MUMBAI: Eighty-three years ago, on this day, the music genius Kishore Kumar Ganguly was born Abhas Kumar Ganguly in Khandwa (a town in Madhya Pradesh). He left behind a musical legacy comprising thousands of hit Bollywood songs. For his sons, Sumit and Amit Kumar, there was always the pressure of living up to their famous father’s legacy. Yet, today, they are nowhere on the mainstream Bollywood scene.
Ask Sumit if there’s a sense of un-accomplishment, and he says, “Dada (older brother) and I are donkeys! Baba’s (dad’s) legacy couldn’t be carried ahead the way it should have been.” He adds, however, with an uncertain sense of optimism, “Life’s not over yet. We’ll take it forward. But right now, don’t ask me how.” Last year, Ranbir Kapoor said that a biopic on the veteran would go on the floors sometime in 2012. Is that on track? “Yes, it is,” says Sumit, recalling that the project was first announced in 2008.
“It took people 21 years to even think of a biopic on my father. It should have come earlier. I think my father deserved more respect in the fraternity than he got. He is to Hindi cinema what Charlie Chaplin is to Hollywood.”
Sumit, now 30, recorded his last Bollywood song in 2008 when he sang his father’s chartbuster, ‘Bachna ae haseeno’, for the Ranbir-starrer of the same name. He recalls, “When I sang that song, I felt Baba was by my side in the recording studio. I was only five when he passed away, so I don’t have many memories of him.” About the Kishore-frenzy that still exists, Sumit remembers when “one of his fans thought I was a remix artiste. He called up to tell my brother that some notorious boy had attempted a bad remix of Kishoreda’s song.”