Latas pep talk gives Asha Bhosale confidence

Mumbai: A brief pep talk from her "didi" Lata Mangeshkar gave singing legend Asha Bhosale the much needed confidence to face the camera as the protagonist of Hindi film `Maaee`, which went on floors on Sunday.

The evergreen singer said after agreeing to do the title role in the movie directed by debutant Mahesh Godiyal last month, she was in a dilemma whether she had taken the right decision.

"Last night, I spoke to didi who reassured me that I would do a good job. She said acting runs in my veins as our father late Dinanath Mangeshkar was a drama artiste," Asha said.

The 76-year-old singer also revealed, "I did not remember the song that didi sung for me in `Badi Maa`. Didi said it was `Ma Meri Badi Ma…`. I was the child artiste in the movie with Noorjehan as the leading lady."

Asha said she had taken up the film at the instance of her son Anand after a narration by producer Nitin Shankar.

"Both insisted that I should do the film. I can`t say no to Anand. But after I gave my consent, I continued to be worried about how to remember dialogues. Songs are easy to keep in mind because they have `Lay` (rhythm) and `Sur`(music)," she said.

Admitting that she was scared and nervous about acting, Asha said her motto was "keep going and everything would be fine".

Asha said the title "Maaee" brought her emotionally closer to the film since she and her siblings called their mother by this name.

Refusing to divulge any details of her role, Asha said, "my emotions are attached to the film. It is a story with a twist and a message."

Asked about her favourite stars, Asha said she had worked with actors of different generations and it was difficult for her to take particular names.

"But earlier stars would frequently come to our recording studios during rehearsals and so it was easy for me to sing with variations for actresses as different as Madhubala and Helen. Asha Parekh, Nargis, Madhubala often came for the rehearsals before recording. Today things are sadly different," she added.

Earlier, Asha, clad in a simple pista colour saree and wearing pearl necklace and earrings, gave a mahurat shot with actress Padmini Kolhapure. In the two minute scene, Padmini brings her mother `maaee` (Asha) to her house and calls out to her daughter who rushes out to meet her grandmother.

The mahurat clap was given by noted filmmaker Yash Chopra. Speaking after the shot, Chopra said he has known Asha for nearly 60 years.

"That time she was a star and I was an apprentice. Later, I became a filmmaker and she was still the star. Now, she is a singing star. As I was watching the mahurat shot, I did not feel she is a newcomer, but a heroine already. Even though late, she has come before the camera," he said.

To this, the singer quipped, "when I was younger, he (Yash Chopra) did not feel like offering me roles and just ignored me."

Chopra said Asha has never been self-conscious before the camera. "She is wonderfully expressive," he added.

`Maaee` is the story of an elderly woman abandoned by her son who then goes to live with her daughter and son-in-law.

Ram Kapoor has been cast to play Kolhapure`s husband, Navin Kaushik will play Asha`s son and Cadbury girl Shivani Joshi will play her grand daughter.

The film is produced by Subhash Davar and Nitin Shankar.