but for our family, LATAJI will live forever...

07 February 2022

The feelings of the Madan Mohan Family, on the loss of our dearest LATAJI, are best expressed in a heartfelt tribute penned by Madanji’s grandson, AKSHAY KOHLI, son of Sanjeev

Lata Aunty was the unwavering constant in our lives from the time I was born. Her relationship with my late grandfather, Madan Mohan, was the stuff legends are made of. There are 200+ iconic songs testament to this - but it was more than just the musical magic they co-created. She was an integral part of his family, and his singular source of strength until his demise at the young age of 51. But it was after his passing that her relationship with her “Madan Bhaiya” really came to the fore - she started as the voice behind each of his masterclasses that the world will forever hold onto, but overnight evolved into the senior statesperson of our family. Not only did she get my grandparents married, but also then my parents, and then Saipriya and me. I never met either of my paternal grandparents, but Lata Aunty filled that void - she was the pillar of our fledgling family.

The memories are countless, one more amazing than the other. We take them all for granted when people are around. It’s when they are gone that we pause and actually put into perspective how lucky we were. I am forever blessed and privileged for the love I got from her personally, but even more thankful for being just another one of her musical fans – truly spellbound listening to her body of work that almost no other global artiste can compare to. For me, living and breathing her music was the ultimate payoff - and transcended the fortuitous nature of having a personal equation with her courtesy my family.

Her impact on all our lives is unparalleled. I have had the luck of living and breathing decades worth of her work for all my lifetime - I really encourage all of you to take the extra time to do the same - it will change your life in ways I cannot describe but only promise. In her, we have one of the greatest musical treasures ever known to mankind. We have so much to be proud of, and a real responsibility to keep her reign alive as Indians.

My most favorite song of hers, coincidentally my grandfather’s song, has a fitting line:

"Shayad Phir Is Janam Mein, Mulaqat Ho Na Ho."

Maybe not in this lifetime, but somewhere along the path to the next stop, I am confident we will meet again. And we will still hear you singing “Lag Ja Gale” in the way only you could, our dearest Lata Aunty.