A Darker Truth

When anyone mentions Kishore Kumar today, one’s instant reaction is that he was a very famous comedian and then the second most popular reaction would be that he was a great singer. Must say, that is a lot to achieve in a single lifetime. But the truth is that is just the tip of the […]

When anyone mentions Kishore Kumar today, one’s instant reaction is that he was a very famous comedian and then the second most popular reaction would be that he was a great singer. Must say, that is a lot to achieve in a single lifetime. But the truth is that is just the tip of the iceberg. Kishore Kumar was a lot more than that.

Born in 1929 in a Brahmin family, no one had any idea that Kishore Kumar, born Abhas Kumar Ganguly, would ever become the mega star he grew to be. At the tender age of 19, he arrived in the city of dreams to try his luck. His brother Ashok was already an established film actor in Bombay. Naturally, Kishore Kumar too was nudged in the same direction. But what Kishore really wanted was to sing – he idolized Saigal Saab for his enchanting voice and tried to ape him. Though he had never received any training in singing, he went on to become one of the most famous singers the industry has ever seen.

Trying something new and excelling in it came naturally to Kishore. Due to his second wife -Madhubala’s heart condition, his acting career took a slump for 9 crucial years. But he saw this as an opportunity and created some really deep and meaningful movies in the time available.

As a film maker, Kishore’s style was vastly different from that of the jovial comedian that everyone saw. Being a realist to the core, his films were stark and naked – with a strong message and equally strong direction. Very to the point, it made quite a few people uncomfortable. He was labeled as an eccentric and his films were considered as not being commercially viable. But that’s exactly what they were not – he made those films not for main stream success, but for satisfaction.

One of his productions titled Door Gagan Ki Chaaon Mein features him in the title role. The story is that of a soldier, who is anxious to get home after a long and strenuous war only to see that his home has been torched to the ground and the only survivor of this catastrophe is his son who is so badly traumatized that he can’t speak. The movie is about the unspoken bond that the two develop between each other – one which starts of as slow and halting, but gradually becomes the epitome of love and devotion. The film also stars his son Amit and the duo has doe such a beautiful job – it is moving and brings tears to your eyes.

Then who can ever forget Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi – a light hearted comedy of errors which stars all the three brothers – Ashok, Kishore and Anup plus his second wife. In a hilarious and rib cracking comedy, Kishore has exhibited his versatility in direction – he showed everyone that he is not closed to anything.

It is really sad that of the 18 films that he made, only eight saw the light of day and even those were grossly under rated. When it came to expressing himself through films, Kishore Kumar let a deeper, intellectual side of him be seen. Unfortunately, not too many could see that part of him as they were too busy laughing at his antics in other films. If they would have made that effort, they would have seen another facet to this gem of a man.

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190 Blog Comments to “A Darker Truth”

  1. Arghya says:

    Yes, i agree Kishore’s voice became coarse a bit in his later years, mainly after his first heart attack in 1983… If you closely listen to songs of Agar Tum Na hote(1983) and then Sharabi(1984).. you will observe that sudden “change of voice” he had gone through.. In fact, immediately after his recovery from the attack, bappi made him sing” Log kehte Hai Main Sharabi Hoon”, which was indeed an accomplishment.

    Similarly, for Rafi, his voice after 1975, did not really impress me that much.. Even “Kya Hua Tera Wada”.. His last songs like “Bishan Chahcha” or ” Ladki Pasand ki” sounded almost similar to that of his clones.. In “Suhaag”, where he and his clone Anwar sang the songs, it became very difficult which song was sung by whom.. I think the song” Ek daal par do phhol khile” was sung by Anwar whereas ” Teri rab ne bana di jodi” was sung by Rafisaab… That time rafisaab was around 55( he was born in december 1924, almost 1925).. So 1980 Rafi was equal in age to 1984 Kishore- and both of them went into some downslope in voice quality due to their age and health problems..

    Also, it is really not big deal when Kishore came on top.. It is about a good nurturer which he lacked throughout his initial career.. Rafi found Naushadsaab pretty early… And Rafi proved himself also.. S D Burman, on the other side, at best can be considered as only “giving chance to Kishore to sing” and not more like “promoting him with challenging assignments”.. Yes “dukhi man mere” was obviously there as well as “mohabbat ka chhota sa ek ashiana” or “o bewafa”, but they were too few to be counted seriously.. My earnest opinion even as on date, as far as real admirer of early KK’s voice, is for Khemchandra Prakash.. Unfortunately to Kishore, he did not live long enough to put his career on track.. Fortunately for Lata, he lived just enough to see through “Mahal” and give “Ayega Aanewala”…

    RD was always an admirer of Rafi.. Even in one of his last interviews in a Bengali magazine in September 1993, RD declared Rafi’s version of “Tum Bin Jaoon Kaha” better than Kishore’s both versions in Hindi and Bengali.. Even from 1970-1975, he gave Rafi more chance to sing than his father, who was “considered” a Rafi loyalist in 60s.. It is mainly because, RD’s style of music( which is very distict from those of his predecessors) which made him use Kishore more.. You also might admit that RD’s style was very much different from that of LP, KA or even RR.. But Kishore adpated all these MD’s style nicely to sing maximum number of songs for all these MDs.. Even LP, promoted by rafians as Rafi fans, ultimately gave 387 songs to Kishore vis-a-vis 313 for Rafi.. Considering their collaboration with KK came drastically down after 1980( they got obsessed with those Rafi-clones) and never existed in full fledge before 1969- that is a great achievement.. Even Shankar Jaikishan, although ultimately they used Rafi most, after 1970, it was Kishore who was dominating their( or, rather his- Jaikishan died in 1971) baton..

    but, yes, as you rightly said ., Rafisaab was a leader in devotional, semi-classical and patriotic songs and Kishore is not any match for him in these segments… This fact is very well aprreciated by me.. But, Kishore also scores over Rafi in certain segments of singing, like soulful songs, comedy and fast beat romantic numbers… The fact remains, Rafisaab, could have very easily sung “mera jeevan kora kagaz”- there hould not be any doubt in that, but somehow everytime KK used to sing a song on life’s philospphy( with the word “zindagi” or “jeevan” in it), he used to bring some “divine” effect in it with the “X” factor in his voice… And yes, definitely, it is very difficult for Kishore fans to justify why Kishore should be greater than Rafi( like the way you have put objectively why rafi should be the best), because theories and technicalities sometimes cannot explain why a singer’s voice should connect with me more… We consider that singer to be the best who speaks of our heart more or perhaps connects to our hert more…
    Thank you so much.

  2. KLF says:

    Kishore da was a fantastic versitile singer who happens to be a personal favourite of mine! But the fact one needs to honestly observe that it took approx 20yrs for Kishore da to reach the top spotlight as a singer with the big help of RD Burman! compared to Rafi which took less than half that time!

    When Kishore was around in the 50’s, he was not taken very seriously as a singer until RD came in the late 60’s, up till then RD used Rafi frequently, could not RD see the potential in kishore much earlier?
    Rafi has sung for more actors (older generation and then current generation(40’s,50’s,60’s,70’s,80’s)) than Kishore which was more for the 70’s/80’s. Rafi has worked with more music directors than Kishore!

    When Rafi made a grand comeback in the late 70’s to rival with Kishore, RD started to use Rafi more frequently! Rafi has sung in more langauges than Kishore. Rafi has had more hits singing in more different than Kishore (Bhajans,Ghazals,folk,Qawalis,sad,happy,Rock & Roll,Disco,Cabaret,philisophical,religious devotional(hindu&muslim),punjabi,bengali etc.. naturally Rafi having had classical training gave him the advantage.

    I have recently saw clips of Kishore & Rafi singing live in the later years (both in their mid fifties), Kishore’s voice sounded very coarse & deep compared to Rafi’s voice who sounded much clear in range.

    Both of them are fantastic singers who I’m big fans of, but I see a lot negative attitude towards Rafi’s achievements being hidden away!
    If your a TRUE honest bollywood music lover of all times and not just from 1969, one would have to recognise what heights Rafi saab had achieved in his time!

  3. arghya says:

    And lastly Prabhanjan, something personal…

    The reason I took the pain of again reverting back to you is beacuse you and a couple of more rafi fans( like I always mention, Manish Kumarji) are logical enough people to understand and critically acclaim good music… You will not find my binging upon some other rafifans who use unparliamantory words to not only Kishore Kumar, but also other legends.. They say, we “love” kishore but then “politically” leave a spicy controversial comments like what he did in recording studio with LP or what he did with madhubala( hope sudip is reading this) or how he could not sing “qawali” or what ashok kumar had said about him…. I always prefer to keep safe distance from them.. when binu nair found i was not retreating my comments, he started showing disrespect to me as well as kishore… he started bringing false anecdotes.. I pointed him out on a couple of occasions that it was not right what he was doing… But that made him use more falisified agenda against kishore and all in that forum were silently supporting him!! I mean, that propelled me to make a statement that “why we always remain rafi-fan and not become music-fan”… Admit it or not, as I keep on meeting some music lovers some time or another, most of them share the same feeling about rafi-fans as I did in my comment… There are fans like manish Kumar,definitely, but they prefer to keep silence more, and uncouth individuals like Haldar, Binu nair become more vocally louder and ultimately represent the “rafi communty” to the rest of the world.. well, world knows only those whom they see more visibly..

    all should feel privileaged to be a Rafi fan, yes, I do use this word “privileaged”,… But that should not mean “tactfully” twisting and turning things against other great legends, who have their own fan following too…

    Talking about Salilda, one person kuntal ghosh, mailed me that he was equally hurt with the comments Sandeep Nadkarni made about Salil Chowdhury and when he replied severely to Sandeep Nadkarni, his comments were not moderated.. Perhaps, the moderators already had got instructions from the fans there… I perosnally am a big admirer of salil chowdhury, whatsoever differences he had with rafisaab, should not make rafifans use words like “politically biased” or ” insaan bolne me sharm aati hai” etc. That way, O P Nayyar had lot more differences with Kishore, but whenever we talk about Nayyarsaab in our discusions we hold our ears.. we consider, nayyar saab as a two dimensional figure with Rafi and Asha, and should appreciate his works in those two dimensions only… A member in rafi community called Dipali, wrote about me that I was forcefully trying to prove Salil’s favourite voice was kishore… bizzarre!! I have heard Salil chowdhury more than many members out there and I replied here also in that manner in the post called” Did RD Burman really prefer KK over Rafi”..( well, if I was in a mood to quarrel, I would have started with the name of the topic itself at the first place, how ridiculous!)

    An image makeover is necessary, sadly it is not happening with Rafi fans!

  4. arghya says:

    Also, if you notice, whenever congress was not there at the centre, Indian government was generous enough to admit and apppreciate Kishore’s talent and contribution.. In 2002, Government of india released postal stamp in the honour of him and his contribution to Indian music.. But whenever party changes, activities related to him get undercovered…

    Also, Government of Madhya Pradesh and Government of West Bengal every year gives ” Kishore Kumar award” to legendary musicians which in fact is a great gesture for an artiste from a government…

    But the ultimate possession for a singer is the love and respect of mass and audience.. Rafi is respected not by the National Award but by the immense love and respect which he gathered from people.. That is the best “award” any singer can get…

  5. arghya says:


    1. The song is not “Panchi hoon main” but “Panthi hoon main”.. Panthi means “musafir”.. The song was composed by KK.. And it has definite influence of Rabindrasangeet on KK.. I don;t know, whether you are aware or not, Rabindrasangeet is considered to be next to devotional songs for Bengalis.. And on Rabindrasangeet, people do PhD also there.. It is like an ocean.. KK was always influenced by Rabindranath Tagore.. Satyajit Ray- another luminary and perhaps the best director India has ever produced- used to think KK had the best base of voice to carry a Rabindrasangeet.. In Ray’s movies, wherever there was a rabindrasangeet, KK used to sing them… Also, apart from Panthi Hoon Main, KK had composed and sung many beautiful Bengali songs based on tough Raagas as such as Raag Bhairavi( Aamaar deep nebhano Raat), Raag Yaman kalyan( Aamaar maner ei mayur mahale)… Unfortunately, he did not make any hindi version of them.. As I said, definitely, KK was a “gyan paapi”..

    2. I don’t know who is Kishorefan or who is Rafifan.. I always write my comments, whatever forum may be, in my parents’ given name.. rafifan, kishorefan, xxx- these sort of names are not required by me to express my views… All the people who know me, they also know how extrovert and clear in making my opinion I am..

    3. Although, I never take national wards or nay other award seriously… Even KK, when he enlisted his own top 10 favourites, did not mention any of the songs for which he had won awards.. But, I think his dispute with Congress from 1976 onwards, has a lot to do with his ultimately not getting any national award.. His career took a small setback between 1978-1982 also, due to this..when govt. banned him and freezed all his casstees and records in the market… in 1980, for the first time since 1970, Rafi recorded more songs than him in one calender year( 85 of Rafi as against 83 of KK), when his dispute with Indira Gandhi was at its peak.. You don;t expect government( which in KK’s time meant only Congress) to give national award to a hostile singer in their eyes, right?
    And, even I think, you should also not consider Rafi’s or SPB’s winning national awards so seriously.. At least I can give 150 songs of Rafi which should come better than “Kya Hua Tera Wada”…Isn’t it?

  6. Prabhanjan says:

    Thanks for the detailed reply. Yes, I am completely aware of all the developments at all the forums. Let me be honest. I have not gone word-by-word and post-by-post of all of them. But I have certainly noted that you have not used any abusive words. That I am sure off. And yes, I have certainly posted there one comment saying that the posts of one anonymous (who calls himself “Kishorefan”) were strikingly similar to yours in style. It really felt like yours and I registered the same there. My apologies if he and you are not same.

    Let me make one point clear. My most favorite singer is not Rafi, its S.P. Balasubramaniam. That may be because I know Kannada (my mother tongue) and also love listening to telugu songs. What I love the most about him is that I honestly believe that though the quality of music in 80s in all language was same, its his voice which put more life in that era of bad bad music. He dominated for a period of about 20 years in three languages, kannada, tamil and telugu and some very good songs in hindi too.

    Of course, you are also right that among KK and Rafi, I am more tilted in favor of Rafiji. However, I also admire KK a lot. TO prove my point I will rather quote a rare KK song, “Panchi hoon main us paat ka” from Door Ka Raahi. I am sure you will appreciate the fact even I love KK coz this song is not one which will list among the top songs of many ardent KK fans. This song is really a gem which I recommend for all KK fans. In fact I will go to the extent of saying that if you have not heard this song, you are not a KK fan after all. This song, though not popular, stands out and ranks among his top 5 for sure.

    If you go one of my posts on mohdrafi.com, you will see me asking why KKji did not win a National Award. You will see that I have also written that he should have won at least for a bengali song. The reason why I have written exactly these words is because I believed (though never heard any KKji bengali song) that KKji should definetly have some devotional or semi-classical song in bengali, which turns out to be correct by your reply. Please forgive me for also mentioning that the great RDB loved SPB a lot and went to extent of recording quite a few songs in his voice in bengali itself, a few of which i have listened. For example, in the hindi film “Shubkamna” there is a bengali song “paathsaala mein idor velo” by spb and music by rdb.

    Can you explain in detail why and how kkji missed out winning national award?

  7. arghya says:


    Sorry to revert late… I had stopped visiting all the sites and forums a couple of weeks back.. If you visit rafi’s forum( I m sure you do), you would know why.. I really don;t know what sort of mud throwing is going there at me.. I do get feedbacks from Satyansh and all, but have decided never to go back to that community… People who know me keep on insisiting me to go back there, as rafifans have taken me on a wrong spirit..People who know me personally, only know, how much I respect Rafisaab.. definitely, I “love” Kishore more.. Just like you “love” Rafi more… My apprehension was towards “degrading other legends”.. Honestly, I don;t care too much about anil biswas, but since he is a legend, he should be respected…same for salilda( whom I genuinely respect a lottt) and of course, Kishoreda.. As you also know members there have used words like “moron” and “chamelion” to AB, “rickshawpuller voice” and “besoora” to Kishore and “politically dirty mind” to Salilda…

    Whatever they were, I don;t know, but i always love to restrict discussion on professional basis not taking some legend on a personal basis… You would have never found me commenting badly about Naushad ( who in early fifties told about kishore that “yeh aadmi sangeet me kuchh bhi nahi kar sakta”) or O P Nayyar( he has too many comments against Kishore, which Rafi fans always enjoy!) or Roshan!! Whatever they were, whatever they did, are truely timeless… They might not have done great about my “loved one”, but that never gives me a license to talk ill of them…

    I, throughout(yes of course I sounded like favouring Kishore sometime, but that even you did when you visited this site, right? that is very much human), maintained my aghastness at the language only, nothing else… Sandeep nadkarni’s comments were not digested by me properly..This has nothing to do with Sandeepji, his experience, his contribution or his soul( I don;t know him personally, but he can be agreat human being) but with his “words”!! I know any Kishore fans also sound ” cheap”.. But they never comment cheap about Rafi or Naushad or Roshan, at least I have never heard.. And as far as commenting bad about a particular member is concerned( Sandeep Nadkarni in my case), I did not use any harsh language against him like what he had used against salil and kishore… I think he is not greater than these two legends at least?? Even in Rafi’s forum, the emotions people carry for other legends have to be respected…

    So.. I tell myself not to get carried away… As Rafisaab said” Woh nirmohi moh jaane, jinka moh kare”…

    Getting back to the topic…
    If you are genuinely interested, I can hand you over some good devotional and semi-classical numbers of Kishore (mostly in bengali)… Good for you, as I am sure, you must not have heard too many bengali songs and also it would be nice for rafi fans like you ( i am “rafi admirer”- so will never be in good books of you people) to explore more depths of Kishore- who, even I admit was “Gyaan Paapi”… How many times you see a person getting immediately cured form his first heart attack and singing “Log Kehte hai main sharabi hoon”??? with all the “alaaps” and “technical twists” in place…

  8. Prabhanjan says:

    Arghya: You seem to have got it a little wrong about KK vis-a-vis patriotic song. The question is not how many patriotic songs were composed upto 70 or later. The querry has got to say “Why MD’s did not have much confidence in KK to sing them when they composed it?”
    In Himmatwala film, there is a very less popular song “Imtihan Imtihan”, which was sung by SPB though KK sung the rest of the songs. The trend did continued even during KK”s peak time.

    Further, I agree with you that its not a big deal even if KK did not sing as many patriotic song as others. So, yes, it does not go against KK if he did not sing many patriotic songs 🙂

  9. Arghya says:

    Talking about patriotic songs.. Can someone tell me how many patriotic songs Rafi,Manna de or MK sang during the period of 1969-1987????

    The period which kishore ruled was short of patriotism.. Movies like Shaheed, Haqeeqat, Kabuliwalah,Upkaar, Purab aur Paschim, Hum Hindustani, Son of India, Leader – were already made in 60s when the nation was going through a crisis!!

    still, whatever patriotic films were made in 70s like Aakraman- it was kishoreda who sang the patriotic songs.. Only in 1984, after a long wait, we could get a memorable patriotic song like ” Dil diya hai jaan bhi denge ae watan tere liye” which is of course, a non-kishore song!!

    I bet, if you start enlisting patriotic songs of other singers( this seems to be the basis of degrading KK), 90% would fall in 60s- where we had to face 2 wars which we almost had lost!! The level of patriotism in 60s can’t be compared with that of 70s.. Dada did not have enough scope to sing patriotic songs in 70s.. Thatz a socio-cultural gap, nothing to do with his singing abilities!!

  10. Arghya says:

    Ya why not sid..very well u can say that.. you also might not have seen my posts in rafisaab’s community..I am an ardent fan of rafisaab myself!!!and respect a lot… my apprehension was on certain rafi fans who have not listened kishore kumar properly and rush on to conclude” kishore could not sing all types of songs” etc.. Yes, definitely, after listening to kishore properly, still if you think rafi wins by a wide margin, then, i or anyone for that matter should not have a problem!! both were legends!!

  11. Arghya says:

    Prince Rama Verma- the classical master of Kerala- is a die hard Kishore Kumar fan.. Ironical, isn’t it? Just like Bhimsen Joshi or Lata Mangeshkar?

    I give you a link where the prince pays his tribute to the greatest versatile artist of India:

  12. sid says:

    @ arghya:

    why can’t we say that “we love kishore but we love rafi more and feel he’s the best” when we DO feel he’s the best?

    I love many kishore songs, but i love rafi songs a lot more as he appeals to me more.

  13. arghya says:

    Well..lastly Krishna..
    You made fun of yourself when you said after listening to “Are Yaar Mere Tum Bhi Ho gazab” you thought it was Kishore for Kishore!! Because by saying that, you degraded the quality of your listening skills not the quality of Kishore Kumar’s voice!!

    Of course, I never deny that the quality of songs which Rafi sang for Dev were better than what Kishore sang for Dev!! Anyday, “Saathi Na Koi Manzil” would win over “Kaisa Hai Mera Dil Tu Khildai”.. But, friend, we were not talking about quality of songs!! These are the obvious points Rafi fans miss every time they come to quarrel!! We were talking about adaptability of a singer for a hero! And for that Kishore should win over Rafi just like how Rafi should win over kishore for Qawalli, Devotional and Patriotic songs!! Are you clear of my point, my dear friend? Or should I go for yet another teaching session?

  14. arghya says:

    Kishore’s songs are “easy” to sing? As a singer, can you bring the same “impact”which Kishore used to bring in his singing?
    A story: When Satyajit Ray was asked as to why he chose commercial singer like Kishore Kumar to sing a Rabindra Sangeet( I hope you know the sanctity of rabindra sangeet? or you have never bothered to,because Rafi saab never sang a Rabindra Sangeet?) when there were so many trained singers in bengal that time to carry that “Charulata” song? Satyajit said: “All trained singers can sing it, but no one can bring the same impact on screen the way Kishore did”…

    Kishore songs are not popular because they are easy to hum( I also agree many difficult numbers of Kishore are not as popular as his peppy tracks, but then, even “Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe” is also a more hit than “Kuhu Kuhu bole koyeliya” right?), they are popular because the impact on the audience which Kishore used to leave.. All can sing them but no one can carry that impact! Just don’t be like “We also love Kishore but rafi was the best” sort of statement to bring some feel good factor in the forum, listen to Kishore properly first..

  15. arghya says:

    I am not from Bangalore and neither am I arguing on anything..I am an analyst not a quarrel minded people like rafisaab;s fans! You have not read my articles properly and jumping on conclusions (like all Rafi fans do)… Have you gone through the article where I mentioned about “X” factors of Kishore Kumar?

    Lastly, if you consider yourself a singer, then go to Lata Mangeshkar and ague with her ( I hope you read the interview, or like all the Rafi fans, you also selectively read only those things which speak good of Rafisaab?) as to why did she rate Kishore better than Rafi…

    Also, I will not argue with you, as I know the response of Rafifans like you much before i had posted the articles..

  16. krishna says:

    Hi Argya,

    Ref your post 126 about the song sung for Dev Anand. When I heard this for the first time, I thought it is kishore for kishore. Rafi Saab suited more to Devanand if you ask me. I love Kishore kumar but dont compare him to MOHAMMED RAFI.. Comparisons are not correct. If you are from Bangalore I would like to meet you once as a friend just for an argument sake. I can prove how easy it is to sing Kishoreda’s songs (this being the reason for his popularity) and how difficult it is to sing Rafi saab’s song. Lets take the challenge. Are you ready!!!! I consider myself a singer but with all respects to Kishoreda..

  17. arghya says:

    I also have articles where OP Nayyar discarded Kishore and Rafi to be the best.. But, I thought it would be better to show mirror to those violent Rafi fans who now (I know 100%, and I would enjoy that also), would start throwing mud at the Devi Saraswati herself!!!

    I would watch and laugh… Go one buddies..

  18. Arghya says:

    Just in case violent rafi fans like Ashish Kapoorji, P Haldaar saab, Sandeep Nadkarni ji etc. think I am “cooking up” this interview of Lataji, These were excerpts from Radio One 94.3 FM’s interview with Lata Mangeshkar which was aired on 12 noon on July 1st, 2007

  19. Arghya says:

    Looking at the interview I think, Lata should have preferred Rafisaab more than Kishoreda..As Rafisaab was clasically trained like Lataji also.. But that sublime “X”- factor dear friends, Manishji, Ashishji- which I was talking of, played the vital role.. Kishore fans like Lataji, Ashaji and even Bhimsen Joshi saab actually could not explain why they liked Kishore’s songs more!!

    We should respect that feeling!

  20. Arghya says:

    Interview of Lataji July 2007.. Sorry I could not put the interview page as it is, it was in html format.. I just copying and pasting the article here:

    I can’t tell you about the hard work among today’s generation as I don’t work much, but I do feel something is missing”, said noted singer and artist, Lata Mangeshkar, in an interview with BBC Hindi.

    “People might say I’m old fashioned.. Naushad sahib used to think for days on end for one song… One song would take 15 days… The tune changed many times… There was Salil Chowdhury. Today, if Salilda was around, people would find it difficult to listen to his songs… these persons would get immersed in music. Shankar-Jaikishen and Lakshmikant Pyarelal were there. Until they got satisfied, they would be sitting. We do not find that these days… to what extent is this prevalent these days, I would not know…”, she further added in response to a question during an exclusive interview with Sanjeev Srivastava, Indian Editor BBC Hindi.

    Lataji, as she is lovingly addressed by one and all, when asked the one song that gave her the maximum pleasure as a playback singer promptly said, “Aayega Aayega, Aayega Aanewala from the movie, Mahal”.

    She went on to remember the days when the song was being recorded.” At the time when the songs of Mahal were being recorded, Khem Chandra Prakashji, who considered me like his daughter, said that the songs will be very popular. The film came and the songs became very popular. But Khem Chandra Prakashji expired. I was very sad. Kishore Kumar and I used to address him as Chacha. He did not live to see the song, Aayega Aanewala become so popular.”

    Another incident she remembered about the recording of the song “Aayega Aanewala”. The song was picturised on Madhubala in a happy mood on a swing and it was important it was sung in a manner that would create a feel good ambience in the shot. “Shooting that song was very interesting. Bombay Talkies is a big studio in Malad. It was empty. I started singing. But they said that the right effect was lacking, like the sound trailing from a far off distance… They made me stand in one corner and kept the mic in the centre…nearly 20 feet away. The initial lines of the song, Khamosh hai zamaana… I had to take one step at a time while singing the initial lines and by the time I reached the mic, the song would start. I have worked a lot on this song.”

    While speaking about other yesteryear artists, Lataji liked Kishore Kumar the best. While she feels that singers like Mohd. Rafi and Mukesh were good in most of their songs, Kishore Kumar was good in every song. Kishore Kumar’s sad songs have been her favourite.

  21. arghya says:

    Let us put an end to this Salil-Rafi-Kishore-Lata saga in this community once and for all…I only made a remark against an individual who was abusing Anil Biswas in the Rafi forum saying” we should pay respect to the legends”.. The guy was calling anil biswas “moron”, “chamilion” and what not to which I said” Even Sailda was not happy with rafisaab, but that doest not make Salilda to be also ignorant of music”, right?

    But that controversy went too far ahead( even without my notice).. So, let us not talk too much of it.. My major problem in Rafi community was about “memebrs showing disrespect to other legend”, nothing to do with great souls of Rafisaab or sailda…

    Manish, hope you are getting the point..Or you may again please revisit the discussions in that forum right from post number 980..

  22. Manish Kumar says:

    correction: sorry again – I meant “Salil’s favorite may have been MANNADE but that doesn’t mean he regarded MANNDE as the best singer” (not Mukesh as I wrote). Although I’ll admit changing Mukesh to Mannade does change things. It’s hard to argue against Mannade’s virtuosity as a singer 🙂

  23. Manish Kumar says:


    You wrote: //But Salilda ’s comments actually meant “people consider rafi to be the best” kinda stuff and not ” I consider Rafi to be the best”//

    Let’s just agree to disagree. It’s reasonable to assume that the words coming out of Salil’s mouth refer to what he believed rather than what other people believed. Yes, Salil’s favorite may have been Mukesh but this doesn’t mean he regarded Mukesh as the best singer. Salil’s favorite may not have been Rafi but that doesn’t discount the possibility that Salil held Rafi in very high regard. Again, corresponding with someone whose house guest was Salil Choudhury confirms Salil’s respect for Rafi and his subjective liking of Lata (like the way I subjectively love Rafi).

    More importantly, I must thank you for getting me to pay more attention to the Sail-Rafi combination lately. I believe that the ultimate primary source in music is music itself. Nevermind what people say in magazine articles, just listen to the music they produce! You sort of implied that yourself when mentioned MM or CR & Kishore.

    Recently I “discovered” for myself: Koi Sone Ke Dilwale, “Tumhi Dil Se Chaha Tumhi Dil Diya Hai Yeh Vaada Karo” a Rafi-Suman Kalyanpur duet, “Yaa Kehde Hum Insaan Nahi”, “Balkaati Sharmaati Aaja!” a Rafi-Lata duet, and of course I already knew Tasveer Teri Dil Mein. These are outstanding songs and I’m confident that in the following weeks I’ll discover even more! I choose to judge the Salil-Rafi relations on the quality these songs alone! I’m also confident that after excellent products like these, in contradiction to your beliefs, if Salil & Rafi did not work more often it was because of reasons other than music. What that they are I don’t know nor give much importance.

    I’m confused by what you mean “ego problem”. Can you clarify this for me? I agree that Rafi for all his qualities was human as a singer and a person. Sure he had his off days in both respects. But I will also say that he was as perfect of a human as one could be! Unanimously by all sources he is reputed to been a saintly human being. There are many stories you’d think exist only in fairy tales but exist and are true about Rafi Sahab and his generosity and humility as a human being. Rafi definitely had self respect as a person and that’s understandable. If he felt someone was treating him unfairly and stood up for it then I applaud the man.

    Remember, Arghya, the fact is that Salil composed “Tasveer Teri Dil Mein” as the Bengali original one year before the Hindi. This composition was tailor made for Lata. Additionally, I will suggest that the perfect execution of the composition was already imagined & defined in Salil’s head from Lata. Salil, like any human, had his biases. If he had a disagreement with Rafi on the recording of Tasveer Teri Dil Mein it isn’t so much because a shortcoming of Rafi as a singer (as you so unmistakably suggested) but because of Salil’s biases either in subjective opinion or design of the composition.

    I can say with 100% honesty that I didn’t see any problems in Rafi’s execution compared to Lata. For me, they were more or less equal in quality of execution. So I don’t see what musical shortcoming Salil is talking about. Now you may say that Salil is genius composer where I’m just a regular person and that it was Salil’s composition and all…but I have a right & weight to *my* opinion as a person and as a music lover just lke anyone else including Salil himself. So did the great Rafi who clearly didn’t agree with Salil’s opinion.

    I’m just as guilty for dragging this trivial issue but like I said we’re making too much of it (maybe it’s fun?). The story of Tasveer Teri Dil Mein is as trivial and misconstrued as CR saying Lata was no better than a tape recorder. These are human biases and not to be taken as the words of the Bible, Quran, Puranas, etc.

  24. Arghya says:

    Nice post.. I have those articles also… Nice one.. I always admire you to be one of the best rafi fans around…
    But Salilda ‘s comments actually meant “people consider rafi to be the best” kinda stuff and not ” I consider Rafi to be the best”.. you know…I hope you get the point..
    Salilda neither considered Kishore nor Rafi as his favourite.. Mannada was his most favourite and many a times he openly admitted tha.. But the reason why kishore fans love salilda more than madan mohan or o p nayyar( commonality is all these three MDs have given kishore 30 odd songs in the entire career), is because of the quality of output and the amount of confidence Salilda used to show on Kishore… Madan Mohan might have regarded Kishore as a high class singer, C Ramachandra might have considered Kishore to be the most taleneted and best voice of all cotemporaries, but the output of KK-MM or KK-CR never proved that!! At least to many fans! Whereas, KK-SC outputs were very high in quality, very challenging(Guzar Jaye din, Koi Hota Jisko, Man Kare Yaad) and highly productive…

    KK-SC not combining for more than 30 songs or Rafi-SC not combining more than 20 songs, has more to do with mutual ego problem than the respect… But, if the ego problem arised from “Tasveer teri dil mein”,(for the second example) is there any harm in admitting it??

  25. Arghya says:

    Some people also argued my point that Kishore could adjust his voice better accroding to the actor as compared to Rafi- in deed, it is nothing that rafi could not do it, but Kishore could do it better!! Now, Rafi fans never admit these points sportingly( they don’t admit any point suggesting someone else can be better than rafi in any segment), so, I won’t go on arguing like some mad people out here do.. Only with all great regards to both the great singers, i just want Rafi fans to listen some songs( not that they are great copositions) of Kishoreda to understand his “adjustment to a particular hero” better:

    1. Arre Yaar meri tum bhi ho ghazab: “Listen To The Last Line Carefully”!!! The last time Kishoreda utters “Arre Yaar Meri Tum bhi…” in the song.. I won;t say anything, but, even a person who does not know which film it belongs, can tell it was sung for dev anand!!
    2. Inteha Ho Gayi Intezaar ki: “Listen to the first antara Carefully!! “Baat jo hai usme baat hai nahi yahan kahi kisi me..haan”… That “Haan” my dear firends is the signature Amitabh Bachchan gesture which no other singer could replicate…
    3. Mummy O Mummy Tu kab Saas Banegi: A very mediocre composition by Rajesh Roshan in “Naram Garam”.. When i first listened to the song on video, I thought how come Deven Verma sing so melodiously?? But I was wrong, it was Kishore Kumar!! Enforcedly, a nasal twist in his voice only to suit the screen face of Deven Verma.. What a classy act!! Do listen this song, Rafi fans-no hard feeling, it is not a great song also, but just to prove my point you might like it(you would never admit it that I know before you listen:)

    rafisaab was a singer par excellence but kishoreda was a package!! Only talking about changing voice according to singer and scenerio- Kishore was the best!! And it is a fact! just like only talking about Qawalli Rafi saab should be the best!!

    Also..to end (to be taken with a grain of salt Rafi fans:).. just on humour, throughout Kishore fans maintains “rafisaab” to show their respect(one or two exceptions) whereas whenver I visit rafisaab’s forum, they call Kishore, Salil, Besoora Kishore(one or two exceptions again).. Why cant people be a more civilized??

  26. Arghya says:

    Lastly, Ashishji, with all due respects to you, I find your comments to be a bit biased.. If you think RDB’s best performance was with Rafi, then it is biasedness only.. Let us come out of that.. It is equally ridiculous to sound like “Roshan’s best numbers came with kishore”!! sheerly because in initial years roshan used Kishore more than Rafi!( Sheesham, Maalkin and Mashooka)… Let us open heartedly admit a fact, that some MDs did deliver better for Kishore than rafi- as you call yourself a music lover.. If you ignore compositions like “O Majhi Re”, “Zindagi Ke Safar Me”, ” Main Shayar Badnaam”, “Kuchh to log kahenge”- which RD particularly handpicked for Kishore, you are ignoring the obvious.. RD never handpicked any song for Rafi, sorry, admit it.. But yes, he did give Rafi some very good numbers.. Similalrly, for Rajesh Roshan, although he gave beautiful numbers to Rafi like “Mujhe chhoo rahi hai teri garm saansein”, if you remove Kishore, RR is gone by 70% in the 70s… Let us not drag this issue of whether RD really preferred rafi over kishore or not.. it is useless.

    And most of you have not heard many early singing of kishore in 40s and 50s.. request, even as a rafi fan- listen to them.. Listen to Jagmag Jagmag Karta Nikla or woh Meri Taraf Yun Chale Aa Rahe Hai or Husn bhi Hai Udaas Udaas… I really don;t think Kishore could not enter Rafi’s sprectrum, at least technically… But, as I said, market is a strange object.. You can never explain why people discarded Husn bhi Hai Udaas by Kishore in 1953 whereas they accepted Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani from the same man in 1972!! Similalry, even Rafi fans can’t explain why market rejected a brilliant rendering of rafisaab “Koi phool na khilta yeh kali bhi na hoti agar tu na hoti” in 1974 but accpeted a mediocre composition like “Chakke pe chakka” in 1968!!

    We, remember those only which market takes us to.. Kishore is much bigger spectrum than many perceive him to be.. I know as i have heard almost 2100 songs of him( I still have not listened another 1000).. I have heard Rafisaab also well, and I admit whatever spectrum he had, he was well appreciated… But kishore, as a simpleton as he always was, after rendering “Chingari koi Bhadke”( better than any clasically trained singer- I bet) coming out and commenting in front of media “Mujhe yeh sab raag waag samajh me nahi aati.. Kya gana hai bata do, main ga deta hoon”.. only helped dirty people to stereotype his image or sometimes hurting his image also..

  27. Arghya says:

    Ashish Kapoor ji…

    I am not a regular visitor of any of these sites(which is my fault,of course)..So, I saw your comment late.. As far as popularity is concerned, let us talk less of it.. Perhaps the day I see “R for rafi” on screen(if at all that happens in my lifetime), we may talk on that issue better…

    Yes, Number of Bhajans or patriotic songs Kishore sang were handful and nothing compared to Rafi.. But really do they represent a genre of music? I mean to say, like Qawalii(where I say Rafisaab was the supreme) or Soulful songs( where Kishoreda inspired and still inspiring an entire generation), do they really require particular skills to render?? These are basically voice based songs, which sound good in a particular voice, and with all my respect to both the singers, Rafisaab sounded better in that.. Yes, I do agree, patriotic songs sounded better in Rafi’s voice although I heard a couple of patriotic songs of Kishore which were as usual, very soulfully sung like “15 August ki punya tithi” which Kishore sang in as early as 1948.. But, yes, numbers are too low to be compared..Just like in comedy songs, Rafisaab did great job, but it was always Kishore’s voice which suited the best… that is why I gave a couple of songs of Kishore to you also to counter, in my last post to you here, as i think these songs can’t be matched by Rafisaab also.. Not because he can’t sing them, but because he would not be able to generate the similar “Impact”..

    Another thing, which sometimes rafi fans fail to understand is again the X- factor in a song.. That day I was listening two songs, back to back, based on Raag Yaman- one by Rafisaab( Humko Tumhare Ishq ne kya kya bana diya) and the other by Kishoreda( Yun neend se woh jaane chaman).. Strikingly similar compositions, with Antaras of both are 99% similar.. But the way of rendering was different.. while listening to Rafisaab, you keep on getting astounded by the technicalities and harqats he brought into the song, and in the course of it you suddenly yell out “Wah Wah”!!! Which I did.. In kishore’s version, you get dumbstuck.. You don’t say anything, at the end of the song even you can’t explain why you liked it so much but you find tears in your eyes just with the soul which Kishore used to bring in a song.. Definitely, I am not saying you don’t cry at rafi’s songs, you really do, but the tears are different for both the singers.. rafisaab can be explained but kishore sometimes goes out of explanation!!

    So, I understand, when Rafifans find Kishore’s fan following to be more or Kishore’s fans not accepting rafi to be the best, what they go through.. They have points with them to prove why Rafi should be best but kishore fans don;t have any!!! That “X” factor with all its sublimity is just beyond explanations! I respect that as a music student also..

    Both were great and they still inspire many of us even today!! Three cheers to rafisaab and Kishoreda!!

  28. Manish Kumar says:

    sorry for the funny typo: SALIL regarded Rafi as the best male singer.

    “There is no doubt that Kishore possessed an exceptional voice. But voice alone is not everything. I have to say that if Kishore had
    classical training he would have been a different Kishore. Not only by popularity, but also by the yard stick of qualitative merit of singing
    Kishore could have reached the place occupied by Rafi. However, if I have to evaluate Kishore as a singer, it would probably be fair to say that Kishore brought in a new style of singing – something close to the pop style. In this style, there was no one close to him. I can say
    that with confidence.”


    on a separate note, about tasveer teri dil mein – i don’t agree with your conclusion. salil’s mention of that song isn’t so much a swipe at rafi as it is praise for lata. i corresponded with someone who hosted salil in the early 90s. salil told the story to his guests from the point of view that lata had a great range that even the great rafi could not match. the guest told me that listening to salil talk about the song, salil indicated that he had a lot of respect for rafi and this was the only instance where he perceived a chink in rafi’s armor. i think rafi & salil had an artistic difference in opinion and it’s a more trivial affair than made out to be.

    articles here and there are good but they don’t always tell the whole story. especially for something as complex as human emotions. you could bring out articles where mds don’t give enough credit to kishore but you know that those articles don’t give the true, complete picture.

    just enjoy the music!

  29. Manish Kumar says:

    Arghya: Sail regarded Rafi as the greatest male singer.

    – Manish

  30. ashish kapoor says:

    refer post 119, dear arghya sahab,
    thanks for replying to my views after 8 months.it only shows the popularity of this web site.
    in my post i had written about patriotric songs and bhajans of rafi saa’b. and also i had said that i shall give you two of rafi saa’b,s for every one that you would of kishore da,s. sir my challenge still stands. any takers ? i challenge mr anil pedgaonkar and arghya and the others of their genre to take up my challenge of rafi saa’b,s non filmy songs and ghazals. for every one song or ghazal of kishore da i shall give u two of rafi saa’b .
    rdb,s first movie as a md was chhotae nawab and all the songs in the male voice were sung by rafi saa’b. gentlemen i have mentioned my tel no in my post and if you have the flair for music then please get in touch with me and i will show u with practical and physical proof as to what is change in modulation and mood of voice along with the diversity in range and how rafi saa’b could change the pitch from high to low and vice-versa so easily. i have never challenged kishore da,s singing capability but he is no match for rafi saa’b when it comes to sur, saaz, range, pitch, versatility and also the sweetness of voice.
    if you will hear the songs of rdb,s initial years as a md u will find that they were better in quality as compared to his later years. but “1942 a love story” was good.
    i have with me the song “man re tu kahe na dhir dhare” that was sung by kishore da in one of his live musical programmes after the death of rafi saa’b as a mark of homage to his(in kishore da’s words) elder brother. he had tremendous respect for rafi saa’b and rafi saa’b also had the same respect for him.
    ashish kapoor, ashkpr@hotmail.com , tel no- 09810087414, 09212587514

  31. AMIT says:


  32. Arghya says:

    For Mr. Ashish Kapoor,

    Dear sir I give you one song each from kishore and give me a better option sung by rafi in this genre as you had said:

    1. aake seedhi lagi dil pe jaise katariya( don’t give lame excuses like non-classical number.. You know by heart what it takes to render this, if you don’t, ask Sabita Chowdhury-as Salilda is unfortunately not with us)

    2. yeh jeevan hai is jeevan ka- even your favourite LP said after the recording of this song that “god was singing”.. So much of emotions, with a soft voice at such low notes, with all due respects to Rafisaab, his voice would have sounded too thin and like crying had he tried this song…On life’s philosophy, for that matter, give me any song of Rafi as against Kishore’s “Zindagi Ka Safar”,”Zindagi ke safar Mein”,”Badi sooni sooni hai zindagi”,”Yeh jeevan hai”,”Jeevan meetana hai deewanapan”,”Tune hume kya diya re zindagi”..only getting training in classical music and singing all songs with same voice irrespective of the actor, the situation might have been accepted in 60s, but 70s was different..You needed your soul in the song..Listen “Koi Hota jisko Apna” and after that ” Chhukar mere man ko”- see the changes in voice modulation done by kishore with changing mood of the song.. Rafi’s voice, my dear, sounded same in all songs!

  33. Arghya says:

    Salil chowdhury was dissatisfied with rafi for not rendering “Taseveer teri Dil Mein”properly9failing at scale changes) and virtually stopped recording with him after 1965(don’t argue,it is a fact,rafians!!)..But he was highly satisfied with Kishore(even though it took Kishore 5 takes) for “Guzar Jaye Din” with so many scale changes..And to Salil, only kishore could have done it..salil chowdhury, to me, was the ultimate with the challenges he used to throw at singers. Manna succeeded, Lata succeeded, Kishore succeeded(Salil was into speechless mode after “Koi Hota Jisko Apna”), but rafi failed…So, people commenting about “Kishore’s spectrum” needs to go back to history..

    The only point otherwise great singing of rafi was his monotonous singing…He sounded the same for rajendra kumar as for dharmendra as for dev anand..whereas kishore used to mould his voices from situation to situation and hero to hero!!! In 70s, with so many superstars, that is what the people and MDs wanted..Even Anil Biswas had given a warning to rafi much prior to Aradhana to get rid of this monotonous voice..But rafi was perhaps too confident that time to take it by heart…

    R D Burman always felt Rafi was difficult to be moulded..Once Rafi had decided a song to be rendered in a particular way, no MD could change his view!!RD, a dominant musician, never liked it..And he liked Kishore because his ability to mould in a particular scenerio with the MDs coice!!

    Now if people ignore opinions by Salil, Anil Biswas and other maestros and still go with a stroghead with occassional comments from people like OP Nayyar who in an odd interview said Kishore would have done better in “Sabere ka Sooraj” need a brainwash!

  34. Saswata says:

    Rafi’s voice in high pitch may be better but what about Rafi’s voice in very low notes as compared to Kishore???

    Rafi’s voice is thin and sounds like crying…It has no depth in comparison to Kishore’s strong vocals.

    Put a thousands arguments dudes…I just can never agree Rafi’s voice was better than Kishore…NEVER.

  35. Srini says:

    I both agree and disagree . Rafi is at the top but that top is shared with SPB and Kishore. Maybe in chronology Rafi ended up there first.
    You unfortunately have a “frog in a well” view and refuse to look beyond.(Not applying to Rafi : but the best shop in town might not be the best shop in country or world )

    Facts by nature cant be falsified, unless you want to live in ur beliefs!!
    Its difficult to discuss based on feelings that you put simply bcos the feelings that you have for rafi, someone has for kishore and someone has for spb ( and someone like me has for all the three)

    Stop taking a fact for some singer as a remark against Rafi.
    When i say SPB has 6 National awards and Rafi only one , It doesnt mean Rafi is not as good but it just means SPB consistently excels at things which are only dreams for most singers.

  36. Indian says:

    Without any doubt, Rafi is the best and will remain there on the top forever. Leave Kishore alone, even Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar is not of Rafi’s calibre. All the arguments are bullshits and directed towards falsification of facts and figures against the Legend of Legends Mohd Rafi.

  37. Srini says:

    Rafi, SPB and Kishore are IMHO the three best male playback singers india has produced till now.
    Each can be evaluated on his strengths and shown better than the other two but they are equals. The only thing separting them is the texture. On other grounds of playback singing these guys are blessed with traits that separate them from the rest.

    In bollywood we know a lot about Kishore/Rafi. SPB is known only by his “guest appearances” in hindi music which is not even the tip of the iceberg of this genius. Remember he too doesnt have any formal training and he doesnt know hindi – yet he has made an impact on hindi music inspite of the accent. I know of hindi singers trying it in south and except for the like of lata etc the rest go unnoticed or get noticed in a very wrong way.

    And some facts:

    1. SPB has won 6/7 NATIONAL awards in playback singing.
    (Rafi had one. Kishore i am not sure )
    Also, more filmfare and state awards than any other singer.

    2. SPB has sung more songs that lata. Features in Guiness records.

    3. Apart from Lata and Rafi, SPB is probably the only singer to be on great records of both pundits/normal listerners. The ease with which SPB can handle any kind of song is unparallaled and probably only matched by Lata , Asha and Janaki. Only Yesu has more complicated classical film playback songs than SPB. SPB brings more mannerisms than any other singer into his singing allowed by a perfect grammar and widest range.
    One of the few singers (apart from Lata, Susheela, Janaki,Chitra) whose songs get okayed in the first take immaterial of the complexity involved.

    4. Know ur scales: When measured on western scale of notes SPB is probably the only indian male singer to comfortably sail across the full range. ( If you thought why not indian scales : they are relative and cannot be used to compare across ).

    5. Tamil, Telugu, Kannada are distinct south indian industries. Like Sehgal in hindi, each of these industries had their own great legends prior to SPB. Because each of these languages had its own local flavour its impossible to think of one person ruling the roost of all three industries – Till SPB came. Like lata left behind everyone in hindi, SPB rocketed past everyone and ruled these industires with age as his only competetion.

    6. In south, SPB was the first choice for Ilayaraja ( for more than 2 decades) a music director who is treated on par with Mozart etc. Naushad once said that all other music doesnt add up to even half of what Ilayaraja brought in ( and this was on quality and not quantity). SPB not to mention is the first choice of all other south indian MDs since his arrival.


  38. harsha says:

    guys…well its not fair to compare, as both of them are genuises in their own way. But for me….kishore inspires, more emotive in this singing, more expressive, more mystic, more haunting…which cant be explained. Finally, I also feel sometimes, kishore da’s voice, pitch and all other technicalities of singing cannot be analysed, simply because it was unorthodox and mysterious. It is beyond any analysis…Just in case u have doubts, listen to the same song “tum bin jaa oon kahan” sung by both rafi and kishore and get ready to get carried away by the effect of kishore.

  39. Anil Pedgaonkar says:

    in aakraman a good patrootic song by kishore discussed in this forum. also the song jeevan se na har jeenewale was played repetedly for jawans to give courage. muze prem ka rog laga is a good bhajan ( other songs in movie are by rafi). bhajan ssinger anup jalota s voice is of type of kishore and he had used kishore as an idol in college life. kishore’s voice is suited more to bhajans han ghzals or quwwalis. he himself planned to come with a private version of bhajans and mentioned kabir as his favorite in a n interview in 86.

  40. ashish kapoor says:

    hi every-body, i challenge all of u kishore’da fans and specially anil pedgaonkar sa’ab to come up with the facts about the no of patriotic and bhajans sung by kishore’da.you guys will not be able to match rafi sa’ab even in the wildest of your dreams.for every one song that u will come-up with, i will give two songs of rafi sa’ab. ashish kapoor,ashkpr@hotmail.com, tel-09810087414,09212587414

  41. ajv_bristol_uk says:

    Kk fans,

    A nice song of kishore da-Asha duet

    Mere pyase man ki bahar

  42. Anil Cherian says:

    And Manish bhai, there is the famous AAA song too, where Rafi sahab sails thru the patches were the other 2 (Pls. not there is absolutely no disrespect 2 them, they’re very good in their own way) struggle.

  43. Manish Kumar says:

    Anil, for high pitch comparison – just see the Rafi-Kishore duet from Ram Balram. When Kishore sings in high scale “Na Bana Choooorrrrr” to match up to Rafi’s na miT sake nasiibo.n ke kalam kii – Kishore sounds muffled in comparison.

  44. Anil Cherian says:

    Ref: Post 105:
    Agree with many of ur points, esp. with respect to Kishoreda’s early start (therefore the novelty factor) advantage. However ur observation on Kishoreda’s voice retaining its depth at higher notes is way off the mark simply bcoz he never ventured into those territories that Rafi sahab or Yesudas sir did. For ur information the last ‘Rakhwale…..’ of that song is a good 5 notes (ALMOST AN ENTIRE OCTAVE) above what Kishoreda has ever managed (ab sochoon nahi bhoole…., for instance in the song ‘mere naina’…). Infact Kishoreda’s highest notes were routine (mid-pitches) for Rafi sahab and if Rafi sahab ever sounded less-than-deep (which I don’t believe was the case) it was when he ventured into those unchartered territories (upper 3rd octave and lower 4th octave). Reg. ur observation on ‘maine poocha…’ I’d also say that Rafi sahab sounded a bit off-peak (not off-key in anyway) in it as well as in a lot of late ’70s songs. However I’d give him the benefit of doubt in the sense that perhaps it was a deliberate modulation on the part of the gentle giant to synchronise with those beautiful lyrics. But ‘dard-e-dil…’ was a beauty, the voice 2 me, was a sexy, killer voice in this song.

  45. Anil Pedgaonkar says:

    pl listen to the impact of voice in rr song “kab tak andhere chalate rahenge” sung by KK, Yeh jeevan hai , zindagi ka safar. then u will realize the importance of gr8 voiceof KK it’s impact, softness and expressiveness.
    Rather than don or zumroo yodelling these KK songs the depth and softness combination can not be met by rafgi/YEsudas/SPB and not even by Kumar sanu/amitkumar. these songs are testimony to greatness of KK. ghazal is not a song for music it is basically more poetry again jagit sing excels here. Quwaali is rarely a classic music peace. it is group singing. kishore’s voice like anup jalota has graced bhajans.( muze prem ka rog laga). the life philosophy songs wwere his milestone. the song JeevAn se na har jeenawlae as repeatedly playe over radio in kargil war. Hawone pe likh do Hawaon ke is the best nature beauty praising song in bolly wood.
    please don not get carried away by range and modulation and clasical training. thee expression softness and depth in the voice are equally importanr qualities which were at their full extent with kishore. most of LPs music was a trash after 1975 including even hits with boring repetitive theka. look at rajesh roshan composition thoda hai thode, dil kya kare sung by kishore. such variety is not sung by rafi. no singer and md but KK and rd dared to get a light singer sing a version in tandem with classical singer. Kishore did it in light romantic bhavgeet version “hume tumse pyar kitana” against the mujra version By parveen sultana. if u do not get carried by classical music the light romantic version appeals more due to sftness and expression and pronounciation of words. the version when first heard in a cafe teria made a spellbound effect over a group of my friends who weere critics of kishore and continue to remain with exceptions like this song and chukar mere manko . both songs had a trmendous effect on every body.
    rdB came on a radio show and selected lata/amit version over amit version of the song “yaad aa rahi hai” and put the song on. next he put the second song on that was “hme tumse pyar kitana” by kishore.
    rafi and the gr8 songs he sang “khoya khoya chand”, and created imae which reminded composers to call him whenever similar situations and songs were composed. so the task ahead kishore was difficult. gradually over years kishore’s impressions were fromed . with his life songs in mind ” Rhidaynath” got him sung “zindagi aa raha hu mai” and “accha to hum chalate hai “reflected in the duet ” muze tum yad karna”. KKs sad image gave birth to many songs. a unique KK image is portrayed by rajesh roshan in ” koi roko na ” . It is interesting to note that rafi sang many memorable songs forrajesh khanna” due to yhis image formation” nafarat ki , yuhi tum muzse baat karte ho, gulabi aankhe, Ab aan milo sajana etc.
    but after kishore singing for many years then for amitabh bacchan it is not easy to recollect good and important songs sung by rafi for amitabh as by that time the kishore image as formed in the minds of composers. they could adapt and compose tunes with kishore in mind.
    there is third distinct variety of kishore songs apart from his unimitable singing of sad and soft songs that is songs like “are diwano muze pahachano”, which is alos not easy for
    Rafi and others.
    mere naina sawan bhado ( a lata type song) again would not have suited MR. SPB
    so much was the impact of kishore voice that Ramlaxman created a song ( serious song” with kishore in mind ” maine tuse kuch nahi manga ” for the film “Katha”

  46. Anil Pedgaonkar says:

    may be but the song is not gr8. yeh jeevan hai if lp offered to rafi then rafi would not have been able to sing. this song the song “kab tak andhere chalate rahenge”, “zindagi ka safr” were nevr rafi’s cup of tea. if lp’s choice was rafi why he did not offer rafi yeh jeevan hai. the movie was snall budget. the hero was not rajesh khanna or amtabh bacchan. please read my last comment on 1st may 2008. Kishore was number one singer. naturally some songs suited the voice of rafi more so they were offered to rafi. also comosers and people were more used to rafi’s voice for 25 years. His rendering was prefixed on their mind. kishore would have required another 2o years for that. This is simply but AN ADVANTAGE OF EARLY START. THERE ARE MMANY MASTERPIECES OF KISHORE WHICH ARE IMPOSSIBLE FOR RAFI/ YESUDAS/ SPB TO SING. RAFI LATA HAD UNPARALLELED RANGE comapred to asha /kishore but even asha/kishore had good range suitable for most of the songs. at high pitch also kishore’s voice did not lose depth ( teri duniya se hoke majbur chala, mere naina sawan bhado) while rafi’s voice at high pitch was hollow. ( refer o dunike rakhwale). the voice lacked lusture(maine pucha chandse very badly sung also darde dil badly sung) , rafi yesudas, spb all have more modulation than ksishore asha more modulation tahn lata. but if this is criterion then Bhimsen joshi sheerly beats rafi in every aspect. please go by the quality of inspiring voice of kishore in the songs above immortal

  47. hindustani says:

    Rafi Sahib was the better singer and Kishore Da was the better musician….

  48. Vikram says:

    No amount of discussion will ever prove that kishore Kumar was a better singer than Rafi.

  49. Manish Kumar says:

    Niraj Kumar wrote: “in the film Haathi Mere saathi the song ” Nafrat ki Duniya ko Chhodkar” was offered to kishore kumar as usual but he could not be able to sing as the music director wanted”

    I asked Mr KCP about this. KCP spoke to Pyarelal himself! I understand that the quoted story is entirely untrue. That song was composed with Rafi in mind right from the start. Kishore was never asked to sing it. I stand by this view unless you have some better source.

    Anil Biswas didn’t think much of Rafi. Now before you attack AB – think of his perspective. Anil Biswas cared only for Anil Biswas music. He didn’t care for rest of the spectrum (which Rafi excelled). So of course that woud be his opinion. Likewise, if someone doesn’t prefer songs like “O Duniya Ke Rakhwale” or “Hari Om” but rather prefer “Meri Bheeghi Bheeghi Se” from Anamika – so be it. On the overall spectrum I consider Rafi the best. On the “Kishore spectrum” I consider Kishore the best. If people care only for the Kishore spectrum – than that is fine.

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