Remembering Krishna Kalle


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 30, 2015           06.20 P.M.

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Let me admit that to most of the readers of my blog , the name Krishna Kalle means nothing . Her name doesn’t ring a familiar sound . To general public also , Krishna Kalle remains almost unknown. But for few people like me , who grew in the 60s , Krishna Kalle was a known name in the Hindi film music world. Her name does ring a familiar sound for the music buffs. So when I read about her death, I was saddened. She went unwept and unsung.

She died on March 15, 2015 at the age of 74 in Mumbai.

In the era of Lata Mangeshkar , she , along with Suman Kalyanpur , Mubarak Begam , Kamal Barot and Sharda tried hard to be in the limelight. All the above mentioned five playback singers , who were good in their own way , failed to make any significant mark in the era of a colossus known as Lata Mangeshkar. When even a giant like Asha Bhosle was also struggling to make her mark, what would anyone expect from the likes of Krishna Kalle , Suman Kalyanpur , Mubarak Begam , Kamal Barot and Sharda ?

For me Krishna Kalle is synonymous with few hit songs of 60s and early 70s. Meri Hasraton Ki Duniya  , her duet with Mohammad Rafi in a film called  ” Gaal Gulabi Nain Sharabi ” [ 1974 ]   and Hume Toh Maar Diya  , a duet with Mahendra Kapoor from the film ” Hum Kahan Ja Rahe Hain ” [ 1966 ] are still fresh in my memory. For the connoisseurs of old Hindi film songs, these are unforgettable gems. Other famous films of that era , which have her memorable songs ,  are : Hum Kahan Ja Rahe Hain  [ 1966 ] , Bambai Raat Ki Bahon Mein [ 1967 ] , Raaz [ 1967 ] , Naunihal [ 1967 ] , Shikar [ 1968 ] , Sati Sulochana [ 1969 ] and Gaal Gulabi Nain Sharabi  [ 1974 ]

She was born in Karwar. As her father were serving at Kanpur, she completed her schooling from there . She got the sanskar of Hindi and Urdu over there. At the age of 16, she started singing at Kanpur Radio Station. She sung in various Yatra singeet mahotsav in Uttar Pradesh and got popularity. In 1957, she was honoured with national level youth singing awards by India’s first president Rajendra Prasad and first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The following year, she bagged the All India Sugam Sangeet Award first prize , K.L. Sehgal Memorial’s Golden Voice Award and many others. And after this she got a job with All India Radio in 1960.

Arun Date first heard her voice, when she visited Mumbai . He introduced her to music director Yashwant Dev. This started her journey as Marathi singer.

She was active in the Hindi film industry for about a decade from 1960s to the 1970s. She sang over 200 Bollywood songs, 100 Marathi movie songs, 100 bhajans, ghazals and devotional songs . She also released non-film albums with famous singers like Manna Dey, Mohammed Rafi.

Krishna Kalle has been named for the ‘Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement’ instituted by the Maharashtra government. Some other personalities who bagged the ‘Lata Mangeshkar Award for Lifetime Achievement’ include : Manna Dey, Anil Biswas, Sudhir Phadke, Khayyam, Mahendra Kapoor, Suman Kalyanpur, Sulochana Chavan, Kalyanji (Shah), Manik Verma and Hridaynath Mangeshkar. Thus getting the above mentioned prestigious award shows her calibre as an artiste.

After her death, I tried to remember other hit songs of Krishna Kalle , apart from above mentioned two ,  but my memory failed me. Suddenly I found a website, where link of some of the songs are given . URL of the website is :

https://www.lyricsbogie.com/singer/krishna-kalle

Here I am posting links of some of her songs from that website :

Songs Sung by Krishna Kalle

 

 

It is sad that today’s generation doesn’t know or remember Krishna Kalle. It is very easy for any upstart to write what Shabana Azmi says about Dilip Kumar and post it on his timeline . They both are legends. everyone knows everything about them . But knowing and writing about a lesser known artiste like Krishna Kalle is the job of a fan , a lover of old film songs and a connoisseur. For people like me she was one of the representatives of the golden era of Hindi film music.

 

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On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I offer my heartfelt condolences and pray that her near and dear ones get strength to bear this loss.

May God bless you Krishna ji ! In this life you never got the kind of success you deserved . I pray to God to be more kind to you in your next birth.

 

Farewell madam !! Accept this tribute from an ardent fan .

[ I have quoted some facts of Krishna Kalle’s life from Wikipedia . List of her songs are taken from the website : https://www.lyricsbogie.com/singer/krishna-kalle

I express my gratitude . ]

 

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In Memoriam Rajesh Khanna : Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli , Hai!


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 24 , 2012           01.15 A.M.

Dara Singh died on July 12 , 2012 . Within a week another luminary of the Hindi film industry bid adieu to this world . Rajesh Khanna died on July 18 , 2012 .

In Glass Casket

In Glass Casket

Akshay Kumar with the Dead Body In Glass Casket

Akshay Kumar with the Dead Body In Glass Casket

Let me state honestly . I am not his fan . In fact I was never ever a fan or admirer of Rajesh Khanna , the actor or the man . Though I have watched many of his films . I do admire some of his cult films . I definitely remember and hummed many of his iconic songs . I am very much aware of his stupendous super stardom , which , once upon a time , engulfed the film industry like a hurricane or tornado or tsunami . I am witness to those years when every star  was dwarfed in front of him . I am well aware of  those momentous days when everyone or everything became insignificant in his presence . His blitzkrieg darkened all the other objects . His tumultuous rise momentarily eclipsed all the other stars and consigned some of the mightiest stars into the trash bin of history . I am witness to those days . I was living in that era . I am privy to those happenings . In 1972 I was here in Bombay [ now Mumbai ] . I have seen the crowd in front of his bungalow Aashirwaad . I have witnessed the fan adulation . But still , I was not his fan or admirer .

But I was saddened beyond words when I heard the news of his demise . My wife , again not his fan , cried profusely when she watched his funeral procession . So the question arises , what happened to us ? Why we felt for Rajesh Khanna so deeply ? Is it not enigmatic ? Is it not ironical ? No , it is not . Just watch these pictures posted below and notice the horrific changes in his personality down the years and you will fully understand the reason of our empathy .

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From a dashing , charming young superstar to a pale shadow of his own self , these photos tell us a very tragic and pathetic story . For present day generation of movie – goers , his popularity during his heydays is unknown and unimaginable . I am presenting some of the milestones of his life’s journey one by one .

Aakhri Khat

Aakhri Khat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1966 : Made debut with ” Aakhri Khat ” .

1967 : Made his mark with ” Raaz ” .

1969 : Attained Super stardom with ” Aaradhana ”

1969 : ” Bandhan ”

1969 : ” Do Raste ”

1969 : ” Doli ”

1969 : ” Khamoshi ”

1969 : ” Ittefaq ”

[ 6 super hits in 1969 ]

1970 : ” Aan Milo Sajna

1970 : ” Safar ”

1970 : ” Kati Patang ”

1970 : ” The Train ”

1970 : ” Sachcha Jhootha ”

[ 5 super hits in 1970 ]

1971 : ” Anand ”

1971 : ” Haathi Mere Saathi

1971 : ” Dushman ”

1971 : ” Mehboob Ki Mehndi

[ 4 super hits in 1971 ]

1972 : ” Amar Prem ”

1972 : ” Apna Desh ”

[ 2 super hits in 1972 ]

Within 3 years of making his debut , he attained unimaginable , unheard of and unprecedented super stardom in 1969 with ” Aradhana “ and gave 15 consecutive super hits till 1972 , a record still unbroken . ” Daag ” [ 1973 ] and  ” Namak Haraam ” [ 1973 ] were also big hits . But 1973 was a watershed moment in his career . He was eclipsed by Amitabh Bachchan in ” Namak Haraam “ . Amitabh Bachchan’s career defining film ” Zanjeer “ also came in 1973 . And thus began the well – known downward slide of mighty Super Star Rajesh Khanna .

Alarmed by his waning popularity , he married much younger Dimple Kapadia and made headlines temporarily.

Though in 1974 he gave 2 super hits like ;Aap Ki Kasamand ” Roti “ but the slide was visible and evident . The era now clearly belonged to Amitabh Bachchan , who once played second fiddle to him in super hit , iconic cult films like ; ” Anand ” and ” Namak Haraam ” .

Poster of Anand

Poster of Anand

Poster of Namak Haraam

Poster of Namak Haraam

Poster of these two films can give you Amitabh Bachchan’s position in the industry in those days vis-a-vis Rajesh Khanna . But alas , the cruel hands of fate had started writing some unknown and inglorious chapters of his life with indelible ink .

In 1975 Amitabh Bachchan gave ” Deewar ” and ” Sholay ” . Rajesh Khanna’s mentor and lucky mascot Shakti Samanta made ” Mehbooba ” [ 1975 ] . ” Deewar ” and ” Sholay “ were super hits and became ageless cult classics . While ” Mehbooba “ was a resounding flop and sealed Rajesh Khanna’s fate finally. After 8 years gap and some insignificant films in between , in 1983 , he again came with 2 mega hits like ; ” Avatar ” and ” Soutan “ but the magic was missing . Even these massive hits could not salvage his lost position in the industry . His turbulent career affected his personal life also . In 1984 came the tragic separation from Dimple Kapadia .

From 1983 [ his last hits ] to 2012 [ his death ] ,  29 years of his eventless , colourless career and lonely personal life proved fatal for him . It is regrettable and cruel irony that a c-grade movie ” Wafaa ” [ 2010 ] is his last film .

In between he dabbled in TV also . In total he worked in 4 TV serials . ” Apne Paraye [ B4U TV – 2001 ] , ” Ittefaq ” [ Zee TV – 2002 ] , ” Bhabhima ” [ 2008 ] andRaghukul Reet Sada Chali Aayi ” [ DD 1 – 2008 ] . But none could touch the popularity of Amitabh Bachchan’s ” Kaun Banega Crorepati ” [ Star Plus – 2000] .

It is a well-known secret that the title superstar was coined for him by his publicists ; Devyani Chaubal and K. Razdan . But the mass hysteria which he generated in those days and that too without the help of internet , twitter and facebook , is unimaginable , unfathomable and still unattainable . It is regrettable that his stardom or superstardom lasted just for 4 years . 15 successive super hits in a row and then 7 consecutive super flops in a row defines Rajesh Khanna’s strange film career . Compare his 4 year tenure with other stars :

DEV ANAND : 65 Years [ 1946 Hum Ek Hain – 2011 Chargesheet ]

ASHOK KUMAR : 61 Years [ 1936 Jeevan Naiya – 1997 Aankhon Me Tum Ho ]

DILIP KUMAR : 54 Years [ 1944 Jwar Bhata – 1998 Qila ]

AMITABH BACHCHAN : 40 Years [ 1973 Zanjeer – 2012 Bol Bachchan ]

Stars of this generation SHAH RUKH KHAN , SALMAN KHAN and AAMIR KHAN are reigning kings even after almost 20 years . HRITIK ROSHAN has 12 years of stardom behind him . Even DARA SINGH survived for 45 years [ 1962 King Kong – 2007 Jab We Met ] . But alas ! Rajesh Khanna vanished from the stardom and was banished from the film industry just after 4 years . Though he did 165 films and played solo lead in 107 films but was forgotten by the masses and ignored by the friends and the same film industry , which once said , ” Upar aaqa ; neeche Kaka .”

It is sad . It is heart – wrenching . People say many things about him . I , myself know many stories about him , which are said to be the cause of his downfall . But I don’t want to write those stories after his death . After all he was human and to err is human . Just re – think about some facts of his life . He debuted when he was 24 . He attained superstardom when he was 27 and lost his empire when he was just 31 . After that , till his death , it was 38 year – long wait for regaining his lost empire . It was 38 year – long wait for The Knock at his door by any producer or director . It was 38 year – long wait for the crowd to assemble again at his doorstep . It was 38 year – long wait for the same mass – hysteria , same mass adulation which was once his right and he thought it was his birth right  .

Mass hysteria , mass adulation did happen again but alas , it happened only after his death . See these pictures of his funeral procession and then watch the  crowd in front of his bungalow Aashirwaad and you will be able to feel the irony of fate . I wish , this attention should have happened a year before ……….. or a week before ……… or even a day before ………… he would have died a happy and contented man . But strange are the ways of destiny.

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Funeral Procession

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

Crowd at Aashirvad on July 22

I agree , he did make some mistakes . He did err like a human and for that mistake , for that error destiny punished him with all its might , with all its ferocity , with all its lethal cruelty . He , for his mistakes , never got same benevolence by destiny , which others easily got for their sins . Fate was condescending to others , not to him .

He was like quintessential Greek tragic hero . You can only feel sorry for him . You can empathise with him . And you could hum his memorable song …. zindagi kaisi hai paheli , hai ; kabhi ye hasaye , kabhi ye rulaye ……. Ek din sapno ka rahi , chala jaye sapno se aage kahan ………..

Phenomenon , known as Rajesh Khanna , regained some of his glory once again but alas , only after his death . He had gone forever and had gone even beyond his dreams .

As I finish my blog , I feel , I must express my admiration and gratitude to his son in  law Akshay Kumar and his long – time friend Anju Mahendru , who took every care to give him comfort during his last days . Though it seems futile , but still , it was because of them that a befitting funeral could be arranged for this forgotten phenomenon , fallen Super Star and a lonely icon , who once ruled supreme . Thank you Mr. Akshay Kumar , thank you Madam Anju Mahendru , I bow my head in gratitude ! May God bless you two !

My heart also goes for Rinke Khanna , my student , who was very close and was very much attached to her father .

If I could feel so much without being his fan or admirer , then you can imagine the pain and pathos of his fans and near and dear ones .

Rest In Peace Sir ! Destiny was cruel to you . Better luck in next life .

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