This episode delves into the history of 4th August which includes the observation of Supernova SN 1181 by Chinese and Japanese astronomers, the first printing of Zohar in Spain, and Dom Pérignon’s invention of Champagne. Additionally, it celebrates the birth anniversary of legendary Indian singer and actor Kishore Kumar, highlighting his multifaceted career and lasting impact on Indian cinema.
As I see the history of 4th August, I find that it was this day in the year 1181 when Supernova SN 1181 was observed by Chinese and Japanese astronomers, it lasted until August 6. Moving on with the history of 4th August I come to the year 1558 when the 1st printing of Zohar is seen in Spain on this day.
Furthermore, I see that it was this day in the year 1693 which is traditionally ascribed as the day when Dom Pérignon’s invented the Champagne.
Let us move on to the feature story from the history of 4th August as we celebrate the birth anniversary of legendary singer Kishore Kumar.
Kishore Kumar: The Versatile Legend of Indian Cinema
Kishore Kumar, originally known as Abhas Kumar Ganguly, was a multifaceted genius in the Indian film industry. Born on August 4, 1929, in Khandwa, British India, Kishore Kumar was destined to become an iconic figure in the world of acting, playback singing, composing, and directing. His expressive and versatile singing voice and exceptional comedic talent made him one of the most beloved and enduring stars of his time.
Coming from a Bengali family settled in west-central India, young Kishore Kumar’s passion for singing led him to Bombay (now Mumbai), where he found a job as an occasional chorus singer at the Bombay Talkies film studio. This was a significant step in his career, as it allowed him to be close to his elder brother Ashok Kumar, who was already a reigning star in the industry. Although singing was his first love, Kishore Kumar made his acting debut in the film “Shikari” in 1946. However, it was his role in the film “Andolan” in 1951 that propelled him to stardom as both a singer and actor, finally stepping out of the shadow of his famous brother.
In his early years of fame, Kishore Kumar was known for his slapstick comedies that showcased his comedic flair and singing talent. Films like “Naukri” (1954) and Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s directorial debut “Musafir” (1957) portrayed him as an unemployed young man striving to support his family. His comedic peak came with the film “New Delhi” (1956), where he played a North Indian pretending to be a South Indian to rent a room in the capital city. Another milestone in his acting career was the self-produced film “Chalti ka naam gaadi” (1958), where he starred alongside his brothers Ashok Kumar and Anoop Kumar, showcasing their unique chemistry on screen.
In the late 1940s, Kishore Kumar collaborated with the renowned actor Dev Anand, serving as his playback singer. This partnership spanned two decades, creating a musical gold mine in films like “Munimji” (1955), “Funtoosh” (1956), “Nau do gyarah” (1957), and “Jewel Thief” (1967). However, it was the film “Aradhana” in 1969 that marked a new high point in Kumar’s career. His soulful voice lent a magical touch to Rajesh Khanna’s performance and catapulted both Khanna and Kumar to superstardom. From that point on, Kishore Kumar became the leading playback singer in the Hindi film industry, maintaining that position until his untimely demise.
What made Kishore Kumar’s rise to fame even more extraordinary was the fact that he had no formal training in Indian classical music, unlike most of his colleagues in the playback singing profession. Yet, he was a skilled imitator, interpreter, and innovator. His unique vocalizations, including yodeling, and his experiments with atypical instruments in his accompaniments, showcased a sense of modernity that resonated with audiences.
Beyond acting and singing, Kishore Kumar was a composer and director as well. He composed music for various Indian films and directed productions like “Door gagan ki chhaon mein” (1964) and “Door ka rahi” (1971). While he mostly participated in lighthearted films as an actor, singer, or composer, his directorial ventures often delved into the realm of tragedies, displaying the depth of his artistic range.
Kishore Kumar’s contributions to Indian cinema earned him numerous accolades and awards, and his influence continues to be felt in the industry even years after his passing. His songs remain timeless classics, cherished by of music lovers. Kishore Kumar will always be remembered as the evergreen legend whose voice and performances brought joy and laughter to millions across the nation.
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.