The definitive saga, at once riveting and revelatory – studded with rare nuggets of information and fascinating anecdotes – that sparkingly brings out the life and times of an internationally acclaimed incredibly versatile singer
Asha Bhosle – a Guinness world record holder plus recipient of the Padma Vibhushan and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award – has held one and all spellbound for six decades now. Her voice, both fluid and flexible, has infused neo life into a variety of genres – from the melancholy melody to the rollicking rock-’n’-roll; from the soulful creation to the vibrant disco; from the romantic rhapsody to the rambunctious folk song; from the dainty ghazal to the boisterous qawwali; and from the pathos-filled rendition to the naughty-naugthy seductive number.
The author – on the strength of his vast and varied exposure and experience – turns the focus on enthralling behind-the-scenes happenings that shaped the advance of this artiste with a remarkable range and a noteworthy body of work.
‘The world has no time for losers’ has remained Asha’s performing credo. This volume captures Asha Bhosle in her numberless shades. It is about how – in her silken rivalry with elder sister Lata Mangeshkar – she moved with panache from O. P. Nayyar to S. D. Burman to R. D. Burman. It is about how she served a galaxy of composers; about how, in the end, she reached the pinnacle all by herself. Against odds that would have driven any other woman into quitting. No quitter ever, Asha Bhosle, as the supernova supreme, just went on to underline the adage: ‘No power like woman power’. No more can you stay away from this marvel of a musical biography than you can stay away from the matchless musicality of Asha Bhosle. If she is one of a kind, so is this musical masterpiece capturing all the resonances and nuances going with her piquant persona.
Here is a long-awaited career study shedding light on the twists and turns marking the starry-eyed world of Hindustani film music.
Raju Bharatan is widely recognized as the last word on Hindustani film music in India – as the only one who was physically there ‘on the scene’ through the decades when music sittings and song recordings took place. He has written on the theme through 55 years, attracting notice as the music critic of Filmfare; and as a helmer at the century-old The Illustrated Weekly of India in The Times Group. He has contributed authoritative articles on cine music to the Sunday Times; to the Hindustan Times; to rediff.com; to The Express Group’s SCREEN weekly; to Mid-Day; and to a number of other publications. He is the author of Lata Mangeshkar: A Biography (1995); A Journey Down Melody Lane (2010); and Naushadnama: The Life and Music of Naushad (2013). He appears regularly on TV as a music scholar.