Interview With KK
From boulder!parrikar Thu Apr 25 18:23:29 MDT 1991
Article: 13507 of soc.culture.indian
From: parrikar@mimicad.Colorado.EDU (Rajan Parrikar)
Subject: Tete-a-tete with Kishore Kumar!(Long)
Sender: email@example.com (The Daily Planet)
Organization: University of Colorado, Boulder
Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1991 00:16:07 GMT
PN: You have income tax problems I am told….
KK: Who doesn’t? My actual dues are not much but the interest has piled up. I’m planning to sell off a lot of things before I go to Khandwa and settle this entire business once and for all.
PN: You refused to sing for Sanjay Gandhi during the emergency and, it is said, that’s why the tax hounds were set on you. Is this true?
KK: Who knows why they come. But no one can make me do what I don’t want to do. I don’t sing at anyone’s will or command. But I sing for charities, causes all the time.
[Note: Sanjay Gandhi wanted KK to sing at some Congress rally in Bombay. KK refused. Sanjay Gandhi ordered All India Radio to stop playing Kishore songs. This went on for quite a while. KK refused to apologize. Finally, it took scores of prominent producers and directors to convince those in power to rescind the ban- Rajan]
PN: What about your home life? Why has that been so turbulent?
KK: Because I like being left alone.
PN: What went wrong with Ruma Devi, your first wife?
KK: She was a very talented person but we could not get along because we looked at life differently. She wanted to build a choir and a career. I wanted someone to build me a home. How can the two reconcile? You see, I’m a simple minded villager type. I don’t understand this business about women making careers. Wives should first learn how to make a home. And how can you fit the two together? A career and a home are quite separate things. That’s why we went our separate ways.
PN: Madhubala, your second wife?
KK: She was quite another matter. I knew she was very sick even before I married her. But a promise is a promise. So I kept my word and brought her home as my wife, even though I knew she was dying from a congenital heart problem. For 9 long years I nursed her. I watched her die before my own eyes. You can never understand what this means until you live through this yourself. She was such a beautiful woman and she died so painfully. She would rave and rant and scream in frustration. How can such an active person spend 9 long years bed-ridden? And I had to humour her all the time. That’s what the doctor asked me to. That’s what I did till her very last breath. I would laugh with her. I would cry with her.
PN: What about your third marriage? To Yogeeta Bali?
KK: That was a joke. I don’t think she was serious about marriage. She was only obsessed with her mother. She never wanted to live here.
PN: But that’s because she says you would stay up all night and count money..
KK: Do you think I can do that? Do you think I’m mad? Well, it’s good we separated quickly.
PN: What about your present marriage?
KK: Leena is a very different kind of person. She too is an actress like all of them but she’s very different. She’s seen tragedy. She’s faced grief. When your husband is shot dead, you change. You understand life. You realize the ephemeral quality of all things.. I am happy now.
PN: What about your new film? Are you going to play hero in this one too?
KK: No no no. I’m just the producer-director. I’m going to be behind the camera. Remember I told you how much I hate acting? All I might do is make a split second appearance on screen as an old man or something.
PN: Like Hitchcock?
KK: Yes, my favourite director. I’m mad, true. But only about one thing. Horror movies. I love spooks. They are a friendly fearsome lot. Very nice people, actually, if you get to know them. Not like these industry chaps out here. Do you know any spooks?
PN: Not very friendly ones.
KK: But nice, frightening ones?
PN: Not really.
KK: But that’s precisely what we’re all going to become one day. Like this chap out here (points to a skull, which he uses as part of his decor, with red light emerging from its eyes)- you don’t even know whether it’s a man or a woman. Eh? But it’s a nice sort. Friendly too. Look, doesn’t it look nice with my specs on its non-existent nose?
PN: Very nice indeed.
KK: You are a good man. You understand the real things of life. You are going to look like this one day.
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Colorado at Boulder
O FOR THE GOLDEN SANDS OF GOA!!
..AND THE GLORIOUS COLORADO ROCKIES!!