22 comments on “Happy Birthday, Asha!

  1. Great list, Richard! There were several songs there that I like a lot (especially the ones from Umrao Jaan, Kala Pani and Asha). I’d probably have also included Aage bhi jaane na tu, from Waqt, and Yehi woh jagah hai, from Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi – but I see that you’ve stuck to songs-picturised on dances, so here’s my two cents:

    I love the sultriness of her voice here. Gorgeous. :-)

    Happy birthday, Asha!

  2. Hello, Dustedoff. Thanks for the nice comments and the suggestions. “Aiye Meherban” was actually on this list for ten minutes or so. LOL With Asha, there are just too many to choose from. I had originally started with my usual favorite number, seven, but I couldn’t possibly leave it at less than ten, and even that took more time than I expected, just trying to pick and choose.

    You are right that I wanted to focus on dances… The exception is the Meena Kumari shower song from Footpath, but that is so exceptional to me, I just couldn’t leave it out. :) Anyway, I had just recently posted the cabaret dance from that film, which was Asha’s first.

    Similarly, I tried to focus exclusively on solo performances, but the Holi song from Navrang actually is a duet with Mehandra Kapoor… But, then, on the other hand, I felt that Asha’s part really was the core of the song. Moreover, Navrang is a good contender for my favorite Asha-concentrated soundtrack, yet all of the best of her songs on that soundtrack are duets.

    I was going to add some text to explain some of these difficulties in picking and choosing, but then I saw your comment and decided I’d just take the opportunity to do that in my answer to you. :)

  3. Happy birthday Asha!
    Your selection of mujra, folk, western shows Asha’s verstality.
    Great choice. The colour ina meena deeka is new to me. Never knew it got coloured.

    I like this Minu Mumtaz mujra too, and is a birthday offering. :)

  4. All these songs are beautiful. I agree with you about Navrang, that movie is so unusual, I love it. The songs are all so lovely. Although ‘Tu Chuppi hai kahan’ is my hot favorite, this one so so lovely.

  5. Ava (or should I call you Thandapani now?), that song is a lovely one, and it is also a solo. Though it’s not as wildly impressive to me as the Holi song. :) By the way, if you want to post a YouTube video to comments, just post the URL, and WordPress usually converts that. (Though when you’re writing a post, it’s another matter… You almost had that format, though you need an “=” sign after “YouTube and there are other minor things to consider – but no need to go over that now, I guess. :) )

    Pacifist, that Minoo Mumtaz mujra is nice. Though when I started reading your comment about Minoo Mumtaz and a mujra, I thought of another one, which I omitted purely by mistake (because it should be in any top-ten Asha list):

    Oh, and by the way, “Ina Meena Deeka” was actually done in color in the original – parts of the film were in color, other parts in black and white. And thank you for the nice words regarding my choices showing her versatility – yes, I was trying to show a range/variety there. :)

  6. Hmmm yes, the song I posted is quieter, thats for sure, but I love it.

    I just picked out the code that youtube put out in the ’embed’ selection. I guess it was incomplete.

    Oh, you can call me Ava. I told you that thandapani thing pops up by default because I had once created an id in wordpress by that name.

    I just love Asha’s voice, it had a haunting quality that make the songs she sings linger in your mind. There is song from the movie Sambandh which was filmed on a mujra. ‘Akeli hoon main, piya aa’. I am not able to access youtube right now, else I would have attempted to embed it. The music is by OP Nayyar, another good reason to look it up, :) seeing how well she had teamed up with him.

  7. Ava, I kind of remembered that you said once before that the Thandapani thing was just an identity that you created on WodPress at some time, but back then you’d used it only once and now you’re using it a lot more, so…just checking… :)

    WordPress’s rules for embedding apparently bypass the “embed” code. You take a piece out of the “embed” section to post a Dailymotion video, but the “embed” section in YouTube seems to be irrelevant. (And what on Earth is that YouTube code that pops up when you select “share”? Doesn’t make much sense to me…)

    OK, here’s “Akeli Hoon Main, Piya Aa”…

    Yes, that’s a good one. (I like the visuals too. I don’t recognize the actress/dancer, but Pradeep Kumar is very amusing here, as he often is.)

    Asha’s voice is great. While I have thought Geeta Dutt was better in some of those duets that they’ve sung together (as I pointed out), I realize that Asha’s had her stunning moments as a singer too, and more of them have stood out for me lately. (Coincidentally, while paying closer attention to the Umrao Jaan soundtrack…because I’ve gotten to appreciate Khayyam…I was thoroughly enchanted by Asha’s singing there. I don’t think Lata was quite that good anymore by 1981 (at least from what I’ve seen/heard)…) So, the timing was right to give her a birthday post. (Although my absolute favorite singer still is…the one who will get a birthday post a little more than three weeks from now. :) )

  8. Happy Birthday Asha!
    Nice list, Richard!
    The one from Parda was new for me!
    I was surprised to see Eena Meena Dika in colour. I was used to seeing it in BW.
    Dustedoff’s suggestion ‘aaiye meherbaan’ would find my approval as well. Love that song!
    I have a soft corner for Bedardi mere saiyan from Chaudvin Ka Chand

  9. Thank you, Harvey. Did you like this Minoo Mumtaz mujra more than the color one in that film? The color one certainly is more striking to look at, but maybe this is better otherwise(?)…

    Such nice mujras…such a dreary film. :)

    Meanwhile, did you really put that other one up by mistake? I haven’t seen that other film yet, but I’ve seen that song before (not one that’s easy to forget)…

  10. Belated Happy Birthday to Asha! My own favourite: as far removed from dance songs as possible, this song always makes me cry…

  11. @ richard: yes, I prefer the b/w rather than the colour, maybe just because I am used to it, but I would like to say because it suits the mood of the film and for the continuity. ;-)
    “Such nice mujras…such a dreary film. :)”
    How true!
    yeah, it came up by mistake. I was copying the url for my list-collection and then I thought I had copied the right url, but pasted the former instead! It is a bit hard on the eyes. Mehmood is surely better at cross-dressing and can dance much much better than I. S. Johar!

  12. @ bawa: That is a nice song and was on my asha fav audio cassette in my teenage years. Wonder where it is now! Asha recalled during the TV show ‘Yeh hai Asha’ that by coincidence during the recording of the song, she was undergoing some hard times, since her sisters and brother had severed their ties with her after marriage and thus this song struck a cord with her. I don’t know how far this is true. I had always thought that till the late 50s she had already left Mr. Bhosle and living again with her mother, if not she was completely independent. But I maybe mistaken as well. Mistaken in the dates or also maybe in the recollection.

  13. @harveypam:
    That maybe the reason she sang it with such emotion, maybe that is why it moves one so much. I am also glad that S D Burman gave her such an expressive (and difficult) song to sing, in the days when she was confined only to the chirpy/dancing numbers (dis those brilliantly I know!). Even though I think all songs in Bandini are “genius” class, this Asha number stands out for me.

  14. I also seem to remember that the severance came not from the side of Asha’s brother and sisters, but rather from Mr. Bhosle’s side. Apparently a difficult and possessive personality – his wife was allowed to sing (to earn money I guess), but he accompanied her at all times (didn’t he have a job?). I think in one of the recent interviews Lata said as he seemed to object to all of them, they decided to keep their distance so as not to make life more difficult for Asha. There are always many sides to a story and I am supposing such situations are always no-win and difficult to resolve.

  15. Thanks for the video, Bawa. The music/singing is very good, and I could see why the song is so moving, especially after reading some translation of the lyrics. :)

    I also read in the YouTube comments, and on some other sites, that S.D. Burman actually reminded Asha of her brother in order to get her into the right state of upset to sing this song, because she was still estranged from her brother, and Burman knew about that.

  16. @ bawa
    yeah, you are right there are always more versions of the same story. Maybe because there are some many truths as well.
    Agree with you completely that ‘such situations are always no-win and difficult to resolve’.

    @ richard
    “S.D. Burman actually reminded Asha of her brother in order to get her into the right state of upset to sing this song, because she was still estranged from her brother, and Burman knew about that.”
    Quite possible that she said that in the show. I just know that she alluded to this fact. It is some 25 years back that I saw this on DD, thus can’t recall the exact wordings.

  17. One of my favourite Asha songs is Saba se keh do from Bank Manager (1959), also picturised on Minoo Mumtaz.
    Am posting this song with translation (albeit though a bit modified), although there is no video to it, so that Richard can get the jist of the song

  18. Some years ago, Asha said in an interview that this was the most difficult song she ever sang. La Bhosle tends to change her opinion on such matters but if one has sung so many like Asha, one does tend to get things mixed up, doesn’t one?

  19. Those are two beautiful songs, and I had totally forgotten about Jiyalaga…thanks for the reminder :)
    She certainly has sung her share of very difficult songs!

  20. Thank you for sharing these, Harvey. I agree with Bawa – they are beautiful songs! I have seen the scene for “Subah Se Ye Kah Do” before, though I haven’t yet had the chance to see the whole film (assuming I ever do). I appreciate your posting a version that contains translated lyrics for me, but I think we should post the film clip too. Here’s a copy with some nice info at the end:

    Regarding “Jivalaga,” no, I had never heard that one before, and in addition to being beautiful, it is very interesting, too, as it has a different sound to me from most – for different music as well as the different language. :)
    P.S. By the way, I have had more reasons to rethink captialization. :) I’ve realized that it is the standard way for Indian film song titles not to put them in init. caps, though it is hard to break the English standard that I have learned regarding most titles (thus I am still usually following that, at least in my blog). Is the song title done with only the first word capitalized because the title in these songs is usually just a line from the song? (Just speculating there… :) )

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