Urmila SingingUrmila Matondkar is thrilled to bits. She has just returned from shooting the video for a song that she has sung with the legendary Asha Bhosle for Shamir Tandon’s album.

“I’ve always been one of Ashaji’s biggest fans. We go back a long way. She has known me from when I was a child. She had sung in one of my Marathi films as a child actor called ‘Sansar’. Then, of course, her husband R.D. Burman composed music for my ‘Masoom’. The couple has seen me grow up,” Urmila told IANS.

“I was thrilled when after ‘Rangeela’, for which Ashaji sang two of my best songs, she had said I can carry off any clothes and that no matter what I wore I looked like a child. In fact, the biggest compliment to me was when people thought songs like ‘Khallas’ in Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Company’ were mine only because Ashaji sang them.”

Urmila paused to laugh.

“My career as a bathroom singer started with Ashaji’s songs, right from ‘Nigahen milane ko jee chahta hai’ to ‘Dum maro dum’. She’s capable of singing every kind of song.”

It was at a Marathi concert in Thane where Asha suggested that Urmila join her.

Recalled Urmila: “For a long time I wanted to attend a Marathi concert, and I did. When I was on stage, I hummed one of the first songs she sang for me in ‘Chamatkar’ – ‘Bichoo yeh bichoo’. There and then she said, ‘You’re singing for me’.

“The next day, when she again asked me to sing with her, I begged off, saying Sanjay Dutt liked to sing in public while I did’t. But she encouraged me with what R.D. Burman used to say to her, ‘We’ll drop the song if you can’t do it.’ After that, (composer) Shamir Tandon made it very easy for me to believe I could sing. Ashaji and I had great fun singing ‘Main ghulan hoon’.

“It’s easy for a man and woman to sing a duet. But two women; no one will dare to compare my voice with hers. But when you’ve two women, singing parallels are bound to be drawn. Just before I went on air, I wanted to kick myself for agreeing. I almost lost my nerve. I wanted to kill myself. I finally sang with her.”

Urmila said it was a great experience.

“It was a complete riot. A tremendous experience. If I can sing, elephants can fly. To sing with someone so awesome… wow! Now I can call myself a rock star. After acting and dancing I’m now a singer. I now carry an invisible warning, ‘Don’t come near me. I’m a singer’.”

Will she sing again?

“Too early to say. Right now I’m zapped. Those who’ve heard the song have liked it. I’ve no intention of singing my own songs, though. My throat gets dry when I remember the day I sang with Asha Bhosle.”



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