San Jose, Calif. — The legendary singer Asha Bhosle and ghazal maestro Talat Aziz performed in an enchanting concert, billed as “The Iconic Tour: A Tribute to Bollywood,” at the San Jose State University Event Center here Aug. 30, presented by Mehta Entertainment.
The 2,000 people who came to hear the two icons perform varied in age from their seventies to young children, with the adults eager to see Bhosle perform songs that they had grown up listening to. For the older generation, it was a throwback to the days gone by.
“We should give her a standing ovation,” said Faiza Akhtar who acknowledged being a huge fan of the singer. “She has given us 70 years of service.”
The show started with music by Nitin Shankar and the Band from Mumbai. Talat Aziz, an icon in his own right, introduced the cheering audience to the legend, who needed no introduction.
Emerging on stage in a lovely pink and silver sari, Asha Bhosle charmed the audience as she opened with the evergreen song, “Aaiye Meharbaan,” from the 1958 movie “Howrah Bridge.” With song after song, her energy, her voice and her talent were there for all to experience. She also paid tribute to her older sister, Lata Mangeshkar, by singing one of her most famous songs, “Lag Ja Galey.”
Even at 81 years of age, Bhosle can put any of the new crop of singers to shame. She also shared with the audience personal memories about each song that she sang at the concert. Like a true artist and performer, the singer changed costumes several times, each one more glamorous than the last. She flirted with the audience and joked with them, keeping them engaged. Her choice of songs reflected her range as a singer, and all who were present knew they were experiencing something special.
Sharing the stage with her was the maestro of ghazals, Talat Aziz, who promised the audience at the beginning of the show that they would see him in a new avatar. And so they did. He stayed away from ghazals and sang old classics like “Chaudavi ka Chand.” He paid tribute to his favorite singer, Kishore Kumar, by singing a medley of his songs, among them “Yeh Shaam Mastani” and “Zindagi ka Safar.” And he got the crowd going by getting off the stage and joining them while singing “Dard de Dil” from the movie “Karz.”
Asha Bhosle concluded the concert with an energetic finale as she sang and danced to upbeat all-time party favorites “Dum Maro Dum” and “Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja.” The audience could not help but join in. Finally, she took a bow and ended the concert with three simple words that spoke volumes: “I love you.”
Fans of Bhosle’s music easily span the gap between different generations.
Harbans Dholia, who lives in Menlo Park, came with two of her daughters and her granddaughter who is 14 years old. They all are huge fans of Asha Bhosle. “Her old songs from the sixties and seventies are really wonderful,” Dholia told India-West.
Amita, who was visiting from Chicago, could not pass up the opportunity of experiencing the icon perform. “I have been listening to her songs since I was two years old. I’m impressed by her life story,” she said.
Raj Bhanot, co-founder of the Sunnyvale Hindu Temple, told India-West that he was expecting this to be a great show, and it was indeed, admitting that that one of his favorite songs is “Dum Maro Dum.”
The “Iconic” concert was presented by Mehta Entertainment along with Inder Dosanjh and Bhavini and Amitabh of Instant Karma.