Her first film song, Chala chala nav bala… for the Marathi movie Majha Bal (1943) was picturised on her. Asha Bhosle was 10 then. The shoot was in sweltering Kolhapur. The tin sheet that was used as a reflector hurt her eyes as she attempted to skip down the road carelessly. “I swore to myself that I’d die before I agreed to act again,” says the songster.
Sixty-seven years later, producers Subhash Dawar and Nitin Shankar of Alliance Entertainment & Rhythm D'vine Entertainment Pvt Ltd, came to her with the lead role in adman Mahesh Kodiyal’s directorial debut, Maaee. The Hindi film is the poignant story of a woman abandoned by her son, who is staying with her daughter and son-in-law.
“It was a role I could connect with since I’m a mother, grandmother and great grandmother,” Bhosle smiles, pointing out that she has done many stage shows, been on TV and appeared in music videos. “The only challenge left was a feature film. My son (Anand Bhosle) prodded me to give it a try.”
At 77, Bhosle’s spirit is still young and swinging with the times. “I can watch a Munni badnaam hui… and a Sheila ki jawanai… without getting scandalised. I’m floored by the rhythm and the beautiful girls grooving to it,” she reasons, admitting that she will sing at least one song in her movie.
Her co-star is Padmini Kolhapure, who is her cousin’s daughter. “Padmini worked with Raj Kapoor saab. Imagine what guts I have to be taking her on in my first film,” she chuckles. The film takes off in April with a start-to-finish 45-day schedule in Mumbai. If it works, will we see her doing more films? “Never!” she exclaims. “Bas, only this one.”