Kishore Kumar: The genius who created stars through his voice

By Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial

Today being the 25th death anniversary of Kishore Kumar and there always is a debate among the critics and the fans whether Kishore Kumar can be termed as a real singer as he was not at all aware about the classical singing, a requiem in the days when he made his debut, it would be instructive to point out the fact that he was the only male playback singer who in his illustrious career won best singer award by Filmfare for 8 years.

The aura of his voice lay in the fact that he had amazing dexterity to play with the nodes of the sound, and he was really a Baul singer, who could always give the songs his own interpretations, either through his mindless yodeling or through the rhyming verses made of words that otherwise do not have any meaning. The fan following that Kishore Kumar had, inspite of all the oddities that he was supposed to exhibit was owing to the fact that he did not allow the innocence of the child to die in his heart, though he grew up, and it was this childlike innocence that gave his voice the element of immortality which no other singer has been able to achieve.

If Dev Anand could maintain his aura of always young at heart, it was a Kishore Kumar's voice that served as the catalyst to do so, when for the first time he sang for Dev Anand in a 1952 song, 'Khalli peeli kahe ko akhkha din baith ke bom marta', and in this film Kishore Kumar had also acted along with Dev Anand. It would be instructive however to inform the fans of Kishore Kumar that in the early fifties Kishore Kumar was not the preferred voice for Dev Anand as he did not have supposed nuance of classical music, but two songs of FUNTOOSH, 'Ae meri topi palat ke aa' and 'Dukhi' man mere, changed the destiny and Kishore Kumar became his voice. It is also instructive to point out that the entry of Kishore Kumar with aplomb in the NavKetan camp was owing to Pancham Da who was instrumental in giving him the song- 'khwab ho tum ya koi haqeeqat' from NAU DO GYARAH and with Pancham on Harmonica Kishore Da just created a gem. Same was the case with arre yaar meri- which again is an amazing combination of harmonica and the vocal outreach of Kishore Da. After this Kishore Kumar never looked back.

The phenomenon called Rajesh Khanna would never have reached those dizzying heights were it not for the fact that Kishore Da became his voice. Big B on the eve of celebrating his 70th birthday had also gone on record to claim that SHARAABI is one of the films closest to his heart, and one cannot have any two views that the voice of Kishore Kumar made songs of SHARAABI what they are, be it - 'Log Kehte hain Main sharabi hoon, jahan char yaar mil jaye or Manzile apnee jagah hain raaste apnee jagah'.

Rap as a form of music is in rage, but Kishore Kumar sang a rap way back in early sixties- 'cat cat cat mane billi', and he would probably be the only singer who could sing a song both in male and female voice - 'aake tirchi giri dil pe bijuria' from the film DILLI KA THUG. Kishore Kumar was also one of the finest composers evident from the music that he gave in films like JHUMROO, DOOR GAGAN KEE CHHAON MEIN etc. Kishore Kumar may have decided wisely to continue with the playback and keep the music direction at backstage, as he could sense that in the era in which he was carving his niche, competition in singing arena was less as that compared to composing.

Music may have been orphaned by his physical absence, it continues to get more enriched through the rich oeuvre of songs that he has left behind and as long as romance is their Kishore Kumar would continue to create flutter in the hearts across generations.

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