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The Extraordinnaire

Source: CC.Lehigh.EDU ! netnews.CC.Lehigh. EDU!netnews. upenn.edu! dsinc! spool.mu.edu !howland.reston.ans.net !swrinde !news.dell.com !tadpole.com !uunet !boulder!spot.Colorado.EDU!parrikarFrom: parrikar@spot.Colorado.EDU (Rajan Purshottam Parrikar) Newsgroups: rec.music.indian.misc
Subject: From the KK-Klan Headquarters Date: 28 Sep 1994 05:46:28 GMT Organization: University of Colorado, Boulder Lines: 210
Message-ID: <36avvk$r1i@CUBoulder.Colorado.EDU> NNTP-Posting-Host:spot.colorado.edu Namashkaar.
Here is yetanudder piece on Kishore Kumar, in commemoration of The One and Only’s seventh death anniversary which falls on October 13.

Rajan

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Luck stood by the shy young man and within a couple of years he hit the big league. As the funny hero, who sang, danced and entertained – as against the usual dour-faced, romantic kinds, who would break into tears at the slightest pretext. It worked. And Kishore Kumar became a runaway success. So popular was he in those days that he could hardly keep track of the number of films he was doing. And his habit of trying to always play truant began the legend of the eccentric. Producers and directors were always chasing him – and he was perpetually trying to run away from the sets. Where? To the privacy of his home, where he lived alone. For Ruma, his first wife, had already left him and gone to Calcutta – where she settled down with a little-known film-maker.

So busy was he in those days that once in a while someone else had to playback for him. Like Mohammad Rafi did in Shararat. Unbelievable for someone whose first love was singing and who was determined to ultimately get down to it seriously.

He now married for the second time. Madhubala, the most exquisite heroine that Indian cinema has perhaps ever produced, was his second wife. But, she, alas, was a very sick woman then and they spent nine tormented years together – during which period he virtually sat by and watched her die of a congenital heart ailment that no one could cure.

Meanwhile the legends grew. Of his weird ways. His strange, outlandish lifestyle. His miserliness. His quirks. His kinky behaviour. Legends he encouraged because they helped him to preserve his solitude and kept the industry at a distance. An industry he had nothing but contempt for.

The stories are legion about how he taught erring producers lessons. Particularly those who failed to pay him his dues in time. Once he turned up on the sets with exactly half his face made up because the producer had only settled half his dues. Another time, an unluckier producer found him with half his head and half his moustache shaved off because he had not paid him more than half his money. The shooting schedules had to be cancelled for almost a month. Mehmood, one of the few people in the industry he can still call a friend, has described how he once had to hire a pistol to threaten Kishore Kumar so that he could come to the sets. He laughs off most of these stories today as exaggeration but concedes that he had to try every trick in the trade – and many outside it as well – just to make people pay him his legitimate dues in an industry notorious for its unkept promises.

As for the money he has made, he claims that the income tax authorities have virtually reduced him to penury by taxing him on not just whatever he has earned but adding on interest on all delayed payments. It will take me more than another lifetime to settle all my dues with them, once and for all, rues the singer in one of his rare serious moments.

After living alone for quite some years after the legendary Madhubala’s death, Kishore Kumar tied the nuptial knot again. This time, with the young and upcoming actress, Yogeeta Bali. It was his shortest marriage and collapsed even before it got going, thanks to the bitter feud between the actress’ ambitious mother and the irritable husband. A quick divorce, and a reportedly large settlement, and she was out of his Gaurikunj like a shot – to marry Mithun Chakravarty, the actor, shortly thereafter.

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One Response to “The Extraordinnaire”

  1. 1
    BAPAN Says:

    Kishoreda is greatest.

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