Asha Bhosle: Platinum points
On the 75th birthday of Asha Bhosle today, Gautam Rajadhyaksha recounts little-known facts about her.Updated: Sep 08, 2008, 16:14 IST
She first sang at the age of 10, along with her sister Lata Mangeshakar, for a children’s group song for the Marathi film Kiti Hasaal in 1942. The song is accessible on quite a few of the compilation albums of both Asha and Lata..
She would record seven songs a day in her youth. In 1997, she recorded six songs for Kalpana Lajmi’s Darmiyan in a span of eight-hours straight.
R D Burman and she have recorded the largest number of non-film songs for puja festivals.
She loves Latino music, as did R D Burman. She can sing a Maria Callas or a Mozart aria in her own scale.
Whenever she is in low spirits, she heads to shops that sell kitchenware and buys all kinds of cooking utensils. This elevates her mood instantly.
Under the tutelage of Mickey Contractor, she has learnt the art of subtle society make-up. Chloe is her favourite perfume.
She occasionally works out at the gym. She has devised her own version of aerobics, to strengthen her diaphragm, which is good for her breathing.
She has a western sense of interiors and possesses Queen Anne’s-style furniture in her bedroom.
Pele is her sporting hero. She is also a fan of Michael Jackson, whom R D Burman and she first saw live at concert in Las Vegas when he performed with Diana Ross as a child.
She has natural thick black hair, which she inherited from her mother, Mai Mangeshkar whose hair, when she passed away at age 89, had just started greying.
She is an enthusiastic letter writer and SMS-addict. She is currently working on her autobiography which is going to be no-holds-barred.
She has sung in more languages than any other Indian singer - she has recorded songs in every Indian language as well as in Russian, English and Malay.
She is a fantastic cook with a wide repertoire. She has learnt cooking from the wife of sitarist Ustad Rais Khan and Majrooh Sultanpuri’s wife.
Twenty-two of her hand-made recipes are served daily in her restaurants Asha’s in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Birmingham.
In 1997, she became the first Indian singer to be nominated for the Grammy for her classical album, Legacy, with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.