Connect with us

Exclusive Premium Content

“The Rivalry Is All Imagined,” Lata Mangeshkar On Asha Bhosle



asha bhosle and lata mangeshkar

The Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar speaks  for the  first time  about  the rivalry with her sister.

On a cloudy monsoon  morning I  bring up the  ostensibly taboo topic of her sister Asha Bhosle, and Lataji’s priceless voice lights  up. “Asha and I  are close .We  don’t meet that  frequently  these days because she  lives  far away with her son Anand. Earlier she lived  right next to me and we  even  shared a door between our two apartments in Prabhu Kunj(the residential complex on Peddar Road , Mumbai).I  know  people find it  hard  to believe. But that’s the  way it is.  Of course we’ve had  our differences in the past. Which  siblings don’t have differences? There were things she  did in her youth that I  couldn’t approve of.”

You mean  like getting married way too early? “Yes. I  knew it was  too early. I could feel it would end in disaster.And  it did. But it was her life  and she was  free to do what  she  liked with it. In our family we never question one another’s  decisions.”

What about the  professional  rivalry that the two sisters are  infamous  for?  

Lataji  patiently clarifies, “There  never was  any professional  rivalry between us. She evolved a  completely different style of singing  from me. What she  could do, I couldn’t do. Even with Pancham(R D Burman, married to Asha Bhosle from 1980 to 1994  )  the songs that I sang for him were very  distinct  from what Asha sang for Pancham. I sang  Na koi umang hai for Pancham in Kati Patang. I could never do Mera naam hai shabnam in the same  film. It had  to be  Asha.Our individual  areas  of  singing were clearly marked out.”

 There  was  talk  of  the two illustrious  sisters   turning their back on one another when they  sang together.

“I don’t know  where that started!  There was some picture of  the two of us recording a song while  looking in opposite directions. This  was  taken to mean that we couldn’t see eye-to-eye. Nothing could be further  from  the truth. Asha  and  I really enjoyed singing  together whenever we  got the chance. There is  absolutely no rivalry  between us. I’ve always  wished her well. And she has  always looked up to me as her elder sister.”

Continue Reading