Kishore Kumar

  Hindi Film     Producer, Main Lead, Supporting Actor, Director, Music Director, Lyricist, Singer, Story Writer, Screenplay    04 Aug 1929

Kishore Kumar was ‘One man industry’ Kishore Kumar the vocal acrobat was an unconventional personality. A unique inimitable character who was virtually a ‘one man industry’. From a singer to an actor, director, producer, music director, story writer, lyric writer, editor and distributor as well! All rolled into one. He was in fact the only second person to handle so many departments of filmmaking after the ‘Father of Indian Cinema’ Shri Dada Sahib Phalke.
Born on   4 August 1929
Screen Name/ Original Name   Kishore Kumar Abhas Kumar Ganguly  
Parents   Kunjalal Ganguly ( Lawyer) Gouri Devi  
Siblings   Ashok Kumar (Famous Bollywood actor/ Filmmaker) Sati Devi (sister – Married to famous S. Mukherjee filmmaker) Anoop Kumar (Comedian)  
Spouse   Ruma Guha Thakurta aka Ruma Devi (Bengali film actress) Madhubala (Bollywood actress) Yogita Bali (Bollywood actress) Leena Chandavarkar (Bollywood actress)  
Children   Two Sons - 1)     Famous Singer Amit Kumar from Ruma Devi 2)    Sumit Kumar from Leena Chandavarkar.
Early Life   Born with hoarse voice but aspired to be Singer   Kishore Kumar who became immortal for singing was actually born with a hoarse voice but aspired to become a singer like the legendary K.L. Saigal. His elder brother Bollywood actor Ashok Kumar mocked him and advised to refine his voice.   One day when young Kishore was playing; he accidently cut his toe from a sharp house knife. Unable to bear the pain he began crying and did not stop despite all efforts to cajole him. He cried for 6-7 yours and when he did stop there was a miracle. Suddenly the hoarseness in voice had disappeared and his voice surprisingly became mellifluous.   After this incident his father began encouraging him by rewarding a 4 anna for singing a good song from Ashok Kumar’s film and a rupee for singing a K.L. Saigal song brilliantly.  
Personal Life   Married four times but love eluded him   Though it is true Kishore Kumar married four times but he could never find real love.    His first marriage to Ruma Devi was a love marriage and Kishore Kumar had tied nuptial knot by eloping. The family was against the marriage.  It was S.D.Burman who blessed the couple but ego clashes erupted as both were celebrities and the marriage ended in divorce.   He married Madhubala after she was let down in love by Dilip Kumar. The two came close but no sooner they tied the nuptial knot Madhubala was detected with a hole in heart and was rushed to America for treatment. She died soon after retuning.   His third marriage with Yogita Bali was too short lived as Yogita Bali was attracted to the young and handsome Mithun Chakraborty and the marriage ended in divorce.   His fourth marriage with Leena Chandavarka lasted just for seven years as Kishore bid adieu from this world.   Thus his entire life he sought love but it kept eluding him.  
Career     Run away to Mumbai to meet his idol singer K.L.Saigal   Kishore Kumar’s only ambition in life was to become the greatest singer of India. Day in and day out he used to sing songs of his idol, the famous K.L. Sehgal and dream of becoming the top singer.   After completing his education he ran away to Mumbai aspiring to meet his idol K.L.Saigal. Since his brother Ashok Kumar was already a star Kishore kept pestering Ashok Kumar to help him in meeting Saigal but Ashok Kumar was a huge star and was very busy. Nevertheless he promised Kishore that he will arrange a meeting but alas before he could find time Saigal had left the world.    Rejected as singer; accepted as actor   Ironically Kishore Kumar who aspired to be a singer was rejected as a singer and music directors’ kicked him out as an ‘imitator’ of K.L. Saigal.   Interestingly while Kishore was discarded as  singer he was accepted as an actor. His first movie as an actor was Bombay TalkiesMuqaddar’ in which he had a minor role. In the following year in 1953 he was cast as a hero in ‘Andolan’ directed by Phani Majumdar. But his rear break came when he starred in A.V.M.’s ‘Ladki’ opposite big stars like Vyjantimala and Bharat Bhushan. In 1954 he established himself as a star with movies like ‘Adhikar’, Ilzam, and Bimal Roy’s ‘Naukri’ becoming big hits.   Becomes the ‘Most sought after star in the 50’   In fact during 55’ and 56’ he was the most sought after actor. Movies like ‘Delhi Ka Thug’, ‘New Delhi’ ‘Shararat’ ‘Aasha’, ‘Bhai-Bhai’ etc. celebrated silver jubilees. During this period he acted with almost all the leading actresses of that time from Meena Kumari ( Shararat) ; Nimmi ( Char Paisa) ; Madhubala ( Chalti Ka Namm Gadi) ; Nutan ( Delhi Ka Thug); Vyjantimala ( New Delhi) ; Anita Guha ( Chacha Zindabad); Shashikala ( Krorepati) etc.   Turns filmmaker and produces greatest comedy of Indian Cinema After striking a fortune as a star Kishore Kumar decided to turn filmmaker and produced Indian Cinema’s all time great comedy Chalti Ka Naam Gadi (1958).  The movie was a runaway hit and remains as a best comedy in the annals of Hindi Cinema. After the success of this movie, Kishore Kumar tried few more movies like ‘Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Main’, ‘Door Ka Rahi’ etc. but they failed miserably. Also on the other hand his acting career got a setback with movies like, ‘Mem Sahab’, ‘Dal Mein Kala’ ‘ Albela Mastana’ ‘Duniya Nachegi’ ‘ Shreeman Fantosh’ etc. failing at the box office.     S.D. Burman recognizes Kishore Kumar’s singing talent   The music director who gave Kishore Kumar his first break was  Khemchand Prakash. The song was Marne ki duayen kyun maangoon… for the film Ziddi (1948). Kishore had sung this in the typical K.L.Saigal style. Both the song and the film were hit but Kishore Kumar was not noticed. He had to struggle as a singer.   He would sit at home and practice Saigal’s song on the piano in the house. One day music director S.D. Burman happed to visit his house to meet Ashok Kumar. While the two were involved discussing a tune for their upcoming film, Burman da was disturbed by a Saigal song coming out from inside a room. He felt the song was being played on ‘Radio’ hence he asked Ashok Kumar to switch off the radio. But  informed the song was not being played on radio but his younger brother Kishore Kumar was singing on piano.   Stunned by Kishore’s voice Burmanda hugged him and later offered him his first song under his music direction in the film Bahaar (1951), The song is Qusoor aapka huzoor aapka … The song was a great success.   After this duo gave a chain of hits like   Dukhi man mere sun mera kahna from Funtoosh (1956), Hum hai rahi pyar ke from Nau Do Gyarah (1957), Ek ladki bheegi bhagi si from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) etc. And of course the super duper hit  song Roop Tera Mastana in Aradhana (1969) that fetched Kishore Kumar his First Filmfare award as Best Male Playback Singer.    
Awards   Filmfare Awards Best Male Playback Singer –   1969 - - Aradhana - Roop Tera Mastana 1975 - - Amanush - Dil Aisa Kisi Ne Mera Toda 1978 - - Don - Khaike Paan Banaras Wala 1980 - - Thodisi Bewafaii - Hazar Raahen Mud Ke Dekhin 1982 - - Namak Halaal - Pag Ghunghroo Baandh 1983 - - Agar Tum Na Hote - Agar Tum Na Hote (Male) 1984 - - Sharaabi - Manzilen Apni Jagah Hain 1985 - - Saagar - Saagar Kinare Dil Yeh Pukare  
Other works   He was a good music director and gave hit songs like Main Hoon Jhum-Jhum-Jhum Jhumroo (Jhumroo) ; Thandi Hawa Yeh Chaandani Suhani (Jhumroo) Koi Lauta De Mere Bete Huye Din ( Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Men) Aa Chalke Tujhe Main Leke Chalun ( Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Men)  


The combination of Kishore Kumar  and Rajesh Khanna was truly milestone   Though Dev Anand was the first actor to trust Kishore Kumar’s singing capability and the duo gave many hit songs like Jeevan Ke Safar Mein Rahi’ (Munimji), Gaata Rahe Mera Dil… (Guide), Khwab ho tum ya koi haqeeqat.. (Teen Deviyan), Chod Do Anchal Zamana Kya Kahega.. (Nau Do Gyarah), Ye dil na hota bechara… (Jewel Thief) etc but the combination of Kishore Kumar and Superstar Rajesh Khanna was truly milestone because it created the immortal Jodi on the lines of Mukesh for Raj Kapoor and Mohd. Rafi for Shammi Kapoor!   Further for Rajesh Khanna, Kishore Kumar fetched three Filmfare awards Roop Tera Mastana…(Aradhana); Hazar Raahen Mud Ke Dekhin (Thodisi Bewafaii) and Hamein aur jeene ki chaahat na hoti.. (Agar Tum Na Hote).   Among the many super hit songs the duo shared include remarkable numbers like Zindagi ka safar…., Chingari koi bahadake….,Kuch to log kahenge…, Who Shyam kuch ajeeb, Jeevan se bhari teri akhene …  The list is long   In short with Rajesh Khanna, Kishore Kumar could actually fulfill his long cherished dream of becoming a singer in ‘real sense’!      Death On October 13, 1987. Kishore Kumar died due to massive heart attack. He was just 58 years!!!

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