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Total Impressions : 12666230

Saturday's Child (By Rediff columnist Varsha Bhosle on her mother, singing legend Asha Bhosle)

At the time, I put it down to fate. The jubilation of having scored decent marks after a bare minimum attendance, the ensuing wrath of the hallowed Mrs Dossal who ran the political science department of Elphinstone College, the flaring tempers, the thinly-veiled threats -- it nearly brought my academic life to a stand-still. Her words still ring in my ears; and they bring with them the same blinding fury: "I can well imagine how you managed to get these marks. It's no big secret what can be bought and sold. I know what kind of a family you come from. Miss a single lecture, and we'll see." The comedy of it all was that it never was a big secret that Mrs Dossal's 'prepared notes' were almost verbatim from the Sabine textbook. Besides, it has never needed a genius to pass bona fide our university exams without attending lectures.

At that time, I found it hard to believe that her rage may have been goaded by envy, pettiness or prejudice. Against what, and against whom? I certainly couldn't picture her as a frustrated diva. It took me many more such instances to divine exactly what I was up against. From "what kind of family" do I come? A chosen family, a special family, a family gifted with music since three generations. 

For people who -- after having ground away the stipulated years in university, higher studies, apprenticeships, etc -- trudge up and down the steep ladder of seniority, it must be extremely galling to see the seemingly uneducated, tasteless, loose-living, filthy-rich upstarts of the Indian film industry leave them yards behind in the rat-race. Predictably, the female singer was consigned to the bottom rung of their esteem. Depending upon the sensibili .....

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