When it comes to music, Indian music lovers can never forget the contribution of the legendary singer Kishore Kumar whose mellifluous voice breathed life into songs. Kishore Da, as he is popularly called, was not just a singer, but was also a lyricist, actor, scriptwriter, producer and director. Not only people from his era but his evergreen soulful films and songs are loved by generations even 34 years after his death.
Born on August 4, 1929, Kishore Kumar enjoyed a long four-decade career in the music industry. There are innumerable stories about his work and his fun-filled banters that immortalises Kishore Kumar. In one such story, we came to know that the Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray had approached Kishore Kumar for a song for one of his Bengali films titled 'Charulata' (1964). Though Kishore Da was said to be very particular about his fees, he refused to accept any remuneration from Satyajit Ray after recording the song. It is said that when Ray asked him his fees, the late singer just touched his feet and didn't accept any fees.
Kishore Kumar's relationship with Satyajit Ray
Meanwhile, there were reports that Satyajit Ray's decision to give Kishore Kumar the chance to lend his voice to a Rabindra Sangeet (songs written by noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore) in 'Charulata' wasn't appreciated by many Rabindra Sangeet experts. Satyajit Ray's son, director Sandip Ray had once revealed that despite criticism his father stood by his decision. Kishore Kumar sang a melodious Rabindra Sangeet for Soumitra Chatterjee titled 'Ami Chini Go Chini Tomare'. However, Sandip Ray had said that "Kishore Da was so excited when my father reached out to him and asked him to playback. But he was in a dilemma as the track was a Rabindra Sangeet."
Later while the making of the film 'Pather Panchali', when Ray ran into financial trouble and was even considering dropping the project, Kishore Kumar had helped him out with Rs 5,000 and brought him back on track. However, it is said that Kishore Kumar was quite different with others. On several occasions, Kishore Kumar is said to have walked on set with his makeup half done, saying, "Aadha paisa toh aadha makeup" (Half payment so half makeup).