Hindi Music lovers often compare Kishoreda and Mohammed Rafi and try to downgrade the one they may not like about. I have been an intense Kishoreda fan since my childhood, and have my own reasons to believe he towered upon the rest in the Hindi Playback arena. However, it would be unbecoming on my part as a Hindi Cinema Music fan if I tried to show disrespect to Rafi or anybody else just to uphold my own views. While posting these ideas therefore, my only intention is to recapture a glimpse of the golden past of the Hindi Playback through Kishoreda’s greatness…hope I’ll have enough audience for this on my side!
Rafi and Kishoreda belonged to two different eras in Hindi film making. The needs of the craft were different when Rafi sang to his peak during the 50s and 60s. When it came to the action and cinemascope extravaganza of the 70s and onwards, Rafi subsided as his classical mold proved insufficient. The industry needed far too more versatile response, something the likes of Kishore Kumar, RD Burman and Asha Bhonsle had in them. They had had a huge impact on the generation that grew up listening to their blend since the early days of 70s.
I have personally been a hardcore KK fan. Never ever visited the Rafi camp or liked his style while I was still into my teens at the time of KK’s demise. But, things have somewhat changed with the passage of time and I find both the singers equally appealing into my late thirties now. You can’t compare or denounce the names like Kishore, Rafi or Mukesh just for the sake of upholding your personal ideas. All had something special in them in their own spheres. If Rafi Saheb was Rama, the “Ansha-Avatar” yet “Maryada-Purshottam”, that spoke of the finest facets of the “Hindustani” culture, Kishoreda was like Krishna, the “Purna Avatar”, with all the additional colors and “Mudras” to transcend you into ecstasy. Obviously, Kishoreda was better suited to occupy the center-stage at a time when Sholay and “Dam Maro Dam” were redefining the very basic Hindi Cinema Craft. They both were amazing in their own ways, nobody will deny this. Therefore, one should try to celebrate them as a “single golden past”, and not as two separate entities! Amen!