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Asha Bhosle: “You Have Lost Lata Mangeshkar, I’ve Lost My Sister”

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asha bhosle and lata mangeshkar

Asha  Bhosle  at  the first Lata Deenanath Mangeshkar award function in Mumbai on  Sunday evening,proved Shakespeare wrong. There  is plenty in a  name, especially  if the name is Mangeshkar.

Remembering her Didi with  infinite  fondness, Ashaji spoke of how much pride  Lataji had in being a Mangeshkar.“When she said her own name Lata Mangeshkar her voice brimmed with  ownership….LATA MANGESHKAR,” Ashaji mimicked her legendary singer and admitted she didn’t mind living in her shadows.

Ashaji also sang two  lines of her sister’s iconic number Aayega  aanewala  from 1949’s Mahal.

Remarkably Asha Bhosle took us  through Lataji’s  career to illustrate her pioneering spirit. Asha  Bhosle  reminded  us that in  1949 when  Ayega aanewala  became Lataji’s first chartbuster she insisted on the singer’s name on the record.

“Didi got her way,she always did,” laughed Ashaji and went  on to remind  the congregation that Lataji fought for  royalty  for  playback singers  in  the  1960s and when  initially she was not so politely turned down, she decided to stop singing until her demand was met.

Tu mere saath  hai, Asha?”  Lataji asked her sister who readily decided to go wherever  her Didi went.

According to Asha,Lataji told the producers, “Now you can get  Naushad Saab to sing Mohe panghat pe nandlal (for Madhubala in Mughal-e-Azam)”

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This sounded far-fetched. But a bit of  memory  reshuffling given the age  and  occasion is  completely  excusable.

On Sunday evening in her speech for her sister,Asha Bhosle made a very important point on the importance  of  Lata Mangeshkar to  film music:  “Whatever  we are today, if  playback singers are here even today, and that includes me, it’s because of Didi.”

High praise  indeed, coming as it does from a singer who was constantly given second place to her sister.

Once Ashaji  in an unguarded moment had told me, “It’s not the comparisons that bother me. I  know she is far ahead  of me in everything. It is the constant  efforts to  nullify everything that I’ve done that irks me. Otherwise Didi and I are like any siblings. We  fight. When we were  children she would always win all the  fights. There was  only one way to stop her . I’d pull  her long hair. That  always worked.”

On  Sunday Asha Bhosle broke down when she  said, “Every year on 24 April our family gathered together for our father’s death  anniversary. I  never imagined a  day would come  when I would be standing here talking about Didi leaving us.”

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