazed to see the beauty of the temple, he recalled. Devotees asked her to sing a song in praise of the Goddess which she honoured and fulfilled. Renowned playback singer late S.P. Balasubrahmanyam was the key person to bring Lata to the city.
They presented Dr. Pinnamaneni and Seetha Devi Foundation award to her with Rs 50,000 cash during the programme which was held in Siddhartha Auditorium in the city for which passes were issued as a precautionary measure to control the crowds.
Dr Nageswara Rao recalled that Lata, after going back, wrote a letter on 31 December 1993 expressing thanks for conferring the award. He said Lata conveyed special thanks to his wife Dr Sudha who took trouble looking after them.
Another trustee of the foundation Dr C. Sudha said that Lata sang Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum during the programme and it enthralled the audiences. Lata was very humble and they happily hosted her in their house, she said and recalled that due to security reasons, she was not allowed to stay in the hotel hence she opted to stay in her house. Lata liked their food and she took a photo with the cook of their house, she added.
Several other elders who attended the award programme said S.P. Balasubrahmanyam announced starting of a trust in his father’s name with the award money. They recalled that responding to the trust announcement, Lata donated her cash prize of Rs 50,000 to the trust on the dais. Lata sang three famous songs in Telugu movies "Nidura Poda Thammuda" (Santham) "Sri Venkatesaa" (Dorikithe Dongalu) and "Tella Cheeraku" (Aakhari Poratam) and these songs turned out to be as all-time hits, the recalled.