Kishore Kumar Part 2; His “eccentricities”

Part 1 brought to you rare trivia about Kishore Kumar and his childhood, college days, likes and dislikes etc. Part 2 is about Dada and His eccentricities. Read on

The signboard on his Khandwa farmhouse read “Mental hospital”.

Dada had put a “Beware of Kishore” sign outside his Warded Road Flat. Once Producer-director HS Rawail visited him to pay back his dues. After handing over the money, he offered to shake hands. Dada reportedly bit him and said “Didnt u see the sign.”?

An interior designer came to him in summer wearing 3 piece suit. Dada told him he wanted his drawing room hall immersed in several feet water , with tiny boats instead of chairs and sofa, with an anchored centrespread for tea service. He also wanted live crows hanging and for fans, wanted farting monkeys. The designer protested and Dada replied if you can wear 3 piece suit in summer, why cant i have this request.

During a night shooting of Mahal, starring Dadamoni and Madhubala at Filmistan studios in Bombay, Dada scared his future wife Madhubala by putting on a grotesque mask with a drooping moustache.

He was a restless person and always wanted to sing. Once he was kept waiting for 5 days. He got bored and began chopping his hair. He cut it a bit too much one said. Tried to compensate. The other side then was cut too much. This went on for 5 days.

Further eccentricities

Once for a shooting of a scene with Dada driving a car the Director forgot to say Cut. Dada drove on till Khandala. The background to this is that the Director had filed a Court Case that Kishore Kumar does not listen to orders on set, and had won the case. Therefore Dada actually by driving on till Khandala was actually following instructions.

Known for his pranks, Dada once started acting as if his son was accompanying him everywhere and talked to himself in own voice and child’s voice. He would say in a child’s voice that “Baba this song is not nice” (in Hindi) if he didn’t like his own recording. Then he would reply in own voice that “Give this criticism at home, not in public”. He called this child of his imagination.

He called his 4 wives “Bandariyas” as they were coincidentally all born in Bandra. Dadamoni called him Mohabbat Khan for falling in love and getting married so many times.

Dada and his remuneration            

As a professional Dada was very particular about his remunerations and Why Not. Once for a producer who had paid him half his dues he appeared with half of his head and moustache shaved and told everyone that he could come like that for every shot till his full dues were paid .

Dadamoni had once said that on the sets of Bhai Bhai. Kishore had not been paid even though the shooting was almost over. When he refused to shoot his remaining scenes, the producer asked Dadamoni to convince Kishore to shoot. In deference to his elder brother’s wishes, Dada applied make-up. The shot demanded him to walk from one door to another. However he somersaulted once, saying ‘Rs 5000’. Then he somersaulted again – ‘Rs 10,000’. By the fourth somersault, he had reached the entrance, quickly stood up, and waved good-bye to everyone present. He knew he wasn’t going to be paid that day.

Producer RC Talwar had omitted to pay him despite reminders. Hence Dada showed up at his residence and started shouting “Hey Talwar, give me my 8 thousand”. He continued this for a few days till Talwar paid up.

Dada had an arrangement with his Secretary that he will indicate receipt of payment and then Dada would sing. Once the Secretary forgot to make the indication. Dada made squeaky sounds saying he lost his voice. The producer helplessly asked the Secretary how and why Dada suddenly is not singing, making funny sounds and looking at the Secretary. Hearing this the Secretary remembered and made the sign. Dada started singing.

Producer-director G. P. Sippy needed Dada to record a song for him for which Dada had agreed. As he approached Dada’s bungalow, he saw him driving out. Sippy pleaded him to stop his car, but Kishore only increased the speed of his driving. Sippy chased him to Madh Island, where Dada finally stopped his car near the ruined Madh Fort. When Sippy questioned his strange behaviour, Dada apparently refused to recognize or talk to him and threatened to call police. Sippy had to return. Next morning, Dada reported for recording. An angry Sippy questioned him about his strange behaviour the previous day. However, Dada insisted that Sippy must have seen a dream, and claimed that he was in Khandwa on the previous day.

Dada had huge income tax problems. He used to say his income tax files can be used as pesticides and said that rats die very easily after biting them

Was he an eccentric person?

Interestingly, Yogeeta said that behind the eccentric front Kishore was clever and sharp and did only what suited him and only pretended to be mad , as otherwise there would be too many people disturbing him . Amit Kumar too has said that his Dad was definitely not eccentric and rather lived life like a king to do whatever he wanted and hence people had wrong notion that he was eccentric.

Once he took up the challenge when someone said he could not sing Rabindra Sangeet. He practiced for a year and released an album. Can such a focussed person be eccentric ?

This was Part 2. Thanks.

Part 3 is the final part of my Kishore Kumar Trilogy and will bring to you in a couple of days rare trivia about Dada’s interactions with his colleagues.


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