I can sing almost 18 songs at one go at age 90, says Asha Bhosle

PTI, Feb 28, 2024, 8:35 PM IST

Her first song came when she was just 10. Eighty years on, the legend of song, Asha Bhosle, is 90 and says she can belt out 18 numbers at one go even today.

And that’s just what Bhosle is about to do at her March 9 concert to celebrate her 90th birthday. ”If I will live more, I will go almost everywhere in Maharashtra and do shows. The name of my show is ‘Woh Phir Nahin Aati Hai’. I will also not come again… You should never regret that you haven’t seen that person. People say we did not see Kishore Kumar and other singers (perform). But now you can say we have seen Asha Bhosle,” the legendary singer said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Singing, she said, is her passion. She would sing even as a child but took to professional singing due to circumstances, Bhosle said. ”I got the name and fame, people started recognising me. Even though when I am not working, I keep singing. I keep practising. I never left singing, that’s why my voice is okay even today.” Maintaining one’s voice is akin to ”taking care of your body”, she said.

”I don’t practise for others. I practise for myself because I like it.” ”I sang my first song when I was 10 years old and it’s been 80 years. I want to thank you all, (I don’t know) how you have tolerated my voice for 80 years? I almost sing 18 songs at this age. I am always on stage,” Bhosle said.

Her first film track was ”Chala Chala Nav Bala” for the 1943 Marathi film ”Majha Bal”. From peppy numbers such as ”Piya Tu Ab To Aaja” and ”O Haseena Zulfon Wali” to soulful ghazals like ”Dil Cheez Kya Hai” and the classical ”Tora Man Darpan Kehlaye”, she has some 12,000 songs across languages to her credit.

The second of the five Mangeshkar siblings — Lata Mangeshkar the oldest — Bhosle last took the stage in Dubai on September 8, 2023, her 90th birthday.

With the upcoming concert, Bhosle said she was honouring her promise of performing in her city.

”Mumbai is my city. It has seen me taking buses, walking on roads. Mumbai has seen me when I had nothing. Mumbai has seen me in the car also. Now, I have everything, kids and family. I will do a show in my city and I know everyone will go back home happy,” she added.

Bhosle said she was a big fan of ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas, who died at a Mumbai hospital on Monday after prolonged illness.

”He had visited my home too. I sang his songs when he was a music director. He was a great person, other than that it’s god’s will. Nobody can go against god’s will,” she said.

Her granddaughter Zanai Bhosle will perform with her at the show.

”It makes me teary eyed that you have given my grandmother so much love even in her 90s… I feel grateful that I was born in this house. Firstly, I am going to perform with a person who is India’s heart and voice. But for me, she is my grandmother… I mean, who gets a chance like this? I am doing it for her,” she added. Bhosle also hummed a few lines of ”Kuch Toh Log Kahenge”, the song from the 1972 film ”Amar Prem”, in the memory of her late husband-music composer RD Burman.

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