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Asha Parekh

Ashatai has sung the most [number of songs] for me. I first met her at Mumbai's Famous Studio, when she was recording for my first film, Dil deke dekho for [composer] Usha Khanna.

You will never see her frown -- she's always smiling. And she always tries to imitate the voice of her heroine. My favourite songs are, Jaaiye aap kahan jayenge (Mere Sanam) and Daiya yeh main kahan phasi (Caravan). The latter was comical and she added so many nuances to it.

She is very intelligent and catches on very fast. In a duet, she would sing the male singer's part and beat him to it!

I remember Ashatai was felicitated at a function which I had attended. She was so elegant on stage. She had called out to me, saying she [Asha Bhosle] has sung 'the maximum songs for her [Asha Parekh]. We are two Ashas meeting.'

I enjoy most of her songs. Her light songs are very attractive. Just as you think she is good in light songs, she sings Chain se hum ko kabhi aapke jeene na diya, and you don't know which is better!

Whenever we met, she would talk about her family. She would say she had to, 'go home and cook.'

I can't believe she is 70! I would place her at 50, the way she moves. She is so full of energy and life, so very young at heart.

Text: Lata Khubchandani
Design: Uday Kuckian

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