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Yesterday was Kishore Kumar's (August 4, 1929 – October 13, 1987) 80th Birthday . Definitely calls for belated celebrations. Looking around, I once again found a two-hour documentary uploaded on youtube in 10 parts which deserves to be in public domain but keeps getting posted and taken off youtube (click on Part I here and then follow the links on the RHS). And perhaps it is also time to share that much-talked about 1985 interview with Pritish Nandy for the Illustrated Weekly, in which he, inter alia, described how he once told an interior decorator that he wanted " something very simple" for his living room:
Just water-several feet deep- and little boats floating around, instead of large sofas. I told him that the centrepiece should be anchored down so that the tea service could be placed on it and all of us could row up to it in our boats and take sips from our cups. But the boats should be properly balanced, I said, otherwise we might whizz past each other and conversation would be difficult. He looked a bit alarmed but that alarm gave way to sheer horror when I began to describe the wall decor. I told him that I wanted live crows hanging from the walls instead of paintings-since I liked nature so much. And, instead of fans, we could have monkeys farting from the ceiling. That’s when he slowly backed out from the room with a strange look in his eyes. The last I saw of him was him running out of the front gate, at a pace that would have put an electric train to shame. What’s crazy about having a living room like that, you tell me? If he can wear a woollen, three-piece suit in the height of summer, why can’t I hang live crows on my walls?
Incidentally, for the same story, KK had also listed his 10 favourite songs:
|Dukhi man mere||S.D. Burman||Funtoosh|
|Jag mag jag mag karta nikla||Khemchand Prakash||Rim Jhim|
|Husn bhi hai udas udas||Anil Biswas||Fareb|
|Chingari koi Bhadke||R.D. Burman||Amar Prem|
|Mere naina saawan bhaadon||R.D. Burman||Mehbooba|
|Koi hum dum na raha||Kishore Kumar||Jhumroo|
|Mere mehboob kayamat hogi||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Mr X in Bombay|
|Koi hota jisko apna||Salil Chowdhury||Mere Apne|
|Woh Shaam kuch ajeeb thi||Hemant Kumar||Khamoshi|
|Badi sooni sooni hai||S.D. Burman||Milee|
The very same Pritish Nandy looks back on the man for rediff (which is what alerted me to the anniversary):
He told me once how he had hidden all his cash away so cleverly that leave alone the income tax guys, even his family would never find it after his death. I told him that was a silly idea. But he was adamant that his money was his money and no one had a right to it, he would do exactly what he wanted with it. And every conversation between us, when it ended in an argument or a deadlock, he would start singing some cracked coded song which was my job to decipher.
Long before I met Dr Robert Langdon in the Da Vinci Code, I had met a man who enjoyed puzzling others with his strange symbology and cryptograms, all of which sounded totally weird and puzzling, but had actually perfectly intelligent solutions. He thought them up (or at least appeared to) on the spur of the moment and loved playing the Mad Hatter at Alice's tea party.
For rare Kishore Kumar songs and videos (it includes a lovely four-part tribute by him to SD Burman), there's of course: kishorekumar.org