There's no one who can sizzle, swing and sing like her. The asli AB.. Asha Bhnsle.. tackles tangy topics in an interview with Rachana Dubey
News was that you're not keeping well.
What! Touchwood, no. I was playing with my grandson Ranjay his foot hurt my left .. eye which was all swollen the next morning. I could barely see.
So, I'm wearing these glasses which gives the impression that I'm unwell. In fact, I've just recorded a film song with my sister Usha and I've been rehearsing for a concert today.
Why did you back out of the TV show Jhoom India then?
Because they had to start shooting today It wouldn't have looked nice . to face the camera with these dark glasses..
There were quite a few controversial reports about your mother-in-law, Meera Dev Burman, and you when she passed away last week?
Why am I being asked about my mother-in-law now? When she was alive, no one enquired about her. Why the concern now?
I looked after her since Pancham passed away 14 years ago. She had lost her mental balance while Pancham was alive. She had to be given shock treatment. Pancham didn't want her to be taken away from her Santa Cruz home..he had organised two maid servants to look after her. I continued with that even after Pancham passed away .
<b1>Her health kept deteriorating with time..she stabilised for a while. When I returned from the US after two months recently, I had to get her hospitalised. I got her back home, two days before she passed away. She was 92.
Some papers don't even know how old she was.. but something or the other was written about us. Her relatives from Tripura had visited her a few days before she died. They couldn't come back. So, we completed her last rites here. Gham to chalte hi rehte hain.
How do you remember the late OP Nayyar?
He was a fabulous composer. I don't want to talk about the rest.
Have you ever wondered who will take your legacy forward so to speak?
My son Anand will take my legacy forward. As for my name, my grand-daughter Zanai will. She's only five-and-a-half. She's learning classical music and dance already. Believe me, she sings beautifully.
Why have you cut down on film songs?
Where are the songs? Please get me a Mera kuch saaman lauta do. Concerts, TV shows and private albums keep me busy.. but if AR Rahman called me for a song, I'd fly over to Chennai immediately.
<b2>If you're being picky, why did you have to do Panchamda's Mehbooba mehbooba for Himesh Reshammiya's Aap ka Suroor?
Why's everyone asking me this? I'd just remarked that anyone who says Pancham was nasal should be slapped. I didn't really want to slap him. When we met, he apologised profusely I did the song for him, to end the controversy.
Wasn't there a rift between Sunidhi Chauhan and you over the Mehbooba song in the Sholay remake?
There was only some confusion. Mr.. what's his name?.. Ram Gopalji had called to say that he wanted me to sing Mehbooba mehbooba for his remake of Sholay.
Then, for a while there was no news about it. Then, I came to know that the music composer had been changed. Months later, I found out that the Sunidhi had been approached for the song.
What do you think of Sunidhi Chauhan rendition of your
Yeh mera dilin
She has said that it was a mistake to have even touched that song. She didn't like it. Frankly, I didn't like it too. I don't think anyone can touch any of the old songs. Look what they did to
! That song had pepped up the earlier film. Kishore Kumar was fantastic! I liked the original number. They ruined it. But
Aaj ki raat
in the new
Why haven't you sung for the Yash Raj after
MereYaar ki Shaadi Hai?
It could either be because I charged them a bomb or because there's someone at Yash Raj who loves me too much.. he doesn't want me to be there. Otherwise, it's not possible that
(Yash and Pam Chopra) wouldn't approach me for songs.
How do you deal with issues like recovering your royalties from record companies?
Every artiste has a problem.. some have even died waiting for their royalties. Singers are paid peanuts here. We are expected to sing, record and even shoot the video. They don't want to pay up.
What's your take on singers and composers whom you promoted at one point.. like Adnan Sami?
When he first came to Bombay, he knew no one. He stayed at my house for over 11 months because he's my son's friend.
<b3>After he shifted from my house, strangely enough, he has lost touch with all of us. I can't remember when I last spoke to him. Khair chhodo. I think he looks fabulous now after losing weight. He can become a hero, he must take acting seriously (laughs delightedly).
Finally, how are your restaurants in the Middle East and Birmingham doing?
Fantastic. I plan to open more Indian cuisine restaurants all over the world. One more is coming up in Kuwait. I'm looking for space in Mumbai as well. If I get 4000-5000 square feet, I'll open one here too.
May be once in a while, I'll go to the restaurant and cook something personally for my guests. My restaurant in Birmingham has won awards for its service and quality of food but I couldn't go to receive the awards.. (laughs) yahan aur bhi gham hain.