Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he had extended birthday greetings to Lata Mangeshkar before embarking on his week-long visit to the US as he made his telephonic conversation with the legendary singer public on his monthly radio address.
Mangeshkar turned 90 on September 28.
During the conversation, Modi described Mangeshkar as an elder sister while the singer heaped praise on him, saying the picture of India has started changing ever since he became prime minister.
In his call, Modi said, "I have called as this time I will be in flight on your birthday so thought of wishing you in advance. Wishing you good health, may your blessings be upon us. With these wishes I have called you before leaving for America."
The prime minister left for Houston on September 21 and returned to New Delhi on Saturday night. In the US, he addressed the UN General Assembly and several events, including the "Howdy Modi!" diaspora gathering.
The iconic singer said she was happy to receive the call and had sought his blessings.
The prime minister, on his part, said, "We seek your blessings, you are elder to us."
Mangeshkar emphasised, "There are many who are older than us but important are the blessings of the ones who have done great service." Modi said Mangeshkar was both elder in age as well as in accomplishments.
"I think it is all due to the blessings of my parents and love of the listeners. I am nothing," the singer said.
In his reply, Modi said, "It is this humility that inspires us, despite achieving so much, you have not forgotten your humility and values".
The duo also bonded over their Gujarati connection. Mangeshkar's mother Shevanti Mangeshkar hailed from the PM's home state.
"Whenever I visited you, you always offered me some Gujarati dish... This family-like affection, gives me special happiness," Modi said.
"This time when I visited Mumbai, I wished to meet you. But it could not be possible due to the tight schedule. I will come very soon and will have some Gujarati dish prepared by you," he promised.
Mangeshkar said the country's image has started changing after Modi assumed the prime minister's chair.
"You yourself do not know what you are. I know that picture of India has started changing ever since you arrived on the scene and that gives me immense happiness," she said.
Modi also sought Mangeshkar's blessings.
"Didi may you continue to bless our countrymen so that people like us continue to do some good. You have always inspired me... I am deeply grateful for your concern about me," he said.