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Rains, chai and moon watching with Kishore Da!

Ankita Shukla  

Tere bina zindagi se koyi, shikwa, toh nahi, shikwa nahi…

Tere bina zindagi bhi lekin, zindagi, toh nahi, zindagi nahi…

This beautiful couplet, written by Gulzar and put to rhythm by the legendary music director, late RD Burman, is something that sums up August 4 just aptly. Though it’s just another Thursday, there’s something in the air today. Some love, fun, poetry and most importantly some romanticism!

Switched onto the radio in the morning, on my way to work and my ears got what they’d been longing for, since always. It was a certain Mr. Abhas Kumar Ganguly’s eighty-third birth anniversary and the entire country seemed to be in a celebratory mood. I thought of sticking around and not changing the channel and God, I’m so glad I didn't! Five minutes flat into the MHz and the oblivious me, was lip-syncing, tapping fingers, doodling on the moisture laden windows of my car, shaking my head in snake like motions, yodeling and doing everything possible that would prove me to be a certified moron, like I cared! Talking about yodeling, I am a self confessed bad singer, but for once I didn’t care if I was at my shrieking best and no one else cared either, for it was unison of sorts. Each person sitting on the driver’s seat was making a bigger fool out of himself and that’s the least we could do for Kishore Da. Yes, it’s the great Kishore Kumar’s birthday today and this is just a humble attempt to uncover what this man of melody, means to me and to each of us for that matter.

Rains are not rains without an awe-inspiring Rim Jhim gire saawan, sulagh sulagh jaye mann playing in the background and a cup of steaming hot chai. With each note hitting like the quintessential drops of rain, what else has had the power to deviate one from the suffocating intricacies of life? Nothing that I know of. The only thing that humbles the delectable bowl of piping hot pakodas, are these words of magic that dissolve in your ears even better than the pakodas would in your mouth.

Once, I was going through one of my many low phases in life and all I required to come out of it, was a ‘Best of Kishore Kumar’ CD. Well, here’s the trick, at first I heard the Side A of the CD that had all of Da’s sad songs one can possibly think of, from- Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain… to Meri bheegi bheegi si palkon mein reh gaye and that completely finished me, by finishing I mean, I was down, out and set for Side B and one song down (Side B), I was getting a grip on my life already. Every word of Apni toh jaise taise, thodi aise ya waise… cease-fired my angst. Oh yeah, I was back and that too with a bang. And, by the time the CD reached its final track, Aaj rapat jaye toh humein na uthaiyo, I was ready to make many people fall flat on their nose and force them to slither in the mud, just like Amitabh Bachchan and late Smita Patil did in the song. Whoa! That’s the Kishore Kumar therapy for you and it comes with a 100% guarantee!

Talking about seeking inspiration from songs, who amongst us has not done that? Of course, I also listen to Mohit Chauhan’s velvet voice to get over my past troubles and gulp down the abominable guilt that’s been shadowing me forever, but boss, none can touch Kishore and I vouch for that. I mean, who can beat- Hum bewafa har giz na the, par hum wafaa kar na sake? NOBODY. Period

Kishore Da’s one man, who didn’t die in his death, but continued to live in each one of us. Guess he’d be getting a lease of life, every time we buy his CDs, ask the DJ at a posh disc with Englsih speaking people clustered, to play- Pyaar mein dil pe maar de goli and make the crowd break into a cheer and most importantly, when we gaze at the moon every night with Tum aa gaye ho noor aa gaya hai, playing in the background. Kishore Da's here to stay, at least for me, for he’s been with me through my confessions of love, heartbreaks, disappointments and hip shaking moments, all of which I cherish the most, just the way I cherish the creator of all these moments. Kishore Da, hope you’re there for every new beginning and every due ending.

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