Hitting the high notes, perfectly…

I have personally always felt out of the two oldest siblings of the famous Mangeshkar family, (& I say it humbly without any intention to insult or be disparaging about Latadidi’s undoubted greatness) that Asha Bhosle, who always had to stay in her older sister’s really big shadow and has an equally inspiring tale of struggle and numerous periodic blows, repeated at regular intervals, each of which would have felled a lesser individual, is the far more complete and versatile singer of the two.

Who else can traverse the entire spectrum of music cutting across all divisions and genres so easily without any difficulty whatsoever. Her vocal range is unmatched and her indomitable spirit and indefatigable energy truly awe-inspiring.

Listen to this song from an early 60s movie that proves the point. The movie Mujhe Jeene Do has a happy convergence of three geniuses: Jaidev, Sahir Ludhiyanavi and Asha Bhosle. All great in their individual capacity, having achieved stratospheric status and the combined talents of the terrific trio could only result in one helluva combined creative masterpiece.

Mujhe Jeene Do was the second movie from Sunil Dutt’s production company, Ajanta Arts, after the first Ye Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke (the first of the many movies made in Bollywood based on the Nanavaty case– I am aware of and have seen at least 2 more: Achanak and Rustom). Unlike his debut production, {which despite a great contemporary storyline, cast, direction ( R K Nayyar) & music (Ravi) did only moderately well at the box office}, Mujhe Jeene Do was a critical as well as popular hit and one of the biggest grossers of the year at the box office. It was also India’s Official entry for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival the year after its release.

The genre of the dacoit films was Bollywood’s answer to the Hollywood (wild) Western Movies, and this was the third of the genre ( after Raj Kapoor’s Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai and the Dilip Kumar/Vyjayanthimala starrer Ganga Jamuna that followed a year later and was followed by Sunil Dutt’s movie another 2 years later). Mujhe Jeene Do was directed by Moni Bhattacharjee and the outdoor shooting was actually done under heavy police security cover in the Chambal Ravines which at the time were rife with scores of dacoit gangs.

Ashatai hits the high notes without the slightest quaver in the voice nor the suspicion of any imperfections, hats off to Jaidev, the unsung genius of my times, Sahir Ludhiyanavi, the poet who wrote for films for a living and above all Ashatai for pulling off a perfect 10 in vocal gymnastics. Kudos to all three…

Stay safe, stay healthy and happy. I will travel to warmer climes over the weekend.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

4 replies on “Hitting the high notes, perfectly…”

My most favourite song since ages👌🙏🏾👍
Yess the beginning aalap is so unique in higher octave that a novice would say it is coming from an instrument 🤔👍👍👍👍👍👍
So when the start is so AWSOME the entire song just takes you hand in hand with the sulking lover!!👍👍👍👍👍👍
Thank you for share👍🙏🏾

Liked by 1 person

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