12 October 2012
The singer lives on through his songs even after 25 years. By Sudipta Chanda, Rajdeep Mukherjee and Biswajit Sarkar
The servants of Gourikunj once promised a woman a break in the film industry but the owners of the house were kept in the dark about their conversation. A month later, they came to know about the incident and were, obviously, furious, especially the elder brother. But Kishore Kumar came to the rescue. Besides blood, connecting the two brothers is the date 13 October; while Ashok was born on that day, Kishore left us.
Mili Bhattacharya, a close friend of RD Burman and Badal Bhattacharya’s wife, says, “We were traveling by train and Ashaji was with us. Kishoreda was looking out of the window and suddenly saw some farmers tilling land. He started to shout, ‘I love you my friends.’” The man was unpredictable!
His son, Amit Kumar, recalls Kishore, the composer. “This happened while recording the songs for one of his unreleased films, Pyaar Ajnabi Hai. After recording the title track, the musicians were about to leave. My father told his secretary not to pay them immediately because he had just thought of another tune. He composed and recorded the song on the spot.” The song was Junoon-e-Ishq Kya, penned by Yogesh.
Alka Yagnik, who was lucky enough to record a few songs with the legendary singer, says, “After recording a song with him I came to know that his car had broken down. I asked if he would like to travel with me. He agreed. My mom was driving the car and I was seated in front. He chatted all the way home.”
Lalit Pandit also remembers the singer. “He was a friendly soul. All my brothers and sisters were close to him. My eldest sister, Sulakhsana Pandit, rendered Beqaarar Dil Tu Gaaye Ja in Door Ka Rahi under his baton.”
Singer Abhijeet was also lucky to record a few songs with Kumar for Anand Aur Anand under RD Burman’s baton. He says, “Initially, I was a bit nervous. Finally, I rendered all my lines with force. I thought this would make me sound manly. After the recording was over I found that his soft rendition dominated the track. He was a genius.”
Leena Chandavarkar says, “This was on 13 October 1987. He told Dadamoni that a big birthday party had been planned. Dadamoni arrived at our place and when he found Kishore was missing, he thought the singer was playing a prank. When the truth was out Dadamoni said that Kishore gifted his life to him.”
Actress Supriya Devi, who had acted opposite Kumar in Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein, says, “Kishoreji was full of life. Even Uttam Kumar had a soft spot for him.”
And the final word comes from Amit Kumar. “I was abroad for my show when I was given the sad news. But such is life. No one is immortal. His will continue to live through his music.”