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Surma Mera Nirala

There is also the atrocious story of the time when Kishore Kumar acquired a flat in the posh Warden Road at Bombay. That was when his bungalow was being done up and he needed a temporary place to stay. Kishore Kumar had a sign put up on the front door. The sign said, Beware of […]

There is also the atrocious story of the time when Kishore Kumar acquired a flat in the posh Warden Road at Bombay. That was when his bungalow was being done up and he needed a temporary place to stay.

Kishore Kumar had a sign put up on the front door. The sign said, Beware of Kishore Kumar. It seemed almost like a parody of the usual signs, which blare Beware of dogs.

When H S Rawail had to pay him a last balance he owed him, he went to the flat to give Kishore Kumar the money. A Servant opened the door and asked him his name and what he wanted. When Rawail told him, the servant asked him to wait and went to check with Kishore Kumar, who luckily was in.

As the servant left the door open, Rawail sauntered in. He walked with confidence, for he knew Kishore Kumar would be happy to receive the money. When Kishore Kumar saw him inside the flat, he said nothing. He took the money Rawail gave him and offered to shake hands with him. Kishore took Rawail’s hand in his and, quickly putting it to his mouth, he bit him.

Rawail felt the pain; more than that he felt shocked.

“Didn’t you see the sign?” Kishore asked him.

Rawail said nothing. He laughed and politely and quickly left.

There is a story of Kishore Kumar that reveals another side to him. Bipin Gupta, known for his many character roles in the Hindi movies produced the film Dal Mein Kala that was released in 1964. Satyen Bose was its director. The film starred Nimi and Kishore Kumar.

Bipin Gupta was short of money and was compelled to cancel the shooting. Kishore Kumar, seeing the plight Gupta was in, ordered his driver Abdul to go home and bring Rs 20,000 in cash immediately. That was the amount Gupta needed. As soon as the money arrived, Kishore Kumar gave it to him personally.

The film incidentally flopped, practically ruining Bipin Gupta.

The some what obscure singer and music composer Arun Kumar Mukherjee was one of the invitees to a trial screening of the film Bandish which starred Ashok Kumar and Meena Kumari and which was released in 1955. Kishore Kumar too was there, as was his brother Ashok Kumar, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and a few others. The trial run was being held at a studio in Tardeo at Bombay.

After the trial, all four men got into Ashok Kumar’s car to return to their homes. Arun Kumar sat next to the Ashok Kumar. Even before the car could start, Arun Kumar had a sudden massive stroke. He fell literally into Ashok Kumar’s arms and died.

Arun Kumar died young, leaving behind a wife and two children who lived in Bhagalpur. Everyone felt shocked and a wave of sympathy filled them. Ashok Kumar too felt moved and promised to help the family.

Later, Hrishikesh Mukherjee raised a fund for the family to which a number of persons contributed. The money was sent to the family to help them tide over their deep loss.

But very few people know that Kishore Kumar secretly sent money regularly, month after month, to the wife. In fact, the truth is, she depended entirely on the money Kishore sent her. She herself confessed this to a friend. If Kishore had not helped, it is likely that the family would probably have been wiped out. Incidentally, Arun Kumar Mukherjee is the same person who used to visit the Gangolys at Khandwa and who was one of the first persons to appreciate Kishore Kumar’s singing talent.

Kishore Kumar sent money to a few other people as well. Nobody knows who they are and he himself kept the matter under wraps.

(Extracts published with the permission of Viking Penguin India, publishers of ‘Kishore Kumar: The definitive Biography’ by Kishore Valicha. 312 pp. Rs 295. 1998)

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One Response to “Surma Mera Nirala”

  1. 1
    A Singh Says:

    This is really a very touching artcile. Big people do not publicize their good deeds. My respect for KK has grown further.




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