Recently Amit Kumar ( Dada) celebrated 50 years of his singing in a memorable concert 50 golden years of Golden Voice. Dada started his singing career at 13 and at 63 still sings superbly. He has sung many evergreen songs and has some of the best ever solo songs and duets in Hindi film music history. His song “Bade achche lagte hain” is becoming more and more popular every year, though it was sung 40 years back.
Though Amit Dada has so many hits of his own, in his musical concert, every ½ an hour or so there are requests from the audience, “Sing Kishore dada song please”. During his recent show, he remarked jocularly, “Half my life has gone in comparision and in singing Baba’s songs, allow me to sing my songs today at least in my show”. Ultimately he did sing a few lines of his immortal Dad’s song “Pal pal dil ke paas” to make the audience ecstatic. In the same musical show, his younger brother Sumeet Ganguly too sang 2 of his Dada’s hit songs. Audience screamed “Kishore Kumar song”. Sumeet smiled and said, “I always sing Baba’s songs, let me sing Dada’s songs today”.
This led me to think that is it fair to compare a son with his legendary father if they are in the same profession especially if that someone is someone like Kishore Kumar. Universally it is accepted that there will never be another Kishore and no one like Kishore so isn’t it unfair to compare his son with him.
As an aside, let us think of Rohan Gavaskar and Abhishek Bachchan. Is being the son of living legends Sunil Gavaskar and Amitabh Bachchan their fortune or otherwise. While it is definitely not their misfortune or bad luck, isn’t it being unfair on them, being subject to constant scrutiny and comparision.
I know you may possibly think that Abhishek Bachchan would maybe not have got what he has if he were not Amitabh Bachchan’s son. That probably gave him not only a headstart and comfortable entry but also a cushion when his films flopped. So let’s leave him out and discuss briefly about Rohan Gavaskar.
Now, there can be no doubt that the pressure on Rohan must have been immense. Sunil Gavaskar is probably one of the finest batsman ever to play the lovely game of cricket. There must have been so much pressure on Rohan to live up to the famous surname. Otherwise he is a competent player in his own right. After all how many players have scored almost 7000 runs in 1st class cricket with more than 50 scores above 50 including 18 hundreds and an average of almost 45. Many cricketers will accept such a career happily. Yet, Rohan had to suffer throughout his career due to comparision with his legendary dad. Interestingly however when asked whether he felt additional pressure, Rohan said that it was Sunny Gavaskar’s genes which helped him play 1st class cricket for 15 years, 11 ODI’s and be Bengal’s 3rd highest run scorer after Pankaj Roy and Arun Lal.
Still the fact remains that tremendous pressure would have been there on Rohan Gavaskar as also other children of legendary parents. In such a daily pressure cooker situation of life, doing well and coming up triumphs is nothing short of fantastic.
Best example of such a person is Amit Kumar. What a tremendous achievement to come out of shadows of his legendary Dad and carve out his own identity. He has sung for all leading heroes of Bombay film industry. From Amitabh, Jeetendra, Dharmendra, Mithun, Sachin to Kumar Gaurav, Sanjay Dutt, Shahrukh, Salman, Aamir, Anil Kapoor, Ajay Devgn to Riteish Deshmukh for whom he sang that madcap song “Dekha jo tujhe yaar, dil mein baji guitar”. He has sung for all the top music directors and has 170 songs with Pancham Da, the one and only RD Burman. A unique feature of Amit Kumar as a super singer is that while the movie may have been a flop, his songs were super-duper hits. Lets take some examples. Poocho naa kaisa mazaa aa raha hai ( Aamir, Awwal Number), Tip tip tip tip baarish ( Aamir, Afsana Pyar Kaa), Roz roz Aankhon Tale ( Sanjay Dutt, Jeeva) and so on. This is how remarkable a singing superstar Amit Kumar is.
Thus, there is no doubt that being the son of a famous father brings lots of pressures to the son/daughter. What better example than Don Bradman’s son who changed his name to Bradsen for as many as 45 years. Currently another living legend’s son has taken up the same profession as his father. Yes, none other than Sachin Tendulkar, whose 14 year son Arjun has taken up the same sport which made his illustrious Dad a Bharat Ratna. Immense pressure of comparision on him is likely. Its our responsibility to give him space, and not to compare him with Sachin.
To conclude, its unfair to compare a Dad with his son or daughter. In fact, why talk only of legends. This is true for everyone. We see bureaucrats, doctors, engineers, MBA’s many of whom want their children to take up the same profession and do as well as they have done. In the process, there is unnecessary pressure which is definitely a potential problem area. Please do not put pressure. Allow the kid to choose his/her profession of choice. Let us follow the example of football legend Ronaldo who when asked if he would like his son to follow his footsteps spontaneously replied “let him choose what he wants to do in life”
I would like to conclude with a statement and a thought. The statement is that the golden Rule is Give Space. The thought is that this article focusses more on Dad-Son. What about Mom-Son. Or Mom-Daughter. Or Dad-Daughter. Or is it that we do not have any ready examples or examples don’t come to mind so easily. If so, have we as a society missed out on the capabilities of women who after all comprise 1/2 of our population. Ending with this sobering thought.