Page 10 - Seniors Today -Volume no1
P. 10

Who was your favourite co-singer?
        Kishoreda (Kumar) without doubt. We were
        constantly entertained during, before and
        after recordings with him. He would have us
        in splits. But he would get serious in front
        of the music composer. He was very sad
        under the mask, though. A month before his
        death I got to know how unhappy he was. He
        called me to share his sorrow. He didn’t want
        to come home as there would be too many
        people there. So we met at mutual friends’               With younger sister Asha Bhosle
        place where I saw the other, somber side of
        him. I’ll never forget what he told me about           take four musicians with me to Delhi and sing
        his life that evening.                                 Allah tero naam (Jaidev’s song in Hum Dono).
        What did he tell you?                                  Then C Ramchandra came to me and said
        I can’t share that. But I had never imagined he        that poet Pradeepji had written a patriotic
        was so unhappy from within. He said I was              song that he wanted only me to sing at the
        his rakhi sister and he wanted to share his            function in Delhi. Who knew at that time
        grief with him. After listening to him I told          that Ae mere watan ke logon would become
        him I was there for him whenever he needed             such a momentous song? Since I had turned
                                                               down other composers I was hesitant. But
        You have been very lucky with your family              C. Ramchandra insisted. He felt that Ae
        life?                                                  mere watan ke logon would pull his career
        Yes, indeed. I had to look after my family from        out of the doldrums. So I agreed. During
        a very young age. But they never made me feel          the rehearsals, I suggested that we should
        burdened. My siblings have always given me             turn the song into a duet with Asha. I don’t
        great strength and joy. They could have easily         know if she rehearsed for the song or not. But
        felt I was getting more (fame, recognition, etc)       four days before we were expected to leave
        than them. But they never felt that way. To            for Delhi, Asha backed out. I was shocked.
        this day my one and only brother Hridaynath            Finally I had to rehearse and memorise the
        has never shown any interest in my wealth.             entire song from a tape on the aircraft, just a
        The same goes for my sisters as well. They             few hours before the show. I sang the song.
        care deeply for me. In fact when I am unwell           Panditji loved it. I went to his home to meet
        I hate to tell my family about it as they get so       Indira Gandhi and Rajiv. When I returned
        worried, Unke chehre utar jaate hain. Only             to Mumbai, newspapers were splashed with
        the blessed get such a family.                         pictures of Panditji and me. I have never
        Didi, tell us, was Ae mere watan ke logon              stolen songs from anyone. I had suggested
        supposed to be Ashaji’s song?                          Asha’s name myself. So why would I snatch

        I’ll tell you the complete story. Hemantda             the song away from her? I swear on my music
        (Hemant Kumar) came to me and said that in             that this is the truth. I have a feeling that
        the wake of the Indo-China war, I must go to           someone instigated Asha into believing that
        Delhi for a show on the occasion of Republic           Ae mere watan ke logon was meant to be her
        Day. I was hesitant. My sister Meena was               song. But you can ask Pradeepji. He’ll tell you
        getting married after 15 days. I was going             what the truth is.
        through ill health. But every composer                 You’ve been working with three
        was after me to sing his composition at the            generations of music composers. Isn’t
        function. I said no to everyone and decided to         there a generation gap between you

                                                                                   SENIORS TODAY | Volume 1 | Issue 1
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