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The Neglected Gems Of Asha Bhosle



Asha Bhosle 

  1. DO BOONDEIN SAWAN KI–Phir Subah Hogi (1958) :At a time when Lata reigned so prim, Khayyam made music of sobriety with Asha. While her title song with Mukesh flew into the firmament of fame, this plaintive and passionate solo got left behind. Do boondein sawan ki is a wistful reminder of what Asha was capable of even in those days, if given half a chance.Since Khayyam was himself deemed half a composer among the ruling stalwarts, it took two halves(Khayyam and Asha) to make a perfect whole in our soul.
  2. JAAN-E-KYA HAAL HUA HAI AAJMAIKHAANE KA–Maa Ka Aanchal(1970): It was always a major grievance with Asha. That Madan Mohan never allowed her to sing his great ghazals.Here was her chance to soar above the sore-point. Reportedly because this small-budget film (starring  Anjana Mumtaz and Sanjeev Kumar) couldn’t afford the divine Ms Mangeshkar.The Ghazal that Asha sang for Madan Mohan possessed the uplifting tempo and emotional richness of anall-time classic. Asha gave the song her best shot, hoping it would rank somewhere near the immortal ghazals of Lata by Madan Mohan. Sadly it did not.
  3. MAIN HOON EK BARKHA KE BIN JALTA SA DIN–Aavishkar (1973):It was a tough act to follow up. Composer Kanu Roy had already elevated the songs of Basu Bhattacharya’s Anubhav to seemingly insurmountable heights in the voice of Geeta Dutt. Remember Koi chupke se aake and Mujhe jaan na kaho?From the outset, Asha had elected Geeta as her prime competitor. In Aavishkar she had the chance to sing a song that was designed for Geeta Dutt. In Main hoon ek barkha ke bin Asha’s vocal-control and her penchant for painting emotions are more than palpable. Here’s a compositional and vocal marvel awaiting rediscovery.
  4. MAIN JAA RAHI THI LEKE MAN MEIN TRISHNA–Bidaai (1973) : As the matriarch who watches all her loved ones migrate to the city, Durga Khote delivered an outstanding performance. If there’s one single moment that we remember her by, it’s the moment when her grandson arrives to give the lonely woman company during her last days. The relief, joy, ecstasy, gratitude and resurrection of faith in humanity expressed in the line Achhe samay pe tum aaye Krishna by Asha fills our hearts with an unbearable ache.
  5. SAATHI RE BHOOL NA JAANAMERA PYAR–Kotwaal Saab (1977): Ravindra Jain’s jewel in Asha’s croon is a complex tune conveying waves of surging emotions of a woman who’s grateful for the gift of love, but also fearful of losing it. Asha expresses a joie de vivre as well as uncertainty in this brilliant ballad of the sad cafe.
  6. YEH SAAYE HAIN YEH DUNIYA HAI TANHAIYON KI–Sitara (1980):  In the great big bustle known as life, there are soothing stopovers that diminish our despair and fatigue. This song about the sham and illusion of showbiz written by Gulzar is full of a sighing nostalgia.
  7. RAAT JO TUNE DEEP BUJHAYE MERE TTHE–non-film album Meraj-e-Ghazal (1983): The voice articulates the feeling of a shattered heart. More than the songs of Umrao Jaan, the album Meraj-e-Ghazal recorded in collaboration with Ghulam Ali, witnessed Asha at her apogee. Her supple chords coiled themselves around the fragile tunes of  the  album  like a serpent around a vine.
  8. JEENE DE YEH DUNIYA CHAHE MAAR DALEY LOG HUM DEEWANE PYAR KARNE WALE–Lava (1985): A lean, mean season had set into R.D. Burman’s career. For no fault of his, it might be add. For, here he was the Pancham-good-and-proper composer creating for Asha tunes as colossal as Dekho yeh kaun aaya (Savere Wali Gadi), O meri jaan (Manzil Manzil), and of course Jeene de yeh duniya.Though defeated in the charts, it was another kind of triumph. The song’s lyrics not only signified thedetermination to conquer all opposition to love, it also epitomised Pancham’s determination to return to past glory. Asha’s vocals (accompanied by singer-cum-cinematographer Manmohan Singh) were seldom in better  shape.
  9. UMEED HOGI KOI… SHAAM DHALE VARNA KOI AATA NAHIN KISNE YEH PUKARA–non-film album–Dil Padosi Hai(1987): The inborn power of Gulzar’s poetry has seldom been more poignantly projected. In this song about waiting for love Asha Bhosle communicates the haunted and haunting desolation of Geeta Dutt’s Koi dur se awaaz de chale aao. In an album of uniform exquisiteness this number radiates the glow of a candle on a sultry summer  night.
  10. BOLO KYA TUM BAS ITNASA MERA KAAM KAROGE–Daayraa(1997)It’s a pity that all public attention was glued to Asha’s shokh-vocals-ki-bijliyan . In  Amol  Paelkar’s  Daayraa,the  searing film about a transvestite played  by the  late Nirmal Pandey  nd a sex woker  played by Soinali Kulkarni, Asha Bhosle gave   an enduring vocal  performance for Gulzar’s sensuous lyrics tuned by–believe it or not–Anand-Milind! The composition is  incredibly supine  sensuous and painlashed .The incredible Ms Bhosle  had another marvelous solo   Palkon pe chalte chalte  in Daayraa.
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