August 4, 1929. The voice behind so many heroes was born in a Bengali Ganguly family in Madhya Pradesh.
Popularly called Kishore Da, he soon went on to become one of India’s most celebrated singers. In spite of not being a trained singer, he had the knack of modulating his voice suitably for the actor.
He formed a solid pairing with Rajesh Khanna in the early 70s and the duo churned out hit after hit. After the decline of Rajesh Khanna, he paired with Amitabh Bachchan and formed a deadly combination.
He became the undisputed number one playback singer of Hindi films and became the voice for all the top heroes of the day – Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Shashi Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor.
Kishore Da was not just a singer, he was an actor, lyricist, producer music director and movie director. So his versatility is in another range.
It is very hard to choose just a handful of songs from his long and glorious career, especially when my favourite Kishore Kumar songs run into the hundreds.
But, let’s take a look at a few songs which still give us goosebumps.
1. Arguably, one of the most romantic songs of all time
‘O Mere Dil Ke Chain’ is wonderfully picturized on an elegant Rajesh Khanna and Tanuja from the movie ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi.’.
2. It is hard to think of superstar Rajesh Khanna’s face without Kishore Kumar’s voice
Chala jata hun, kisi ki dhun mein, Dhadakte Dil ke, taraane liye….The magic was in his voice.
3. This simple-minded, warm-hearted slapstick comedy movie ‘Padosan’ is one of my favourite films
Mere saamne waali khidki mei ik chaand ka tukda rehta hai. This song never gets old.
4. This song from the movie ‘Andaz’ teaches us the importance of life
Zindagi ek safar hai suhaana, yahaan kal kya ho kisne jaana….
5. Just when you think it can’t get any better
Pyaar deewana hota hai mastana hota hai.. Har khushi se har gam se begaana hota hai.
This sentimental song by Kishore Kumar from ‘Kati Patang’ takes you to a completely different level altogether.
6. The more you hear this track, more you believe that there never will be another Kishore Da
O khaike paan banaras wala, Khul jaaye band akal ka taala.. Never ever.
7. Forget the whole world and feel the voice of Kishore Da
Dil kya kare jab kisi se, kisi ko pyaar ho jaaye. Jaane kaha kab kisi ko, kisi se pyaar ho jaaye…in this magical song from the movie ‘Julie.’
8. No matter how low you feel, this song from ‘Kudrat’ can always lift your mood
Hume tumse pyaar kitna, yeh hum nahi jaante magar jee nahi sakte tumhaare bina.. His voice has seas of romance and oceans of emotions.
9. Lyrics that touch your heart, every single time
Roop tera mastana Pyaar mera Deewana, Bhool koi hamse na ho jaaye.
Evergreen song from the movie ARADHANA
10. There cannot be a better song than this track from ‘Manzil’
Rim jhim gire saawan, sulag sulag jaaye mann. Bheege aaj is mausam mein lagi kaisi yeh agan.
He sang with all his heart and soul in this song and it became a huge hit later.
11. Not just a name, but an ultimate definition of ‘music’
Chalte chalte mere ye geet yaad rakhna. KABHI ALVIDA NA KEHNA, KABHI ALVIDA NA KEHNA…..
Kishore Kumar is a legend. I don’t want to use ‘was’ while mentioning him. He is very much a craze even today as we hear the new versions of his hit songs in recent movies.
Can you think of a parallel, at least in the Indian context?