As we celebrate Kishore Kumar’s 84th birth anniversary tomorrow (4th August), I would like to list down five of my favourite Kishore Kumar songs.
Kishore Kumar was one of the well-loved singers of Bollywood; one who was as famous as the hero he sang songs for, which is usually not the case. My only regret: I wish he were alive so that I could have heard him perform live.
So, here goes:
1. Aanewala Pal – Golmaal (1979): This song had all the characteristics of becoming a super-hit song. Gulzar penned down the lyrics, R. D. Burman composed the music, Kishore Kumar sang it; it was picturized on Amol Palekar. Why do I like the song? It tells you the importance of carpe diem – seize the day – so beautifully and so poetically. And Kishore’s voice exhorts us all to enjoy the present moment, if possible, because it will soon get over.
2. Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas – Blackmail (1973): In my honest opinion, this has got to be the best ever romantic song. Dharmendra woos Raakhee with a hand-written letter ably aided by Kishore Kumar’s lilting melody. The perfect voice to tell the person you love that they are close to your heart every single moment. Any other singer and the song would not have sounded half as good or as romantic.
3. Yeh Naina Yeh Kajal – Dil Se Mile Dil (1978): This is not a very popular song of Kishore Kumar since the movie, apparently, did not do so well. I became fascinated with the song after I heard a colleague of mine sing it. Since then, it has become one of my favourite Kishore songs. “Zindagi tum meri, meri tum zindagi” croons Kishore and it is very easy not to get mesmerized by his words.
4. Ruk Jaana Nahi – Imtihaan (1974): I love this song for its inspirational message. Kishore’s voice brings forth the message quite clearly that one should not stop in his journey just because one has failed. Who else, but Kishore, could sing the song such that, each time one listens to it, one gets goosebumps? It is as good as, if not better than, any motivational self-help book.
5. Yeh Jeevan Hain – Piya Ka Ghar (1972): The underlying meaning in Anand Bakshi’s lyrics was so evocatively brought out by Kishore Kumar in this song. This song essentially became the theme song of the movie. Though sung a little sadly, Kishore’s voice tells us everything we need to know about life. This is pretty much what you are going to get – a little bit of happiness, a little bit of sadness – he states quite matter-of-factly.
I now realize that, coincidentally, my favourite songs all belong to movies which were released in the 1970s. And, though Kishore Kumar sang quite a few songs that were picturized on Amitabh Bachchan which went on to become huge hits, none of them figure in my list. Also, none of the songs have the trademark Kishore Kumar yodelling style in them.