His debut song was ‘marne ki duaein ki mangu…jine ki tamanna kaun kare…’ and the film was Dev Anand stater ‘Ziddi’ (1948). Yes, we are talking of none other than Kishore Kumar, Rest is history. A multifaceted talent – from acting to singing and later taking to direction.
Kishore Kumar shared a very special relationship with Satyajit Ray. He used to call him Manik Mama since Ray was the mama (uncle) to his first wife, also an accomplished singer and actor, Ruma Guhathakurta. Infact, when ever Saatyajit Ray would visit Mumbai then Bombay, Kumar would receive him. Not many know that the singer had extended cooperation to Satyajit Ray who ran into financial trouble during the making of his film Pather Panchali. Kishore reportedly helped the former with Rs 5000.
For Bengali listeners, Rabindra Sangeet (Tagore songs), is a an indelible part of life. The Rabindrasangeet sung by Kishore Kumar have a different appeal and expression. His mesmerizing voice added a freshness to the cult songs. Great Master Satyajit Ray, in the documentary, ‘Zindagi Ka Safar’, directed by Sandip Ray (Babuda), said, Kishore Kumar meant ultimate when it came to Rabindra Sangeet for him. Ray recalled the memories of Charulata (1957), and Ghare Baire (1987). “In both the films, Charulata where he sang one song and Ghare Baire where he sang three songs, he did not charge any money…he did it for free. I just wanted to share the relationship he shared with me…”, said Satyajit Ray who recalled Kishore Kumar sang all the songs for him free.
Kishore Kumar sung numerous Bengali songs both for films and private albums. Subsequently, he recorded in various languages like Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil. Along with that, he learned many regional languages; those are Marathi, Gujarati, Assamese, Malayalam, Oriya, and Kannada. He has also sung various songs in these regional languages.
Kishore Kumar sang Rabindrasangeet in Satyajit Ray’s cinema:
‘aami chini go chini tomaare… ogo bideshini…’ in Charulata.
He sang four songs in Ghare Baire
1) bujhte nari nari ki chai…
2) chol re chol shob bhart shontan…
3) bidhir baadhon kaatbe tumi …
Well, mammoth personality like Kishore Kumar cannot be summed up in few lines. It will require more space. Satyajit Ray, himself wanted to cast Kishore Kumar in numerous films including in the iconic character of ‘Goopi’ in classic ‘Goopi Gyne, Bagha Byne…’ but Kumar could not spare time as he was doing multiple shifts recording songs for films.
Will key-in exclusive story on Satyajit Ray and his desire to cast Kishore Kumar in his films.
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