Decoding Asha Bhosle’s born identity

Raju Bharatan, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, September 08, 2007

Anchor Nidhi Razdan (on NDTV 24 x 7) kept urging her to sing Aayeeye meherbaan, but the Asha Bhosle bombshell wouldn’t bite the bullet.

If only because OP Nayyar’s Howrah Bridge was already part of the Asha crossover. A crossover seeing Asha landing bountifully in the baton-wielding arms of R D Burman.

Neither Meera nor Dada Burman was elated about their only child Pancham wedding an Asha years older. But Pancham, by 1980, was his own music man. He moved to a Santa Cruz music-room – into a flat in Asha’s name. A flat Asha’s preserved as a Monica memento to her Pancham.

Secret unleashed

Santacruz is where Sapnaa meraa toot gayaa took shape. Ask young or old to jot down 75 Asha songs, both generations would do the 75 listing job offhand.

What’s the secret of Asha’s eternal singing youth? She never hesitated to reinvent herself. Take the time Runa Laila of Bangladesh invaded India. Runa rattled each Indian singer – for whom that songbook-in-hand had become a perennial mental crutch behind the mike.

Momentarily, even Asha felt discomfited upon Runa’s emerging as a Damadam mast qalandar telegenic sensation.

But Asha never did spurn a challenge. Within weeks she’d metamorphosed on TV. To turn herself into the neo-swingersinger via the Yeh Hai Asha programmed projection on DD.

Going places
All razzmatazz was Asha here. Moving beyond Opee, Asha now commanded spot-mod attention, as she articulated Pancham innovation after innovation, handsfree, on stage. Innovations ranging from Dum maaro dum to Khullam khulla pyaar karenge.

Opee maintained he left Asha.

The reverse is true some brick Asha dropped when she trendily jilted Opee! Still, her 1974 Filmfare Best Singer award came to be for Opee’s Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye classic, Chain se hum ko. The swan-song abiding as the sentimental symbol by which we re-live Asha-Opee’s togetherness through nine years.

Clear the blur
But Asha skipped the 1974 Filmfare awards function, thereby sealing their break. A break redolent of Piya piya naa laage moraa jiya (on Madhubala in Phagun), Bekasee hadd se jab ( on Padmini in Kalpana) and Akelee hoon main piyaa (on Anjana in Sambandh).

Under Opee, her long-awaited box-office breakthrough came with those three 1957 Naya Daur Asha-Rafi duets – Maang ke saath tumharaa, Udey jab jab zulfen and Saathee haath badhana.

Likewise, her Pancham breakaway came through three 1972 Jawani Diwani Asha-Kishore duets – Agar saaz chhedaa, Naheen naheen abhee naheen and Jaan-e-jaan.

The crunch came as Asha took to Lata Mangeshkar in Pancham’s Aa jaa aa jaa for litmustesting her vocals, urging her sister to testify to her breath-control. Lata pronounced Asha to be bang on the ball – asking her to make but a slight modulating adjustment in that Teesri Manzil cult number.

That Asha, under Pancham, proceeded to create her own niche as a singer, is her matchless achievement. Maybe Opee here played a key Woh hans ke miley preparatory role.

Looking ahead
Dada Burman, too, had his Ab ke baras vocal-rounding contribution to make. But it was Pancham who, vitally, polished the rough diamond into the Meraa kuchch saamaan finished product.

Today, at 74, Asha is at her performing zenith. Asha came to my only kid Shilpa’s wedding reception, staying for a full hour. Saying she was doing so since Pancham hadn’t been able to accompany her. “But Pancham chose this saree-shade I’m flaunting!” emphasised Asha.

This singer’s singer was visibly moved as I introduced her to the audience as the one-and-only Asha Bhosle. She’s that, if only because, at near 13,000, Asha Bhosle is today on the top in the numbers game. Forget all about 30,000 – the Guinness noting got knocked out in 1990 itself ! What about Asha’s resonance beyond Opee and Pancham? Let that be for another birthday.. a song.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times.

6 Responses to “Decoding Asha Bhosle’s born identity”

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  3. Dr. Nag Rao Says:

    Only one thing wrong in the article:

    The diamond was cut, polished, and shining like a Star. Thanks to O.P. Nayyar!
    The ungrateful Asha (or nir-Asha) went to the talented R.D. Burman on the rebound licking her wounds like a lioness spurned.

    RD’s genius was in taking full advantage of the diamond, cut, polished and handed to him by O.P.

    Both of them (Asha and RD) should be grateful to the unmatched Opee!
    Gentleman RD always did.
    As for the Lady?!….

  4. Rishi Dhamala Says:

    you so-called Dr. Rao!

    how come you mention the erotic relation of Asha with OP and RD?

    You are totally stupid.

    Rishi Dhamala

  5. NAMRATA Says:

    how much said about a person proves that how famous that person is. nothing can touch our ASHA, cause she is out of this world, if she’d ever started thinkng about the gosssips for her, she could have never reached at this height, so if v love HER, truly, we must be happy about these gossips, we can see that how much jealousy of not getting even a 1/1000 part of her fame, is in others mind, who tries to make rubbish talk they r automatically proving themselves dis satisfied and mentally ill stop cursing them and only love and worship ASHA, our ASHU.

  6. NAMRATA Says:

    we must not forget that we love ASHA and we know HER as nothing else but as a singer, not a singer but THE SINGER, so we should c her as only a singer, as a singer SHE is superb, SHE is out of this world, SHE is umcomparable, SHE is unbeatable, what we know about HER personally, and why should we know? everybody has right to live his or her life privately, so why should we interrupt? we should never try to say about anything personal about any great personality, cause we are s…………..o far from HER, and we r not even capable to think or speak about HER, if v love her truly we must stop cursing others and wasting time, but must invest our every moment in listenig her voice and get more and more love with HER voice. I LOVE U, ASHU.

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