Aug 04 2016

The foot-tapping Kishore Kumar: Birth anniversary special

by   Keyur Seta

Abash Kumar Ganguly was born on this date in 1929. At the time, nobody would have guessed that Hindi cinema’s most accomplished all-rounder had taken birth. But that is exactly what Kishore Kumar turned out to be. He was an actor, singer, composer, director, producer, screenwriter and lyrcist. For now, we enjoy some of his fun-filled evergreen numbers that can still lift our spirits.

1 Chala Jata Hoon – Mere Jeevan Saathi (1972)

Picturised on the film’s hero Rajesh Khanna, this is a road-trip song shot in picturesque ghat sections. But it has enough elements to be a dance number, too. RD Burman’s medley of tunes with Kishore Kumar’s energetic singing are enough to wake you up if you are feeling drowsy at your workplace.

2 Cheel Cheel Chillake – Half Ticket (1962)

This song speaks volumes for Kishore Kumar's vocal and comical talents. In the film, he plays a young man who has run away from home. To get by, he pretends to be mentally challenged. Hence, the childish lyrics. But the song became popular among all age groups. Watch out for one peculiar sound that he makes while singing ‘Arre Wah Wah Wah.’

3 Hum The Woh Thi – Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)

This is yet another song where it is difficult to judge whether Kishore Kumar shines more as an actor or a singer. He is unmatchable as a singer when he swings from a low pitch to a high pitch with the utmost ease. On the other hand, his energetic dance steps, inside his garage, will pep you up. 

4 Om Shaanti Om – Karz (1980)

This song has the word ‘classic’ written all over it and was a must-play party number for a couple of generations. Kishore Kumar’s singing talent is on full display over here, especially when he recites the word ‘Om’. The song was also used during the opening credits of Farah Khan’s Om Shaanti Om (2007), with Shah Rukh Khan playing one of the members of the audience for the original song picturised on Rishi Kapoor.

5 Khaike Pan Banaraswala – Don (1978)

This is yet another all-time classic by Kishore Kumar and remains popular even today. The singer excels in bringing out the Banarasi flavour needed for the character of Vijay played by Amitabh Bachchan. In Farhan Akhtar’s remake of the same film, the director retained the song with a few changes. It was sung by Udit Narayan and picturised on Shah Rukh Khan.

6 Aake Seedhi Lagi – Half Ticket (1962)

This is one song that displays Kishore Kumar's ability. His antics on screen, with the villain Pran for company, leave you in splits even as Kishore provides both the male and female voices, picturised on Pran and himself, respectively, for the playback.

7 Title Song – Satte Pe Satta (1982)

Satte Pe Satta, based on the Hollywood classic Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954), was a film with an ensemble cast and all the characters were involved in the picturisation of the title song. Naturally, the song had an ensemble list of singers, too. Even so, Kishore Kumar stood out as the voice of the film’s lead actor, Amitabh Bachchan. This is another timeless number that continues to enthral Hindi film music lovers. 

8 Apni Toh Jaise Taise – Laawaris (1981)

Apni Toh Jaise Taise is one of the best loved songs picturised on the reigning superstar Amitabh Bachchan and Kishore Kumar deserves a huge chunk of the credit for it. It’s a dance number with smart use of drumbeats in between. Through this song, the protagonist defines his character and at the same time taunts his opponents. The song was recreated in Sajid Khan’s Housefull (2010). 

9 Pag Ghunghroo Baandh Meera – Namak Halaal (1982)

Kishore Kumar’s vocal skills are on ample display in this track, as in ‘Khaike Pan Banaraswala’. The song is an enjoyable dance number which also goes into storytelling mode as per the situation in the film. ‘Pag Ghungroo Baandh’ is also one of Bappi Lahiri’s best numbers as a composer.