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Former son-in-law on Asha Bhosle

Hemant Kenkre unravels a lesser known side of the singing legend Asha Bhosle who celebrates her 78th birthday today. A loving human being, far from the bitterness of the world, Asha has more to her than an unending body of songs. Parmita Uniyal reports. Be the first to wish Asha Bhosle

music Updated: Sep 08, 2011 23:03 IST
Parmita Uniyal
Parmita Uniyal
Hindustan Times
Hemant Kenkre

For Asha Bhosle, the 78-year-old singing genius, age is just a number. From teaming up with international artists like Brett Lee to giving acting a shot with Marathi film Maai, the veteran singer continues to inspire all generations. Every year, she adds to her unending body of songs with her melodious voice. On her 78th birthday, Asha's former son-in-law Hemant Kenkre unravels the Asha he knew, during the time he spent with her. Hemant claims he still shares a wonderful personal equation with Asha and there is absolutely no bitterness or negativity. He was married to Asha's daughter Varsha Bhosle.

Secret of the magic in her voice
Apart from the voice, Asha Bhosle believes in putting soul to a song. For that she could go to any lengths. While doing Umrao Jaan, she read the novel first to understand what the character was all about. She was not much into ghazals before, but her research about the character for which she was singing was tremendous. I personally believe it was a huge challenge for her to do a song like that. Even today when you listen to Dil Cheez Kya Hai, you can feel there is a soul in the song.



Ready to go that extra mile


Her commitment to the work was unbelievable. It did not change with the names associated with her projects. For example, once she was returning from a studio after recording with a not-so-great musician. I was accompanying her, as it was a holiday. She suddenly said, "Maybe I should go back to the studio and give it another take. I think I can make it better," and then she drove right back to the studio.



Asha, the live wire

Seeing her perform is an experience in itself. If you see her live shows, she not only sings with a feel but her body language displays an array of emotions like sorrow, love, happiness perfectly.







Birthday plans

She is totally a family person. And she generally likes to celebrate her birthday with her family at home, except if she is abroad for work. I remember only one instance when a grand bash was organized for her birthday.



Living a simple life

She believes in leading a simple life. There is absolutely no extravagance. She is a family person. She is straightforward. She is also very honest and transparent person. She is such a very loving person. But if you challenge her, she can attack like a leopard. She is also very fond of children.



Age is just a number for Asha



She is 78, but still full of energy. Her enthusiasm has not waned with time. Imagine, at this age, she is ready to act in a film called Maai. Her dynamism inspires people. Her never-say-die spirit keeps her going.



A song that describes her the best

Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana - that's the kind of person she is. When she was young, she had such amazing stories to share. She is full of life. It's virtually like talking to an electric wire. She fought with the trials and tribulations of life easily. It is not easy to be doing all this alone.

Birthday Message from Hemant Kenkre
You are still the inspiration of people of my generation and of all generations. Happy birthday and have a great time.