t was our 10th Newsmakers Achievers’ Award this year and I wanted to call legendary singer Padma Vibhushan Asha Bhosle to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award. I had her son Anand’s number. He is youngest of his siblings but has taken on the role of being his mother’s manager, who is advising, and charting her career path with business acumen, ensuring that Asha Ji is taken care of and goes to worthy programs. Anand Bhosle is one sweetest and humblest human that I ever interacted with. No false attitude, no-nonsense, and no celebrity tantrums – such things are possible only when a person lives with the utmost integrity and social responsibility. Well, I somehow succeeded in establishing communication with him and that’s how finally Asha Ji arrived at “Newsmakers Achievers’ Award 2019.”
What energy and positive spirit she has, my generation has a lot to learn from Asha Ji and her son Anand. Most importantly, what we have to learn is to stay grounded and humble. She arrived exactly on given time, immediately came on the dais as she had to fly to some foreign destination. Anand beforehand ensured everything like a good manager-cum-son. The coordination was well guided and directed by him so that everything falls in place without any glitch. I never thought I would be learning so many things in this due process. I have grown listening to Asha Tai; we all know her singing versatility and acting abilities but trust me her son is equally committed towards her journey on the path that she has chosen. Well, that was one beautiful evening made possible by Anand.
Melody queen Asha Bhosle was among the celebrity recipients of the Newsmakers Achievers’ Award 2019, for their outstanding contribution in their respective fields. Asha Bhosle is that one star who is no alien to winning awards. She’s won 9 Filmfare Awards, 2 National Awards, and Padma Vibhushan but she was equally excited about receiving the latest award — the Newsmakers Achievers’ Award. To my surprise, she told the media, “I don’t go everywhere to accept awards, this is little different and I felt like coming here.” She further stated that awards are an appreciation by the people and it’s a nice feeling when people love you and appreciate what you do. Some media asked her, how special are these awards to you, do they still make a difference to you today after receiving Padma Vibhushan? She smiled and said, “I’ve won many awards including two National Awards and Dadasaheb Phalke Award, even the award that has its name starting with the Padma means it’s the most prestigious. Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan which are the most prestigious but even today also I naturally feel happy that my people have recognised my work. Any appreciation is a good feeling.”
She humbly thanked people for loving her and left for her further journey. She sang some songs, especially the very first song of her career and some from Bappi Lahiri’s compositions. Bappi’s most of the songs are sung by Asha Tai; seeing both of them singing together was a nostalgic moment. Padma Vibhushan Kanak Rele, who is another legend and previous year’s Lifetime Achiever of “Newsmakers Achievers’ Award, Dr. Vitthal Kamat and his 92-year-old mother — all were there to welcome Asha Tai. It was an unforgettable moment, looking at their ages, journey and success stories and yet the simplicity and affection they have, has taught me so much that one life is not enough to live with it. I am really blessed.
Asha Bhosle’s career started in 1943 and has spanned over seven decades. She has done playback singing for over a thousand Bollywood movies. In addition, she has recorded several private albums and contributed in numerous solo concerts in India and abroad. In 2011, she was officially acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in music history. Renowned for her voice range and often credited for her versatility. Her work includes film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian classical music, folk songs, qawwalis, and Rabindra Sangeets. Apart from Hindi, she has sung in over 20 Indian and foreign languages. In 2013, she made her debut as an actress in the film Mai and received critical acclaim for her performance.
Asha Tai is also an excellent cook and cooking is her favorite hobby. The love for cooking got Asha Tai into a popular restaurant business. She runs restaurants in Dubai and Kuwait called Asha’s. Asha’s offers traditional north-western Indian cuisine. It has a presence in the Wafi City development in Dubai, as well as three restaurants in Kuwait, at The Avenues Mall, the Marina Mall and a brand new third outlet at the Spoons Complex. Other restaurants can be found in Abu Dhabi’s Khaldiya Mall, Doha’s Villagio and Bahrain’s City Center Mall, Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates and Cairo, Egypt. She personally takes care of the kitchen and the décor. She individually trained the chefs for almost six months. She is a legend in all spares. I wish her long and peaceful life. Because Anand (happiness) and Asha (hope) that everyone wants in life, and I was really blessed with both in that night of awards. “Thanks” is a very small exchange of expression and gratitude to offer for the gesture they showed towards us.
The event was also blessed with the presence of yesteryear veteran actress Moushumi Chatterjee and veteran classical singer Pandit Ajay Pohankar. In an industry where it is common to sound the last trumpet for an actress no sooner has she tied the knot, Moushumi Chatterjee is a shining example of nothing can stop talent from flourishing. She made her debut as a teenager in Tarun Majumdar’s Bangla drama, Balika Badhu and her Bollywood debut was Anuraag (1972) directed by Shakti Samanta. Moushumi Chatterjee was considered as one of the most beautiful faces when she entered the industry in her early teens. The silver screen was brightened up with her blithe charm, pretty, puckish, playful, and carefree ways. Pandit Ajay Pohankar started his training under the guidance of his mother Dr. Susheela Pohankar – a renowned scholar, musicologist and Kirana Gharana vocalist – at the age of 5 and was introduced to North Indian classical world as a child prodigy at the age of 10 by none other than Ustad Aamir Khan Saheb. During a career spanning almost 5 decades, he has mastered many genres of music like Khayal, Thumri, Ghazal, Devotional, and Fusion and new age music and has mentored some of the elite music artists we have today. He is a world-renowned teacher and a perfect combination of world-class vocals, experience, and purity.
I and my team would always be grateful to Asha Ji, Moushumi Ji, Pandit Pohankar Ji, all other award receivers, and especially Anand Bhosle for making this event a special one.
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