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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Saigal's Biography Re-released

- NDFS Desk

The national-award winning biography of Bollywood's legendary singer Kundan Lal Saigal is re-released in paperback edition. In a function organised at Films Division auditorium former information and broadcasting minister Vasant Sathe unveiled the book titled 'Kundan' on 18th January, Saigal's 63rd death anniversary.Saigal's grandson Rabinder Chopra was also present in the function.The book has been penned by Sharad Dutt, a former director of the Delhi Doordarshan Kendra. A documentary on Saigal entitled 'Saigal aye, baso more man mein', directed by Dutt, was also screened at the function.
The book (in hardbound) and the film both were released on Saigal's birth centenary in 2004. The book also won the 2005 national award. Considering the mass popularity of the book the Penguin decided to publish it in paperback.
Recounting Saigal's contribution to music, Dutt says he has slammed 'most of the rumours and incorrect facts about Saigal' in the book.
'The book puts an end to all the rumours about Saigal. I've tried my best to do that. When I was researching for the book and the documentary simultaneously that I started in 1997, I realised there was not even a single correct fact about him in circulation,'.
'Take for example the correct date of his birth is April 4, 1904 and not April 11, as both are available. Then the reason of his death was diabetes as opposed to those floating in the industry. This research work of almost eight years is practically a correct work on his life,' he added.
Dutt also informed that Saigal was 'the first singer to bring (Mirza) Ghalib's poems on record'.
'He was the superstar of new cinema. By the time 'Devdas' was released in 1935, he was already a household name. He was the singer of the century and every singer from Mukesh to Kishore Kumar have been inspired by him,' said Dutt.

Some of Saigal's all time hits are 'Jab dil hi toot gaya', 'Ek bangla bane nyara', 'Dukhake din aab bitat nahin', 'Duniyamen hun duniyaka talabgaar nahin hun' and 'So ja rajkumari so ja'. Saigal was born in Jammu, where his father was a tehsildar at the court of the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. He took to music in the 1930s after the Kolkata-based film studio New Theatres, owned by B.N. Sircar, hired him. Before that, he worked as a salesman at Remington Typewriters there.
Having received his grounding in Indian classical music from Ustad Fayyaz Khan, Saigal was afraid of his father who was against his singing. The multilingual artist thus started singing in his initial movies under the name of Saigal Kashmiri. The book has many more interesting stories of Saigal's life. It's price is Rs 150.

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