When she turned 88, Asha Bhosle reinvented herself. She launched her YouTube channel, shared anecdotes about her life with audiences spanning three generations or more, and launched '#AshaKiAsha', a talent hunt where only the voice matters.
Needless to say, entries poured in from across the globe. Asha personally listened to over 2000 entries over 45 painstaking days and nights, and finally zeroed in on five finalists. September 27 will see the finale where Shankar Mahadevan has joined the jury along with Asha Bhosle.
Bhosle told IANSlife: "I saw more than 2,000 entries. I listened to each and every entry personally. I am truly amazed at the talent in India and abroad. There were young children and elderly people who sent their singing videos. In fact, there is an 11 year old girl in the finals! From 2000 voices, I selected 28, and from there, we selected five. I feel extremely happy that people got a chance to showcase their talent through my medium."
Revealing that it is a very difficult choice to select few and not many. "In my eyes all are winners! Since the selection became very tough for me, I requested Shri Shankar Mahadevan ji, who most kindly accepted my invitation to join the jury."
In addition, the veteran is looking forward to another season of #AshaKiAsha, simply because there are too many talented people waiting in the wings. "Yes, I am looking forward to hosting Season 2. I am happy that I can give back to society, music and music lovers, with this quest. Many hidden gems need a chance to be showcased to the world."
Giving a word of guidance she says: "To all the participants and to everyone in general, I would just like to say -- always live a positive a life, never give, strive, work hard and do your riyaaz (practice) daily!"
"My daughter Varsha used to say that the legendary Gangubai Hangal's voice remained young at 90 due to riyaaz. If I can sing at 88, it is only due to riyaaz. Always practice, be positive and do your best. If you have not got a chance this time, you can surely get it the next time. My prayers are always with each of you. I am overwhelmed by the sheer response and the energy of each participant."
#AshaKiAsha will have five finalists and the award winning singer will personally announce the winner on September 27 on her official Facebook page. She will also bless the winner with a sum of one lakh rupees. "There are no sponsors involved because I don't believe in asking someone for help. I'm doing this from my heart."