Google celebrated the 114th birth anniversary of singer-actor K.L. Saigal with a doodle. Hailed as the “Shahensha-e-mausiqi’ or Sangeet Samrat (King-emperor of music), Kundan Lal Saigal recorded 185 songs, apart from acting in 36 films, in a span of about 15 years. He passed away in January 1947. Kundan Lal Saigal appeared on the music map in the early 1930s when B.N. Sircar, the founder of New Theatres Calcutta, presented him to the Indian audience.
He is considered to be the first superstar of Indian cinema. His talent for both acting and singing was fully recognised after the success of Yahudi ki Ladki, a costume epic-based on Agha Hashar Kashmiri’s famous play Misar Kumari with 19 songs including Saigal’s ever popular Ghalib number “Nukta chin hai gham-e-dil”. It was around this time that Hindustan Records Company of Calcutta brought out Saigal’s famous recording “Jhulna Jhulao” which blazed a new trail in Indian music. Saigal attained stardom with the release of New Theatres’ Chandidas in 1934. His outstanding and histrionic performance in P.C. Barua’s masterpiece Devdas also got him wide appreciation.
He was a playback singer from 1932 to 1947 and many hit songs to his credit. He sung in Hindi, Bengali and Tamil. Apart from that, he had sung Bhajan, Geet songs, Persian and Punjabi songs to his credit. But his mesmerising song Jab Dil Hi Tut Gya Hum Jee Ke Kya Karenge single lingers in our ears. K.L. Saigal sahab was a complete man of his melodious heart and mind cooling personality with his extraordinary singing voice. He cannot be described in words. He will live up to the words of the immortal and you can have a feel of his magical and mesmerising voice. In the present age of ever changing technology and science songs of Immortal Saigal stand the test of time and become more popular even now.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)