Today in the morning when I opened google’s search page, I saw a very familiar face. It was of my Kishore Kumar. Google has published a doodle marking the 85th birthday of the legend. I am like millions in India and across world who know this man as arguably the best playback singer of Indian cinema. He was a singer, a song writer, a composer, a music director, actor, producer, writer and director. You name it and this man has done it. Such was the versatility of this man that none other in Indian cinema and possibly world cinema has ever equalled.
For me Kishore was more than a legend. He was a guiding force behind my personality, my childhood and even now as I am a grown man. He still lives in me. My mom said when I was a child, whenever ‘Mere naina sawan bhado’ use to play in the radio, I use to go running towards the place from were the sound use to come. The song stays with me as one of the most romantic and nostalgic songs of all times. It had a haunting melody and a certain spookiness which I believe triggered my subconscious memory from my previous lifeJ.
Another song which I fondly remember is ‘Aaa chalk e tughe’. This song is like a lighthouse, a guiding torch. It is a about a father caring about his child. The song is written, composed and sung by Kishore. It is a very easy song to sing and I normally sing it to my daughter years after I have stopped practising music. This song also features his real life son Amit Kumar. It is still so refreshing and brings back good memory of my childhood. My daughter try to sing it with me and I just love it.
When I was in college the song which I could sing in any party was ‘Thandi hawa ye chandni suhani’. It is an excellent song to listen while driving also. The Yodeling (modulation of voice done by Kishore) in this song was special and though to copy but at that time I could do it. It features the romantic couple of Kishore and Madhubala who later were married to each other for some time till Madhubala died. Another song featuring the same pair ‘Ek ladki bhigi bhagi si’ also features as one of my favorites romantic songs.
Though it is a sad song but Anamika holds a special place in my list. I did not sing this song publically much but sometimes when I use to copy Kishore’s voice like many do, this song got me closest to emulating his voice. People who have heard me sing this song found it difficult to distinguish especially on a microphone.
The day Kishore Kumar passed away was like a national mourning. I still remember crying that day when I heard the news. I was very young but probably I know and felt that the man who gave me such wonderful songs, movies, time and memories is no more and there will be none who will ever equal him. There are thousands of songs Kishore has sung in his lifetime but the once which I mentioned are few of them which stayed with me and now defines me.
Kishore was, is and will remain a legend, he had given his voice to many of the leading men of silver screen of his times. I am not a Hero but for me he was my voice and remain forever.