89th birth anniversary of a gem in Indian cinema: Kishore Kumar

Anagha  Telang

Born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly on 4 August,1929, the legendary singer Kishore Kumar with his versatility and experiments made his place in the Hindi Film industry. This multi talented personality was a singer, actor, composer, lyrics writer, director producer and scrip writer.

Early Life
He was born in Madhya Pradesh in a small place called Khandwa. He was born in a Bengali family as the third child to his parents Kunjilal Ganguly and Gauri Devi.His father was a lawyer by profession and both his brothers Ashok Kumar & Anoop Kumar were actors. 

Musical Journey
After his brother became an actor Ganguly family started visiting Mumbai regularly. Abhas changed his name to Kishore and developed a keen interest in music. He use to mimic the famous singer K.L. Saigal. He never received any formal training in music but aspired to become a famous singer. Once the renowned composer S.D. Burman visited Ashok Kumar and heard Kishore singing. He actually thought it was Saigal who was singing and then discovered Kishore's talent. Burman encouraged Kishore to polish his voice and also develop a style of his own. This advice helped Kishore to succeed in bollywood. The first blockbuster song he sang was "Mere Sapno ki Raani" from the movie "Aradhnaa".

Film Career
Kishore was also a wonderful actor and acted in around 87 movies.
Few of his famous films as an actor are:

  • Badhti Ka Naam Daadi (1974
  • Door Ka Raahi (1971)
  • Padosan (1968)
  • Shrimanji (1968)
  • Mr X in Bombay (1964)
  • Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein (1964)
  • Half-Ticket (1962)
  • Jhumroo (1961)
  • Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)
  • Dilli Ka Thug (1958)
  • Musafir (1957)
  • New Delhi (1956)
  • Naukri (1954)
  • Andolan (1951)
  • Shikari (1946)

Personal Life

Kishore Kumar married four times. His first wife was Bengali singer and actress Ruma Guha Thakurta aka Ruma Ghosh. Their marriage lasted from 1950 to 1958.  
His second wife was actress Madhubala, who had worked with him in many films.  When Kumar proposed to her, Madhubala was ill and was planning to go to London for treatment. The couple had a civil wedding in 1960 and Kishore Kumar converted to Islam and reportedly changed his name to Karim Abdul. His parents refused to attend the ceremony. The couple also had a Hindu ceremony to please Kumar's parents, but Madhubala was never truly accepted as his wife. Within a month of their wedding, she moved back to her bungalow in Bandra because of tension in the Kumar household. They remained married, but under great strain for the remainder of Madhubala's life. Their marriage ended with Madhubala's death on 23 February 1969.
Kishore's third marriage was to Yogeeta Bali, and lasted from 1976 to 4 August 1978. Kishore was married to Leena Chandavarkar from 1980 until his death. He had two sons, Amit Kumar with Ruma, and Sumit Kumar with Leena Chandavarkar. His fourth wife was Leena Chandavarkar, who he lived with, until his death.

Film Fare awards:
  • 1970  "Roop Tera Mastana"  Aradhana
  • 1976  "Dil Aisa Kisi Ne Mera"  Amanush
  • 1979  "Khaike Paan Banaras Wala" Don
  • 1981  "Hazaar Raahen Mudke Dekheen"  Thodisi Bewafai
  • 1983  "Pag Ghungroo Baandh" Namak  Halaal
  • 1984  "Agar Tum Na Hote"  Agar Tum Na Hote
  • 1985  "Manzilein Apni Jagah Hain"  Sharaabi
  • 1986  "Saagar Kinaare"  Saagar

Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards:
1971 - Best Male Playback Singer for Aradhana
1972 - Best Male Playback Singer for Andaz
1973 - Best Male Playback Singer for Hare Rama Hare Krishna
1975 - Best Male Playback Singer for Kora Kagaz

Famous Songs

He sang almost 1500 songs in Hindi all of them unique and different in their own way. Few of his legendary songs are:

  • Aanewala Pal (Gol Maal)
  •  Koi Hota Jisko Apna (Mere Apne)
  • Mere Sapno Ki Rani (Aradhana)
  • O Saathi Re (Muqaddar Ka Sikandar)
  • Chingari Koi Bhadke (Amar Prem
  • Kuch Toh Log Kahenge (Amar Prem)
  • Yeh Kya Hua (Amar Prem)
  • Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi (Mr X in Bombay)
  • Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas (Blackmail)
  • Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi)
  • Aake Seedhi Lagi (Half Ticket)
  • Humein Tumse Pyaar Kitna (Kudrat)
  • Gaata Rahe Mera Dil (Guide)
  • Yeh Shaam Mastani (Kati Patang)
  • Roop Tera Mastana (Aradhana)
  • O Hansini (Zehreela Insaan)
  • Rim Jhim Gire Sawan (Manzil)
  • Zindagi Ke Safar Mein (Aap Ki Kasam)
  • Jai Jai Shiv Shankar (Aap Ki Kasam)
  • Tere Mere Milan Ki (Abhimaan)
  • Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana (Andaz)
  • Meri Pyaari Bindu (Padosan)
  • Diye Jalte Hai (Namak Haraam)
  • Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se (Ajnabee)
  • Tere Jaisa Yaar Kahaan (Yaarana)
  • Apni Toh Jaise Taise (Laawaris)
  • Dil Kya Kare (Julie)
  • Mere Saamne Wali Khidki Mein (Padosan)
  • Ek Chatur Naari (Padosan)
  • Chala Jaata Hoon (Mere Jeevan Saathi)
  • Jaane Jaan Dhoondta Phir Raha (Jawaani Deewani)
  • Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa (Aandhi)

Youth Connects

Anshita Tripathi
Voice which takes me on a ride of emotions, romance ,fun is of Kishore Kumar. He be the one who has a lot of variations in his voice. Listening to his voice has always been a great pleasure. He was a versatile personality with lots of creativity. We are celebrating his birthday, here I feel blessed remembering his contribution.

Suyash Bhatt

He was the most versatile singer as he used to mimic different kind voices like of birds, trains and much more things in his songs. He made evergreen and playful songs. He was born in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh which connects me to him as I also belong to a musical family in MP and despite being a celebrity he was a very good human being.

Anamika Bharti
Thanks to the internet, that we have access to all the music across the world. Kishore Kumar was and is still an alive legend in everyone's heart. His golden voice made us fall in love with romantic ones and at the same time made us dace with his peppy tracks. It does make one wonder how a singer who began his career way back in 1946, continues to be listener's favorite even today. There is some aura of magic in his music because of which he is still everyone's favorite.

Swapnil Shashank
This year we are celebrating his 89th birth anniversary. According to me, there is no one who has ever been like kishore kumar and nobody ever will be like him. He was the one who used to put exact emotions of the film's scene in his songs. He was a versatile singer who had made joyful songs and emotional songs also. All these qualities make him a great person. His song 'Ye Dil Na Hota Bechara' from the film Jewel Thief is my favorite song. His delightful and jovial style of singing has made youth his fan. With his evergreen songs he will always be remembered.

Aadarsh Gautam
My father loves to listen Kishore Kumar’s songs since his childhood and he used to ask me listen him too. Later my destiny took me to Khandwa which is his birthplace. As he was no more and I cannot meet him there I got an opportunity to visit his Samadhi, which inspired me. 

When his popularity began to diminish during mid 80's, he retired and wanted to return back to Khandwa, his native place. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. On October 13th 1987, co-incidentally the birthday of his elder brother Ashok Kumar, Kishore suffered a heart attack and breathed his last.

After so many years of his death Indian Cinema is not able find a versatile and multi talented personality like Kishore Kumar.  

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  1. Wow it's amazing to get to know about the legend.amazing research