From turning “completely bald” in order that  he can keep away from enjoying the titular hero in Anand to troubling hapless producers by disappearing by a “secret staircase” behind his cabinet, “mad genius” Kishore Kumar had plenty of tips up his sleeves, reveals poet-lyricist Gulzar in his new guide, Actually… I Met Them: A Memoir.

According to Gulzar, Kishore Kumar, and never actor Rajesh Khanna, was initially set to star within the 1971 cult traditional Anand. But just some days earlier than the shoot, Kishore Kumar, in a gathering to debate his look within the movie, shocked everybody by turning up utterly bald.

“We were all shocked! On top of that, Kishoreda went around the office dancing and singing, ‘What will you do now, Hrishi?’ (the film’s director, Hrishikesh Mukherjee),” Gulzar writes.

“Consequently, Rajesh Khanna was finalized for the role in a very short time. Perhaps Kishoreda never wanted to play the character. Nevertheless, I have never seen someone cutting off their nose to spite their face in such a manner,” recollects Gulzar, who wrote the dialogues of the superhit film. The movie ended up profitable a number of awards, together with the Filmfare Award for Best Film in 1972.

Not solely administrators, many producers have been additionally on the receiving finish of Kishore Kumar’s mischief. In truth, considered one of Kishore Kumar’s favorite issues to do was “to land his producers in trouble”, Gulzar writes within the memoir, printed by Penguin Random House India.

Once a producer went to the singer-actor’s home to hunt a gathering however as Kishore Kumar was not in a temper to speak to him, he “simply opened his cupboard, stepped in and disappeared!”

“He used to have this astounding cupboard that hid a secret staircase within. Kishoreda simply opened the cupboard, stepped in and disappeared! Leaving the producer waiting for him outside the open doors of the contraption. If nothing else, this underscores the immense effort and planning required to live a life of absurdities,” writes the veteran lyricist.

In one other occasion, Kishore Kumar halted the recording of songs for a movie known as Bharosa to demand tea. And after an limitless wait, when the tea lastly arrived, he went forward with the recording with out even having a sip of it.

“Every time we tried coaxing Kishoreda, ‘Let’s go, Dada, let’s get the recording done, Abdul — his driver who had gone out to fetch the tea — will be here soon’, he would counter with, ‘Let Abdul come. I’ll have tea and only then’. Finally, when Abdul returned, Kishoreda immediately declared, ‘Okay, let’s record.’ ‘Why, don’t you want tea?’ we asked. Paying us no heed, he went to get the recording done,” he writes.

Gulzar clarified that the tea was not vital for the singer. The entire charade was executed for the “producer to spend money and get tea for all the musicians and the staff”. Calling the legendary singer his “friend” with whom he had labored on a number of events, the 87-year-old author admitted that Kishore Kumar was the sort of particular person with whom you couldn’t be “angry or upset for too long”.

“If I did, the loss was all mine. It meant being deprived of an essence of world — the essence of Kishore. It had its own eminence, intoxication and feeling — all of it unique .. One would be hard-pressed to believe that anyone could conduct their real life with such sense of humour if one had never met Kishoreda,” he famous.

Actually … I Met Them: A Memoir, launched on Monday, offers readers a peek into the minds of legends together with the likes of Bimal Roy, Ritwik Ghatak, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Mahasweta Devi, by the trusted lens of Gulzar.

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