Chirpy and evergreen at 81, legendary playback singer Asha Bhosle is not one to mince words.
Disturbed with the ongoing trend of lewd lyrics in Bollywood, the Padma Vibhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke awardee says, "Gaalion ka gaana banta hai aajkal, aur beech mein English mein kuch badbad kartein hai. Yeh jo bahar ke ladke English gaate gaate Hindi mein gaane lage, woh English ke bahut hi gande gande words ... jaise ‘rape’ use kartein hain. Toh agar aise words use honge, toh humare youngsters wohi karenge jo aap unhe sikhaenge," says Bhosle, who holds a name in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in music history.
The singer revealed that she was once shocked to hear a kid hum Halkat Jawani (from Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine, 2012). "Mujhe agar kahe Halkat Jawani gaao, main nahi gaoongi. Halkat gandi gaali hoti hai Marathi mein. Aajkal fashion hai, ek do item songs kisi se bhi gawa lo, bade singers ki zaroorat hi nahin hai. Bahut kam log hain jinka taste music mein achha hai. Log ‘lungi’ aur ‘zandu balm’ waale gaane bhi pasand karte hain," says Bhosle, who has belted out hits such as Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Caravan, 1971), Dum Maaro Dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1971) and Yeh Mera Dil (Don, 1978), which were considered bold in those days.
"Uss waqt jo lyrics hum sochte they kharab hain, aaj mujhe woh mandir ke gaane lagte hain. Piya tu ab toh aaja mein ek line hai, ‘Woh baat mujhko qubool hai sanam jiske liye tune chhuye hai mere kadam’. (Lyricist) Majrooh Sultanpuri was so upset after writing it ... he said, meri teen beti hain aur woh agar yeh gaana gayenge toh mujhe kaisa lagega? Ek baar (writer-lyricist) Sahir Ludhiyanvi se mera jhagda hua tha kyunki kisi gaane mein mujhe laga tha chhupa arth hai. I still keep rejecting songs that I feel have vulgar lyrics. So, singers will have to take a stand, and women will have to unite in this matter. They shouldn’t sing or act in such songs, nor watch such films," says the singer, whose autobiography will be launched soon.
It’s always fascinating to hear veterans talk about their life.
And, that’s what happened on Monday morning when the legendary enchantress Asha Bhonsle spoke at an event in Delhi. Talking about women empowerment at the Young FICCI Ladies Organisation meet, the 81-year-old left all spellbound with the inspiring story of her life’s struggles and her will to overcome hurdles.
She even hummed a line from her hit number, In Ankhon Ki Masti from the classic film, Umrao Jaan (1981).