'If I can sing, elephants can fly'

Urmila Matondkar says that she is a big fan of Asha Bhonsle.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2006 16:17 IST

Urmila Matondkar is thrilled to bits. She has just returned from shooting the video for a song that she has sung with the legendary Asha Bhosle for Shamir Tandon's album.

"I've always been one of Ashaji's biggest fans. We go back a long way. She has known me from when I was a child. She had sung in one of my Marathi films as a child actor called Sansar. Then, of course, her husband R.D. Burman composed music for my Masoom. The couple has seen me grow up," Urmila told IANS.

"I was thrilled when after Rangeela, for which Ashaji sang two of my best songs, she had said I can carry off any clothes and that no matter what I wore I looked like a child. In fact, the biggest compliment to me was when people thought songs like Khallas in Ram Gopal Varma's Company were mine only because Ashaji sang them."

Urmila has just crooned with Asha Bhonsle for an album. 

Urmila paused to laugh. "My career as a bathroom singer started with Ashaji's songs, right from

Nigahen milane ko jee chahta



Dum maro dum


It was at a Marathi concert in Thane where Asha suggested that Urmila join her. Recalled Urmila: "For a long time I wanted to attend a Marathi concert, and I did. When I was on stage, I hummeda song fromChamatkar - Bichoo yehbichoo. There and then she said, 'You're singing for me'.

"The next day, when she again asked me to sing with her, I begged off, saying Sanjay Dutt liked to sing in public while I did't. But she encouraged me with what R.D. Burman used to say to her, 'We'll drop the song if you can't do it.' After that, (composer) Shamir Tandon made it very easy for me to believe I could sing. Ashaji and I had great fun singing Main ghulan hoon.

"It's easy for a man and woman to sing a duet. But two women; no one will dare to compare my voice with hers. But when you've two women, singing parallels are bound to be drawn. Just before I went on air, I wanted to kick myself for agreeing. I almost lost my nerve. I wanted to kill myself. I finally sang with her."

Urmila said it was a great experience. "It was a complete riot. A tremendous experience. If I can sing, elephants can fly. To sing with someoneso awesome... wow! Now I can call myself a rock star. After acting and dancing I'm now a singer. I now carry an invisible warning, 'Don't come near me. I'm a singer'."

Will she sing again? "Too early to say. Right now I'm zapped. Those who've heard the song have liked it. I've no intention of singing my own songs, though. My throat gets dry when I remember the day I sang with Asha Bhosle."

First Published: Dec 23, 2006 14:39 IST