Crazy for Kishore

I come from a family where Bollywood songs were a part of our everyday lives. And so we would hear stories about the singers, actors and actresses of all time during meal time conversations, or when we were listening to the radio or casettes that we bought and played on our tape recorder.

During my teens I developed great love and adoration for Kishore Kumar. In fact, we had one cassette named ‘The Fun Songs of Kishore Kumar’, and I’d listen to it over and over, marveling, laughing and simply enjoying the lyrics, music and Kishore’s outstanding rendition of the songs. Some would be solos, and some duets, some would be filled with dialogues, and some impossible for any other human being to replicate. I mean, have you heard him yodeling? From Jhumroo and Half Ticket to Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and lesser known songs like Dheere Se Jaana Khatiyan mein from Chhupa Rustam and Tune Abhi Dekha Nahin from Do Aur Do Paanch, they were each fun and unique in their own way! Yeah… I can rattle off that last one even today. And God knows that in my high school days at Calcutta, I’d always be singing Khaike Paan Banaraswala, Aake Seedhi Lagi Dil Pe , Bindu re Bindu and Ek Chatur Naar.

It isn’t just his music, but his life was also talked about at home. How he died young, how he had multiple marriages, how vivacious and hyper he was in the movies of the 50s in which he acted. The movie ‘Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi’ stood out in terms of discussions about the comedy, the 3 brothers being in it, the dialogues, and the super famous songs ‘Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si’, ‘ Paanch Rupaiya Barah Aana’, ‘Haal Kaisa Hai Janab Ka’, ‘Hume the woh thi’ and ‘Babu samjho ishare’! We had a tape with dialogues and songs in it, so we felt we’d watched the movie, even though we hadn’t for very long!

Later I started knowing how Kishore sang for Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, and liked songs like Mere Sapnon Ki Rani, Dilbar Mere, Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, O Mere Dil Ke Chain, Meri Bheegi Bheegi Si, Sagar jaisi Aankhon wali, Pal Bhar Ke Liye, Kanchi re kanchi re, and so many many more. Deep songs like Zindagi ke safar mein from Aap ki kasam and Kuch toh log kahenge were next, as I was growing older and wiser and learning about life.

I had this other cassette with Asha Bhonsle Kishore Kumar hits and this was a huge favourite! They were simply great together -whether it was Haal Kaisa Hai, O Saathi Chal, Jaane jaan dhoondta phir raha, Suniye Kahiye, Aaj Rapat Jayein and many more.

And the whole reason I’m so excited about Kishore all over again now is that we introduced Kishore Kumar songs to our little girls. And they now know songs from Half Ticket and Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi almost byheart! And were laughing their silly sides out with C-A-T Cat, Cat maane billi. I almost felt like its a legacy I’m passing on and was so incredibly happy doing this.

So now, Alexa, or our car player belts out songs from the 50s, 60s and 70s too and the kids are open to it. They sing along, or ask questions, as the hubby and I are busy admiring the songs, singing along ourselves. I will put this down as an achievement of the lockdown! My little kids know about the magnificence of Kishore Kumar!