Prerona – Kishore Kumar
This article is by Vampy.
Well guys, I have a reason to explain my absence. Yesterday evening was one of the most memorable evenings in my life.Anandabazar Patrika (Newspaper), HLL, Pantaloons and Command organised a programme in Netaji Indoor Stadium called Preronaye Kishore Kumar (inspired by Kishore Kumar).
I had never seen a live program in my life and when my friend Raju got the passes, there was no second thought about me going with him.
When we reached the spot, I was surprised to see the queue. Wow, hats off to the Calcuttans. They still love their idol just like before. People were all over, jostling and shoving one another, a typical scene in Calcutta. The traffic was thrown out of gear and some unfortunate people begging for passes.
HLL-Nihar had big posters of Guru smiling away. We had to be extra cautious since my friend had his pregnant wife with him and we had to be the buffer to her so that she did not have to face any shoving.
By the time we entered into the AC auditorium, once upon a time Asia’s largest till those Japanese made a bigger one and the show had somewhat started. On the screeen came up Guru’s face and his throw of voice Heey heeey (the starting of Kora Kagaz tha yeh man mera). The auditorium burst into a cheer, which was enough to compete with the sound of an aeroplane.
The show started with Amit Kumar. After hearing the fellow for a while, I realised my mistake all this while about his being a failure. He was certainly in the limelight. He sang a lot of his dad’s songs and in between, he did tell us a lot of funny and sad stories surrounding his dad. My friends here say that AK is not a clone. Gosh, he is the biggest clone Guru ever had. Sanu, Abhijeet, Babul are clones of his voice but AK even aped that madness which his dad used to do onscreen and on the stage.
He brought his wife, Reema Ganguly. Amit announced his better half and she sang the duet with him – main bangali chhokra. Sorry to say, her voice was nothing to talk about. Amit’s voice now has a deep volume and the fellow stopped distorting his voice. His Jin raaton ki bhor nahi hai was the closest ever voice I ever heard to that of Guru’s. He mentioned how Shailendra wrote the song on the backseat of their car and how Guru removed the song from the film since he thought this masterpiece would not run.
After getting applause and thanking the public, he left and was replaced by Abhijeet. Abhi also did a good job. He mentioned that he became nervous to sing for the first time in his life since he himself was stunned by the excellent performance of Amit. Abhi’s song selection was great, starting from O maajhi re, woh shaam kuchh ajeeb thi. He got a good round of applause. However, then started the trouble. He brought a lady from Mumbai called Madhushree who joined him for a duet for Jaanejaan dhoondhta phir raha. Heck, she was worse than AK’s wife and the audience started booing. Something that is very common in Calcutta. When you score, you get 100% and when you miss, you get a big zero. The lady was booed off the stage and Abhi left without even saying goodbye. It clearly showed that he was annoyed. The people were saying that they were not booing Abhi but that lady. Then someone came up with “to hell with Abhijeet”.
The third man was Babul. I was preparing to close my ears but the chap, he stunned the whole audience by a down to earth statement. He said that there are many clones of Kishore Kumar but he does not regard himself as a clone since he copies Kishore Kumar to make a living and he also requested the audience to get a few cassettes of him the next time we bought a Guru cassette. Everyone was laughing.
Babul’s selection was probably the best. He did not go for the heavy numbers. Clever chap. He knew that his voice would not permit that, and so he restricted himself to the light numbers.
Babul got the massive applause when he reminded the audience that this particular place (Netaji Indoor Staduim) witnessed history when the greatest star Amitabh Bachchan came here to shoot for Yaarana. Then he started the song. The audience went crazy with the applause. If you notice the song, Saara Zamana,there is a long clapping sequence and cheering (heeeeeey) and then again clap clap. Well, the orchestra was relieved from that since we took up the clapping and the cheering while Babul went on with his Saara Zamana Haseeno Ka Diwaana.
Then came Gautam Ghose, the guy who made the statue of Guru in Calcutta. He sang a few great bengali numbers and did get his share of applause.
Babul was back after a break and then Abhi came back. He was the only person who did not joke with the audience nor spoke much about Guru.
Again Amit came back on stage and started his funny acts. He mentioned that Guru had appeared in a show in Mumbai for a Laxmikant Pyarelal nite where he had a charpoy brought and there, he lay down and sang. So Amit also got a charpoy and he did the same thing after taking off his shoes and his coat. Sachchai chup nahi sakhti. He also told us how his dad used to hate qawaalis and told his MDs to get Rafi to sing those.
Amit made a big disaster and he got out of tune while singing hawa ke saath saath. The orchestra had to stop. It was a big blunder. Wow, Amit really made up for the mistake. He boldly said that he made a mistake and then told his orchestra (in the way his dad spoke) arre o rocketwa (the band leader was a guy called Rocket), yeh audience to hamara bangali bhai log hain, mere galti ko maaf kar dega, chal phir se shuru kar and he took off from there. Instead of a boo, he got a big cheer.
Finally he said something, which had the stadium spelbound in silence for a moment. He said that every clap of ours was not meant for him. Our clapping was for his dad who was looking at us from above and blessing us and Amit looked up. This one sentence made all of us have a lump in our throat and a tear in our eyes. The audience was spelbound for a minute and then a clapping for Guru started. I have never ever heard such a sound. We clapped till our palms ached badly and were red hot. I got a little too emotional and stood up when clapping.
Then we had a nasty incident with some guys booing Amit. He was also annoyed and starting scolding them in a funny way by saying “Chhup chhup”. They were those chips walas and chai walas who were moving continuously in front of us and disturbing. When they found that their wares were not being sold, they tried to disturb the proceedings. We protested and chased them out. Then the security guard said that they have come back with all their fellow men waiting outside for us and told us to leave from another gate. We did not take any chance since we had a lady amongst us and we were forced to leave. By that time, Babul was back and singing arre diwaano.
I have lots to write but its already a long essay. What I was thrilled was that Guru is still alive in the hearts of the Calcuttans and Calcutta still remains Guru’s biggest market even today, 15 years after his departure from us. God bless them as well as every Guru fan on earth.
Songs featured (as much as I remember them)
Hay hay yeh nigahen
piya piya piya
roop tera mastana
hawa ke saath saath
jin raaton ki bhor nahi hai
main bangali chhokra
dekha na hai re
sachchai chup nahi sakhti
ek din pakhi ude
chil chil chillake
O maajhi re
jaanejaan dhoondha phir raha
hawa megh shoraye
kuchh to log kahenge
woh shaam kuchh ajeeb
Musafir hoon yaaron
Nayano Shoroshi Kano
ei to jibon (ogo bodhu sundari)
bhanware ke gunjan hai mera dil
main shayar badnaam
ami je ke tomar
e amar gurudakkhina
What was the song of parabat priya JC, that one.
I dont recall a couple more.
I always think of Kishore Da and feel that after making Kishore Da, God himself was so hypnotised that he could not repeat his Art in making another Kishore Da.
I am mad for Kishore Da and am a 100% disciple of him. Singing his melodies on stage is my passion and now nodoubt my profession to.
No words can define Kishore Da.
Luv you Kishore Da.
LOVED your article man!! Your immense love and respect for Guru (whom I prefer to call the “GOD OF MELODY”) is evident in each and every line.
The biggest truth is –
KISHORE KUMAR WAS, IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE THE BEST SINGER IN THE WORLD.
Thanks again for such a wonderful article pal.
Kishore Kumar is all time greatest singer.
what can i say about Kishore. He is a special singer. But heart of heart I very well know that I am fightying a weak case by arguing for Kishore.
I have been very unjustifidly ousted out of the Rafi section for no fault of mine.