While Lata Mangeshkar is popularly called as Lata didi, her talented playback singer sister Asha Bhosle is popularly called Asha Tai. Today, 8th September is her Birthday. To celebrate the birthday of the legend let us discuss the significant high points and milestones of her illustrious career.
Asha Tai is from Sangli and her dad is the famous Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar. She is known as Asha Bhosle as she took the surname of her 1st husband, Ganpatrao Bhosle. She went back to her home with her children and took up the challenge of a singing career as a single woman with kids , which is tough even now, and must have been incredibly tough 60-65 years back.
The 1st milestone of Asha Tai’s career was her association with OP Nayyar. Till then Asha was under the shadow of her illustrious sister, Lata didi. OP Nayyar gave her an individuality of her own. He also gave her lots and lots of work. Asha tai sang 324 songs for him followed by Geeta Dutt with just 64. Some of the best movies in which Asha Bhosle sang for him were Naya Daur, Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Howrah Bridge, Phir Vohi Dil Laya Hoon, Kismat, Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, Mere Sanam and Kashmir Ki Kali. In 1972 they fell apart, though ironically in 1973 , she won the Filmfare best singer award for “Chain Se Kabhi” for the movie Pran Jaaye Par Vachan Naa Jaaye. However they never worked together again.
The 2nd milestone of Asha Tai’s career is working with RD Burman , whom she used to call Bubs. Pancham introduced a westernised style of singing and Asha fit into it perfectly. Hare rama hare Krishna, Caravan, Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Anamika, Kaalia, Kasme Vaade are some of the biggest hits of Pancham where Asha Tai had super hit songs. Pancham and Asha Tai got married in 1980 and they were together till he passed away in 1994.
Interestingly, for OP Nayyar, Asha had huge hits with Rafi Saab , while for Pancham, she had huge hits with Kishore da.
The 3rd milestone was singing Ghazals for Khayyam in Umrao Jaan while the 4th milestone was singing for AR Rehman in Rangeela. Tanha tanha and Rangeela re made Urmila an overnight sensation, and the movie was also an important milestone in Aamir Khan’s career.
All milestones put together symbolise Asha tai’s greatest asset- her versatility. She could sing any type of songs, sad, peppy, romantic, ghazal, cabaret numbers and more. The American string quartet named Kronos Quartet in 2005 used a number of Pancham tunes in their album, “You’ve stolen my heart”. Asha tai sang for them and the album was nominated for the 2006 Grammy awards.
It is not well known that apart from being a terrific singer, she is a wonderful cook as well. Her interest in cooking has led to a chain of Indian cuisine restaurants named Asha’s throughout the world in places such as Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Birmingham and Manchester. She says that if she would not have been a singer she would have been a full-time chef.
Asha Tai’s enthusiasm is legendary. Happy birthday to this young singer who is just 85 today!