BY AHANA BHATTACHARYA
Mumbai, (IANS) Internet singing sensation Ranu Mondal’s estranged daughter Elizabeth Sathi Roy, claims that she didn’t know her mother used to sing on the platform of Ranaghat railway station, because she could not visit her mother regularly. Sathi added that, contrary to reports that she reunited with her mother only after the latter courted overnight fame, the two of them were always in touch.
“I didn’t know that ma used to sing at the railway station because I could not visit ma regularly. I had been to Dharmatala (in Kolkata) a couple of months ago and found her sitting aimlessly at a bus stand. I told her to go home immediately and gave her Rs 200,” Sathi told IANS.
Sathi now faces public flak for deserting her mother in a helpless condition, and she says many have been blaming her for negligence, although she is the only one among Ranu’s four children who has been taking care of their mother.
“I used to send her Rs 500 as and when possible using an uncle’s account. I am a divorcee and run a small grocery shop in Suri (a small town in Birbhum district), where I stay. I am a single mother looking after my younger son, so I have my own struggles. Still, I try to look after ma as much as I can. I tried to get her to stay with us several times, but my mother does not want to stay with us. Despite this, people are blaming me. The public is against me. Who do I go to now?” said Sathi.
Revealing about Ranu’s three other children from her two marriages, Sathi, daughter from Ranu’s first husband, shared: “My father passed away a few years back. Ma’s kids from her second husband probably stay in Mumbai now, though I am not sure. Her second husband is still alive. I am her first husband’s daughter, and I have an elder brother and a half-brother and half-sister. We are not in touch with each other. Why don’t the other kids take responsibility of ma? Why is nobody is blaming them? I want them to come forward and take care of ma along with me.”
Sathi revealed that she has spent her childhood in Mumbai, where she studied at Juhu’s St Joseph’s High School. However, she got married soon after their family shifted to Kolkata and, hence, it was difficult to visit her mother regularly. She said: “After coming back to Kolkata, I was married off within a year. My husband and I used to stay in a joint family, so I couldn’t bring ma to stay with us. Despite that, I have tried to support ma in whatever way I could. I would take food and money for her every time I went to meet her. Soon after that, my husband and I shifted to Suri. Ma has visited me a few times at Suri but she does not want to stay with us permanently and I cannot force her. Maybe I couldn’t stay with ma, but I have taken care of her as much as I could.”
Today, Sathi is a single mother who runs a small grocery shop in Suri and looks after her four-year-old son. Her elder son, aged nine, stays with her former husband. She blames the members of Ranaghat’s Amra Shobai Shoitaan club, who are looking after her mother, for not letting her get in touch with Ranu and also accuses them of threatening her.
“It feels like as if Atindra and Tapan (club members) are my mother’s own sons. They, and other members of the club, have threatened to break my leg and throw me out if I try to get in touch with my mother. They don’t let me talk to ma even over the phone. Also, they are brainwashing ma against me. I feel helpless. I don’t know what should I do. I am not taking any drastic step because that will create an impact on my mother, and she will not be able to concentrate on her music and recordings. She is mentally imbalanced and, on top of that, the media is annoying her,” said Sathi.
Ranu Mondal used to sing at Ranaghat railway station and shot to fame after a video of her singing Lata Mangeshkar’s soulful number “Ek pyaar ka nagma hai” was uploaded on social media by Atindra Chakraborty and Tapan Das of Ranaghat’s Amra Shobai Shoitan club. Accusing the club members of misusing Ranu’s money, her daughter further said: “Tapan and Atindra want fame, so they have sidelined me. They are pretending to be selfless but they are not. Why are they accompanying ma to Mumbai, leaving behind their family and work? They did not let me accompany ma to Mumbai. Tapan takes money from my mother in the pretext of buying goods for her daily use. But, when I went to her place, I discovered that she doesn’t even have basic utensils like a dish or a cup. They have taken Rs 10,000 from ma’s account and bought only a suitcase and a couple of nighties for her. I don’t trust them at all.”
Sathi is waiting for her mother to return from Mumbai and now wants to take her back again. “Even though everybody is blaming me, I will continue to support ma. I will request ma to come and stay with me in Suri, but I will never force her. If she decides to shift to Mumbai, I will go and stay with her along with my son. I love her. She has been through a lot in life and is finally getting recognition for her god-gifted voice. I am proud to be her daughter,” Sathi concluded.
BY AHANA BHATTACHARYA