Before I start, let’s wish Asha Tai a very happy 89th birthday and many more years of healthy life.
I’ve been posting a Asha Bhosle song list on her birthday for the last four years. And I had not thought of a theme for this year. Last month, when I was compiling for Raja Mehdi Ali Khan song list, I faced a dilemma when it came to selecting a song from Woh Kaun Thi. I realised that even if the song, Shokh Nazar Ki Bijliyan, is a gem, it hasn’t got its due. Though it has good lyrics, good tune and amazing rendition by Asha Bhosle, the song is not as popular as the other songs of the movie. It’s been overshadowed by the rest of the popular songs. It deserves to be extremely popular. Then and there itself, I thought of compiling a list of Asha Bhosle songs which have been overshadowed by other popular songs of that particular movie, but the songs are excellent. Mostly the songs stand out because of Asha Bhosle’s Midas touch. Some of the songs on the list do have a good tune, but still for me it’s Asha Bhosle’s rendition that takes the song to a higher level. I know this could be subjective. But of course I can have my own list and readers can add to it.
When Asha Bhosle started in Hindi films, she faced a tough competition not only by her sister, Lata Mangeshkar, but also by the other female playback singers, Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum etc. She had to work hard, pour out her mind and soul into her career.
In the beginning, she sang any song that came her way. Perhaps that was her financial need for that hour. But perhaps that’s why initially she was offered dance numbers, songs picturized on supporting characters and so on. It must have been really a challenge to break the trend. She had a major breakthrough in 1957- 58 and I have discussed this period of her career on her last birthday. But the journey wasn’t easy at all.
Though she sang as a leading female voice for O P Nayyar, Ravi and R D Burman, the other composers called her mainly for the songs of other characters. And this continued well till the late 60s.
So here I am with a list of ten songs, which according to me, are overshadowed by the other popular songs of the movie. Asha Bhosle did a full justice to these songs. But despite being good, the songs didn’t attain the popularity they deserved. For most of the movies, it’s her only song for the movie. I’ve chosen solos, but readers are free to add duets as well.
So here we go…………
1. Shokh Nazar Ki Bijliyan – Woh Kaun Thi (1964) Asha Bhosle / Madan Mohan – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
The audience gets so much involved in the Lata’s solos and other songs that this magnificent number by Asha Bhosle gets sidetracked. What a difficult song to sing! Asha’s flawless rendition makes it sound quite easy, but do try once for yourself. Shot at an ice skating club, and picturised on Parvin Choudhary and Manoj Kumar, the song is surely a perfect fit for the list. This is her only solo for the movie, she also has a duet with Rafi.
2. Itni Badi Mehfil Aur Ek Dil – Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960) Asha Bhosle / Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri
Though it’s an inspired song, it’s not a complete copy. And such a beautiful song! Helen dancing and singing at a club. It’s the only song Asha Bhosle sang for the movie. But in the flood of Lata Mangeshkar’s soulful solos, the song hardly stands out. But for me it’s one of her good songs.
3. Dil Ki Manzil – Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) Asha Bhosle / S D Burman – Hasrat Jaipuri
So much impressed we all are with the solos and duets of Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar, that this beautiful club song is overlooked. It’s obviously not meant to be just another club song, the picturisation is so meticulously done. Asha Bhosle sings for both the dancers and does a great job. The whispering part of the verses, sounding more like prose, is not at all easy to sing in a flow. And the modulation of voice, the diction, everything is perfect!
4. Chand Tu Yahan Hai – Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan (1961) Asha Bhosle / Sudhir Phadke – Pandit Narendra Sharma
The film is mainly remembered for the Lata Mangeshkar solo, Jyoti Kalash Chhalke. And the composer Sudhir Phadke’s contribution to Hindi films is also generally talked about keeping in mind just this film. But obviously he was active in Hindi films since the late 40s and actually Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan was his last Hindi film. A general music lover tends to forget the other songs of the movie which are equally fantastic. Asha Bhosle sang for Seema Dev, and had a solo and a duet to her credit. Listen to the song and decide for yourself. Sung with perfect expressions, the song also has a good tune and lovely orchestration.
5. Sirf Apne Khayalon Ki Parchhai Hai – Bahu Begum (1964) Asha Bhosle / Roshan – Sahir
The film has a couple of songs by Lata Mangeshkar, one of which was a duet with Asha Bhosle. Asha Bhosle’s other duet Hum Intezar Karenge is very popular. But Asha Bhosle’s couple of solos didn’t become popular despite being good. Both the solos were picturised on Helen as Mujra. Nikle The Kahan Jane Ke Liye is a bit well known at least among the hard core fans of HFM. But this short song with meaningful lyrics and excellent rendition is not at all popular. Please follow the link to watch it on YouTube.
6. Bin Baadal Barsaat Na Hogi – Bin Baadal Barsaat (1963) Asha Bhosle / Hemant Kumar – Shakeel Badayuni
I wasn’t aware of the song being a Tandem song. It has two versions, the one by Lata Mangeshkar is a credits song while the other is a dance number picturised on Nishi. Asha Bhosle had a couple of songs in the movie, one solo and another duet with Rafi. This song holds an important place in the movie, or so it seems, but it’s not popular. The other songs of the movie have completely overshadowed this song. Enjoy the song. The dance is good and so is Asha Bhosle’s rendition. At the hands of an inexperienced singer, the song wouldn’t have had that impactful.
7. Parwanon Ki Raah Mein – Hariyali Aur Rasta (1962) Asha Bhosle / Shankar Jaikishan – Shailendra
Another club song, picturised on Helen. Helen used to be a part of many films and at least one dance number picturised on her was a must! While we always talk about Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh solos and duets from the movie, this sizzling Asha Bhosle solo, her only song for the movie, is always forgotten.
8. Tora Man Bada Papi – Ganga Jumna (1961) Asha Bhosle / Naushad – Shakeel Badayuni
Naushad always seemed reluctant to offer songs to Asha Bhosle. This is yet another beautiful song picturised on beautiful Helen. Again it’s just because of Asha Bhosle that the ordinary song has risen to another level. Her expressions are perfect, and the adakari in her voice is out of the world. It perfectly creates the necessary aura of the villain’s character.
For the next couple of songs, perhaps the scenario is not the same. The films and their songs are not extremely popular. Here, I may say, the songs are relatively less popular in general.
9. Sawan Ban Gaye Nain – Karodpati (1961) Asha Bhosle / Shankar Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri
I don’t know if the songs of the movie, Karodpati, are at all popular. But still, the Lata Mangeshkar solos are a bit known. This soulful sad song picturised on Shashikala is not popular. It’s Asha Bhosle’s only song for the movie. In complete contrast with the earlier songs on the list, it’s not a dance number or bubbly song. Listen to the pain in her expressions. Excellent rendition indeed!
10. Kahan Jaate Ho Saiyan – Do Gunde (1959) Asha Bhosle / Ghulam Mohammad – Shakeel Badayuni
Do Gunde isn’t a well known movie either, but a couple of songs by Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar are popular. But this cute and sweet Asha Bhosle solo steals the heart. Asha Bhosle has sung it with apt expressions and when there’s Kumkum on screen to perform it, what more could you ask for? Kumkum just steals the show, fully complementing Asha’s performance. How lively she was! And It’s been more than two years since Kumkum’s death.
Have you thought of a befitting song?
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