True talent and true genius feeds and thrives on loss, pain, sorrow and even death. It has been proved and and again and Asha Bhosle who celebrated her 89th birthday on September 8 is no exception – Ali Peter John
It is a known fact that Asha together with her elder sister Lata was born to Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar and Mai and their father had died when he was only 42 and had left the responsibility on the very young Lata.
Poverty was a part of the family till he came to Bombay and lived in little rooms in Valkeshwar…
Lata managed to make it as a playback singer and Asha kept walking from studio to studio and from one music director to another and by the time she was sixteen, she got married to Ganpatrao Bhosle who was 20 years older than her.
They had 3 children, Anand, Hemant and Varsha between 1949 and 1960. Bhosle was a jobless and good for nothing man and was disliked by Lata and the family which kept Asha away from them for years…
Asha got her first big shock when Bhosle died in 1960 and she was left all alone to take care of her children.
She kept making the rounds of recording studios with a child in her arms and it was the combination of film maker B R Chopra and O P Nayyar who discovered the talent in her and then there was no stopping her.
She made a formidable combination with Nayyar, till there were major differences between them and they separated never to be united again. It was a major loss for them and for the world of music.
Asha however was fortunate to find R. D. Burman as her creative partner, a partnership with went on to be a life partnership.
However, life continued to be cruel to Asha and R. D. faced tough times in his career and just when he was about to see hope about a new life, he suddenly died after attending a party to celebrate his new life.
Asha had broken her heart once again, but she was not the kind of woman who would give up hope. She continued her one-woman battle.
Life, the coward enemy She had to face all the time also kept attacking her in her personal life.
She lost her elder son Hemant (who was not a very successful composer) to cancer when he was only in his early 30s.
The fighting spirit of Asha could be seen when she was performing at a show in Singapore when the heartbreaking news about Hemant’s death reached her while she was singing on stage and she just wiped a few tears with her handkerchief and continued with the show.
Her daughter Varsha was a very sensitive and talented writer and journalist who wrote in english for all the leading english newspapers, but there was something that kept troubling her and she always had something against her mother.
She had a hidden affair of the heart with a leading photographer and writer, but rarely talked about it to her mother or anyone else.
She had attempted suicide at her Prabhu Kunj residence, but she succeeded the fourth time, when neither her mother nor any of the Mangeshkars were at home.
Today, Asha seems to have decided to live a happy and joyful life of her own. She had finally moved out of Prabhu Kunj and lives with her son Anand and his family in one of the most posh and expensive apartments in Mumbai in the bldg called Casa Grande and together with Anand supervises the Asha’s chain of hotels all over the world.
And the woman who has lived through hell to bring joy to millions down the years in her message on her 89th birthday says, ” Keep smiling, keep happy, keep positive and drive all negativity out of your life.”
YEH BAAT AGAR KOI YOGI YA BHOGI NE KAHIN HOTI TO MAIN ISE HAWE MEIM UDA DETA, LEKIN KUNKI YEH BAAT ASHA JI NE KAHIN HAIN, JINHONE DUNIYA DEKHI HAIN AUR PEHCHANI HAIN, MAIN HER BAAT KO MERE DIL SE TO LAGA KAR RAKHUNGA, LEKIN HER KISI KO KAREEB RAKHNE KI DIL SE VINANTI BHI KARUNGA.