Asha Bhosle is an Indian playback singer, and an entrepreneur. She has sung over 12,000 songs and holds the World Record for being the most recorded music artist. She has been decorated with the Dadasaheb Phalke Awards and the Padma Vibhushan honour. Ashaji lives in Mumbai.
A few years ago, our friend Shri ParimalBhai Nathwaniji came to visit us in Mumbai. Between chats, he spoke of Gujarat and how the state had been transformed into a clean, beautiful and prosperous-in-every-aspect space. He spelled out with deep pride, “This is the charisma of our chief minister. He is now busy with the elections”.
“I would like to speak to him” I said.
“Why Not!” exclaimed a delighted Parimal Bhai, “I will get you to speak to him right away”. He dialled the number and handed me the phone.
I greeted the CM “Namaskar. This is Asha Bhosle. Mara Vhala, Kem chho? (How are you?)”. He laughed heartily projecting his open humorous spirit. “I am hearing only good things about you” I said and added “how may I be of assistance in the development of Gujarat since my Mother was Gujarati and it’s my farz to assist Gujarat”. He was pleased with my offer and said, “I shall inform you when you are needed most and I hope to meet you in person when I visit Pune for the inauguration of the new wing of your Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Hospital”
Chief Minister Modiji and I spoke for a pleasant while. When the call ended, Parimal Bhai told me,”Asha Ben, our Modi Bhai is a very good man.” I was suitably impressed with his forthcoming nature and approachability.
The inauguration of the Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Hospital, welcomed CM Modiji to Pune. He met everyone warmly. It was the new wing of the hospital and he was very interested in looking through every section. But yes! When it came to the unit dedicated to treatment of the throat, he stopped.
He asked, “Please take a look at my vocal chords – my throat.” Did he know then that he had to give many speeches? That he would be traveling abroad to spread the grand reputation of India? Did he know then that he would become our beloved prime minister?
There were only the closest family members at the inaugural of the hospital in Pune. My grandson Ranjai was only ten years old at the time. Ranjai is a quiet and an introvert child, rarely showing emotions, but suddenly and uncharacteristically he exclaimed to Modiji, “It will be a landslide victory for you!” All of us stopped in our tacks and looked at Ranjai in surprise.
Modiji said, “God speaks through the mouths of children!” And indeed, a landslide victory it was! As Prime Minister of India, Modiji remembered and acknowledged what 10 year old Ranjai had said to him. His action told me that not only is the PM a humble man, but he also has an outstanding memory as well.
Whenever Modiji comes to Mumbai for the inauguration of a given hospital or the museum of the Films Division, I make it a personal point to go and meet him. Once, when I went to Delhi, the PM warmly welcomed me at his residence. I told him that I had one wish remaining; that wish was to go sing and entertain our brave soldiers stationed at the forward border posts. The PM took immediate action and shortly I got an invite from the Defence Ministry to perform for our defence forces stationed in Arunachal Pradesh. Minister Shri Rijiju accompanied the entourage on this entertaining occasion and also managed to belt out a couple of songs for our Braves.
Just recently, during this tryst with Corona, I called Modiji and asked him how I could be of help for India in fighting the dreaded virus. He replied “Didi, apane dash ke life bahut kuch kiya hai. Phil haal aap ghar main swasth rahiye aur aapka khayal rakhiye” (Elder Sister, You have done a lot for our nation. Please remain safe and sound at home). I then asked him if I could do a fund raiser on TV for the PM Cares Fund. He was delighted with this suggestion and through our efforts, we managed to raise a substantial amount for the PM Cares Fund.
The PM works long hours with very little sleep. I am wrapped in thought, struck by the enormity of the work involved in ensuring the smooth running of a nation as large and populated as ours. To simply run a small household can drive one up the wall! It was when PM Modiji sat meditating for a whole day in the Rudra Cave at Kedarnath, that I realized the awesome magnitude of his endeavour. I, along with a majority of Indians pray for his well being and success and look forward to a strong and powerful India under his leadership. Jai Hind !