Remembering the Great Kishore Kumar, On his 90th birth anniversary.
We take immense pride in remembering one of the greatest legend ever, in India's cultural history named - Kishore Kumar.
He was born on 4th August, 1929 in Khandwa and his actual name was Abhas Kumar Ganguly. He changed it to the popular name of Kishore Kumar, after his entry in Bollywood.
Kishore Kumar first started his career as an Actor. In fact to start with, he was a Chorus singer at Bombay Talkies. Due to the fact, that his Brother Ashok Kumar was a famous actor, he got as many as 22 movie roles (1946-1955). 16 of those movies flopped at the Box office. However, destiny was to unfold very soon and the skies opened up to him from 1955.
Kishore Kumar had much more special talents, which would soon take off. He was a natural singer. He had no base on Classical singing, to become a Playback singer. Yet his songs right from his soft numbers, melancholic touches, peppe tunes , romantic duets , haunt us even today, a long 32 years after his demise at Mumbai in 1987.
Due to influences like S.D.Burman, Kalyanjee Anandjee, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Khayyam, Salil Choudhury etc and their constant encouragements, Kishore Da turned out to be our Nation's top Male playback Singer, within a short span of time. His record 8 Filmfare awards, under that category is ample testimony of his immense musical talent.
Kishore Kumar achieved tremendous success in acting too , from 1955 to 1968 and gave many Super hits like Bhai Bhai, Asha, Padochan, Jhumroo, Half ticket , New Delhi and a host of other movies.
His chemistry with R.D.Burman, has become a part of our folklore. He continued his journey, even with younger prodigies like Bappi Lahiri.
His Yodeling styles in songs like " Chala Jata Hoon ", his semi-classical mastery in " Humme Tumse pyar kitna ", his soft romantism in " Tum Aa Gaye Ho", deep sorrow and melancholy in " Bade sooni sooni hein" , pranky spirit in " My name is Anthony Gonsalves", leave us awestruck, even today.
Kishore da's role models in life were K.l.Saigal, Rabindranath Tagore, Danny Kaye and Singer Ahmed Rushdi.
Now, we will touch another aspect of his personality. Such a Genius, is bound to have some amount of eccentricity or quirkiness, along with the package. Kishore Kumar was no exception. We fondly remember, some of his acts, pranks and his craziness, as we sincerely believe that " often - Eccentricity is a kind of innocent pride".
His insistence on receiving full payment for his performances, in advance had some funny incidents. Kishore da would leave a song half sung, or apply half- makeup on his face, for a shoot, if full payment was not received. He somersaulted and went out of a recording studio, as payment of his arrear dues, was not released. He himself hung out a notice board, in front of his residence "Beware of Kishore Kumar ".
Kishore Kumar had married 4 times. Ruma Guha, Madhubala, Yogeeta Bali and Leena Chandravarkar shared conjugal bliss with him. He was so obsessed with Madhubala, that he got converted to Islam, during her lifetime. Yet he admitted that his best friends were the trees in his garden. He used to spend some time with the trees, speaking to them during his leisure.
He was served notices by a Court, to comply with the instructions of a Director, on the sets once. He had huge mood swings at times. But again, he showed his humane behaviour and broad heart. He never took a penny from the Maestro Satyajit Ray. He extended liberal financial aids to his friend Rajesh Khanna, Danny Denjongpa and even to Bipin Gupta. He was very strong hearted at times, but for a cause. He refused to sing at an INC session and incurred the wrath of Sanjay Gandhi, during emergency. He didn't approve the endorsement of the 20 point programme of Late Indira Gandhi. He was banned for some years by All India Radio, but still he never compromised with his own ideals.
The great singer who put 245 evergreen songs on the lips of Rajesh Khanna, 202 super hits for Jeetendra, 119 lovely numbers for Dev Anand and 131 melodies for Amit Jee, had a unique quality in his voice. It hit the right edges of the microphone and so easily penetrated and got embedded, in our
On the auspicious day of his 90th birth anniversary, we take a respectful bow, in front of this Great Singer, Music Director, Actor, Film Producer, Director, Lyricist and Screen writer, who still inspires the whole nation and all Indians living abroad.
Kishore Kumar was indeed a Legend of all times and the epitome of Creativity, Raw talent and versatility.
Tribute to the great legend.