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?