May 31, 2020
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Centenary Tributes

'I Used To Laugh At His Singing'

...till I grew to understand the power of his voice.

'I Used To Laugh At His Singing'
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My introduction to K.L.Saigal came when I was a kid and there was only Doordarshan and DD used to show a lot of KL Saigal films. And I sat and watched them all. Devdas, Tansen and several others. What fascinated me was that he was a singing star. And when I heard that they actually sang the song on the sets was very fascinating. In Tansen he made the rain fall or in the song Diya jalao lamps light up when he sings. This gave us an idea of the power of song and his voice was so striking that you could believe it. The only other singer who achieved this kind of status was Kishore kumar.

When I hear his voice today I am transported to that old era his voice suggests that to me. Honestly, when I was a kid I used to laugh at his singing till I grew to understand the power of his voice. Today it's something we'd term retro but his voice was very individual and very attractive. Songs like Ik bangla bane nyara remain etched in memory.

He was a complete artiste with a unique singing style which influenced several others.


Ehsaan Noorani is perhaps better known just as Ehsaan of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio. As told to Lata Khubchandani

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