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Farewell, nightingale: Lata Mangeshkar cremated with state honours as PM Modi, leaders pay tributes

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Mumbai, Feb 06: Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar was cremated with full state honours at Mumbai's iconic Shivaji Park on Sunday evening. Lata's brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar lit the funeral pyre of the singing legend, who died at 92 in a hospital here on Sunday morning after multi-organ failure.

Image credit: PTI

Hridaynath Mangeshkar was inconsolable as he performed the last rites. Just before the last rites, the national tricolour in which the mortal remains were draped, was handed over to the family members.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, among others, were in attendance to pay their last respects.

PM Modi laid a wreath and bowed in front of the mortal remains. He also met the Mangeshkar family members and consoled them. He left the venue before the funeral.

As a flower-bedecked cortege went from Mangeshkar's Peddar Road home to Shivaji Park for the last rites, surging crowds of mourners walked or jogged along, many thousands lined the 10-kilometre route and millions tuned into their screens to say goodbye to the woman who had been an integral part of their lives and to fuse into memory a moment in contemporary history.

Mangeshkar, whose name was written into legend long years before she took her last breath in Mumbai's Breach Candy Hospital, had been in hospital since January 8 when she was diagnosed with Covid with mild symptoms. She was also diagnosed with pneumonia.

The singer, one of India's most well known and well loved personalities, died at 8.12 am due to multi organ failure, her doctor Pratit Samdani said. The government announced a two-day ''state mourning'' for Mangeshkar, who had a prodigious almost eight-decade career in which she sang an estimated 25,000 songs in as many as 36 Indian languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Kannada, and across classical and other genres.

The national flag will fly at half mast from February 6 to February 7 throughout India. There will also be no official entertainment in this period.

The Indore-born Mangeshkar is survived by her siblings Meena, Asha, Usha and Hridaynath. Her coffin was draped in the tricolour and placed on the hearse draped in white flowers with a giant photograph of the singer known as "Nightingale of India", "melody queen" or "Lata didi" to so many. Sounds of "Lata Mangeshkar Amar Rahe" could be heard through the route.

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