Interview With KK

From boulder!parrikar Thu Apr 25 18:23:29 MDT 1991
Article: 13507 of soc.culture.indian
Newsgroups: soc.culture.indian
Path: boulder!parrikar
From: parrikar@mimicad.Colorado.EDU (Rajan Parrikar)
Subject: Tete-a-tete with Kishore Kumar!(Long)
Message-ID: <>
Originator: parrikar@sangria
Sender: (The Daily Planet)
Organization: University of Colorado, Boulder
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1991 00:16:07 GMT
Lines: 346

KK: Nonsense. They give me trouble. You think they give a damn for me? I matter to them only because I sell. Who cared for me during my bad days? Who cares for anyone in this profession?
PN: Is that why you prefer to be a loner?
KK: Look, I don’t smoke, drink or socialize. I never go to parties. If that makes me a loner, fine. I am happy this way. I go to work and I come back straight home. To watch my horror movies, play with my spooks, talk to my trees, sing. In this avaricious world, every creative person is bound to be lonely. How can you deny me that right?
PN: You don’t have many friends?
KK: None.
PN: That’s rather sweeping.
KK: People bore me. Film people particularly bore me. I prefer talking to my trees.
PN: So you like nature?
KK: That’s why I want to get away to Khandwa. I have lost all touch with nature out here. I tried to did a canal all around my bungalow out here, so that we could sail gondolas there. The municipality chap would sit and watch and nod his head disapprovingly, while my men would dig and dig. But it didn’t work. One day someone found a hand – a skeletal hand- and some toes. After that no one wanted to dig anymore. Anoop, my second brother, came charging with Ganga water and started chanting mantras. He thought this house was built on a graveyard. Perhaps it is. But I lost the chance of making my home like Venice.
PN: People would have thought you crazy. In fact they already do.
KK: Who said I’m crazy. The world is crazy; not me.
PN: Why do you have this reputation for doing strange things?
KK: It all began with this girl who came to interview me. In those days I used to live alone. So she said: You must be very lonely. I said: No, let me introduce you to some of my friends. So I took her to the garden and introduced her to some of the friendlier trees. Janardhan; Raghunandan; Gangadhar; Jagannath; Buddhuram; Jhatpatajhatpatpat. I said they were my closest friends in this cruel world. She went and wrote this bizarre piece, saying that I spent long evenings with my arms entwined around them. What’s wrong with that, you tell me? What’s wrong making friends with trees?
PN: Nothing.
KK: Then, there was this interior decorator-a suited, booted fellow who came to see me in a three-piece woollen, Saville Row suit in the thick of summer- and began to lecture me about aesthetics, design, visual sense and all that. After listening to him for about half an hour and trying to figure out what he was saying through his peculiar American accent, I told him that I wanted something very simple for my living room. Just water-several feet deep- and little boats floating around, instead of large sofas. I told him that the centre-piece should be anchored down so that the tea service could be placed on it and all of us could row up to it in our boats and take sips from our cups. But the boats should be properly balanced, I said, otherwise we might whizz past each other and conversation would be difficult. He looked a bit alarmed but that alarm gave way to sheer horror when I began to describe the wall decor. I told him that I wanted live crows hanging from the walls instead of paintings -since I liked nature so much. And, instead of fans, we could have monkeys farting from the ceiling. That’s when he slowly backed out from the room with a strange look in his eyes. The last I saw of him was him running out of the front gate, at a pace that would have put an electric train to shame. What’s crazy about having a living room like that, you tell me? If he can wear a woollen, three-piece suit in the height of summer, why can’t I hang live crows on my walls?
PN: Your ideas are quite original, but why do your films fare so badly?
KK: Because I tell my distributors to avoid them. I warn them at the very outset that the film might run for a week at the most. Naturally, they go away and never come back. Where will you find a producer-director who warns you not to touch his film because even he can’t understand what he has made?
PN: Then why do you make films?
KK: Because the spirit moves me. I feel I have something to say and the films eventually do well at times. I remember this film of mine – Door Gagan ki Chhaon mein – which started to an audience of 10 people in Alankar. I know because I was in the hall myself. There were only ten people who had come to watch the first show! Even its release was peculiar. Subhodh Mukherjee, the brother of my brother-in-law, had booked Alankar(the hall) for 8 weeks for his film April Fool- which everyone knew was going to be a block- buster. My film, everyone was sure, was going to be a thundering flop. So he offered to give me a week of his booking. Take the first week, he said flamboyantly, and I’ll manage within seven. After all, the movie can’t run beyond a week. It can’t run beyond two days, I reassured him. When 10 people came for the first show, he tried to console me. Don’t worry, he said, it happens at times. But who was worried? Then, the word spread. Like wildfire. And within a few days the hall began to fill. It ran for all 8 weeks at Alankar, house full! Subodh Mukherjee kept screaming at me but how could I let go the hall? After 8 weeks when the booking ran out, the movie shifted to Super, where it ran for another 21 weeks! That’s the anatomy of a hit of mine. How does one explain it? Can anyone explain it? Can Subodh Mukherjee, whose April Fool went on to become a thundering flop?
PN: But you, as the director should have known?
KK: Directors know nothing. I never had the privilege of working with any good director. Except Satyen Bose and Bimal Roy, no one even knew the ABC of film making. How can you expect me to give good performances under such directors? Directors like S.D. Narang didn’t even know where to place the camera. He would take long, pensive drags from his cigarette, mumble ‘Quiet, quiet, quiet’ to everyone, walk a couple of furlongs absentmindedly, mutter to himself and then tell the camera man to place the camera wherever he wanted. His standard line to me was:Do something. What something? Come on, some thing! So I would go off on my antics. Is this the way to act? Is this the way to direct a movie? And yet Narangsaab made so many hits!
PN: Why didn’t you ever offer to work with a good director?
KK: Offer! I was far too scared. Satyajit Ray came to me and wanted me to act in Parash Pathar – his famous comedy – and I was so scared that I ran away. Later, Tulsi Chakravarti did the role. It was a great role and I ran away from it, so scared I was of these great directors.
PN: But you knew Ray.
KK: Of course I did. I loaned him five thousand rupees at the time of Pather Panchali-when he was in great financial difficulty- and even though he paid back the entire loan, I never gave him an opportunity to forget the fact that I had contributed to the making of the classic. I still rib him about it. I never forget the money I loan out!
PN: Well, some people think you are crazy about money. Others describe you as a clown, pretending to be kinky but sane as hell. Still others find you cunning and manipulative. Which is the real you?
KK: I play different roles at different times. For different people. In this crazy world, only the truly sane man appears to be mad. Look at me. Do you think I’m mad? Do you think I can be manipulative?
PN: How would I know?
KK: Of course you would know. It’s so easy to judge a man by just looking at him. You look at these film people and you instantly know they’re rogues.
PN: I believe so.
KK: I don’t believe so. I know so. You can’t trust them an inch. I have been in this rat race for so long that I can smell trouble from miles afar. I smelt trouble the day I came to Bombay in the hope of becoming a playback singer and got conned into acting. I should have just turned my back and run.
PN: Why didn’t you?
KK: Well, I’ve regretted it ever since. Boom Boom. Boompitty boom boom. Chikachikachik chik chik. Yadlehe eeee yadlehe ooooo (Goes on yodelling till the tea comes. Someone emerges from behind the upturned sofa in the living room, looking rather mournful with a bunch of rat-eaten files and holds them up for KK to see)
PN: What are those files?
KK: My income tax records.
PN: Rat-eaten?
KK: We use them as pesticides. They are very effective. The rats die quite easily after biting into them.
PN: What do you show the tax people when they ask for the papers?
KK: The dead rats.
PN: I see.
KK: You like dead rats?
PN: Not particularly.
KK: Lots of people eat them in other parts of the world.
PN: I guess so.
KK: Haute cuisine. Expensive too. Costs a lot of money.
PN: Yes?
KK: Good business, rats. One can make money from them if one is enterprising.
PN: I believe you are very fussy about money. Once, I’m told. a producer paid you only half your dues and you came to the sets with half your head and half your moustache shaved off. And you told him that when he paid the rest, you would shoot with your face intact…
KK: Why should they take me for granted? These people never pay unless you teach them a lesson. I was shooting in the South once. I think the film was Miss Mary and these chaps kept me waiting in the hotel room for five days without shooting. So I got fed up and started cutting my hair. First I chopped off some hair from the right side of my head and then, to balance it, I chopped off some from the left. By mistake I overdid it. So I cut off some more from the right. Again I overdid it. So I had to cut from the left again. This went on till I had virtually no hair left- and that’s when the call came from the sets. When I turned up the way I was, they all collapsed. That’s how rumours reached Bombay. They said I had gone cuckoo. I didn’t know. I returned and found everyone wishing me from long distance and keeping a safe distance of 10 feet while talking. Even those chaps who would come and embrace me waved out from a distance and said Hi. Then, someone asked me a little hesitantly how I was feeling. I said: Fine. I spoke a little abruptly perhaps. Suddenly I found him turning around and running. Far, far away from me.
PN: But are you actually so stingy about money?
KK: I have to pay my taxes.

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24 Blog Comments to “Interview With KK”

  1. Sudeep Mukerjee says:

    I’v been an ardent kishore fan since my childhood. As a young boy I would be mesmerised & attracted by his songs like a nail to a powerful magnet. I grew up to be government officer and also a professional singer who would kishore songs. Today even if I sing any original song it sounds like kishore song as his style is so deeply ingrained. During this period I’ve had the opportunity to meet & interact with people who have worked with the great Kishore and they have their stories to narrate about the way kishore would behave. He was an ecentric person no doubt with his own typical idiosyncrasies. Once during the shooting of CHALTI KA NAAM GADI – He had to jump his jeep from the cliff for which he had to come driving in speed from one side of the slope downhill. Unbelievable though it may sound he during the final shot he came speeding & jumped from the slope. The shot was okayed but he did’nt stop & kept on speeding & driving until he reached back home from Khandala where the film was being shot.

  2. Sachin aggarwal says:

    we are greatful of god because he booned us in form of “the great kishor kumar”

  3. kishore da was a GREAT PERSONALITY an a man of cinema ha had all the featured like actor comedian scriptwritter, director e.t.c HE always sing with heart and in straight words i would like to say that HE WAS ONLY THE REAL SINGER IN WHOLE WORLD.their are not any other singer born who can be only compare himself to a singer. accept mukesh chand mathur. but kishor da is always live in our heart.

  4. Shamita says:

    Hope my son sings like u kishoreda thats my only wish..

  5. aneil k yaadav says:

    i always wished if kihore da ud b alived n i wud had the chance 2 atleast see him…..n if it happend so…than it ud b the best day of my life.but unfortunately i was born after his death.anyway i grew up listening his songs.the main thing i liked abt him was his nature n his songs no doubt.his nature really inspies me a lot………….because i too like to be alone

  6. shaurye saxena says:

    kishor da was a moody person and also a person who had the direct bless of godess saraswati
    at last i would say that EAST OR WEST KISHOR DA IS THE BEST

  7. shaurye saxena says:

    kishr da was a good men and also a great singer but he so good an world’s no 1 expression giving actor
    he still live in our heart

  8. Ajit Sharma says:

    Very nice Interview With Kishore Kumar by Pritish Nandy

  9. sourav says:

    i really can take note of some to encourage myself to keep doing what works, just to be happy.
    PARTY HARD where ever you are.. Kishore Da ! wish your friends are still there.

  10. atul says:

    i want to say only…….jo jaisa dikhata hai waisa hota nahi aur jo jaisa hota hai wo dikhata nahi

  11. Babita Mishra says:

    Oh, it was a great conversation unfolding the layers of the life and thinking of a simple yet charismatic personality. We can easily figure out how straight forward KK was !! may be that is the reason why film fraternity do not like him and so many false stories have been framed to defame him…ridiculous

  12. rakesh gupta says:

    well kishore da was as pure as water there is no any artificial thing in him ,really enjoyed his intereview and really tells that nature have give a single gift that is kishore kumar,due to his songs my life is meaning ful and it is fact the real friends today is nature like trees and not human beings we feel proud for kishore da

  13. Yogeshkishoreda says:

    I consider kishoreda as my god.and reading th sentences of god is a dream come true for me.thnku so much for this article.

  14. tarun vijay says:

    the words spoken in above conversation reflects true feeling of a person about his experience with outer world.kishore da got such a power to create tone even in the written words .i think only a simple and honest person create such magic ,which affect so deeply a common person like me to write about a person whom i never meet. he is melodeious in art and every aspect of life. miss you sir.

  15. Ila says:

    “Jeevan se bhari, teri aankhen, majboor kare jeene ke liye..”

  16. AKV says:

    Kishore Kumar I love you!

  17. Kishore kumar was and will be the greatest artist till this world ends.


  18. rohit deshpande says:

    i think kishoreda was a good person.he married madhubala knowing she was very sick and nursed her for 9 long years,then financially helping the family of one mukherjee who died of heart attack. i think he was a kind person and the greatest singer. ‘love you kishoreda’

  19. Amardeep says:

    Well this interview says all abt kishore da, the guy with limited and pure aspirations. This interview draw a true picture of Bollywood from the eyes of super star. Kishore da was true artist and he has shown to others by declining the offer to campaign for Congress led by Gandi family at that time. Nowdays, even stars like Big B are involved in stupid politics for his own benefits. It was only Kishore da, who cud spend 9 long years with a bed ridden wife and take care of her, Madhubala. He was deceived by Big B when big b refused to perform a special appearance in one of the kishor’s movie when he was at his peak. And thats why kishore refused to sing for big b which eventually led his career to worst slump in late 80s. Kishor da was true artist and many shud learn a lot of this interview, pritish nandy did and see where he is now..

  20. Praveen Kumar says:

    I love kishore kumar his nature and his voice he went doing things from his heart he never acted in the real life whatever he felt he did it. he is great he is really great . what can we talk about this person and you people you want to see his live interviews just go to there you will find many videos on him. he is such a great person may his soul rest in peace for ever.

    Thank you

  21. savio rodrigues says:

    one of the rarest interviews i have come across with my favourite star. Kishoreda was really a funny and witty human being . At the same time he was also sensitive caring and emotional, perhaps depressed too. It is also heartening to note that the interviewer Pritish Nandy is now also a great filmmaker. i never had the privilege of meeting Kishoreda but he lives everyday in me through his voice. And a matter of coincidence that i would soon be working with the man who interviewed him i.e. Pritish Nandy. Destiny they say!!

  22. A Singh says:

    Some more additions, contributions from other Music Composers

    Song Music Director Film
    Ek Baar Muskurado O P Nayyar Ek Baar Muskurado
    Zindagi Ek Safar Shanker-Jaikishan Andaaz
    Zaroorat Zaroorat Hai Madan Mohan
    Ye Raten Ye Masoom Ravi Delhi Ka Thag
    Zindagi Ka Safar Kalyanji Anandji Safar Dil Kya Kare Rajesh Roshan Juliee Chale Chale Bhappi Lahri
    Zindagi Pyar Ka Geet Usha Khanna Souten

  23. A Singh says:

    Going through the interview one can derive is that KK was a sensitive person by nature. Such people have very few friends, otherwise they prefer to live in their solitude most of the times.

    Apart from this most good singers are also sensitive by nature, so is KK.

  24. Madhu Sudan Bhardwaj says:

    This is very good Article i read it many times and got some valuable information .

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