India's image is changing due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar told him when they spoke last week on phone before PM Modi left for his week-long US visit. PM Modi began today's episode of Mann Ki Baat, his monthly radio address, with an introduction to the legendary singer, who turned 90 on Saturday. A pre-recorded telephonic conversation between PM Modi and Lata Mangeshkar was then played up on the show.Ahead of the monthly radio address, he had tweeted that he had a "special guest" on the show.
"All of us have immense respect for her. She has been a witness to different eras in the history of this country," PM Narendra Modi said, introducing Lata Mangeshkar as he called her "Didi" (elder sister). He said he called up Lata Mangeshkar last week before leaving for US to wish her birthday.
"I usually do not talk about such personal conversations," PM Modi told his listeners, adding he is making an exception in today's episode.
As the pre-recorded telephone conversation began, PM Modi is heard saying: "Pranaam, I called because I will be travelling on your birthday. I thought before leaving I should wish you and congratulate you. I wish you good health and may your blessings be on us. I pray."
Lata Mangeshkar, who said she was excited ever since she got to know about the phone call, sought blessings from PM Modi but he said the singer was elder to him and she should bless him instead.
"People get old with age. But it's always good to get blessings from those who become big through their great work," Lata Mangeshkar replied.
Then she told PM: "Aapke aane se Bharat ka chitra badal raha hai...Mujhe bahut khushi hoti hai... (India's image is changing because of you.... This gives me immense happiness)."
PM Modi also had a conversation about the Gujarati connect with Ms Mangeshkar. "I was so happy when you told me your mother was a Gujarati. I feel so happy each time I meet you and you offer me Gujarati delicacies," he said. He also heaped praises on Ms Mangeshkar for her humility, which he said has "inspired generations".
The episode was broadcast a day after PM Modi returned from US where he met US President Donald Trump. He thanked thousands of people for coming to receive him in large numbers at Delhi airport and giving him an opportunity to extol the country's virtues on a global stage. "After winning the elections in 2014, I had gone to the United Nations. But this time, I observed a big change in their attitude towards India. The credit for their increased respect for India goes to 130 crore Indians," PM Modi said.