My Mother Is My Greatest Influence:  Lata Mangeshkar


“My mother was both  a mother and a father   to me.  No doubt my  mother  is  my greatest influence …that  goes without saying. My mother became  a widow  at a  very young age. She  was  five years  younger  to my  father . My father was only 41 when he passed away…From then onwards my mother  took  full responsibility  of  my brother and  my sisters .

I started working  five months after my  father passed away.My first earning  was 300  rupees for  three months’ work. My mother taught me  everything I know about conducting myself in public. She took care  of us   like birds in a nest. We had just one faithful servant to  help  mother.

My Mother Is My Greatest Influence:  Lata Mangeshkar

My brother had trouble with his leg. I’d  leave  early in the morning and my mother would  look after everything at home. She  always told me to  follow my father’s example  in singing. She  taught us  the  right   values. Until  she  passed away  we all looked towards her for support. We were very scared of her.

Not that she had a temper or  hit us. But we  could never say  no to  anything   to her.  She  was a wonderful cook and taught us all  how to cook. Mymother gave me the strength  to go out in the  world and  be a working girl at an age when other girls played with dolls.  She always said, ‘Never cry  over  the fact that you’ve to work at an age when you should play.’ I remember  our sleeping arrangement. Mom used to be in the middle.

My brother Hridayanath and  youngest sister Usha  used to be on  both sides of her.I used to on the corner  of the bed.  She  looked  after all of us. After she passed away in  1995 I  miss her terribly. Her room was  right in front of mine. And even today I keep forgetting she’s no longer there. If I need to  consult her on   details  about  my father’s  career I  head for her room  forgetting for a moment that  she ‘s gone. Just  last night  when I was unwell I  wanted my mother’s lap. Then I remembered  she was  no more.”

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