There can never be another Kishore Kumar in the Hindi music industry. Passion, intriguing and mysterious voice that possess and enraptures the soul. The pain, madness, frolick is something that only Kishore-Da can do. He made us believe in the unbelievable that make singing the muse and music the love. He made stars, like Amit-Sir (Amitabh Bachchan) said on Twitter yesterday. The sheer simplicity in the divine voice keeps enthralling music lovers as we get swayed to a nameless soul that lurks somewhere or the voice of God, it’s Kishore-da.
I do not belong to the generation of Kishore Kumar who would turn 87 today but he won the heart to become my all-time favorite singer. Whenever, I am in a depressed mood, I listen to his sentimental voice and the solace is that there is a huge collection of his songs on the laptop. As it is, YouTube is always there. Dad was a huge Kishore da fan and it’s only natural that I was inducted to this magical voice that possesses the mind, heart, and soul. I mean, there is no word to describe this intriguing magical voice that makes everything look beautiful or flawless, be it heartbreak or falling in love. I have quite a few favorite Kishore-da songs such as Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi from Mr X in Bombay is such a music gem that I can listen to countless number of times in a day. It makes me feel better.
Songs such as Diya Jalte hain from Namak Haram, Gadi Bula Rahi Hain in Dost, Kati Patang’s Kuch toh Log Kahenge in Amar Prem or Koi Lautade Mere Beete Hue din from Door Dagan ki Chaun became timeless anthem to celebrate the essence of life, a social critique to the world of gossip, an ode to friendship or the mad passion of life. It’s very tough to single out a favorite Kishore-da song since the man was in competition with himself and it’s an impossible task for both his contemporaries or the current lot to emulate him. He doesn’t belong to my generation and the songs I heard about him was during my childhood. Like Esha Mookherjee-Dutta was saying to me in a chat just now when we were discussing the man, a multi-faceted mad genius. It couldn’t be truer than that. Perhaps, the best definition of Kishoreda by Esha.
But, how do we define Kishore-da and what his songs mean to me? Kishore-da was a maverick and crazy soul which shows through his songs that can bring a halt to your life. There is something in the voice that makes him timeless and a cult. The soulful prose and sheer beauty where he added his own personal touch and magnetism to the beautiful lyrics, making it a treasure trove that you want to preserve forever. I am spending the whole day listening to his songs and it brings streams of tears to the eyes, wondering why they don’t make singers like him anymore. But, legends like Kishore-da comes once in a while and it wouldn’t be wrong to call him a ‘Yugpurush.’
I can just sit down and listen to his voice for the whole day and reminisce on life. The voice of Kishore-da makes life less painful and is an antidote to come to terms with things we cannot change in life. When you listen to Koi lautade mere beete hue din, it brings back a floodgate of emotions and memories you’ve left behind and it feels so vivid in the spur of the moment. The sheer power in the voice soothes the heart and brings a certain calmness, diluting the pain of those times you wished would come back in its form and frenzy.
The teasing and flirtatious tone in Roop tera Mastana, Zindagi ek safar hai Suhana, Yeh jo Mohabbat Hai, Haste Hue ate hain saab, Mere Saamne Khidki or yeh dil na hota bechara set the atmosphere and tone for playfulness. There are so much dignity and believability in his voice where he carries you into an unknown planet, making love such a beautiful emotion and flirting with the madness of the Monsoon, Rhim Ghim Gire Saawan.
The pure beauty in love where the heart knows no reason to sink deeper and losing all balance. O! Saathi re tere bina yeh kya jeena, meet na mila re mann ka, ek ajnabee haseena se, oh hansini, ek ladki bheegi bhaagi se or pal pal dil ke pass, humein tumse pyar kitna yeh hum nahin jante. Love is madness, pure ecstasy, and sheer passion. I am enamored by his sad songs that brings a sense of peace within and no matter how brow-beaten I am in life, songs like Zindagi ka safar, Koi Hota Jisko Apna saves the heart and mind from bleeding.
Oh! The yodeling…yodel-a-ae-yay in Mein Hum Jhum Jhum Jhumroo or Zindagi ek Safar hai suhana makes the heart dance with excitement and how! Kishore Kumar was crazy and mad. I remember the time I moved to Mumbai in 2006 when I was listening to Purani Jeans when RJ Kalindi spilled the beans during the special anniversary of Kishore da. It was during the lonely evenings at Marine Drive. Once, he sang for a film producer who refused to settle his dues and Kishore-da being Kishore-da landed in front of the former’s house at 4 a.m in the morning and started singing loudly to disturb the whole society. The producer had no choice but to wake up, gave him a signed cheque since Kishore da refused to leave till he was paid his dues.
I love his association with Pancham da where the two sheer genius sinking in madness came together to give lovers of Hindi music the most memorable and timeless hits. Hume aur Jeene ka Chahat Na Hota, Rim Jhim Gire Saawan, Diya Jalte Hai, Pyar Humein Kis Mor pe or Mere Naina Saawan Bhado or Tere Bina Zindagi se kya Shikwa.
From Dev Anand to Rajesh Khanna, Shashi Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt or Anil Kapoor, Kishore Kumar echoed the emotions of our biggest stars and the voice pitch incarnating their personas who are larger than life. Kishore da, himself, was larger than life who left the imprint of a creative genius dabbling in music, singing, acting and direction. No wonder, he is timeless and has carved a place in the heart of the new generation. There is no dearth of amazing singers in India but no one comes close to the aura and the spell of Kishore da. Many singers tried to do a reprise of his songs but they pale in comparison. What a tragedy that Amit Kumar didn’t really made it big for himself by following in his father’s footsteps!
In the age of Facebook, there are so many memes making waves. Today there is only one and it’s no meme: Be like Kishore Kumar. The sheer passion and madness he displayed in his short existence that made everyday worth living. You know why? There was none before him and can never be another Kishore Kumar that brought a nation together, reveling in joy, happiness , sadness with so much passion. No one comes close to him. Legends never die and the Kishore da aura, charismatic voice lives forever.
Zindagi ka safar hai yeh kaisa safar koi jaana nahin