People call him Waseem Lata
Waseem, popularly known as Waseem Lata in Hyderabad, has been blessed with the legendary Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar’s voice.
“I have been fond of Lata Mangeshkar’s music since childhood,” Waseem told SAMAA TV’s show Naya Din Wednesday. As a child, he used to play Lata’s songs and sing along them. It was after some time that he realised he had a striking similarity with the legendary singer's voice.
“Now I had to try singing in Lata jee’s voice somewhere big,” he said. “There was a function in our neighbourhood where I performed in front of people for the first time. I received a lot of gifts and immense praise.”
A singer named Nadeem Noor, who was present at the function, introduced Waseem to musicians and asked him to sing before them. “They were really impressed and gave me a couple of songs.” Waseem then started performing at different events.
“Often people found it hard to believe that it was my own voice,” he said. The music system had to be turned off to show the audiences he wasn’t lip-syncing.
A painter by profession, Waseem said his life has been full of struggles. “My father was a painter, too.” Unfortunately, his father had to give up work because he was asthmatic, and the doctors had warned him that his condition could worsen if he continued painting.
“I was only eight years old when I took on the responsibilities of our household with my elder brother,” said Waseem. The two learned to paint, and also unloaded trucks full of logs. “It took us three hours to unload a truck and they paid us Rs20 only.”
He said they never turned to begging because they had to provide their siblings a better future. And after 20 years today, they are all flourishing. “My brothers work with me and they respect me a lot.”
Waseem says he could never have imagined he would achieve such fame one day. He still feels like he is dreaming. “I’ve been receiving so many calls lately that I don’t even have the time to spend at home.” Meeting his idol Lata Mangeshkar is his dream. “Whatever I am today, it is because of Lata jee.”