How do you describe a person who has done it all? Landing up in the US in the middle of the summer of love, one of her first stops was Woodstock '69. She then proceeds to hang out with the likes of Andy Warhol, Velvet Underground, the Stones, Ishmail Merchant and James Ivory, shares a magnetic chemistry with Holly Woodlawn (one of Warhol's famous transvestite trio, 'Warhol's Women') dates the guy who financed Timothy Leary and still finds time to wow John Hammond Sr. and lay down vocal tracks for the complex free form jazz of Ornette Coleman. She has sung and recorded albums in the forms of Indian classical, jazz, disco, rock 'n' roll, folk, blues, opera and old hindi film songs. She uses mudras in her performance because she's a classically trained dancer as well and mixes Nirvana with Bol tans. She's done a few films including Savages that caused a furour in India in the 70s. Then there's the innovative side, an album that traces a train journey through India, with songs and styles based on the various regions, all in that train frame of mind.
You describe her as Asha Puthli and I've barely scratched the surface. Sitting at her feet for four hours, listening to her, watching her multitude of expressions, falling in love with her diva eccentricities, feeling all the while, that immense positive energy constantly recharging us. It was an experience of a lifetime. All at once she was sensuous, motherly, affected, caring, funny, eccentric, beguiling, wonderful and shining like only a true luminary can. I feel privilaged and I'm sure Prashanth and Dundee (who's taken some lovely pics of her as well ;))who were with me will agree completely.
Asha Puthli, we're proud to have served on your otherworldly ship as Space Cadets that muggy Mumbai afternoon.