Indore singer builds temple to Lata Mangeshkar

Mumbai, Sep 29 : An aspiring singer from Madhya Pradesh has raised melody queen Lata Mangeshkar to a divine level by building a temple of the music icon at her home.

Varsha Jhalani, 28, from Indore, told IANS Saturday, "I rehearse my singing (riyaaz) in her divine presence since the past nearly two decades. I feel confident and empowered with her smiling picture in the temple."

Jhalani (Khandelwal), who lives in Mumbai to pursue her dream of becoming a playback singer, called on Lata Mangeshkar at her home in Prabhukunj three days ago and spent hours singing and chatting with her idol.

"We share a unique bond, though I am so young and she is so elderly. We both speak with many of her famous songs interspersing the conversation, and enjoy ourselves," she said.

Jhalani raised the first temple to India's nightingale in 1995 when she started singing as a young girl.

Later, in 2007, the aspiring singer created a big marble-stone temple with pictures of Mangeshkar in it and also learnt Marathi to communicate easily with the melody queen.

"I had made several attempts to meet Lataji, but did not succeed, but last year during Ganeshotsav I met her and we hit it off," Jhalani said.

Since then, she meets and sings regularly for Lata Mangeshkar.

"For three years, on Lataji's birthday, I performed 12-hour non-stop stage shows, singing her top numbers in 12 different languages," Jhalani said.

Jhalani has also been doing television shows and competitions. She has performed at many stage shows and sung at various events, all dedicated to Lata Mangeshkar.

--IANS (Posted on 29-09-2013)

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