Remembering Kishore Kumar On His 13th Death Anniversary
by Raju Bharathan Ashok Kumar told me something that I should have divined long before that super actor framed it in words..“Kishore’s voice hits the mike, straight, at its most sensitive point — and that’s the secret of his success as a singer without peer!” observed the vintage elder brother. COME to think of it, […]
by Raju Bharathan
Ashok Kumar told me something that I should have divined long before that super actor framed it in words..“Kishore’s voice hits the mike, straight, at its most sensitive point — and that’s the secret of his success as a singer without peer!” observed the vintage elder brother.
COME to think of it, this business of the singer’s voice hitting the mike at its most sensitively receptive point — had Naushad Ali not noted the same thing about Lata Mangeshkar to me?
It is this straight ‘mike-hitting’ trait, in fact, that made Kishore Kumar, once he was rehearsed and ready, a vocal threat to the best.
Kishore Kumar had not formally trained in music, so that Salil Chowdhury, for his intellectual Bengali part, was not even prepared to give this actor-singer a hearing, once he got to know that Kishore lacked musical grounding.
Kishore Kumar was Sheila Ramani’s hero in Bimal Roy’s Naukri (1954).
YET Salil Chowdhury, as the new phenom among our composers then, was dismissive of Kishore as: “I have not heard a single song rendered by you, so how could I possibly let you render my song in Naukri!”
Saying that, Salil was on the point of summoning Hemant Kumar to sing Chhota sa ghar hoga in place of our already unemployed hero of Naukri: Kishore Kumar!
It was only after Kishore Kumar virtually begged Salil Chowdhury to hear him out — as one having met, already, the intricate tonal demands of master composer Khemchand Prakash in his very first song for films — for Bombay Talkies’ Ziddi (1948): Marne kee
duaaen kyun maangoon jeene kee tamanna kaun kare — that Salil Chowdhury relented in the matter of Chhota sa ghar hoga.
“To Dada Burman goes the credit for having spotted the spark in the boy so early. Each one of us composers otherwise underestimated the tremendous potential of Kishore,” admitted Salil, adding, “Not until the vocal results Kishore gave me, some 18
years later, in Gulzar’s Mere Apne, with Koi hota jis ko apna hum apna keh lete yaaron, did I get a real idea of how totally I had misjudged the depth and dimension of the lad as a singer.”
THUS a quarter century after Kishore Kumar came up with his Badi soonee soonee hai ‘swan song’ for S D Burman, in Mili, on Amitabh Bachchan; a near 30 years after he gave exquisite expression to son Rahul Dev-Burman’s Chingaree koi bhadke to saawan use bujaaye, picturised on ‘preceding’ superstar Rajesh Khanna in Amar Prem; the aural aura of Kishore abides as the absolute original.