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Aasha Bhonsle: voice with intoxication of cognac

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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They say that Cognac is not intoxicant, but when one-two drinks gurgle down the throat and start playing their orchestra, then one comes to realize that sayings and actualities are in tangent to one another. Same can be said about the voice of Asha Bhonsle who at seventy four years of age, continues to scale new frontiers of music in the international arena on a regular basis. The cognac like voice that Asha Bhonsle was proved when Naushad was making his comeback into the Hindi film in the late seventies with Sultan Ahmed's DHARAMKANTA and decided to choose her to croon the songs of courtesans on Sulakshana Pandit. When quizzed why he picked up Asha Bhonsle, Naushad had said, "Asha Bhonsle ki Awaz se aaj tak woh bajaroo pan nahin gaya", or her voice still has that quality to render the songs with a soul of a courtesan, which was an ultimate tribute that a composer like Naushad could offer to her voice. The same happened with O P Nayyar when he had made his comeback with Salman Khan Starrer JAGRUITI had echoed the same sentiment.

World Space radio satellite station during 2006 had compiled ten all time great songs of Hindi Films taking view of famous music directors, and in this album, UMRAO JAAN's ‘Dil Cheez Kya Hai…’ finds a proud mention. In fact the success of UMRAO JAAN owes majorly to the voice over of Asha Bhonsle, which had given a new lease of life to Khayyam's career. If one were to compile all time great songs associated with the courtesans, then Asha Bhonsle would outperform all other singers by miles.

But this is not the genre with which alone Asha Bhonsle has attained an iconic status; this phase was more of a second part of her career, the first part being that of singing all the pop and hip hop songs in the by-gone era and right up to the present times. While O P Nayyar had given her career a direction, the real blossoming and carving of niche came when she started singing with her husband, Pancham, aka Rahul Dev Burman. Sixties and Seventies really belonged to her as far as the songs that connoted a rebel of a generation was concerned, and the swan song of this period was ‘Dum Maro Dum’ first of the Woodstock category of Indian Hindi film songs, other notable being ‘Piya Tu Ab to aaja’ to ‘sapna mera toot gaya’, etc. It was this experience which was a great facilitating tool when Asha Bhonsle started singing with the likes of voice of Boy George.

When the whole nation was ridiculing the remix, Asha Bhonsle came out and stood in its support by giving it her own interpretation in her own manner, and though the songs where a remix majorly of the compositions made by Pancham, it never appeared as if there was an attempt to remix. It was her towering presence that gave recognition to this new genre of Hindi film music.

Even though Pancham had utilized her voice for all the songs of effervescence but when it came to soulful songs his first choice was Lata, especially the songs that were written by Gulzar. However, Asha scaled this frontier as well, when Pancham came out with his first non-films album DIL PADOSI HAI, which was a new vista to the diversified profile of Asha Bhonsle. And with IJAAZAT, she announced to the world that she has carved a niche in the world in this genre as well. The way the interludes of the songs were broken, especially in ‘Katra katra milti hai’, where one voice followed the other without a break, was a new summit for Asha Bhonsle, who now with respect is called as Asha Tai.

Though she rarely gives her playback to the Hindi film songs, her appearance on the stage still ignites the audience and the sway still remains the same as it was when she was singing those soulful songs with the soul of an individual kind in all the songs.

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