Remembering Kishore Kumar: A Man With Different Shades

The child had a terrible voice. His family would even cover their ears whenever he tried to sing. They used to laugh out at him by calling his voice a ‘phata baans’. But nature had already scripted something unusual for him.

Once he cut his big toe at home and injury made him cry all day & night. Amazingly that voice started to open up and transformed into a magical one – the voice of Kishore Kumar which continues to enchant us till date.

A great fan of legendary singer K L Saigal, he always wanted to sing and never wanted to act in movies. But circumstances persuaded Kishoreda to act. According to him, he hated every moment of it and tried every trick to get out of it, like mixing of lines, pretending to be crazy, shaving of his head, yodeling in the midst of a tragic scene.

But that didn’t work because his movies used to sell like hot cakes. Inspite of all those antics, he had to continue to become a singing comic star of that era.

Janardhan, Raghunandan, Gangadhar, Jagannath, Buddhuram, and Jhatpatajhatpatpat were his close friend. Kishoreda preferred talking to these trees planted in his garden, rather talking to film people who used to bore him.

He used to accept that he is a loner in this greedy world. He never used to smoke, drink, socialize or go to parties. He was happy in going to work and coming back straight home, watch horror movies, play with his spooks, talk to his trees and sing.     His men kept on digging till one day someone found a skeletal hand and some toes. Ultimately the digging stopped and he had lost the chance of making his home like Venice.

The film world used to think that Kishore Kumar was crazy about money, but very few people would know the fact that it was this man had loaned the great Satyajit Ray when he was in great financial difficulty while making Pather Panchali.

He had immense respect for Ray. After recording a song in Charulata, when he was called on by Ray and asked how much he would charge for the song, Kishoreda just touched Ray’s feet and refused to accept any remuneration.

Some used to say he was heartless. But the same heartless Kishore Kumar married Madhubala when she was very sick. He knew she was dying from a congenital heart problem and for 9 long years, he nursed her. He used to humor her all the time, laugh with her and cry with her till her last breath.

Many of us still know him as a crazy clown but very few know about the pain he was carrying inside his heart which usually comes out in some of his masterpieces like ‘Mera Jeevan Kora Kaagaz, Kora Hi Reh Gaya’.

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