Veteran Bollywood singer Asha Bhosle, in a recent interview, as part of an initiative by Fever Network in collaboration with Hindustan Times, spoke of her illustrious life and the challenges she has faced.
To the question as to where she is now during the lockdown period, she said, "My grandchildren returned to India on March 4 (from abroad) and so did my son. For a short outing as a family, we came to my bungalow, some distance away from Mumbai and that's when the lockdown was announced. We just can't step out of the house now."
"It is a problem as one has to stay indoors always, one doesn't even have as much of stuff at home - clothes for instance. One had come with preparations for about 8 days. So that's how we have been staying. In many ways, this is quite a nice thing - my son is often in Dubai on work, while my grandchildren are in school - but this time around, we have been together for a good one month. This is such a beautiful feeling, my granddaughter is full of life." She was also joined by granddaughter Zaini Asha Bhosle during the interview.
When asked about how is she spending time during this lockdown, she said, "I get up at 7 am, I don't wake up anybody. I make my tea and then after that I sit for my practice (riyaaz). I practice till I such time as I get tired, then I step into the kitchen to see what is being prepared. I am used to doing work at home."
Talking about how they are passing time, she said, "We play carrom, cards even snakes and ladder and of course we watch a lot of TV. We see world news."
At 87, she has had a long life. Has she ever seen a time like this? "I haven't seen a world like this before - I was a young, I was born in 1933, when diseases like plague, cholera, influenza, typhoid etc. were around but we as a family managed to get past them."
"But I witnessed second World War; I have seen run-gaadi on Pune's streets; in Kolhapure, there was a camp where ladies from Poland were seen. I have seen India's independence and wars with Pakistan. I also saw what happened, the destruction when the Koyna dam brought and how Pune and Mumbai bore the brunt of the damage it caused. For fifteen days, there was no electricity or water in Mumbai. we had to really struggle for it."
"During the war with Pakistan (perhaps '71), on windows we had to put black paper, but I have never witnessed a time where the entire world is shut. Such a thing would happen in India or at best, between two countries but never the entire world. It seems God is testing us but we will sail through this too."
What kind of music does Asha Bhosle listen to? "I listen to ghazal, light classical. I don't listen to film music - we have sung them."
Recalling her childhood, Asha mentioned how among the five siblings, she was called 'buddhu (foolish)'. "I was named 'pathan' and pehelwan' - I was fat and strong from y childhood. I used to do all the household work - beating and grinding - it was my childhood that I had a thing for working and cooking, both to make and to feed."
100 Stars 100 Hours is an initiative to thank the frontline workers in fight against Covid-19.