Today, Bollywood mogul and singer Asha Bhosle is celebrating her 88th birthday and fans across the world are pouring in love and wish for the legendary singer. Today, we bring you a throwback to the time when historian Raju Bharatan spoke about the rivalry between Bhosle and her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar. Scroll below to read the scoop.
Raju has written books on Asha and Lata both and it’s a beautiful read that will give you an insight into the initial music era of Bollywood.
Back in 2016, during an interview with the Indian Express, Raju Bharatan spoke about the rivalry between the two sisters – Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar. He called their bond a little ruthless.
Raju Bharatan said, “I had to take note of the fact that there was some ruthlessness in the relationship between the two sisters.”
He continued and said, “Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle grew up in the same house, just three years apart, and were competitive even as kids. When Lata found attention and popularity, displacing every female singer in the music industry, Asha wanted to do the same. In the 1950s and ’60s, Lata charged Rs 500 for a song, unheard of in the industry, while Asha had to settle for Rs 100-150. While Lata chose what to sing or whom to sing for, Asha did not have that luxury. It rankled. If Asha performed live, Lata never attended her shows — something that would infuriate Asha. The lack of encouragement and musical support from an older sister turned matters worse. Asha took it upon herself to prove herself.”
Raju Bharatan concluded by saying, “But Lata never let go of the top position. The only songs she wasn’t singing were performed by Geeta (Dutt). Until Geeta began having problems with Guru Dutt, there was no real opening for Asha. She also drew close to Pancham (RD Burman), who had come up with a new style of his own. But even he gave some of the more nuanced numbers to Lata. Asha never liked that and complained often. She even refused to sing the fast numbers, saying that she could sing what her sister could. But RD refused to compose the cabarets if Asha wouldn’t sing them and she relented.”
What are your thoughts on Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar’s bond as sisters? Tell us in the comments below.