Kishore Kumar’s son Sumit Kumar and nephew Arjun Kumar visited their ancestral house — Ganguly House Gaurikunj — in Khandwa on Tuesday morning amid rumours that they had come to sell the property. However, they denied it.
The duo said that they had come to see the condition of the house and were exploring the possibilities to renovate the house so as to pay tributes at Kishore Kumar’s samadhi in Khandwa.
Sita Ram, the caretaker of the Ganguly House for more than 30 years, who is now in his early 70s, told HT on phone: "Today around lunchtime, Arjun Baba (Kumar) and Sumit Baba (Kumar) had come here. There were three other persons with them. They stayed here for almost 30 minutes and inspected the house." Ram said Sumit (Kishore Kumar’s son from fourth wife Leena Chandavarkar) had perhaps visited the house for the first time after his childhood visits with his father.
"Kishore da was attached to this house and loved to come here with his family members," added Ram, who was employed in Kishore Kumar’s household as a servant in the early eighties, but is now the lone occupant. He vividly recalls the annual visits of Kishore Kumar with his wife. Ram recalled the house would be abuzz with activity when the family would come over.
However, the visit has made residents of Khandwa and 11 tenant shopkeepers of the Ganguly House apprehensive about the possibility that Kishore Kumar’s family might sell the property.
Ravi Kumar Khatri, tenant shopkeeper who runs a general provision store, told HT that they were happy to see Sumit and Arjun, but were also anxious about the rumours that the Ganguly’s might sell the property.
"We don’t want any outsider to buy this house. It is a national heritage and should be bought by MP government for its conversion into a memorial," he said.
Another tenant Baba Bhai said they won’t allow the sale of the property to outsiders. "We have been tenants here from the times of Vaqeel Sahib (Kishore Kumar’s father). I hope these are just rumours. I don’t think anybody can sell Kishore Da’s memory for just money," he said.
Spokesperson of Kishore Kumar Sanskritik Prerna Manch Sunil Jain told HT that the rumours were created as Sumit and Arjun were seen talking with some local real estate dealers. "They came from Mumbai via Indore and went to their ancestral house. Later, they paid tributes at Kishore Da’s samadhi and then left around 4pm. While leaving, they assured us that they were not going to sell the property," he said.
A mere shadow of its past glory, the double-stored haveli in Khandwa’s Bombay Bazaar area is the house where Kishore Kumar, his brothers Ashok and Anoop Kumar and their family once lived. The property is presently owned by Kishore Kumar’s nephew Anoop Kumar’s son Arjun Kumar Ganguly.