Posted by: S/J | 09/08/2009

Happy Birthday Asha Ji!

ashabhosle Tum jeeyo hazaaron saal, yeh hamari hai aarzoo…Happy Bir-day to you!

Asha Bhosle was born in Sangli, Maharashtra, into the family of Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar. Her father was a theater actor and classical singer who had been born in the village of Mangeshi in Goa. When she was nine years old, her father died. The family moved from Pune to Kolhapur and then to Bombay.

She and her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar began singing and acting in films to support their family. She sang her first film song Chala Chala Nav Bala for the Marathi movie Majha Bal (1943). The music for the film was composed by Datta Dawjekar. She made her Hindi film debut when she sang the song Saawan Aaya for Hansraj Behl’s ‘Chunariya’ (1948).

She was 16 when she eloped with the 31-year-old Ganpatrao Bhosle and married him despite of her family’s objection. Ganpatrao was Lata Mangeshkar’s personal secretary and the marriage failed because of Asha’s husband and in-laws ill-treatment. Later, Ashaji married the famous music director RD Burman in 1980 and were together until he passed away.

She has won many awards for her contribution to the arts including many Filmfare awards, BBC Lifetime Achievement Award, Swaralaya Yesudas Award, The Freddi Mercury Award, the Padma Vibushan, two National Awards and The Dadasaheb Phalke Award. She was also the first Indian singer to be nominated for a Grammy.

Ashaji is obviously one of our most favorite singers because of her unusual voice and hatke adaa that is prevalent in her songs. She is a delight to watch on screen and is always dressed impeccably in beautiful sarees and diamonds! We still remember on Sundays whenever ‘Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyar Tera’ would play on Chitrahaar, it would make us so happy. What sets her apart is her music apart from the film industry…she has released many of her own albums and her music videos are just as entertaining as watching a song.

This is one our favorite songs and the video is so touching.

She is the only filmi singer who has reinvented herself over the years to give the audience a variety of songs. If she sang sad depressing songs in the early 60s, then she also sang Helen’s cabarets in the 70s. From soulful ghazals to pop, she tried everything. She recorded the a huge number of songs with RD Burman in the 80s and made remixes of her own songs in the 90s. Later on she made a few albums where she collaborated with other singers and actors who tried their hand in singing.

There are so many songs of hers that we love, this is just a small list of our favorites:

Dilli Ka Thug – Yeh Raatein Yeh Mausam (1958)
Howraah Bridge – Aayen Meherbaan (1958)
Sujatha – Kali Ghata Chhaye Song (1959)
Hum Dono – Abhi Na Jaao Chod Kar (1961)
Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam – Bhanwara Bada Nadaan (1962)
Dil Hi To Hai – Nigahen Milane Ko Jee Chahta Hain (1963)
Phir Wahi Dil Laya Hoon – Aankhon Se Jo Utri Hai Dil Mein (1963)
Woh Kaun Thi – Shokh Nazar Ki Bijliyan (1964)
Mere Sanam – Jaiye Aap Kaha Jayenge (1965)
Waqt – Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu (1965)
Mera Saaya – Jhumka Gira Re (1966)
Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi – Yehi Vo Jagah Hain (1966)
Jewel Thief – Raat Akeli Hain (1967)
Kismat – Aao Huzoor Tumko (1968)
Hare Rama Hare Krishna – Dum Maro Dum (1971)
Caravan – Piya Tu Ab to Aaja (1971)
Phagun – Chum-Chum Ghungru Bole (1973)
Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye – Chain Se Humko Kabhi (1974)
Namak Halal – Raat Baaqi Baat Baaqi (1982)
The Great Gambler – Do Lafzon Ki Hain Dil Ki Kahani (1979)

Favorite Albums (Where she sang two or more songs)
Teesri Manzil (1966)
Umrao Jaan (1981)
Rangeela (1995)

We love the way she says “Cham Cham” in this song!

Not many people know that Ashaji is a great cook and her paya curry, Goan fish curry and dal are very popular with the Kapoor family. Oh we would love to have some Goan fish curry prepared by Ashaji, chalo ek din hopefully we can make a request! Even though Ashaji is turning 76 today, there is no sign of stopping for this diva.

She’s collaborating with Robbie Williams for his eighth solo alblum, Reality Killed The Video Star. This is not her first international collaboration and her first collaboration was with British singer-songwriter, Boy George, on his single Bow down mister, in 1991. She has worked on other projects that include – British boy band Code Red on “We can make it,” American rock singer Michael Stipes on “The way you dream” and American String Quartet, Kronos Quartret on the album, You’ve Stolen My Heart, for which she was nominated for the Grammy Awards 2006 and the band Cornershop released a song as a tribute to her, titled “A brimful of Asha.”

We admire her for taking risks in her career and delivering an array of songs that have entertained us for years. We absolutely love Asha Ji and look forward to many more songs in the future. Need to give “mera kuch saaman” another listen…hands down, this our favorite Asha Ji song!
Background information is from Wikipedia


  1. […] : Sona and Jasmine What : Happy Birthday Asha Ji! Tangy : Today is Asha Bhosle’s 77th birthday. Sona and Jasmine have this wonderful post […]

  2. I understand that this is a little space but I guess, you would have mentioned about following interesting facts about Ashaji:

    1. Her collaboration with Pancham da on his private album like Dil Padosi Hai and her some of the most amazing Tamil songs with Ilaiyaraja, AR Rahman and Vidyasagar.
    2. She also laid her voice for the Pakistani Movie Main ek din lautke aaoonga.
    3. She is the only Indian vocalist to get nominated for Grammy along with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
    4. She is the easiest singer to approach in Industry. And she only charge one rupee to the new music director as a token.
    5. Her collaboration with one of the most famous British Artist Boy George is quite popular even today.
    6. Along with Alka Yagnik, she is the most frequent winner of Filmfare award for Playback singer (female). In order to promote new talent, she requested not to consider her name in nomination after 1979

  3. Thanks for the little tidbits. We have mentioned a few of things in our post though. But again there is always a space restrain, with a legend like Asha Ji one can go on and on about things.

  4. Fantastic site, I really like your writing style. Very distinctive and concise. On a lot of blogs people just drone on and on, but not you – very nice. Keep up the fine work! I love reading sites about the Bollywood cinema. I don’t have time to read everything here, I found your site while looking for something else on Google. But I’ve bookmarked your homepage and will visit it regularly to read your latest postings. What is your favorite movie? Thanks again for a very educational site! Click here if you’d like to check out my site. Regards!

  5. WOW! Thank you so much for those kind words Shane, it really means a lot. This gives us a little push to actually keep writing consistently…as you might notice we haven’t been keeping up. As far as a favorite movie is concerned, there is no way we can pick one out of the hundreds we love – each on makes you feel a certain way, guess that’s why we write about Filmistan…there’s just so much to love!

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