Kishore Vs Kishore
Rajiv Vijayakar Reams have been written about how Kishore Kumar,when he finally came into the mood to playback for artistes other than himself and Dev Anand, decimated the competition offered by such stalwarts as Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh and Mannadey. Volumes have been penned on how Destiny contrived to aid Kishore with the simultaneous upswing of […]
Reams have been written about how Kishore Kumar,when he finally came into the mood to playback for artistes other than himself and Dev Anand, decimated the competition offered by such stalwarts as Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh and Mannadey. Volumes have been penned on how Destiny contrived to aid Kishore with the simultaneous upswing of Rajesh Khanna and the Burmans and the rise of Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan, all in those few decisive years from the fag end of the 60’s and the early 70’s. But as we complete 12 be-sura years without this eccentric genius called Kishore Kumar and his exquisite genius, let us ponder upon something that largely went unnoticed, and certainly unwritten: about how Kishore Kumar competed with Kishore himself. And what do I mean with this apparently crazy, even asinine statement? Simply this :
When Aradhana happened (and everyone knows that the late Rahul Dev Burman, urf Pancham urf RD, had the lion’s share in the creation of the three Kishore hits Mere sapnon ki rani, Roop tera mastana and Kora kagaz tha yeh man mera), RD was still a struggler, better known as Dada Burman’s son and associate music director. And Rafi was comfortable at the top.
Aradhana itself had two fabulous (and hit) Rafi duets composed by – to the best of our knowledge – the senior Burman. RD himself had delivered ace after ace from 1966 – Teesri Manzil, Baharon Ke Sapne, Abhilasha, Padosan, Pyar Ka Mausam (with that singular Rafi-Kishore battle Tum bin jaoon kahan which Kishore had won) and Waris, but had not made headway because with Rafi as his mainstay, he could not forge his own identity.
All that he proved with these films was that he was different from dad(a) Burman. On the other hand, the eternal Rafi-bhakts Laxmikant-Pyarelal had, come 1969, left Shanker Jaikishan with their wits scattered for the first time since the early 50s with humdinger after humdinger in the same post-1966 period. And but for a few exceptions, all these scores were dominated by Rafi – Aye Din Bahaar Ke, Aya Sawan Jhoom Ke, Sajan, Anjaana, Sadhu Aur Shaitan, Intequam, Wapas, Mere Humdum Mere Dost, Izzat, Jeene Ki Raah, Jigri Dost, Night In London, Taqdeer and other films with hit Rafi’s singles.
LP were securely perched at the top, with names like V.Shantaram and Manoj Kumar as the latest names in their bag – and no opposition to speak of. And RD, Kishore and Aradhana came like a giant bump as LP were speeding on the Numero Uno highway. Once Aradhana hit the nation like a thunderbolt – and I will never forget the hysteria its music generated – RD was ready to unleash himself with pet voice Kishore in the flood of assignments that came his way for the first time.