Asha makes her film debut with Maaee

Mumbai: Renowned playback singer Asha Bhosale who has mesmerised generations with her singing prowess and versatality, is making her full-fledged debut as an actor in Hindi film `Maaee`.

The 77-year-old singing diva told PTI that she took up the project written and directed by Mahesh Kodiyal for "fun".

"I have been singing since childhood and over the years sang songs from different languages from India and across the globe. I can`t be repeating myself and was looking for some new opportunity till `Maaee` came along a fortnight ago," Asha said.

According to the evergreen singer, she had no qualms about teaming up with a writer-director who is a newcomer.

"Even I am a newcomer as an actor," she said.

Asha refused to divulge details about the film and her role except saying that `Maaee` meant mother. "It is a story set in the urban upper middle class in Mumbai with a social message. Padmini Kolhapure plays my daughter," she said.

The veteran will also lend her voice to a song which will be filmed on her.

Asha recalled that as a child, she had done small roles in Marathi film `Te Maze Baal` and Master Vinayak`s `Badi Maa` in which Noorjehan was the heroine.

"In `Badi Ma`, I don`t remember the song where I am dressed in a bengali saree and singing. However, since then I was scared on acting and standing before the camera. Perhaps, I did not like the hardships faced during outdoor shootings.

But in `Maaee`, there is nothing like that," Asha said.

Replying to a question on what appealed her to the movie, Asha said, "its the title. I just became silent when I heard the word Maaee, since we called our mother by this name. If I tell you more, it would be like revealing the story."

Asha is not nervous about facing the camera after such a long time.

"Acting is in my genes since my father late Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar was an actor. Besides, there is acting in singing as well," she said.

The singer has already displayed her acting skills in many music albums attracting audience with her magnetic charm.

`Maaee` is expected to go on floors on April 24, her father`s death anniversary and release probably in June.

To a question on whether she plans to produce and direct films after making an acting debut, Asha said she does not believe in planning her future. "Things have just happened for me," she added.

Asha regretted that her comments about policemen made at a function in Nashik where she was honoured with the D. Lit degree by Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra open university had been taken out of context.

"I did not say anything against policemen. The university offers distant learning courses to three lakh students including prisoners and dabbewalas. I said a course should be designed for policemen. Many policemen have not completed their education and the university can help them on this front. Education will enable them to speak well and politely to the people. If my comments have hurt the policemen, I apologise for it. I have no problem in saying sorry," she added.