‘Music entwined our relationship’

Kishore and I had a peculiar marriage. We were married for around seven years, but our relationship, call it friendship, lasted for several more.

Marriage is about friendship, and Kishore and I remained friends through the ups and downs, his three marriages and my remarriage. After we separated in 1958, he hit a bad patch.

When his acting profession was not doing too well due to certain reasons, I wrote him a letter to lift his spirits and drew attention to his singing skills, telling him that his music was always there.

Kishore then began focusing greatly on his singing—it was anyway his first love. He wasn’t a trained singer. But he was a natural and could imbibe music.

Very early on, he would certainly listen to Saigal sahab, Faiyaz Khan Sahab, Abdul Karim Khan… He was a medley of musical influences, each nuance appreciated and retained.

So, it’s fitting that music entwined our relationship. Marne ki dunyaein kyon maangoon from Ziddi was one of his first songs and my personal favourite when I was a 10-year-old taking my first steps in the world of playback.

I would certainly wait for the song to play on the radio. When I was at Bombay Talkies for a shooting, the song was playing in my head.

Somebody introduced me to a strapping young man… the singer of Marne ki dunyaein … Since then, the music played on in my life.

During our marriage, Kishore recorded one memorable tune after another…the melodies that voice our every emotion so perfectly.

Fans who recall his madcap behaviour in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi won’t believe how staid and sober, even serious, he was in his personal life.

There was none of that clowning around at home. His social circle was limited to a few close friends and family. Our son Amit and he were particularly close.

I remember how proud he was when Amit won the Filmfare award for best playback singer for Love Story . He threw a grand party and flew me, my husband and children to Mumbai for it.

Kishore was happy when I married Arup. His marriages have actually been a cause of much curiosity and controversy. He wanted to legalise his relationships, which explains the marriages.

On my part, I was quite friendly with Madhubala, Yogita Bali and Leena Chandavarkar. Leena and I are still very close.

(As told to Dipanita Nath)

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