Eighty-three years ago, on this day, the music genius Kishore Kumar Ganguly was born Abhas Kumar Ganguly in Khandwa (a town in Madhya Pradesh). He left behind a musical legacy comprising thousands of hit Bollywood songs.
For his sons, Sumit and Amit Kumar, there was always the pressure of living up to their famous father’s legacy. Yet, today, they are nowhere on the mainstream Bollywood scene.
Ask Sumit if there’s a sense of unaccomplishment, and he says, “Dada (older brother) and I are donkeys! Baba’s (dad’s) legacy couldn’t be carried ahead the way it should have been.” He adds, however, with an uncertain sense of optimism, “Life’s not over yet. We’ll take it forward. But right now, don’t ask me how.” Last year, Ranbir Kapoor said that a biopic on the veteran would go on the floors sometime in 2012. Is that on track? “Yes, it is,” says Sumit, recalling that the project was first announced in 2008.
A file photo of Sumit with his parents Leena and Kishore Kumar.
“It took people 21 years to even think of a biopic on my father. It should have come earlier. I think my father deserved more respect in the fraternity than he got. He is to Hindi cinema what Charlie Chaplin is to Hollywood.”
Sumit, now 30, recorded his last Bollywood song in 2008 when he sang his father’s chartbuster, ‘Bachna ae haseeno’, for the Ranbir-starrer of the same name. He recalls, “When I sang that song, I felt Baba was by my side in the recording studio. I was only five when he passed away, so I don’t have many memories of him.” About the Kishore-frenzy that still exists, Sumit remembers when “one of his fans thought I was a remix artiste. He called up to tell my brother that some notorious boy had attempted a bad remix of Kishoreda’s song.”
(As told to Rachana Dubey)
He is India’s Mozart: Asha Bhosle
Asha Bhosle remembers friend Kishore Kumar on his 83rd birth anniversary:
Singers like Kishore Kumar are never forgotten. Through their songs, they live on in the memories of their fans. And they live in the hearts of people who’ve worked with them. Kishore was the Indian Mozart who was recognised even more after his death. Hundreds of composers and singers in this industry have passed away, but how many are truly remembered? A few like him.
I’m sure you’ll agree that Kishore had that special talent, that special khoobi (specialty), which got him appreciation even from generations of music connoisseurs who’ve never seen him singing live. Our industry values people like him only after they bid adieu to the world. Kishore should have been around to see his fan following swell, with so many youngsters appreciating his songs, so many of them singing his numbers on reality shows and imitating his style.
A few years ago, I had heard from Amit (singer Amit Kumar) that a biopic was being planned on his father Kishore. I plan to help them portray the man Kishore Kumar was. Being a singer is just one aspect of his personality. He was a livewire in the recording studios most of the time, when we used to record songs together. He always came up with some or the other addition which lifted the whole feel of the track. Whenever the biopic goes on the floors, and if the filmmakers want me to play myself in the movie, I’m willing to do it. If they want someone else to play me, I’m okay with that as well. Actress acchi honi chahiye!
(As told to Rachana Dubey)
Kishoreda comes to life again tonight
Kishore Kumar had a massive body of work, and that included a number of tunes that never got released. Now, a song that is believed to be his last composition, will be released in a grand manner on the occasion of his 83rd birth anniversary tonight. It was only a few days ago that Gurgaon-based entertainment venue, Kingdom Of Dreams, bid successfully to acquire the rights to the song. They are believed to have placed a bid of R15.6 lakh and are now working on incorporating the song into Jhumroo — their musical that features Kishoreda’s repertoire of film songs. “Along with a creative team, we are working on how the song can be incorporated in the musical. If required, we will also have the music re-arranged with the help of our current team of music directors,” says Viraf Sarkari, director, Kingdom Of Dreams.
Jhumroo, which was launched on the same day last year, already features 19 Bollywood hits by Kishoreda. Apart from the famed composer’s birth anniversary, this will also be the 100th show of the musical. “The song is a romantic melody and is of a regular Bollywood song duration. We will also have a live concert by singer Ravindra Shinde, who is the voice of Kishoreda in the musical,” informs Sarkari.
(As told to Shweta Mehta)
These are some must-have Kishore Kumar numbers on your music player:
*Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, 1958): You can imagine the fun the singer had while recording it in the studio.
*Chookar Mere Mann Ko (Yaarana, 1981): This romantic song can make your morning special.
*Raat Kali Ek Khwaab Mein Aayi (Buddha Mil Gaya, 1971): It’s the song you’d hit the rewind button for.
*Phoolon Ke Rang Se (Prem Pujari, 1970): The words, coupled with the singer’s voice will make you listen to this one every night.
*Jaane Jaan (Jawani Diwani, 1972): Asha Bhosle is probably the only singer who could match Kishore’s energy.
*Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana (Andaz, 1971): It’s for those who take life as it comes each day.
*Mere Sapnon Ki Rani (Aradhana, 1969): It’s a song every man waiting for his ladylove would hum.
*Kuch To Log Kahenge/ Chingari Koi Bhadke (Amar Prem, 1972): Play these when you are lonely.
*Gata Rahe Mera Dil (Guide, 1965)/ Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas (Black Mail, 1973): Use these to express your love.
*Inteha Ho Gayi (Sharabi, 1984): It will pep up your mood.
*Om Shanti Om (Karz, 1980): Want to dance? Play this!