AS THE melodious voice of Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar faded into the horizon, a pall of gloom encompassed her family home, back in Goa. Lata “Tai ” as she was lovingly called traces her roots to a quaint and vibrant village called Mangeshi.
Mangeshi village is a point of pilgrimage for hundreds of tourists from all over India and abroad. Lord Mangesh, whose idol is situated at the famous temple of Mangeshi, was Lata Mangeshkar’s family deity and that’s how the family came to be associated with the title of ‘Mangeshkar’.
India Ahead traced her back to her ancestral village, where people continue to live in awe of her.
Mahesh, the chief priest of the Mangeshi temple recalls the vivid memories of Lata Mangeshkar and her father at their ancestral home.
“It is a pride for all Goans and for us that Mangeshkar was the native of this place. She is someone who took music to a different level. She was born in Indore , but her father was a stage actor and he would perform here. He would play the drums, sing classical songs and serve Lord Mangesh,” says Mahesh.
Despite the more famous Mangeshkars moving to Mumbai for better prospects, Lata’s family that includes her distant cousins have remained close knit at their ancestral home.
Even today, the Mangeshkar cousins take pride in the successes of their ‘sisters’ Lata, Usha, Asha, Meena. They recall their younger days when they listened to bhajans and musical programmes and would also play at the footsteps of the Mangeshi temple. Lata was born in Indore, but she would visit Mangueshi with her father.
In the background of this family loss, the Goa based Mangeshkars have another story to tell. They have been struggling to make ends meet.
Prasanna Mangeshkar, who is a third generation Mangeshkar and a distant cousin wants the rest of the Mangeshkar family to come back.
“It is now up to them to come back here. This is their home. We are saying we are one family. Its not about helping us, its about reconnecting as one family”, says Prasanna.