Kishore Kumar was known to be very particular about his remuneration but very few are aware that the multifaceted film personality refused to take fees from acclaimed filmmaker Satyajit Ray for singing in his 1964 film Charulata.
Remembering the legendary actor-singer on his 84th birth anniversary, noted film critic Sriram Tamrakar said, "After recording a song in Charulata, Kishore was called by Ray and asked how much he would charge for the song. Kumar just stood from the chair, touched Ray's feet and refused to accept any remuneration."
According to Tamrakar, Kishore did not take a single penny for the song Aami Cheeni Go Cheeni
, which remains to be one of the most popular songs among lovers.
"This incident is a proof that Kishore was a generous professional and all the stories about him being finicky about his fees are untrue," he said.
Tamrakar also said that Kishore had immense respect for Ray and he knew that the filmmaker had a very limited budget while making Charulata. "On one hand Ray was worried that Kishore would quote a very high price for singing a song in his film. But he still wanted to have him as he felt it was only Kishore who could do justice to the song," Tamrakar added.
Ray's Charulata was based upon Rabindranath Tagore's novel Nastanirh (The Broken Nest). It starred Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi Mukherjee and Sailen Mukherjee in lead roles.
Kishore was born in a Bengali Ganguly family in Khandwa, in Madhya Pradesh as Abhas Kumar Ganguly.
After coming to Mumbai, he changed his name to Kishore Kumar. Even after shifting his base to the maximum city, Kishore was attached to his hometown till his last breath.
Even in his last days, the singer-actor would often express the desire to move back to Khandwa. But that wish remained unfulfilled as he died of a heart attack in Mumbai on October 13, 1987, his brother Ashok Kumar's 76th birthday.
According to his last wish, his body was taken to Khandwa for cremation.