Surma Mera Nirala
Was Kishore Kumar eccentric? Was he obsessed by money? What made him opt for the tongue-in-cheek and the audacious? Why are there hundreds of storied circulating in the film circuit about his oddities? In these excerpts exclusive to the Deccan Herald from his just published book, ‘Kishore Kumar: The Definitive Biography,’ KishoreValicha shares a few [...]
Was Kishore Kumar eccentric? Was he obsessed by money? What made him opt for the tongue-in-cheek and the audacious? Why are there hundreds of storied circulating in the film circuit about his oddities? In these excerpts exclusive to the Deccan Herald from his just published book, ‘Kishore Kumar: The Definitive Biography,’ KishoreValicha shares a few inside glimpses.
Deccan Herald – Sunday Herald – Pg 1, September 6,1998
Was Kishore Kumar eccentric? Was his behaviour kooky, a little off centre? Or was he merely odd and a bit different from others? Most people asking these questions have in mind the rather picturesque stories that circulate concerning Kishore Kumar’s oddities and misdoings. Some of the stories are bizarre, while others testify to something impetuous and even reckless in Kishore Kumar. Some talk about how he was obsessed with money. And quite a few of the stories are truly spectacular.
Many hearing these stories for the first time, are filled with puzzled wonder and, at times, admiration for a man who could not only act contrary to normal behaviour but who could be tongue-in-cheek and audacious in situations that most people would view with modesty and restraint.
Quite a few, who have known Kishore Kumar, put forward the view that he was not really eccentric but a very serious person at heart, very earnest about what he wanted to do. Unfortunately, he was not always understood. As Mehmood characterizes it:
“He was neither eccentric not miserly, as some people seem to think. He was in fact a genius. He was a louder version of Raj Kapoor, an all-rounder who could handle every aspect of cinema but and all-rounder who enjoyed making noise and being notices…”
Tanuja’s feelings run deeper. As she puts it, ” I don’t know why he put on this madcap act. May be, like every other human being, he needed to hide something. When he was in a good mood, he was great fun. He told us the most atrocious jokes. One day Dadamoni (Ashok Kumar) and I were shooting and both the brothers got together to put up a show for me. They had this routine they used to perform. Like they had this game – one said Pandurang, the other said Tukaram and they went on faster and faster. It was a competition to see who would fall out first… The understanding was fantastic. Then at the end of it when we all were in hysterics, he would ask, “ab batao, ham dono bhaiyon mein se kaun zyada paagal hai?”
Kalyanji, who takes a dispassionate view, says,