By Ojasvee Last Updated:
Asha Bhosle is one name that needs no introduction. She is the voice behind some of the most famous songs like Parde Me Rehne Do, Chura Liya Hai, Ude Jab-Jab Zulfein Teri and Zara Sa Jhoom Lu Mein. Working as a singer in Bollywood was not just a dream for Asha but a necessity too. All the raunchy and dejected songs would fall in her lap. She took every offer that knocked on her door and it all turned in her favour.
Today, she holds the Guinness World Record for the most recorded songs by an artist. She is still one of the most loved singers of Bollywood but her personal life did not follow the success of her professional life. Asha fell in love with the wrong person and it affected her life in a way she couldn’t have imagined.
In the princely hamlet, Sangli, Asha was born to Master Denanath Mangeshkar. She has music running in her veins. She moved to Kolhapur with her family at the age of 9, following her father’s death. Along with her elder sister, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha started acting and singing in the films to earn the bread and butter for the family.
While Lata Mangeshkar had already established herself as a singer, Asha was still trying to prove herself. It was during her struggling days that Asha took a step which no one had imagined. She was in a relationship with Ganpatrao Bhosle who was Lata Mangeshkar's secretary. Asha was just 16-years old at that time. Lata immediately disowned her baby sister and the Mangeshkar family cut-off all ties with them.
Asha had to leave her entire family to live with her 31-years old husband. Her marriage caused a rift between the sisters who used to share a great bond. It was only after the birth of Asha's son, Hemant, that the Mangeshkar family accepted them. Things were just beginning to build up again and the family was coming together, but Ganpatrao was not in the favour of his wife getting close to her family, especially to her sister, Lata.
Ganpatrao and Asha welcomed two more kids together, but things were not well with the Bhosle family. Asha was a busy mother of three children while Lata was considered the best singer of her time. Lata's popularity threatened Ganpatrao as his wife wasn't getting enough offers. Ganpatrao was a greedy man and wanted Asha to earn more and more. During the 1950s, he would often trouble Asha for money and prohibited her from meeting Lata. He accused her of infidelity and their fights would often take a violent turn. No matter what Asha would do, it would always invite abusive words from her husband.
In 1960, Ganpatrao decided to show Asha and their three kids the exit door. He didn't allow Asha to take anything with her. This proved to be a turning point for Asha as she now had three children to take care of. She focused on her career and gave hits after hits.
Leaving Ganpatrao was the best thing that happened to Asha. After that, her career reached new heights. She sang for movies like Gumrah, Waqt, Aadmi aur Insaan and Hamraaz. Her fan following was huge and amongst them was a young boy named Rahul Dev Burman. R.D. Burman would often accompany his father to his studio and it was there that this thin college boy with big black glasses saw Asha Bhosle for the first time. He was completely in awe of the lady and even asked for her autograph.
In 1966, Burman married Rita Patel but got divorced in 1971. He collaborated with Asha on various occasions. Burman was a trendsetter and so was Asha. Their love for music brought them closer. Finally, Burman, who was six years younger than Asha, proposed to her. Asha was still haunted by the memories of her past and couldn't accept his proposal, but this did not dishearten Burman. After a lot of persuasions, Asha agreed to marry him, and the couple tied the knot in the 1980s.
Asha and Burman were ruling the music industry as its first couple. They loved each other deeply. Asha's second marriage was not like her previous one. It was a bond of mutual understanding, respect and love. Although life was treating Asha the way she always hoped for, this happiness was not for keeps.
Asha and Burman separated in the late 1980s because of Burman's alcoholism and incessant cigarette smoking. This, however, did not affect their admiration for each other. They would often meet and spend quality time together. It was during this time that Burman suffered a heart attack due to his unhealthy habits. Asha supported him in every way possible.
In 1994, Asha went to Burman's place for her weekly visit but found the house empty. Later that day, she received a phone call from Burman's servant who told him that her husband wasn't feeling well. Asha rushed to his place with her elder son and got Burman hospitalised. Burman breathed his last breath on January 4, 1994. That day, Asha broke into pieces because she lost the man who loved her the way she always dreamt off.
After the death of Burman, Asha pulled herself up because she has always been a very strong person. She made a comeback with Rangeela where she lent her voice to a very young Urmila Matondkar. After that, she worked on various other Bollywood projects and released a few singles as well.
Asha Bhosle lost her father at the age of 9. She started working for money at an age where kids would live a carefree life. She got married to an abusive man who left her with nothing but their three children to look after. When she was finally happy, the love of her life left the world.
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Asha never had a smooth journey but that didn't break her spirit. She has proved that she is a strong woman and we respect her for that.