I knew I'll be able to act easily, says Asha Bhosle at 77

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By Ruchika Kher

Mumbai, March 3 (IANS) Singing legend Asha Bhosle is ready to don a new role. She is making her acting debut in a Hindi film at the age of 77.

Acting, she says, will not be a challenge because it runs in her family and singing too involves a certain degree of acting.

"When I heard about the role, I knew that I will be able to do it because acting is in my family. My father was a drama artist. Also, when we sing, it incorporates acting. If we don't put some acting in a dance song, no one would be able to dance on it," Asha, who has sung more than 12,000 songs in 18 languages, told IANS.

"We have to put expressions in a song when we sing it. So many times there are dialogues in songs too. So I realised if I can do that, I can act on the screen as well," she added.

The Padma Vibhushan awardee will essay the title role in the film "Maaee", which will show what happens when a woman is abandoned by her only son and how she finds shelter in her daughter and son-in-law's house.

Being co-produced by Subhash Dawar-Nitin Shankar and directed by debutant Mahesh Kodiyal, the family drama goes on the floors in April this year and will be shot entirely in Mumbai.

Talking about how the role fell into her lap, she said: "I was in Pune for a show. After the show we were in the hotel. Nitin works with us. He came and started narrating a story. I was generally listening without any other inclination.

"He told me that the name of the film is 'Maaee'. I felt really nice because even I used to call my mother by that name. So that really touched me. Then even my son joined our conversation and everyone told me that no one else can do this role except me."

"I was shocked and I told them to stop joking, but they said they were serious. So I asked for some time to think about it," said the singer known for trying all kinds of songs in her successful career.

Asha, who has lent her voice to evergreen renditions like "Dum maro dum" ("Hare Rama, Hare Krishna"), "Mehbooba mehbooba' ("Sholay"), "Mera kuch saaman" ("Ijaazat"), "Piya tu ab to aaja" ("Caravan") and "Chura liya hai tum ne" ("Yaadon Ki Baraat"), said yes to it because she wanted to try something new in her life.

"I discussed it with my son. He said, 'You have always tried so many different things, sung all types of songs, done shows around the world, even sung English songs. You have tried so many new things in your career and you always have the hunger to do more and more new things; so why not this?' "

"I realized he is right. I have tried so many new things, but acting on the big screen remains; so why not try that? Then I said yes," Asha explained to IANS about her decision.

However, the veteran says that acting is not going to be a regular affair and that the film is only a one-off project.

"I won't do any other film after this. I just wanted to try something new. So I'm doing this. Otherwise, I don't want to become a full time actress. I'm happy being a singer," she said.

Asha will also sing a song for the film that co-stars actress Padmini Kolhapure as her daughter.

"Padmini is a wonderful actress. She left work after marriage; otherwise she would have still been a top actress. She now does very selective roles and when I asked her, she said 'I will do it'," said the legend.

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at ruchika.k@ians.in)

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