Of late, the Hindi film industry has been rather obsessed with biopics. A number of films based on real-life stories are currently in various stages of production. But legendary singer Asha Bhosle isn’t kicked about the concept of a biopic being made on her life. In fact, she isn’t excited about publishing an autobiography as well.
“Why should anyone do it (make a biopic)? People keep trying to make films on other people’s lives, but no one knows the actual story, and who did exactly what in his or her life. Anyway, why would anyone talk to the world about their personal life, and why would the audience be interested [in it]?” says the 82-year-old singer.
Bhosle further reveals that although she has “already finished writing an autobiography with all the true details”, she will not publish it. “A few days back, I told my son, ‘What is the use [of publishing an autobiography]? Whatever had to happen, has happened. There’s no need to publish it. Other people also must have seen a lot of sadness and tough times in their lives. So, I finished the entire manuscript, but left it at that,” she says.
The songstress feels that real stories “should be left for oneself to remember”. She adds, “Till I’m alive, I will give my love to people through my music. There is no need to tell anyone anything else.”
What has the singer feeling “really good” these days, however, is her granddaughter, Zanai (14), who has recently turned to singing. She has evencollaborated on a song with the transgender band, 6-Pack Band. “I had dreamt that my kids — sons Hemant and Anand Bhosle, and late daughter Varsha Bhosle — will get into singing. But that [dream] has come true with the third generation. I always wanted Zanai to start singing,” she says, adding, “Even didi (Lata Mangeshkar) has heard her sing, and she had told me, ‘She sings in perfect sur.’ It’s a huge thing if Lata didi says that. If Zanai wasn’t singing well, even I would have told her to not get into singing,” says the award-winning artiste.
Do you agree that the younger generation of singers from your family, including Zanai, has big shoes to fill?
Zanai sings light music, but she shouldn’t do it with the intention to become a playback singer or to do stage shows. She should sing for herself. During a concert in Paris, France, where she performed with me, I asked one person, “How is she singing?” and the person said, “Ashaji, she will continue your legacy.” I am not expecting her to follow in my footsteps. Having said that, people shouldn’t say that after Lata Mangeshkar and Asha, a besuri (discordant) has become a singer [from our family].
Listen: The best of Asha Bhosle
Are you training Zanai?
Yes, whatever I have learnt, I try to teach her. All kinds of music come from classical music. So, we got her trained in that first.
Are you happy with the quality of music today?
A couple of years back, the standard of music had really dropped, especially with songs that had lyrics like ‘Halkat’ and ‘Munni’. However, these days, it has become nice and slow. But even these songs aren’t like the ones we used to sing. Slow songs during our time would have quality. Today’s slow songs aren’t that beautiful.
Why do you think older songs are still popular?
Despite music going through a change, people have not been able to forget old songs. They want the same tracks on stage even today. It may be due to the lyrics, melodious tunes or the quality of the voices in those songs. All those numbers were sung with a lot of feelings. No one today has the voice quality of Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh or Lata didi. The feelings, with which the singers sang at that time, are missing now. Today, there’s only fast music and noises.
You haven’t sung for a film in a long time...
I don’t feel like singing for films anymore. I do get a few offers every now and then, but they aren’t up to the mark. There is ‘Chunni’ instead of ‘Munni’, but it’s not my age to sing such songs. If good numbers come to me, I will sing.
Do you discuss music with Lataji?
She loves sending pictures through WhatsApp, and I don’t know how to do that. We talk about a lot of things, but when it comes to music, she says, “I don’t understand what’s happening today. But we have seen good times, and have done quality work.” She says that she wonders if anyone else will get to do the kind of work we did. We don’t discuss today’s music that much. In our view, today’s music isn’t very high-class. If you listen to songs from Madan Mohan, OP Nayyar, SD Burman, RD Burman and Shankar-Jaikishan, you will say wow. Even lyricists like Majrooh Sultanpuri, Shakeel Badayuni and Sahir Ludhianvi would pen evergreen songs. Who writes like that today?
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