Timeless Nightingale: Lata Mangeshkar takes us back in time as she unveils calendar Humsafar on her musical journey

In an age when the pages of a calendar mostly feature skimpily clad models making a splash, one with black and white images of Bollywood’s yesteryear beauties is a pleasant change.

Playback icon Lata Mangeshkar on Thursday unveiled a calendar for 2013 titled Humsafar featuring stunning pictures of 17 prominent actresses of the past. She released the almanac at her residence Prabhu Kunj in Mumbai.

Lata has picked some of her favourite actresses for whom she enjoyed doing playback in her career. “The calendar is in black and white as it depicts the era I have lived in, where in I have sung for versatile actresses in my 70-year long career. The Humsafar calendar is a tribute to yesteryear actresses from Madhubala, Nargis, Meena Kumari, Waheeda Rehman and Nanda to Dimple Kapadia and Madhuri Dixit,” she said, while flipping through the pages of the calendar, brought out by Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Smruti Pratishthan.

Pune-based photographer Prakash Paknikar collected and executed the Project Humsafar 2013. The calendar, however, is not for sale. It will be distributed on request to film connoisseurs. Each leaf contains personal notes and memoirs on the actress featured as recalled by Lata. It also contains lyrics of Lataji’s favourite song picturised on that actress.

“It was Lataji’s idea to have a note where she would recall the beautiful connection she shared while recording for these actresses,” a source said.

“Since the film Awara, Nargis used to attend my recordings. We started conversing and established a close bond. I still remember how during the song Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi, the recording started at 9.30 am and finished at 3.30 pm the next afternoon. Nargis was waiting with sandwiches for all of us,” reads the note on the page carrying a beautiful image of Nargis donning a Maharashtrian nath (nose ring). The page contains the lyrics of the melodious number Yun Hasraton Ke Daag from the film, Adalat.

The Master Deenanath Pratishthan has been releasing calendars for the past two years. The theme calendar of 2011 comprised Lata’s musical journey with pictures of prominent music composers while the 2012 calendar was a collection of pictures of her various co-singers.

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