The enchanting songstress who has mesmerised Indian cinema for even decades turned 87 tonight. And Asha tai, with her infectious smile and contagious energy, heralded her coming-of-age with announcing that she is going to get the chefs at her restaurant to try out her new veg and non-veg recipes, created by her during 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!”
Biting into a piece of her favourite Fresh Cream Fruit Cake, made of fruits and dry fruits, specially brought in from Mumbai by granddaughter Zanai, Asha Bhosle who has been in Lonavla with her son Anand, daughter-in-law Anuja, grandchildren Zanai and Ranjai, spoke of how it feels complete to be together with family on her birthday. Zanai also got her favourite Japanese and Chinese food brought down from Mumbai despite lockdown, confided the singer with a contented smile.
Talk of her grandchildren Zanai and Ranjai, and Asha tai’s pride is evident in her speech. “Both the kids are very talented. Zanai sings, and in her, I see myself as a child.”
But the child in Asha tai is very much alive and singing, as she reveals 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 in hand 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.”
Asha tai also looks forward to her live concerts, and cooking and feeding people, both at home and her restaurants that have expansion plans, and wants to work to generate employment for the women in Lonavla. “I want to help these women stand on their own feet. It has not been easy for the common man during Corona. 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, Asha tai 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!”