On Kishore Kumar’s birthday, let’s revisit some less-known facts of Kishore da which ranges from biting a producer for a hilarious reason to talking to trees. On his birthday, most avenues would tell you about his musical gems, some would tell you about his career graph, but its only us who would share you about some interesting, head-scratching and awe-worthy facts of the eccentric genius.
1) ‘Beware of Kishore’ – Biting a Producer
During the peak of his career, Kishore da was known for producing musical marvels that were instant hit. Along with the composing maestros such as R.D. Burman, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kishore created some of the simplest yet hummable tunes.
But not many know a side of Kishore da that was full of mischief and pranks. One of the most cherishable anecdote of his life was when he bit a producer. It just so happened that Kumar’s home had a sign which read ‘Beware of Kishore Kumar’. Kumar had himself put the sign, giving anyone who may come to his home an idea that he was a mischievous prankster.
Once, H.S. Rawail, a well-known producer came to his home as he had some dues remaining for Kumar and owed him money. During the visit, Rawail offered Kumar his dues. Kumar took the money and when he was offered Rawail’s hand to shake, he actually bit the palm and then hilariously pointed at the warning sign at his door and said, “Didn’t you see the sign?”
If anyone else would have done something like this, people would’ve taken offence against it. But knowing Kishore da’s child-like eccentricities, he was laughed off and got away with things such as this.
2) Kishore Kumar – The Loner Who Talks to Trees
During an interview with Pritish Nandy, Kumar was asked about his alleged difficulties with producers and directors owing to his eccentric nature. When asked, if Kumar was a loner, he said-
“Look, I don’t smoke, drink or socialize. I never go to parties. If that makes me a loner, fine. I am happy this way. I go to work and I come back straight home. To watch my horror movies, play with my spooks, talk to my trees, sing. In this avaricious world, every creative person is bound to be lonely. How can you deny me that right?”
3) Being Banned During Emergency
In the ongoing cancel culture where celebrities feel proud of being banned and use it as a means to go viral, Kishore Kumar achieved that feat without trying. When the then PM Indira Gandhi imposed an emergency in 1975, Kumar’s songs were blacklisted from the All India Radio and Doordarshan. The reason? Kishore had refused to perform at a political rally. When Sanjay Gandhi asked him to sing for an event, Kishore denied and hence, suffered a ban.
4) Kishore Da’s Payment Paranoia
In the initial days of his struggle, Kishore Kumar wasn’t paid his dues which made him paranoid in terms of his payments. During a film’s shoot, it is said that he turned up at sets with make-up done on half-of his face. He did so because he had learnt that he hadn’t been paid fully. “Aadha paisa toh aadha make-up”, said the eccentric genius.
5) Giving Loan to Satyajit Ray
Though he was paranoid of his payment, Kishore walked with a heart of gold. Not only did Kishore not accept any payment from legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray after recording a song for the former’s film, he also helped him with a loan of Rs. 5,000 when Ray ran into a financial crisis.