Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Time to let go....

Today, is Asha Bhonsle's 73rd birthday. I wish her a long life.

Her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar is- well -even older. I wish her a long life too.
The contribution of the two sisters, to Indian cinema, and to music in India,
cannot be praised enough. For over 60 years, both Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle sang virtually every song as playback singers, that was recorded for a Hindi movie.

They sang for regional language movies too - Punjabi, Gujarati, Bengali and Marathi, and sometimes even in South Indian languages. They won numerous awards, and generally enthralled audiences wherever they sang.

Lata Mangeshkar's and Asha Bhonsle's contribution to Indian music has been immense.

However, its high time both sisters called it a day. And I say this, not out of spite or jealousy or any other bad intention.

Over a period of six decades, their voices and singing capability has undergone a change, and not for the better.
And this can easily be gauged, by simply comparing songs sung say 30 years ago, and those rendered recently.

This is natural and would happen to anybody. An individual capabilities diminish as he or she grows older. Nothing wrong in that.
It's time to make a graceful exit from the scene and allow other, younger and talented singers to come to the fore, and get equal opportunity.
And its also time, for all their admirers to also let go. Its time for the 'Yash Chopras' of the world to stop believing that unless Lata Mangeshkar sings in a movie he produces, it won't be a runaway hit.
Its time for their admirers - the audiences, we - the common people, to stop 'living in the past'. Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle were great - once upon a time. Sadly no performer remains great forever...
Let us be fair to all the younger singers who are 'waiting the in the wings' and encourage them to come up to the top. A cricketer cannot remain a passenger on the Country's cricket team, just because he was great once upon a time in the past. In just the same way, every performer after reaching the peak of his or her career, should exit gracefully, and make way for the new generation.
Let us all continue to listen to the songs of the last few decades and remain mesmerised by the magic of Lata Mangeshkar's and Asha Bhonsle's voice. At the same time, let us lend our appreciation to a wide range of good quality singers of the present generation.
The young performers deserve our attention and our appreciation too.

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