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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Happy Birthday Asha-ji!

Asha Bhosle, the original & ultimate songstress-diva turns 76 today!
Being an ardent admirer of the singer, I wish her a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
May she enthrall us with many more wonderful songs in the days to come.
She is lucky to have been gifted with a golden voice, and has had a fantastic musical career, but we are luckier still to be able to listening to her for multiple decades.

She has not only been the singing voice for the gorgeous actresses of the silver screen - from Madhubala to Kajol - Dimple Kapadia to Aishwarya Rai - having done playback for more than 1000 Hindi films, but she has also had the rare achievement of singing in more than 14 languages. She is considered to be the most versatile South Asian singer of all times. She has a magnificent repertoire of songs spanning numerous genres - from pop to ghazal, folk to classical, qawwali to devotional. Being the younger sister of Lata Mangeshkar, an equally accomplished singing sensation, Asha Bhosle carved out a niche for herself way back in the late 50's, and she has never had to look back.

My personal favorites include hundreds of songs sung by Asha-ji (as she is fondly & reverentially called), most of them in Hindi, and some in Bangla too. Here, I am listing just twenty gems from that treasure-house of melodies, I have limited the listing only to Hindi songs from films, i.e. Bollywood. (needless to stress that I had to leave out many delightful numbers, it was indeed tough to sieve through more than twelve thousand songs to come up with this minuscule listing):
1) 'Mera kuchh saamaan...' [OST: Ijaazat; 1987]
2) 'Ab ke baras bhej bhaiya...' [OST: Bandini; 1963]
3) 'Tu tu hai wani...' [OST: Yeh Vaada Raha; 1982]
4) 'Raat akeli hai...' [OST: Jewel Thief; 1967]
5) 'Radha kaise na jale...' [OST: Lagaan; 2001]
6) 'Dum maaro dum....' [OST: Hare Rama Hare Krishna; 1971]
7) 'Roz roz aankhon tale...' [OST: Jeeva; 1986]
8) 'Dekhne mein bhola hai...' [OST: Bambai Ka Babu; 1960]
9) 'Piya tu ab toh aaja...' [OST: Caravan; 1971]
10) 'O meri jaan....' [OST: Manzil Manzil; 1984]
11) 'Jaane kya baat hai...' [OST: Sunny; 1984]
12) 'O mere sona re..' [OST: Teesri Manzil; 1966]
13) 'Chura liya hai...' [OST: Yaadon Ki Baaraat; 1973]
14) 'Bas ek baar merakaha...' [OST: Umrao Jaan; 1981]
15) 'Kahin aag lage lag jaaye...' [OST: Taal; 1999]
16) 'Tanha tanha...' [OST: Rangeela; 1994]
17) 'Kambakht ishq...' [OST: Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya; 2001]
18) 'Rang de rang de...' [OST: Takshak; 1999]
19) 'Sapna mera toot gaya...' [OST: Khel Khel Mein; 1975]
20) 'Do lafzon ki hai...' [OST: The Great Gambler; 1979]


Satyaki said...

Asha Bhosle has made magic with her voice, it has become more and more mature over the years, and just like old wine it delights us still. I too wish her a long & healthy life, and may she creatively contribute to her very best. Comparisons with Lata Mangeshkar has always been part of any discussion on Asha-ji. I am glad that you did not tread that path in your blog. Asha Bhosle is a phenomenon on her own, as is Lata Mangeshkar.

LaVieEstBelle said...

not everyone is gifted with such a beautiful voice...
she is a legend though i m a bit partial with Lata Mangeshkar
happy birthday to her :)

Pratyush Mukhopadhyaya said...

What goes up must come down. That is the rule of nature. And when Newton discovered the law of gravity, perhaps, he forgot to talk about the exception. Or how could you explain the rise and rise of Asha Bhosle. The phenomenon is growing by leaps and bounds every day. Yes! One cannot say anything but that she is not governed by the laws of nature.
Playful love songs or lusty cabaret numbers, soulful ghazals or funky pop, Bhosle's trod everywhere, with aplomb. From the early rock 'n' roll Eena meena deeka, to the seductive Burman number Piya tu ab to aaja in Caravan, to the unforgettable ghazals of Umrao Jaan. And at 65-plus, a voice to match oomph for oomph Urmila Matondkar's gyrations in the sexy Hoja Rangeela Re and Kambakt Ishq. By any count, a hectic vocal pace. A different Asha for every decade, every heroine and vamp or stars on the ramp.

In a world so much in awe of elder sister Lata Mangeshkar, she had to work that much harder. Lata Mangeshkar now says with pride: "Asha's rebellious nature always made the things in a diff way ...

saurabh said...

Asha Bhosle might be called the grand-mom of pop but I find it very interesting that she manages to keep the sultry-seductress quality in her voice intact. She is still as excited about her new recordings and fresh releases (though few) as she used to be when she forged fantastic musical partnerships with O.P Nayyar or R.D. Burman.

Arunima said...

I completely agree with you that it is our good fortune that we are getting to listen to her songs spanning multiple decades...
Not only her voice or her singing but I am completely awed at the way she carries herself also,be it a concert or be it a pop album..her warm smile says it all.
Thanks to you too for such a lovely post..

iman said...

hi buddy~

it's for sure that we all are blessed to have Asha Bhosle till date with her groovy voice in every iota of music..... i guess there should be no comparisn or no differentiation, Asha Bhosle is the Numero Uno of Indian music. thanks to you that i'm having the chance to wish her here....and another information, after long years Asha Bhosle played (in Bengli)for Pujor Gaan... and the album is ready to release, must be a nice treat for all Asha-worshippers!!!


abhishek said...

Thanks for writing about my favorite singer. But you should have written more. Asha Bhosle is a living legend, her worth is yet to be fully evaluated. Her collaboration with Pancham (R.D.Burman) gave birth to innumerable songs that will be sung for ages. She still inspires us all with her zest for life & music. From singing with international pop star Boy George, or the boy band called Code Red, or with cricketer Brett Lee, or with the world-famous Kronos Quartet, Asha Bhosle has always created history. May she create more milestones.

pallavi said...

I loved the listing.
It is really so difficult to include the very best of Aashaji's songs in just a top 20 or even a top twenty-five countdown.
You have managed to include most of her immortal numbers from films yet, I would like to put forth a few of my favorites which are missing from your list. They are:
Jeene de yeh duniya from 'Lava' (1984),
Pyaar ke mod pe from 'Parinda' (1989),
Samay o dheere chalo from 'Rudaali' (1993),
Jaane jaan o meri jaane jaan from 'Sanam Teri Kasam' (1982),
Katra katra from 'Ijaazat' (1986),
Chhoti si kahaani from 'Ijaazat' (1986),
Khaali haath shaam from 'Ijaazat' (1986),
Aur kya ahd-e-wafa from 'Sunny' (1984),
Joostjoo jiski from 'Umrao Jaan' (1981),
Mausam mastana from 'Satte Pe Satta' (1982),
Chayn se humko kabhi from 'Praan Jaaye Par Vachan Na Jaaye' (1973).

mehul said...

Belated Happy Birthday to Ma'am!
And kudos to U, for the timely post.
Asha Bhosle is my favorite too. Just as she is my dad's favorite. Maybe we have grown up to different songs of hers, yet she enthralls us alike.
Therein lies her magic!
I would however want to make a special mention of these essential hits of Asha Bhosle that I would love to see tagged to your listed favorites:
a) Bheeni bheeni bhor; VIJETA (1982),
b) Jhoothe naina bole; LEKIN (1990),
c) Jab chhaaye mera jaadoo; LOOTMAAR (1980),
d) Khatouba; ALIBABA AUR 40 CHOR (1980),
e) Hariyala banna aaya re; RAZIA SULTAN (1982),
f) Yeh mera dil; DON (1978),
g) Duniya mein logon ka; APNA DESH (1972).

Aryan said...

Asha Bhosle's voice is synonymous with vibrant energy, sensuous appeal and seductive zing. Yet she has sung some very difficult and rare numbers that reflect her classical poise. Who else could have sung with Michael Stipe, or with Ghulam Ali with such confidence? Only Asha Bhosle has had the rare contribution to Indian music in so many languages in so many styles, and to be known internationally as the pop diva.
I am tempted to list just a few of my favorite tracks that fail to find mention in the brief, though representative, retro-Bollywood listing. They are-
'O babua' from the movie SADMA (1983), 'Jhumka gira re' from MERA SAAYA (1966), 'Tu rootha toh' from JAWAANI (1984), 'Yeh saaye hain' from SITARA (1980), 'Phir se aaiyo' from NAMKEEN (1982), 'Mere aankhon mein' from ANDAR BAAHAR (1984), and 'Kaabul se aaya hai' from PALAY KHAN (1986).

iman said...

@ Pallavi,

a li'l correction,
"Chhoti si kahaani" not from Ijazzat it's from Masoom. and also "Khaali haath shaam" from Utsav not from Ijazzat.

pallavi said...

Addressed to Iman:
Dear Iman,
Please check the details before making such false assertions. Get YOUR facts corrected before making pompous attempts to correct others. You are absolutely mistaken on both the songs! Check the web. The details are too easy to get! Too frustrating!!!!

arpita sharma said...

Asha-ji or Asha-taai, whatever one fondly calls her, sizzles.... still!!!!!!!!
Wonder of wonders, age has not been able to ravage her voice! May she continue to enthrall us.
At one point of time, Asha Bhosle meant Helen's cabaret, the mellifluous songs of Asha Bhosle were typically featured on the screen courtesans, the naughtily romantic numbers used to be lip-synced by glamorous screen goddesses. But Asha Bhosle has given us much, much more.... she keeps experimenting with her songs & singing even now. I am eager to listen to Asha-ji singing with her grandson, Chintu Bhosle, the erstwhile member of A Band of Boys.
Anindo, you know how much I love her, so I cannot resist naming a few of my Bollywood favorites sung by Asha-ji. Here they are....
i)Jaam-e-mohabbat...; OST: Yatra (2007)[Sung for Rekha]
ii)Jaane do na...; OST: Saagar (1985)[Sung for Dimple]
iii)Mann kyon behka....; OST: Utsav (1984)[Sung with Lata Mangeshkar]
iv)Mausam pyar ka...; OST: Sitamgar (1984)[Sung with Kishore Kumar]
v)Kisi nazar ko tera...; OST: Aitbaar (1985)[Sung with Bhupinder Singh]
vi)Jaan-e-jaan dhoondta phir...; OST: Jawani Diwani (1972)[Sung with Kishore Kumar]
vii)Kajra mohabbat-waala..; OST: Kismat (1968)[Sung with Shamshaad Begum]

Anirban Halder said...

I feel Asha Bhosle is versatility personified. The way she became Mili's voice in the songs of Rangeela at that age, was simply i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e!

Many songs from your list are my personal favourites. All her songs from 'Ijajat' are gems. Just one year back when we still didn't have neough current hits from Bengali cinema to fill up our time, we had to fall back on her evergreen '70s hits when we thought of Bengali playback songs of those times till date.

Aniruddh said...

I guess we all have our favorite Asha Bhosle songs... songs that we have grown up with, songs that we kept humming when we first fell in love with someone, songs that we keep listening again & again, songs that bring back a lot of memories, songs of love-passion-happiness-longing-lament!
Many of Asha-ji's songs are immortal, timeless classics, and hence they are everybody's favorites.
I am listing some special songs of Asha-ji that are dear especially to me:
"Baaj uthe ghungroo...", with Amit Kumar, from CHOR PE MOR (1990),
"Parde mein rehne do...." from SHIKAR (1968)
"Pia baavri..." from KHUBSOORAT (1980)
"Roz roz daali daali..." from ANGOOR (1982)
"Bechara dil kya kare..." from KHUSHBOO (1975)
"Paan khaye saiyaan..." from TEESRI KASAM (1966)
"Aaoongi ek din..." from BASERA (1981)
I am sure many of these also have a special connect with many a listener!
Long live Asha Bhosle!
Long live melody!

Neeraj said...

A wonderful post that has been even augmented in a lovely manner by all the people who have commented and come up with their own favorites.
I am so much in awe of Asha Bhosle, the singing enchantress, that I do not even think of a select few songs to enthrall me. Her voice, her singing never fails to connect with my soul, whether she sings a ghazal, or a bhajan, or a pop/rap/jazzy number.
I would have also loved to see some of Ashaji's non-Hindi & non-film numbers featured. But may be I will see them later on some other post on her. Will surely be watching this space for more!

Akshay G. said...

Happy Birthday, Asha-ji! Stay strong; live long!
May life be just a sweet and sexy song!