MUMBAI — Asha Bhosle is 87 Sep. 8. And there is only one way for her: to look forward.
The singer who made her debut in 1949 heralded the occasion at midnight by announcing that she is going to get the chefs at her restaurant to try out the new vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes she has created during the lockdown. “I am very fast at what I do. Whether it is singing or cooking. So when I create recipes, others run out of the kitchen, not able to match my speed!” she said.
Biting into a piece of her favorite Fresh Cream Fruit Cake, made of fruits and dry fruits, specially brought in from Mumbai by granddaughter Zanai, Bhosle, who has been in Lonavala (the hill station 80 kms from Mumbai) with her son Anand, daughter-in-law Anuja and grandchildren Zanai and Ranjai, spoke of how it feels complete to be together with family on her birthday. Zanai also had Bhosle’s favorite Japanese and Chinese food brought down from Mumbai despite the lockdown, confided the singer with a contented smile.
Talking of her grandchildren, Bhosle says proudly, “Both the kids are very talented. Zanai sings, and in her, I see myself as a child.” But the child in Bhosle too is very much alive and she feels that she has a lot to look forward to in the journey from 87 to 88.
“After listening to over 3000 voices for my talent show “AshaKiAsha,” I have a very difficult task to choose the best. Young talents from across the globe have sent their recordings. Some of them are very poor and live in harsh conditions, but are truly God-gifted with divine voices. It will not be an easy task to select one. But this is my change to share my 70 years of experience with youngsters and give back to music what I got. And I am grateful to God every single day for that.”
Bhosle also looks forward to her live concerts, and cooking for and feeding people, both at home and in her restaurants that have expansion plans, and wants to work to generate employment for the women in Lonavala. She says, “I want to help these women stand on their own feet. It has not been easy for the common man of late. And it has not been easy for the poor women from here, whom I have seen during the epidemic. I want to do something concrete for them.”
Looking back, Bhosle has no regrets. “I am happy I have lived and loved,” she says. “I have lived an honest life. I am happy that I stood on my own feet as a 10-year-old singing my first song. Today at 87, I am still singing and standing on my own feet. And I have a beautiful family, and an even larger fan-family. What more could I ask for?”