I feel like an 18-year-old: Lata Mangeshkar

I feel like an 18-year-old: Lata Mangeshkar

"I turned 81 on September last. But I am very young at heart. So I have reversed the order of the figure. I feel like an 18-year-old," Lata said while accepting the honour here last evening at a function organised by the French government.
"France and India have always stood for values like fraternity, equality and liberty. I thank the French Government for bestowing this highly prestigious honour on me," Lata said.

The 'Legion d'Honneur (Legion of Honour) is the highest distinction that can be conferred by the French Republic on a French citizen as well as on a foreigner.

Showering praise on France, which she says is a regular on her travel itinerary, Lata said, "France is the land of brave hearts as well as beauty. So are its perfumes, wine and champagne famous world over. I am a great fan of France."
"Besides other things, I found peace, which I am looking for, in a church there," said Lata, who was clad in her trademark simple saree.

Lata, famous as the 'Nightingale of India' also thanked her family and film industry.
"It is because of them, what I am today. I consider myself to be very lucky," she said.
Jerrome Bonnafont, French Ambassador in India, bestowed the medal, a glittering broach, on Lata.

But it proved to be quite a tongue twister for Bonnafont when he tried to mentioned two particular songs of the singer -- 'Aaayega aane wala....' and 'Ae Mere watan ke Logon....'

"It is this love in myriad forms, from personal to patriotic, that binds France with India," he said.
The function was attended by filmmaker Yash Chopra, Madhur Bhandarkar, Annu Mallik, and entire Mangeshkar family, except Asha Bhosale, who gave a miss to the event.
Other famous personalities who have been awarded this honour include Steven Spielberg and actor Gerard Depardieu.
The legendary singer who first broke onto the music scene with 'Aayega Aanewaala' in Mahal (1949), is considered the greatest playback singer in Indian cinema having sung more than 30,000 songs in a career spanning six decades.

Filmmaker Yash Chopra (L), Singing legend Lata Mangeshkar (C) and French Ambassador to India Jérôme Bonnafont during a function to felicitate Lata Mangeshkar with the 'Officier de la Legion d'honneur', France's highest civilian award, in Mumbai on Wednesday night. PTI
 Actor Milind Soman along with French actors Helene De Fougerolles and Fanny Valette during a function to felicitate Singing legend Lata Mangeshkar with the 'Officier de la Legion d'honneur', France's highest civilian award, in Mumbai on Wednesday night. PTI

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