KK In His Own Words
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From: parrikar@mimicad.Colorado.EDU (Rajan P. Parrikar)
Subject: Kishore Kumar – Some more stuff (Long)
Date: 13 Oct 93 08:08:53 GMT
Sender: news@Colorado.EDU (USENET News System)
Organization: University of Colorado, Boulder Lines: 259
Here’s some more stuff on The One and Only. This file had been sitting in my KK directory for quite a while and I had forgotten all about it until the recent KK >> Rafi thread
Mimicad Center Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Colorado at Boulder E-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
More from the same issue:
“My brother Ashok discouraged Anoop and me from joining films. You are a pair of donkeys, he said”, Kishore Kumar gleefully narrated to Filmfare in 1955. When Ashok Kumar became a favourite Bombay Talkies hero, Kishore was still at college “trying to get through examinations”. “I could do little else besides sing” Kishore said frankly. “I was never good at studies so I used to compose different tunes for different subjects. For instance I composed a tune for a paragraph on the Malthusian theory of population.”
The Gangulys used to visit Bombay once a year. During one of these visits Kishore was asked by the music director, Khemchand Prakash to sing for Dev Anand in Ziddi. Kishore became very popular as a playback singer and got many assignments, but even then he was not very serious about a film career.
In a diary he wrote for Filmfare in 1957, Kishore talked of Ashok. “I’m in fifth form and I’m very proud of my brother. Hasn’t Ashok Kumar Ganguly of Khandwa become a film star?” Jeevan Naiya, Ashok’s first film, comes to Khandwa. Kishore and a few friends of his, all fans of Master Vithal and other action heroes of stunt films, eagerly go to see “Big brother laying low a dozen villains”, but are disappointed. It’s a soft sentimental film – and Ashok Kumar even puts up with a slap from another character. “That very night,” said Kishore, “I write Dadamoni a letter, telling him he had better swing his fists around a bit in his next film or he will lose a number of fans in Khandwa.” In the same diary, Kishore recalled attending a night shooting of Mahal, starring Ashok Kumar and Madhubala, at Filmistan Studios in Bombay. During a break in shooting, Kishore gave Madhubala a big fright putting on “a grotesque mask with a drooping moustache” which he had taken along with him. Years later, he was to marry her.
Writing an interview with Kishore in 1970, a Filmfare staffer noted that it added to “that well-known Kishore Kumar mystique of lack of continuity and endless little puzzles.” Though Kishore didn’t appear from or disappear into any cupboards during the interview, he did exit, for no particular reason, through a rear door of the room and re-entered through the front door enjoying immensely the journalist’s momentary bafflement.
The room had photographs of Rabindranath Tagore, Ashok Kumar and Dev Anand and a painting of “The Last Supper”. The interview recorded that Kishore’s dislikes were telephone calls, tax problems, cigarette smoke, alcohol and the studio routine.
Again from the same issue of PhillumFare. Preeti Ganguly, KK’s niece and Ashok Kumar’s daughter, reminisces.
It’s impossible to believe that Kishore Kaka is dead. How could a man who breathed life into everything around him die? He was my favourite uncle – it seems so strange to say ‘was’. Not that we saw him very frequently or were extremely close. But he was very childlike and innocent. There was always a sense of wonder about him.
His eccentric ways weren’t just for outsiders. If others complained that they weren’t allowed past his gate, his behaviour was not any different with us. He’d do it with us too. There were times when he would himself invite our family over for lunch, we’d go up all the way to Juhu and end up waiting at the gate. There, right within our view, Kishore Kaka would ask his man to tell us he wasn’t in, if he wasn’t in the mood to receive us. Mummy would get irritated, then hand over what she had carried for him, and say to the man, “I’ve brought him some of his favourite food. The least he can do is eat it.” And we’d all have to return without getting past those doors.