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My mother taught me how to fend for myself: Lata Mangeshkar on Mother’s Day

Sing Sena Supremo Lata Mangeshkar has opened up about her closeness to her mother as much as she worshipped her father. Lataji Recalls, “Aaee, as all us siblings called our mother, was the more dominant influence on us. We lost our father  (the great musician Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar) at a very young age. He was only 45 when he left. My memories of him have mostly to do with music. It was Aaee who took charge of our lives, me  and three sisters and  brother.”

Lataji opened up that her learning to conduct herself in the Big Bad World was from her mother. “If it wasn’t for my mother I wouldn’t have known how to go out and fend for myself when I was barely 16-17. At that age, and this was in the 1940s, I would travel  from recording studio to recording studio looking for work in my  chappals and 70-rupee saree.”

Lataji saying wherever she went she always have her mother’s principles “The first thing that  I learnt from my mother was to never, never ever,  tell a lie. She had a very simple reason for advising us to tell the truth, come what may. As she explained it, ‘A lie may simplify your life when you tell that lie. But it is temporary relief. In the long run, you will  need to remember the  lie that you first told and  all the  subsequent  lies to cover it up.’ I’ve lived by my mother’s honesty-is-the-best-policy all my life, The truth may hurt some. But it simplifies everyone’s lives. You  won’t find me  pretending  I like  someone if I don’t.”

The one biggest lesson in life that the Nightingale’s mother gave her was “Do not value material things. Value human relationships. This is the other thing I’ve learnt from my mother. The people who have been with me are those who I’ve known for years and years. How many years have  I known you? Twenty-five?  To me my bonding with you is vital. Never take your friends and  loved ones for granted.”

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