Thursday, May 15, 2014

Yaadon Ke Jharokhon Se - KL Saigal: The Greatest Cared For The Least

This is a weekly column in which Raaga.Com will take readers into the interesting world of Music and reveal some exciting anecdotes and revive memories of Music legend from Bollywood.

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“Duniya mein abhi mausiki ka ayzaz hai baki, Saigal tu nahinto kya duniya mein abhi teri awaz hai baki.”

(The world still admires music, Saigal if you are no more, so what,Your voice is still alive in this world) 

Apt words from music maestro Naushad, who paid him befitting tribute on his death anniversary.

While volumes have been written about the golden baritone of Saigal, few know about his down-to-earth nature.

A close friend of Saigal narrated an interesting episode about the singer’s humble attitude. He informed, “Once it so happened that Saigal received an invitation from a country’s business tycoon to attend his son’s wedding ceremony. Besides gracing the function, the businessman was keen that the singer entertains the crowd with his majestic voice. For this, a cheque with a hefty amount was sent in advance along with the invitation.

Coincidentally, the same evening, one of Saigal’s servants approached him with his daughter’s wedding ceremony invitation and with folded hands requested him to grace the ceremony. It would have been a Catch-22 situation for anybody, but not for Saigal, who cared a damn for money, and gave top priority to humanity. Returning the cheque to the business tycoon, Saigal went to his servant’s wedding ceremony and made it memorable by singing through the night, as if it was the wedding of his own daughter and not of his servant’s!”

In yet another similar incident, Saigal was called upon as a ‘star attraction’ to promote Mehboob Khan’s film NAJMA, by giving a live performance at Mumbai’s Metro cinema during the interval. As scheduled, Saigal arrived and sang as per the demand of the elite audience seated in the ‘A’ class row. Suddenly Saigal heard a  voice from the back row of the upper stall, “Saigal Sahab, hum chavvani walon par bhi nazre-karam karen.” ( Saigal kindly pay attention to the demands of we four anna people also)

 Hearing this, Saigal immediately switched his attention to their demands, ignoring the rich.

Note: In those days chavvani or four anna ( 25 paise) was the lowest rate in cinema halls. 

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