“For me singing is the first priority after which comes music and thereafter maybe acting. I believe acting is all make believe while music touches the heart of the listeners”
These lines came from a great singer in our country who was born eighty three years ago on this day. A singer, who mesmerized whole nation with his enchanting voice, and left behind a musical legacy comprising thousands of hit Bollywood songs. The singer is none other than Kishore Kumar Ganguly our Kishore da. Though he was originally named Abhas Kumar Ganguly, but fondly remembered as Kishore da by all folks. The voice of whom rocked the 70's and 80's of Indian film industry. It wouldn't be wrong to say that he was the man who could mould one’s mind with his beautiful voice and with the extremity of emotions present in his songs. He always experimented with different styles of music. The songs of Kishore Kumar have an extraordinary blend of romance, emotions, naughtiness and melancholy.
Kishore Kumar was a bundle of contradictions. He wanted to go back to his hometown Khandwa but stayed in Mumbai till his end, never wanted to act but gave numerous hits as an actor, never had a formal training of music but sang like a trained professional singer and a loner who was close to the nature ended up marrying four times. “Look, I don’t smoke, drink or socialize. I never go to parties. If that makes me a loner, fine. I am happy this way. I go to work and I come back straight home. To watch my horror movies, play with my spooks, talk to my trees, sing. In this avaricious world, every creative person is bound to be lonely. How can you deny me that right?” This is what our Kishore da was in his personal way.
He was multitalented .He made a mark in Bollywood as a musician, singer, composer, actor, director and even as a producer. And that’s not all; he has also been a scriptwriter, lyricist and screen writer in a glorious career that spanned over four decades. Who can forget his melodious songs like “aa chal ke tujhe, main leke chaloo, or the playful song from chalti ka naam gadi “Paanch rupaiya baara aana or the foot tapping number eena, meena dika or evergreen hits like Kuch to log kahenge'and Ye shaam mastani, established the golden era of Hindi film music. The songs 'Roop tera mastana' and Mere sapno ki rani from the film Aradhana came up with legend combination of RD Burman, Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar which later created unforgettable gems of Bollywood masala cinema. His ability to imitate coupled with his tremendous voice and range gave him an edge over others. Which is why after the decline of Rajesh Khanna, RD Burman and the other composers were able to successfully exploit Kishore Kumar's voice for the other superstar Amitabh Bachchan. Kishore sung some super hit songs for Amitabh Bachchan in movies like Don, Sharaabi, Mili, Amar Akbar Anthony, and the list is endless. Kishore Kumar acted in lot of Bollywood masala flicks like the cult comic movie Padosan, Chalti ka naam gadi, New Delhi, Half ticket, Ziddi, Naukri, and Andolan. Apart from a singing genius, he was also a good human being, always full of joy and energy. True to his contradictions in personality he sometimes was also eccentric.
As his son Amit Kumar describes him, He was known to play practical jokes on people very often. He used to love telling jokes too. But with the family he used to be serious. Most of the times, he was like a child. He never planned things. He was impulsive. He would just get up and say, ‘let’s go out’ and we would pile up in the car and go without thinking twice. He loved the mountains, nature. People think that Kishore Kumar only means jokes, comedy. But he had a very serious side to him too. A side very few got to see.
Although the legendary singer is no more, but has left millions of fans who listen to him across the world and among different generations. Probably, one of those men that true defined the Masala element of Bollywood dome. His life has success, glitterati, fame and yet was somehow incomplete. Kishore Da will always remain in our hearts. His songs have made his fans cry and laugh out loud. His work will remain till eternity and not efface even by time.