Kishore Kumar offered monetary help for 'Pather Panchali'

Kishore Kumar

The singer, who ruled the Hindi film music in the 70s and 80s, had also refused to accept fees for singing in another Ray classic 'Charulata' on the ground that he had already been honoured to be a part of the film.

This and other interesting nuggets from Kishore's life have adorned a documentary by Satyajit Ray's son Sandip Ray, an ace film-maker himself, on the singer whose songs are still loved by millions of music lovers.

The video documentary 'Zindegi ek Safar' (Life a long journey) is replete with hitherto-unknown facts about the singer and his life. For instance, Kishore's love for collecting films from all over the world. He had over 3,500 video cassettes of the films in his possession at that time.
There is a free-wheeling interview of Ray about Kishore in the documentary, rare photographs acquired by Sandip Ray and tributes by Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, R D Burman, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and singer Shaan.
The interview section has clips of a rare interview of the singer taken by Lata Mangeshkar during their visit to Washington and some live action by the mercurial singer in India and abroad, Sandip informs.
Sandip said that he could complete the documentary only through the help of Kishore's singer son Amit Kumar and Doordarshan for making available valuable archival material on the singing legend to make the 2-hour-20-minute film, which is set to hit music stores soon.
The documentary was completed way back in 1989, one year after Kishore's death for the video cassette edition, but in the present DVD format its four-hour length was pruned by editing out some old parts and inserting interviews of Khan and Shaan, he said.

One common factor in the interview section of the documentary is all the greats like Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Asha Bhonsle, Kalyanji Anandji, Shah Rukh and Shaan singing paens to his god-gifted talent and sharing personal experiences with the singer.
For Amitabh or Rajesh Khanna it is something special as they lip-synced to many lilting hits of Kishore in their films. They all noted that Kishore, who besides being the leading singer from 1970-75 and 1980-85, was also a lyricist, composer, producer, director, screenwriter and actor.
"I had consciously refrained from giving too much footage to films where Kishore was only the playback singer as I wanted to highlight him only and instead used more of films like Padosan where dada's comic acts were in full flow," Sandip said.
However, the documentary does not delve into the controversies dogging the temperamental singer's personal life who was married four times and is survived by his two sons Amit Kumar and Sumit Kumar, for obvious reasons, Sandip said. PTI SUS MD RG BK 11091145

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