The domestic helps and aides who worked at Lata Mangeshkar’s residence said nobody else can ever be like their ‘Didi’, as the legendary singer was fondly called, as she never treated them as her servants and never spoke to them angrily. Mangeshkar, 92, died in a Mumbai hospital on Sunday following multi-organ failure.
Suman Salve, one of the househelps of the singing icon, said that when she suffered a heart attack five months ago, Mangeshkar herself called doctors and ensured that she gets the best medical treatment. “I suffered a heart attack when I was at her place. Didi saved my life, but now she has herself gone away forever,” Salve said.
Wearing a ‘nauvari’ (Maharashtra’s traditional nine-yard) saree, Salve waited eagerly to pay her last respects to her ‘Didi’. She said she had been working at Mangeshkar’s house for more than three decades. “I have been working at her home since Indira Gandhi’s time, when Didi’s mother Mai was there,” Salve, who hails from Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, told PTI.
Salve said that she had last seen the legendary singer a month ago at her home, when she went there after her medical treatment. “Didi never treated us as a servant. She used to fondly call me ‘Mavshibai’. She never talked to us angrily. In this world, there is no person like Didi and nobody else can ever be like her,” she said.
Salve said Mangeshkar had asked her to keep visiting Prabhu Kunj, her residence, often, although her medical condition post-heart attack did now allow her to do so.
According to her, Mangeshkar used to take care of their small needs, and provided food and clothes.
Pushpa Nabar, another help, said, “‘Didi jaisa koi nahi’ (There is no one like Didi).” Talking to PTI, she said she had been serving Mangeshkar for the past two decades and was her caretaker before she went on a long leave due to the pandemic. She said that six to seven people worked at Mangeshkar’s house and all of them are deeply saddened by her death.