Kishore Kumar, whose 91st birthday falls in the present day, eclipsed even his best contemporaries in Bollywood

Rohit Mahajan

Kishore Kumar’s voice, first recorded within the 1940s, is eternally youthful. He can be 91 in the present day, and practically 33 years have handed since he died, but his golden voice remains to be beloved — and presumably, as a consequence of streaming on cellphones, heard greater than ever earlier than.

Kishore Kumar’s voice is bewitching. He started with a nasal twang, singing Marne Ki Duayen (Ziddi, 1948) as a teen in his idol KL Saigal’s type; he got here to his personal within the 1950s, with presumably probably the most youthful model of his voice, as in Jeevan Ke Safar Mein Raahi (Munimji, 1955) or Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (Nau Do Gyarah, 1950) or Ik Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, 1958).

He acquired a deep base as he aged — or maybe started to make use of it extra when he began singing for actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha, Shashi Kapoor and Sunil Dutt within the 1970s. Yet, he may all the time return to the softest model of his voice, even in his late 50s — pattern Tanha Mein Akela from Sachche Ka Bolbala, launched in 1989, two years after he died at age 58.

From the guts

Just what’s it about Kishore Kumar’s voice that makes it — to his followers no less than — probably the most highly effective, most touching voice that was featured in Hindi films? The reply is easy: His is the voice of youth; youth relate with it, older folks need to relate with it.

He sang with out gimmickry — no advanced taans or murkis or harkats — simply singing from the guts, every phrase sang with readability, voice matched with the burden of the phrase. It expressed unhappiness with deep bass, relatively than high-pitched singing, which tends to show the male voice effeminate, weepy. His voice conveyed pathos with out shedding masculinity.

It was endlessly youthful. This is how Kishore Kumar dominated, and guidelines.

Javed Akhtar, each a buddy and fan of Kishore Kumar, says that every time he sang with one other singer, it was Kishore’s voice that stood out — it is a typical fan’s remark and is debatable. But what cannot be debated with are numbers, which recommend that Kishore Kumar is the preferred singer among the many golden era of the Hindi movie singers. When folks used to purchase cassettes and CDs of songs, HMV used to promote extra Kishore Kumar music than that of the following three Hindi movie playback legends (Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle) mixed! 

If you now go by downloads on HMV’s web site, or variety of YouTube views, you’d discover that Kishore’s songs proceed to dominate.

Twin songs

What additionally cannot be debated is that when Kishore and one other singer sang the identical track, it was Kishore’s model that turned extra profitable. There are numerous such examples, starting within the 1950s with Qusoor Aapka Huzoor Aapka (Bahar, 1951; additionally sung by Shamshad Begum); Jeevan Ke Safar Mein Rahi (Munimji, 1955; additionally sung by Lata); Dil Dil Se Milakar Dekho (Mem Sahib, 1956; additionally sung by Asha Bhosle); Eena Meena Dika (Aasha, 1957; additionally sung by Asha Bhosle).

There had been many such songs within the 1960s too — Chhoti Si Yeh Duniya (Rangoli, 1962; additionally sung by Lata); Ajnabi Tum Jaane Pehchaane Se (Hum Sab Ustad Hain, 1965; additionally sung by Lata); Tum Bin Jaun Kahan (Pyar Ka Mausam, 1969; additionally sung by Rafi).

Kishore Kumar’s variations of those songs turned extra common than the opposite variations.

In such songs of the 1970s, too, Kishore’s model was and stays extra common. The most notable of those was Mere Naina Sawan Bhadon (Mehbooba, 1976; additionally sung by Lata), a troublesome, soulful composition primarily based on raga Shivranjani. For an untrained singer to outdo Lata is just superb — it additionally underscored that Kishore Kumar took his singing very, very critically, regardless of his loony behaviour. For him, the raga was only a title — he obtained RD Burman to vary the recording date in order that Lata’s model was recorded first; he then took a replica of Lata’s track and, observe by observe, dissected it, rehearsed it for no less than per week, and sang it completely — with out bothering to study concerning the raga or its notation.


Lata Mangeshkar

Lata’s model is ideal, too, however Kishore’s has an awesome infusion of feeling, coronary heart in it. You may say this additionally about two different such songs Kishore and Lata sang within the 1970s — Khilte Hain Gul Yahan (Sharmilee, 1971) and Rimjhim Girey Sawan (Manzil, 1979).


Lata Mangeshkar

A quantity from the 1980s that should be talked about is Humein Tumse Pyar Kitna (Kudrat, 1981) — the opposite singer is the peerless Parveen Sultana, the good classical singer who effortlessly takes her voice to an impossibly excessive pitch. The track, primarily based on Raag Bhairavi, is a superb instance of Kishore making a deeper mark together with his easy and heart-touching rendition, even when paired with an awesome classical singer like Sultana. With him, the depth of the lyrics and the singing, straight from the guts, by no means fail.


Parveen Sultana

There’s a track that Kishore sang that was later rendered by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan — Main Aur Meri Awargi, which Kishore sang for Duniya (1984). Khan’s model appeared within the 1990s. Both songs are comparatively forgotten, each are glorious — Kishore’s model displays calm and resignation, Khan’s drips with excessive ardour.


Nusrat Fateh Alli Khan

While on Kishore and Khan, let’s not omit one track which in Kishore’s voice (in Sautan Ki Beti, 1980, together with Anuradha Paudwal’s) is, clearly, of decrease high quality than Khan’s — Yeh Jo Halka Halka Suroor Hai.

Kishore and Anuradha Paudwal

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

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