A rare image courtesy of DownMelodyLane.com.
I had opted to drop writing about the Kishore vs Rafi debate in 2008, thus hoping to put an end to the feud in my own weblog, at least. However, this severely handicapped my ability to speak anything about the Hindi movie songs from the bygone era, something I couldn’t think of living without. So, I disown my own resolution in 2009 now. Much better to have the Kishore vs Rafi battles than not having to speak anything, or carrying a fake diplomatic face around …. lol …. I can see the barrage coming from both the Rafians and KK-fans, and also the tough moderation job ahead for me here!
But, there is a better reason why I decided to take this KK vs Rafi plunge this time. Surely much better than boasting about one’s favorite singer (KK in my case). Hope to see the readers making useful observations at the end. The crux of my today’s post: The two warring sides in the Kishore vs Rafi feud mostly belong to two contrasting ideologies and mindsets. The element of contrast involves not just in the music they would listen to, but also in the societal, cultural and political leanings they come from. They would always have two broadly defined characters. In fact, one could even predict the individuality of a person based on whom they liked to listen more, Kishore Kumar or Mohammed Rafi!
Who Are Kishoreda Fans?
They are the anti-traditionalists, I suppose. They are the ones who love watching the barriers of cultural inhibitions and social norms being rolled over. They won’t mind hijacking rooftops and throwing stones from there, if that brought in a redeemed world order. They hate living in a hierarchy and being burdened with undue etiquette and red-tapism. They could be emotionally very strong and susceptible both. This leads into the positives and negatives for them, both.
Pros About Kishore Kumar Fans
They can easily connect with countless emotions and music both, without awaiting for its larger acceptance by the society. They can directly connect with the language of art, and have a one-to-one dialog with art forms/ artisans without awaiting for the world to acknowledge it as well. They would love fusion and experimentation in music and life both. Purity is the last concern for these tribesmen and women! They live informal lives and do so wholeheartedly. So much so that when it came to appreciating the various genres of arts and music, none could beat them. Of course, you need all those qualities in a globalized world.
And Their Flimsiness
Won’t easily be made to please. Would not care following norms and would therefore lack in reasoning often. For example, see them making “Kishore Kumar is GOD” like one-liners and that’s all. No doubt, my chest does also get puffed with pride reading all that. They could be impulsive, emotional and susceptible to provocations at times, but the world is not just about gatecrashing and diving sea-deep into RAGAs and emotions. This means their craving for a part of life, like Kishore Kumar songs in this particular case, might force them to miss out many others (read Rafi et all).
Kishore Kumar Bulldozed And Redefined Traditions
Main Hoon Jhumroo
Main Hoon Don
Khaike Paan Banaras Wala
Jaane Jaan Dhoondhtaa
Jai Jai Shiv Shankar
Khullam Khulla Pyaar Karenge
Dekha Naa Haaye Re Sochaa Naa
Roop Teraa Mastaana
O Meri Sharmilee
Tere Chehre Mein Vo Jaadoo
Diye Jalte Hain
O Maanjhi Re
Meri Bhigi Bhigi See
Chingaari Koi Bhadke
Who Are Rafi Fans?
Traditionalists, I would say! They are the ones with a greater faith and patience in their establishments. They would not mind following etiquette and proven legacies. Newer ideas will have to wait and push harder for them to make any inroads. They would always enjoy living under a hierarchy. This would again lead into the positives and negatives for them.
Can boast to have a vast resource of proven ideas and music to rely on. Will have a greater knowledge-base to put forth their views. They can claim to occupy the soul of Indian society and its heritage. Rafi sang the classical Indian romance and its emotions, anyway.
Outdated ideas. Out of synch from the contemporary world and themselves both….ha ha…couldn’t stop from showing my KK bias here. With the neutrality over now, let us have the war started…and in the due course hope to receive some intelligent comments as well.
Mohd Rafi Sang His Indian Heart Out
Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho
Ye Reshmee Jhulfein
Mujhe Teri Mohabbat Kaa
Tum Mujhe Yoon Bhulaa Na Paaoge
Badan Pe Sitaare Lapete Hue
Kya Huaa Tera Vadaa
Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe
Jaane Vaalon Jaraa
PS – Exceptions do take place as well. My late dad was a pukka traditionalist, yet he liked admiring Kishore Kumar. Read my above suggestions with this aspect in mind.