The Kishore Kumar Fact File
While rendering the song 'Khaike Paan Banareswala', Kishore Kumar actually chewed on paan and spat it on a plastic sheet on the floor to get a natural effect.
The real name of this legendary singer is Abhas Kumar Ganguly
Kishore considered Kundan Lal Saigal as his Guru.
Kishore started his cinema career as a chorus singer at Bombay Talkies, where Ashok Kumar, his elder brother, was a star.
Kishore started his career in film as an actor! His first film as an actor was ‘Shikari’ (1946), in which Ashok Kumar played the lead role.
Music director Khemchand Prakash gave him the first chance to sing a song - “Marne ki duayen kyon mangu” for the film ‘Ziddi’ (1948).
Kishore played hero in the Bombay Talkies film ‘Andolan’ (1951), directed by Phani Majumdar.
Salil Chowdhury, the music director for ‘Naukri’ was initially dismissive of him as a singer, when he came to know that Kishore didn't have any formal training in music. However, after hearing his voice, he gave him the song “Chhota sa ghar hoga”, which was assigned for Hemant Kumar.
Kishore Kumar, as an actor, built notoriety for coming late for the shootings, or bunking them altogether.
Kishore’s character in the film ‘Padosan’, where he portrayed a dramatist-musician, was inspired by the personality of his uncle, Dhananjay Banerjee (a classical singer).
When Sanjay Gandhi asked Kishore Kumar to sing for a Congress rally in Mumbai, during the Indian Emergency, he refused. The Government put a ban on playing Kishore Kumar songs on the All India Radio/Doordarshan. But Kishore refused to apologize. Finally, the ban was lifted after some prominent producers and directors lobbied against it.
His last appearance as an actor was in ‘Door Wadiyon Mein Kahin’
The famous American animated soap, ‘The Simpsons’, used Kishore Kumar's song “Pal Bhar Ke Liye” from the film ‘Johny Mera Naam’ (1970) in an episode of titled ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore’. His songs have also featured in several films, including ‘Such a Long Journey’ (1998) and ‘Side Streets’ (1998).
Madhubala, the famous actress of yesteryears, was a Muslim, who married Kishore in 1960, much against the will of her family. The two had a civil marriage, for which Kishore Kumar reportedly converted to Islam and changed his name to ‘Karim Abdul’
"Aadha paisa to aadha make-up"- Kishore Kumar was well known for his paranoia about not being paid. During recordings, he would begin singing only after his secretary confirmed that the producer had made the payment. Once, when he discovered that his dues hadn't been fully paid, he landed up for shooting with make-up on only one side of his face. When the director questioned him, he replied "Aadha paisa to aadha make-up." (Half make-up for half payment).
"Paanch Hazzar Rupaiya" - Kishore Kumar refused to cooperate on the sets of ‘Bhai Bhai’ because the director M V Raman owed him five thousand rupees. His brother Ashok Kumar persuaded him to do the scene. But, when the shooting started, he walked across the floor and, each time he walked a few places, he said, "Paanch Hazzar Rupaiya," (five thousand rupees) and did a somersault. After he reached the end of the floor, he went out of the studio, jumped into his car, and ordered his driver Abdul to drive away.
Kishore, in spite of his "no money, no work" principle, sometimes recorded free, even when the producers were willing to pay. He recorded free, for some films produced by Rajesh Khanna and Danny Denzongpa. On one occasion, Kishore Kumar helped actor-turned-producer Bipin Gupta, by giving him Rs. 20,000 for the film ‘Dal Mein Kala’ (1964). When the little-known actor Arun Kumar Mukherjee died, Kishore Kumar regularly sent money to his family in Bhagalpur. Mukherjee was one of the first persons to appreciate Kishore's singing talent.
‘Beware of Kishore’ – Journalists writing on Kishore’s seemingly eccentric behavior, couldn’t be blamed altogether. Kishore put a "Beware of Kishore" sign at the door of his Warden Road flat, where he stayed for some time while his bungalow was being done up. And, when the producer-director H. S. Rawail, who owed him some money, visited his flat to pay the dues, Kishore Kumar took the money, and when Rawail offered to shake hands with him, he reportedly put Rawail's hand in his mouth, bit it, and asked "Didn’t you see the sign?"
“Cut” and “No Cut” - Kishore Kumar was notorious for defying producers and directors. Once, a producer went to court to get a decree that Kishore Kumar must follow the director's orders. Kishore Kumar obeyed the director to the letter. He refused to alight from his car until the director ordered him to do so. It didn’t end there. After a car scene in Mumbai, he drove on until Khandala because the director forgot to say "Cut”
Source: India Syndicate
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