The lovers of this singer, like always, would pay customary tribute to this multifaceted singer Kishore Kumar on his birth anniversary, which falls on August 4. It’s really strange that people ignored in their own life times or, for that matter, people who get subjected to humiliation of all sorts while they are alive, attain exalted position after death. It’s pretty hard to analyze the behaviour of worldly souls. Kishore Kumar, attained legendary status during his life time. Nothing strange, after all, he was actor, singer, producer and director par excellence. He did full justice to the various roles he came to play. Let me state that I am not much impressed by folks working in world of cinema but then how can I ignore some real good souls, who provided this fascinating medium a great height? Above all, I feel it’s need of the hour to resurrect the images of people grossly misunderstood in their own life times. That’s the most ideal way to pay tribute to these great souls.
Kishore Kumar was fully aware of nuisance created in his name. That’s why he openly confessed that “world hails me as mad but I feel that world has gone mad. I wish to make it clear that I am not that mad as assumed by some sections of the society.” He was really hurt by the gossip stories, shared by the pervert minds behind his back. He always wondered what made people enter in falsehood and cheap stories about a person whom they knew nothing much other than that he was a good singer? Anyway, I must say that such gossips and stories tell less about him but revealed lot about the mindset of persons involved in them. “When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” (Wayne Dyer)
This theory that he was mad was circulated by one lady journalist, who had come to take his interview, living alone at that time. To prove his point that he was not all alone, Kishore introduced this lady journalist to trees and flowers, whom he treated as best friends. This lady presented this gesture in all wrong way suggesting that he spent long evenings with his arms entwined around them! One can imagine how simple facts get twisted to create bizarre stories about this very simple and honest person, trapped in the deceptive world of cinema. He always cursed himself that he became part of this medium, which survived on cosmetic gestures. It’s amazing that many know him as money crazy soul, forgetting the cruel gestures of producers who made him sing the song but never bothered to pay in time. When he introduced tough measures to ensure timely payment he was declared money crazy. That’s so nasty, isn’t it?
He was in many circles accused of not taking enough care of Madhubala. Well, very few knew that he was not only fully aware of her fatal disease when he came to marry Madhubala but also spent 9 long years with a bed ridden wife, taking her care in all the ways possible. All this he did amid many professional obligations, which in crazy world of movies, had to be fulfilled in time. Talking about cause of his separation with one of his wives, actor Shammi Kapoor, revealed that Kishore was not entirely wrong in divorcing his wife. After all, if the wife remained away all the time, on one pretext or another, is there any point in staying with that wife?
Let’s acknowledge his singing abilities. He was so humble could be gauged from the fact that he had no shame in accepting that he knew nothing about singing and thing like classical singing was beyond his singing ability! Contrast this remark with remark of R D Burman who said that “Kishore’s voice was the best voice for songs having classical touch”. When he was asked to sing “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado” he had refused to sing it, stating that it was a very tough song not on par with his vocal chords. Anyway, he made Lata to sing it first and then came to sing it just the way sung by Lata after rehearsing her version for many days. The famous Ghazal Singer Pankaj Udhas, throwing light on Kishore’s sense and sensibility, said,” We know Kishore as man capable of singing fun-filled songs in great style. However, Kishore also sang some very serious numbers. That’s ample proof of the fact that inside his child like heart, there were traces of deep seated sadness.” The celebrated Bhajan singer Anoop Jalota feels that such a great singer appear once every 500 years. According to him, a singer should be a good actor to do full justice to any movie song. That’s the reason why Kishore not only sang well songs picturized on him but also sang to such perfection songs picturized on other actors that it appeared as if actor himself was singing the song. The unusual range of his vocal chords could be known from the very fact that on one hand, he sang “Ek Chatur Naar“; on the other hand, we find him singing “Koi humdum na raha” with such sadness that it fills our heart with deep pain.
In the end, it would not be out of tune to say that let’s stop judging the worth of creative souls via our limited perceptions. These creative souls are often very sensitive souls, who reside on higher plane of thoughts. Our limited understanding of them and their works often leaves such soul in great pain. Instead of highlighting our ignorance, it’s better we truly honour them by taking care of their great works in a genuine way. I can hear Kishor Da singing “Hum Laut Aaayenge Tum Yun Hi Bulate Rahana” (I would surely return..Just keep on calling me back). So do you hear my calls, Kishore Da?
The passing away of Rajesh Khanna makes all sensitive souls very sad. He should have lived for some more years on this planet. In India, they say people used to live for more than 100 years in ancient times. The people are dying at a very young age nowadays. We have been witnessing the passing away of creative souls at frequent intervals since last year- Jagjit Singh, Shahryar, Ravi, Shri Lal Shukla, Shammi Kapoor, Hanuman of modern times Dara Singh and now Rajesh Khanna. It appears that heaven badly needs creative artists to entertain its own residents, and thus, be it a singer, writer or actor, all are slowly getting placed in heaven one by one. Anyway, the death of Rajesh Khanna makes me realize that death is really the great leveler. It leaves none. It cares a damn for stature.
Rajesh Khanna provided death a new meaning in his timeless classic movie “Anand”. The movie highlighted the theme that death is an insignificant drama. However, today when he has passed away, it’s pretty hard to keep emotions in check. The Hindi movie landscape’s first superstar has now become a sweet memory as the presence now gets limited to magazines, books and movies. I really don’t know what are the elements involved in the making of a superstar but I am aware of the fact that his charishma in 70s left both young and old spellbound. Male newborns got named Rajesh, a new hair style came into existence and the frenziness found in every woman’s heart attained new height. The arrival of angry young man Amitabh Bachchan soon eclipsed the magic of Rajesh Khanna, but by then Rajesh Khanna image has attained some sort of immortality.
The early phase of all great actors had been a roller coaster ride. Rajesh Khanna proved to be no exception. The leading actresses of those days refused to work with him and well known directors failed to take note of him. His early movies did not create a desired effect. When Shakti Samanta narrated him the story of Aradhana, he noticed that Rajesh Khanna did not seem to be much impressed. After all, it was a female oriented movie, in which the hero died during the middle of the movie. It was no less a herculean task for Shakit Da to make Rajesh Khanna see light at the end of the tunnel. However, very few can predict the course of destiny. The movie, which in eyes of Rajesh Khanna, offered no better prospects not only proved to be a milestone in history of Indian movies but also gave Hindi movie world its first superstar. That’s the only logic which governs Bollywood- success appears like appearance of cascade in barren land. It defies all established rules. A female oriented movie gave Indian movie landscape its first male superstar!
Interestingly, the other dominant trend which defines Bollywood is that superstars rarely know real acting or, for that matter, are rarely offered roles that involve some real shades of acting. That’s so evident if one has witnessed acting skills of present “Khan Brigade”. They develop some lovable styles but they rarely come to act. The only superstar that can act a bit, Amitabh Bachchan, too feels that he never got an opportunity to reveal interesting shades of acting. All the time he remained engaged in “dhishum dhishum” (fight scenes)! Anyway, destiny smiled on Rajesh Khanna once again when he got opportunity to show his acting skills in some movies having substantial plots. It’s really curious coincidence that it was Hrishikesh Mukherjee, known for his simplistic take on serious issues, who came to provide both Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan some good opportunities to strike a bonhomie with various shades of acting. In fact, they both came to work together under his direction in Anand and Namak Haraam. Anand turned out to be a huge success. In fact, the character played by Amitabh, Babu Moshay, became a household name. The plot of Anand revolved around the philosophy found in the Upanishads that there is no such thing as death. Death is not an end but a new beginning. In other words, it taught the art of living, reminding us that laughter is the best medicine. After all, we rarely come to live life in a proper way. The movie made it clear that death is final drama, which paves the way for soul’s fresh journey with new set of cloth in form of a new body! Rajesh Khanna depicted this art of living in an unforgettable way.
However, let’s not forget the role which Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, R D Burman, Salil Choudhary, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Anand Bakshi, Laxmikant Pyarelaal, Hemant Kumar, Sahir and Khaiyyam played in shaping the course of success for Rajesh Khanna. It’s an undisputed fact that Kishore Kumar played the most significant role in making Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan careers attain starry heights. It’s also a proven fact that both of them lost their star appeal, when Kishore Kumar stopped singing for them in last stage of his singing career, due to health reasons. The romanticism demonstrated by Rajesh Khanna and machoism exhibited by Amitabh were heavily dependent on voice of Kishore Kumar! His voice acted as most suitable medium for them, which earlier provided new heights to Dev Anand. I am sure had Kishore been missing, Rajesh Khann would have failed to locate “Mere sapno ki Rani“. Tanuja would have maintained safe distance from Rajesh Khanna had Kishore not turned out to be “Dil ke Chain“. This song “Ye Jo Public Hai Ye Sab Jaanti Hai” became the most popular idiom to make a remark on the shady affairs in the world of politics and business. Another song from the same movie Roti “Gore Range Pe Na Itna Gumaan Kar” transcended generations to influence the fate of every fair skinned Indian girl.
May his soul rest in peace. The people who have moved ahead in this eternal journey, never travel backwards. They simply live inside our heart and minds as sweet memories. This line which forms the part of song picturized on him expresses this sentiment so well: “Kuch Log Jo Ek Roj Bichud Jaate Hai Wo Hazaro Ke Aane Se Milte Nahi“. Anand never dies. He always manages to be back on earth’s playground to play the game of life with a new face.That realization is bound to make one smile even as the eyes remained moist with tears. It makes reunion with Rajesh Khanna-a good soul-a great possibility. By the way, let’s not forget Rajesh Khanna’s words said to Pushpa In Amar Prem: ” Pushpa, I hate tears”.
1. Mere Naina Saawan Bhado ( Mehbooba )
2. Kuch To Log Kahenge (Amar Prem)
3. Zindagi Pyar Ka Geet Hai (Souten)
4. Hazaar Rahe Mud Ke Dekhi (Thodi Se Bewafai)
5. Vada Tera Vada (Dushman)
6.Sajna Saath Nibhana (Doli)
7. Pyaar Deewana Hota Hai (Kati Patang)
8. Ye Reshmi Zulfein (Do Raastein)
9. Jeevan Se Bhari Teri Aankhein (Safar)
10. Zubaan Pe Dard Bhari Daastan( Maryaada)
11. Wo Shaam Kuch Ajeeb Thi (Khamoshi)
12. Yun Hi Tum Mujhse Baat Karti Ho (Sachha Jhootha)
13. Mere Dil Me Aaaj Kya Hai (Daag)
14. Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaayein (Anand)
15. Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana (Andaaz)
A lot depends on how the song is picturized. I love this song not only for beautiful verses by Majrooh Sultanpuri, excellent composition by R D Burman, terrific singing by Kishore Kumar, but also for its mesmeric picturization. Absolutely stunning romantic song picturized in a perfect setting. A meaningful one as well. The verses are not only talking about romance in some absurd way like “Tum mujhko chand laake do” (get the moon for me) but they are having a take on it in a balanced way. The movie was full of typical Bollywood elements ( and that’s why I don’t like this movie) but the songs stand apart.
राजेश खन्ना का यूँ ही अचानक क्षितिज के उस पार चले जाना दुखी करता है. अभी उनकी उम्र ही क्या हुई थी लेकिन कलाकारों की मौत का जो सिलसिला पिछले साल से शुरू हुआ है वो अब तक बना हुआ है. जगजीत सिंह, शहरयार, मशहूर संगीतकार रविजी, हिंदी के लेखक श्रीलाल शुक्ल, शम्मी कपूर, फिर हमारे चहेते हनुमान दारा सिंह और अब राजेश खन्ना. ऐसा लगता है कि देवलोक का माहौल बहुत ग़मगीन हो गया है तभी पृथ्वी के सभी बड़े कलाकार एक के बाद ऊपर के लोको में चले जा रहे है. खैर राजेश खन्ना की मौत के बाद ये एहसास मुझे हो चला है कि मौत भी कोई चीज़ होती है जो “आनंद” को भी शोक में परिवर्तित कर सकता है. हिंदी फ़िल्म जगत को पहला सुपरस्टार देने वाला अब यादो का हिस्सा बन गया है. ये सुपरस्टार क्या चीज़ होती है मुझे ज्यादा नहीं पता पर राजेश खन्ना का जादू सत्तर के दशक में यूँ चढ़ा कि माएं अपने बच्चो का नाम राजेश रखने लगी, युवतियों के अन्दर का पागलपन थोडा और बढ़ चला और नाई के दुकान पे एक और हेयर स्टाइल का उदय हो गया. बुरा हो एंग्री यंगमैन अमिताभ के अवतार का जिसने राजेश की आभा को ग्रहण लगा दिया बहुत जल्द ही पर तब तक राजेश का जादू एक अमरता को प्राप्त कर चला था.
जैसा सब अच्छे कलाकारों के साथ होता है राजेश को भी आरंभिक दिनों में सब ने नकार दिया. चोटी की अभिनेत्रियों ने काम करने से मना कर दिया. शुरुआती फिल्मे पिट गयी बाक्स ऑफिस पे. फिर जाके आराधना मिली जिसको लेके राजेश खन्ना खुद ही सशंकित थे क्योकि नायिका प्रधान फ़िल्म में इनके लिए कुछ ख़ास नहीं था. पर जब सफलता मिलनी होती है तो मिल के रहती है यूँ ही जैसे रेगिस्तान में झरने का फूट पड़ना. कम से कम बालीवुड में सफलता का सिलसिला ऐसे ही शुरू हो जाता है सब तर्कों को धता बता के. तो एक नायिका प्रधान फ़िल्म ने भारतीय रजत पटल को उसका पहला सुपरस्टार दिया.
बालीवुड में वैसे सुपरस्टार को कुछ ख़ास एक्टिंग नहीं करनी पड़ती. कम से कम आज कल के तथाकथित “खान” सुपरस्टारों को देख तो यही समझ में आता है. अमिताभ का भी यही दुखड़ा रहा है कि उनसे किसी ने ढंग की एक्टिंग नहीं करवाई सिवाय ढिशुम ढिशुम के. खैर राजेश खन्ना के हाथ कुछ अच्छी फिल्मे आई जिनमे उन्हें एक्टिंग के अपने कुछ ख़ास शेड्स दिखाने का मौका मिला. ये एक महज सयोंग ही है कि ऋषिकेश मुखर्जी ने ही राजेश खन्ना और अमिताभ दोनों को कुछ फिल्मे प्रदान कि जिनमे उन्हें वास्तविक अभिनय से दो चार होना पड़ा. ये भी क्या अद्भुत संयोग है कि इन दो फिल्मो “आनंद” और “नमक हराम” में दोनों ने साथ काम किया. आनंद एक कालजयी फ़िल्म बन के उभरी. आनंद तो अमर हुआ ही पर बाबु मोशाय भी कभी ना मरने वाली लोकप्रियता को प्राप्त हो चला. आनंद उपनिषद् के इस सत्य को प्रतिपादित करता था कि इंसान कभी नहीं मरता है. मौत एक तमाशा है जिसमे आत्मा को नए कपडे लत्ते मिल जाते है. इस भाव को राजेश खन्ना ने अद्भुत तरीके से परदे पे प्रस्तुत किया.
राजेश खन्ना के एक्टिंग में एक ख़ास तरीकें की नाटकीयता थी मगर जब कभी सधा हुआ अभिनय करने का मौका मिला उन्होंने कर दिखाया. शुरुआती दौर में नंदा के साथ आई यश चोपड़ा की “इत्तेफाक” इस बात की पुष्टि करती है. खैर अमर प्रेम, कटी पतंग, कुदरत, सौतन, थोड़ी सी बेवफाई, अवतार, डोली, रोटी और आन मिलो सजना इनकी कुछ उल्लेखनीय फिल्मे है. इनकी सफलता के बारे में बात करना और किशोर कुमार, आर डी बर्मन, मजरूह, आनंद बक्षी, एस डी बर्मन, लक्ष्मीकांत प्यारेलाल, कल्यानजी आनंदजी, हेमंत कुमार और खैय्याम इत्यादि का जिक्र ना करना मतलब दाल में से नमक का गायब कर देना है. किशोर कुमार ने ही रूमानियत के सुपरस्टार राजेश खन्ना और यंग्री यंग मैन अमिताभ को वो दर्जा दिलवाया जो किसी के लिए दुर्लभ होता है. किशोर कुमार के चले जाने के बाद ये दोनों धडाम से नीचे आ गिरे. सोचिये अगर किशोर ना होते तो “मेरे सपनो की रानी” कहा से आती इस शानदार तरीके सें ? सोचिये अगर ”ओ मेरे दिल के चैन” के चैन किशोर ना होते तो क्या राजेश तनूजा को इम्प्रेस कभी कर पाते! और रोटी में गाया ये गीत “ये जो पब्लिक है ये सब जानती है” तो एक कालजयी मुहावरा ही बन गया. और इस फ़िल्म में किशोर कुमार का गोरे रंग पे कटाक्ष ” गोरे रंग पे ना इतना गुमान कर” सिर्फ मुमताज़ पर ही नहीं सिमट के रह गया वरन इस गीत के बाद भारत में पैदा हुई हर गोरी लड़की के व्यक्तित्व को बेधता चला गया.
खैर ईश्वर इनकी आत्मा को शांति प्रदान करे. कहते है जाने वाले कभी लौट के नहीं आते. सिर्फ इनकी याद रह जाती है. सही बात है ” कुछ लोग जो बिछुड़ जाते है वो हजारो के आने से मिलते नहीं“. पर “आनंद” कभी मरते नहीं बस इसी रंगमंच पर रूप बदल के आ जाते है और ये बोध इस दुःख में एक मुस्कान की लहर तो पैदा ही कर देता है. पुनर्मिलन की उम्मीद तो बंधा ही देता है.
मेरे कुछ पसंदीदा गीत राजेश खन्ना पे फिल्माए हुए:
१. मेरे नैना सावन भादो ( मेहबूबा)
२. कुछ तो लोग कहेंगे (अमर प्रेम)
३. जिंदगी प्यार का गीत है (सौतन)
४. हज़ार राहे मुड़ के देखी (थोड़ी से बेवफाई)
५. वादा तेरा वादा (दुश्मन)
६. सजना साथ निभाना (डोली)
७. प्यार दीवाना होता है ( कटी पतंग)
८. ये रेशमी जुल्फे ( दो रास्ते)
९. जीवन से भरी तेरी आँखें (सफ़र)
१०. जुबान पे दर्द भरी दास्ताँ( मर्यादा)
११. वो शाम कुछ अजीब थी (खामोशी)
१२. यूँ ही तुम मुझसे बात करती हो (सच्चा झूठा)
१३. मेरे दिल में आज क्या है (दाग)
१४. कही दूर जब दिन ढल जाए (आनंद)
१५. जिंदगी एक सफ़र है सुहाना (अंदाज़)
I must confess that I am Hindi songs addict! I am not at all ashamed to reveal this great truth. One reason why Hindi movie songs come to stir the emotions so often is because they are based on elements defining Indian classical music. The raga and tal employed often connects us with newer plane of consciousness. In this very land, the various forms of art are ways to explore and establish our connection with the Absolute. So we can see that some addictions are good.
Listen to the “Mere Naina Sawan Bhado ” moulded in Raga Shivaranjini. It immediately makes you get lost in a strange unknown realm of a mysterious world. Listen Talat singing ” Aye Dil Mujhe Aise Jagah Le Chal”(Arzoo) and you get transported to a world embedded in total silence.
A sincere lover of Indian movie songs would also take note of the picturization of these songs. The geniuses like Gurudutt, Raj Kapoor , Vijay Anand and Manoj Kumar, to name few, had mastered the art of perfect picturization. The dream sequence songs like “Hum apki aankho me ” (Pyasa) and ” Ghar Aaya Mera Pardesi” (Awara) epitomizes song picturization. Even ”Pal Pal Dil Ke Pass ” from movie ‘Blackmail’ is a treat for the eyes. One interested in knowing how to use light and shade needs to watch “Saqiya Aaj Mujhe Neend Nahi Ayegi” (Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam).
One thing more. We always tend to ignore and downsize the contributions of music directors and lyricists. The lyricist is the most unfortunate creature in terms of eliciting credit. Anyway, Shailendra, Sahir, Shakeel, Indeevar, Rajendra Krishn and Pradeep would never get lost into oblivion. The composers like Shankar-Jaikishen, SD Burman, Ravi, Kalyanji Anandji, OP Naiyyar, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and RD Burman would continue to keep providing few moments of bliss in the world gone to the dogs.
It’s time to sing for Hindi songs “Chura Liya Hai Jo Tumne Dil Ko,Nazar Nahi Churana Sanam!”( You have stolen my heart and so never ignore me) .