Zindagi Ek Safar – Kishore Kumar Documentary

Check out this excellent documentary on Kishore Kumar. It has interviews by Kishore Kumar and his family, Ashok Kumar, Dev Anand, Sunil Dutt, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Satyajit Ray, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey and more.

  1. Ritz 11 years ago

    Does it have Nushad’s take on Kishore? 😀

    • Ritz 11 years ago

      Saw half of it-

      Nice to know what Dadamuni told …when Kishore’s finger was cut – the crying “opened” his voice as if he had done a “riyaaz”

      Good to see that Ziddi song again – picturized on Dev – Kishore’s first song – though in Saigal mode.

      Kishore says here he doesnt understand “sa re ga ma pa” 0:14 onwards – he makes fun of it. But actually he was a very good singer – kind of like a good folk singer. He need not make fun of classical for justifying his prowess. He could have just accepted his limitations in a graceful way and take the criticism in a good way.

      The video at 0:19:14 shows Saigal photo in his auditorium – apparently Saigal was his greatest inspiration (as was apparent from his earlier songs) . Dont understand why he made fun of classical music when the greats like Saigal was his inspiration.

      • Author
        sputnik 11 years ago

        Yeah the Ziddi song is totally in Saigal mode.

        There is a song from some movie of Kishore in the video (don’t remember the exact time) and he is making fun of himself that he can’t sing classical. But then there is another scene from another movie where he is making fun of classical singing by saying his Ustad is Ustad Machar Khan 😉

        Liked what Manna Dey said. He said that he thought of beating Kishore in the Padosan song duel and he concentrated only on the singing while Kishore got the spirit of the song.

        Also liked what Rajesh Khanna said – that Kishore spoke to him before singing for Aaradhana to observe his mannerisms.

        Amitabh on the other hand seemed so uncomfortable praising Kishore because of their fight. He talks about liking Kishore’s songs sung for Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna but doesn’t talk about Kishore singing songs for him.

        “Does it have Nushad’s take on Kishore? 😀 ”


        • Ritz 11 years ago

          “Amitabh on the other hand seemed so uncomfortable praising Kishore because of their fight. He talks about liking Kishore’s songs sung for Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna but doesn’t talk about Kishore singing songs for him.”

          I am not aware of any fight between Amitabh and Kishore. Please enlighten me ! As far as I can see in this video – he (amitabh) was generous in remembering him.
          And I kind of agree with Amitabh – For me Kishore for most time (most of his songs) reminds me of Dev (70%) or else Rajesh(30%).

          • Author
            sputnik 11 years ago

            I think I read about this on PFC.

            “There was the well publicised friction between Kishore Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. Kishore Kumar refused to do playback singing for Amitabh after he refused to participate in a film which was being produced by Kishore Kumar. However there was a reconciliation where Kishore sang for him in Toofan (1989, this was released after Kishore’s death). ”


  2. Ritz 11 years ago

    btw loved the extra footage from his unreleased film 0:30 onwards and raag Bageshri based song “baaje baaje re kahin baasuriya” song. Havent got full song till today.

  3. Ritz 11 years ago

    btw why is Amit Kumar speaking this video in English and in that accent? as if a south Indian is giving an interview?

    I liked Satyajit Ray’s take on him in the later part. And somehow – it reminded me of Vikki Donar’s Bengali characters – lol….not sure why….but the way Satyajit Ray speaks here reminded me of VD’s father of that Bengali herioine 😀

    The best part in second part for me is Sunil Dutt’s speak starting from 47:37. Sunil Dutt is the best part in second part.

    The most ridiculous thing about this whole video is that Manna Day talking abt Kishore – worst showoff / wannabe classical singer that Manna Day was! – talking about a very good folk singer!

    • Author
      sputnik 11 years ago

      Yeah it seemed odd that Amit Kumar was speaking in English.

      I saw Vicky Donor just the other day and believe it or not when I saw Satyajit Ray speak I was also reminded me of the Bengali father character 😀

      Agree that Sunil Dutt spoke really well. There is a certain genuineness and honesty in the way he spoke.

      “The most ridiculous thing about this whole video is that Manna Day talking abt Kishore – worst showoff / wannabe classical singer that Manna Day was! ”

      Ha Ha 😀

  4. Author
    sputnik 10 years ago

    Asha Bhosle’s Old Interview on Kishore Kumar five days after his death

    “I have known Kishore Kumar for a very long time. Not just as a singer, but I also knew a lot about his life. When one spends the whole day in the recording studio, working with another person, there is a lot of time remaining to understand that person and become familiar with his talent.
    You then understand him in totality. His nature, his likes, dislikes, his happiness, and what brings him sorrow. My first song with Kishoreda was in his film Andolan. At that time I was just beginning my career in singing. This was a coincidence as it was his first film as well.
    I have been singing since 1947. Those were good old days, that are now gone forever. After that picture I sang with him for Muqaddar. I remember him as a mazaakii aur mastii bharaa insaan. He was always pulling pranks and cracking jokes with someone or the other. And this was also the element of his singing – he brought the comic into hs art. He is also the originator of many comic ruances in music – unorthodox forms, which broke all the existing norms of standard music of the time.

    A clue to the origin of his musical innovations could be found in his interest in listening to masters of western music. He listened to very old western numbers, and was inspired by them, using innovations in Hindi music.
    For lovers of Hindi music, his yodelling was unique and fascinating. He was tenacious in his practice, till he finally succeeded in adapting this difficult form – yodeling. But let me be cautious when I say that he listened to western music and was inspired – he in no way imitated, he improved upon them.

    Films were the cynosure of his life. He loved to watch films on video. Even today, I hazard to guess, he had as many as 3000 to 4000 video cassettes in his house. In some way he transformed his love for films to the work he did in films. He was a loner. He did not attend parties or go to social functions, marriages, or even the theater to watch the films that he loved most. I do not know whether his antipathy to socializing was present from the very beginning, but it was definitely evident in the last few years.

    Kishore Kumar was intrinsically a music director. When I used to sing with him, he would say, “Asha, sing like this….No, not like that…like this.” He was not two in one, or three in one, he was all in one. He was a singer, music director, dialogue writer, screenplay writer, actor , producer and film director. A versatile man – yes, I am talking about ‘Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein’. When he was making the film I asked him “Kishoreda, why are you making a film like Door Gagan Ki Chhaon Mein when you made ‘Jhumroo’? The content of the two films are poles apart.” His reply was “Asha, you know me. I am not what people think I am. They think I am a comedian, that I am an entertainer. But in reality there is more sadness in me than joy.” Now I think this was really him. He was sad. A Loner. Whenever he got a chance to really express himself in his films or through his songs, he went for sad ones.

    There were two Kishore Kumars. The real one, the sad one. And the comic. I used to tell him “Kishoreda, the world thinks you are mad. But it is they you are making mad.” He told me “What am I? Who am I? It will be difficult for them to know.” I think Dada was a sad man. He never really got what he wanted to sing, he never could.

    Kishore Kumar was a typical Bengali and Hindu, in most ways. He had a deep liking for Indian tradition and culture. He would have liked his wife to wear bangles, wear Bengali sarees, cook food and serve him. But everything in life is not as one wants, or as Kishoreda, perhaps wanted.
    I was a casual visitor to his house and I cannot say with absolute authenticity, what he really liked and didn’t. But over the years, there came a basic understanding of the kind of human being he was.

    I still recall one incident vividly. One day, R.D. Burman and I went to his residence. And when we were talking we told him about our new relationship. The spontaneity and warmth with which he reacted was unique. He jumped up and hugged each of us and then suddenly his eyes filled with tears of emotion. For a moment we were stunned. Then Kishoreda broke the silence and said, “Love is a rare thing. Keep it carefully: look at me, and see where I am. Learn from that and keep it carefully”. This sentence which he uttered is probably the message of his life.

    His behavior was also typical of the man he was. Sometimes Kishoreda would laugh in the recording studio, but he could also be irritable. Sometimes in anger he would leave the studio. But no one took this amiss. We had a perfect understanding. When he behaved like this we knew that he must have had a fight at home or elsewhere and was venting the anger in the studio.

    On October 12, the day before his death, we were recording in the studio. On that day, he was full of fun. He kept laughing and crackling jokes. Everyone was laughing. He made me laugh so much that I had to have many retakes. And then on the evening of October 13 when I was going for recording, someone stopped in front of the studio and said, “Kishore nahi hai”. I said, “That’s all right if he is not there. We will do the dubbing, so what if he didn’t come today?” But then he said, “Not that. He is no more.” I shouted loudly, “What do you think you are saying?” I could not believe it. But then I went to his residence. No one could go to his bedroom as he liked privacy. He used to make everyone wait in the hall. Only those who were very close, who loved him dearly, could go up. People like Burman saab. I saw that people, just anyone wished or wanted to, was tramping in and out. And this great singer, this great artiste was sleeping. In slumber forever.

    What could one do? Besides weep – there was nothing in one’s power to be done. Just weep over one great sorrow, that such artist, should not have been called by God so soon.

    Now all of those who were once with us in the music industry have gone, one by one. Mukesh, Rafi saab and now Kishoreda. These three singers, so great, so famous, have done a lot of work in this line. I have performed thousands of songs with Rafi saab and thousands with Kishoreda. People thronged to witness the two of them on stage. On October 12, I asked him, “Dada, will we go to London?” He patted my head and replied, “Asha, you are so good. Ring me up and we will organise a programme to perform in London.Just the two of us.”

    There is just no singer born who can sing like him. Will another be born in my lifetime? I don’t know. A singer like that is born only once in a thousand years. In the film line today, it looks to me like there is total darkness. On Wednesday my daughter asked me, “Mother, when you perform now who will sing his songs? Who will fill the void? How will you sing them?” I said: “Varsha, to tell the truth I have no answer. I don’t know who will sing his songs. It is a question which has no answer. It is a void that cannot be filed. ” And it will remain a void.

    There were only four or five of us singers who have been performing for the past 40 years. Only Lata didi and I are left. The rest have all gone. God give them peace. Kishoreda was very fond of his son Amit. He often used to coax me to sit with Amit and teach him how to sing. And I used to call Amit over and we would sit together so that he could learn something. Kishoreda loved Amit a lot and was very anxious about him. I hope God gives Amit the courage to bear the loss of his father. I hope he tries hard to become a great singer and that Sumeet ( Kishore’s younger son) also follows in his father’s footsteps.

    The greatest thing about Kishoreda’s performances was that he used to sing so uninhibitedly. His voice was very clear and he used to put so much life into each number. He even gave that extra bit that a music director could not tell him, or could not guide him. He was just as good in western as he was with semi-classical songs. He used to render those kind of songs so well. Sad songs, love songs, semi-classical. But the surprising thing is that he never had any formal education in singing. He even had difficulty trying to sing sa re ga ma pa dha ni sa. But one does not know what gift God had bestowed on him for he could get by without even the rudiments. Once he told me about eating paan. He used to have four to five paans every morning. After his throat became a little dry he would practice. He could sing in the voice of a man or woman alternating every sentence, changing roles. That was his flexibility, his versatility.

    Kishoreda made so many innovations when I sang with him for ‘Chham Chamaa Chham (music by O P Nayyar) That was before Jhumroo. He made many changes that were beyond the norm. I was quite new in the field and unused to this kind of thing. He used to make me laugh and trouble me by giving directions. In the song Zindagi Ek Safar (music by Shankar Jaikishan) there was some yodeling. After his piece he stayed on, sitting next to me in the studio for my dubbing. When I started yodelling, he applauded. He said, “I came and sat inside to see how you would handle it (yodelling), how you would render this bit.” That was the way we worked together.

    On stage his songs went down very well with the audiences. He was basically an actor, a dancer, so he would gesticulate and dance while singing. Naturally, this would unnerve any artiste who was paired with him on stage. But I got along well with him. Whenever he launched into his antics I would simply laugh. People used to enjoy watching and hearing the two of us on stage.

    Now I wonder whether anyone will be able to sing his songs on stage. Can anyone sing like him? There will be imitators. Anybody can imitate someone else, sing like someone else. But individuality lies with the truly talented, with the true artiste. Rafi saab and Mukesh had that individuality. So too does Lata didi. I sing in my own style. The rest who copy the styles of others are only imitators. They have not yet evolved their own style. Kishoreda, too had his own style. His voice, his yodelling – no one can come up to his mark.

    There will be no one after him. He was a great man. An individual. He was a fan of Saigal and the other great masters but he brought to music his own genius. If he also brought into it the comic element and antics, it did not reflect his personal life. For he was essentially a sad man. All he wanted from life were simple things. But he did not get them.


    • Anjanpur685Miles 10 years ago

      Good read. Thanks.

      PS: Even if he was a typical Bengali and a hardcore Hindu (in asha’s own words, not mine) and irritating in his mannerisms and voice – I liked this piece.

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