What does one say about this singer? How do you harness a whirlwind? Or try to describe the ever-changing sky…it may be blue at some point, and grey at another. Covered by clouds, or shining brightly in the sun… and as if that weren’t enough variables…it may be 100 different shades of grey or blue or gold or white…
Asha Bhonsle’s singing can bring a lump to your throat, it can cause you to jump up and start dancing. It can cause your heart to flutter like a butterfly (at any age! 🙂 ) or it can make you bow your head with reverence. And every emotion in between.
Asha ji… even though the first singer I fell in love with was Geeta Dutt, it was you, more than anyone else who introduced me to all the emotions a woman can experience. Your voice brought both Sita and Suzie to life for me. Helen and Meena Kumari. You could sound like an innocent child. A coquette, a temptress, a siren and a vamp. A dreamer, a romantic, a wild-child. Listening to your voice meant undergoing all those emotions your voice portrayed.
Even more than your voice, as I have grown, I have wanted to emulate your attitude to life, to learning. A “can-do” attitude, always willing to learn new ways, work with new thoughts, new people…go down unexplored paths; experiment with your immeasurable talent. You define what a Master should be like – a student each day of his or her life.
Grit, determination, hard work…thy musical name is Asha Bhonsle…
In the words of Majrooh sahab, my wishes for you are sung by you here under the baton of that Prince of music, Burman da…
“suraj roz aata rahey, roz jaata rahey, le ke kirano ke meley
pal-chhin, yun hi gin-gin, tera har din,
tab tak rangon se khele…
rang jab tak baaki hain baharon mein….
yahaan-vahaan, shaam ho chaahe jahaan,
yun hi jhoomein sama sun ke tumhaari baatein
pyaar liye, chaand ka teekey diye, yun hi jugnu liye
chamkein tumhari raatein….nuur jab tak baaki hai sitaron mein…”
“tum-tum, tum-tum, tum jiyo hazaron saal, saal ke din hon pachaas hazaar…”
Maybe… just maybe… someday, someone else will be able to sing this song better than you…. but that “aaa.a.ha.ha.a.a.a….. ” with glee in her voice … hmm…. who else but you?
Wishing you a very happy birthday, ma’am.
For all the decades of naughtiness and playfulness … thank you. _()_
Written for Asha’s birthday on 8 September 2017
Monica Kar received her BA in English Honours from the University of Delhi. She now lives in St. Charles, Missouri, where she wears several hats, including doing voluntary work as an educator and homemaker.