Lets salute K L Saigal!

K L Saigal

By Neena Badhwar

Whenever one talks of the great K L Saigal and his songs some people respond with ”˜Ki wo gata hai ya rota hai’ (that does he sing or does he cry). But it was K L Saigal who set the trend of making songs the mainstay of any film of the film industry and is the undisputed father of the current Bollywood industry where songs can fetch crores of rupees these days. The gems of songs this great singer sang are still quite popular as viewers seek his renderings on youtube.

K L Saigal was brought up in a strict classical home with his mother taking him to bhajans, kirtans and shabads where as a child Saigal was ingrained in classical tradition. Saigal in a short span of life, he lived or you can say died at the young age of 43 years, popularized film songs as whole of India became his fan. Saigal became popular with his four bhajans of the movie ”˜Puran Bhagat’.   “Ai Qateebe taqdeer mujhe itna bata de’ of film ‘My Sister’ was another famous song.

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Father of Lata Mangeshkar, Dinanath Mageshkar,  was so strict that he would not allow the Mangeshkar children to sing any songs of any other singer, and sing strictly classical while he allowed only K L Saigal’s songs to be sung at home. K L Saigal not only acted in movies but his songs made him famous ”“ he was the Devadas in the first version of the Sharat Chander Chattopadhyay’s novel. And his songs ”˜Dukh ke ab din beetat naahi’ and ”˜Baalam aayo baso mere man mein’ became famous though the character of Devdas was what exactly K L Saigal portrayed in real life as it is said that he could not sing without ”˜ getting drunk’. ”˜Babul mora naihar chhotto re jaaye’, ”˜Do naina matware tihaare’ ”˜ Ikk bangla bane nyara’ were played on gramophones all days long as people were in love with Saigal’s songs.

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We came   overseas because our parents sang ‘ikk bangla bane nyara’ – we achieved not only that but everything yet we look back to the love and simple life we had in our childhood. And it is important to hold on to the old era for such values as love, aspirations and dreams the songs of K L Saigal portrayed.

Now Sydney community is going to get the glimpse into K L Saigal and his songs in a concert by the well known singer Vinod Rajput. Presented by The Indian Down Under and Bhavan Australia the concert is in tribute of the great singer K L Saigal ”“ ”˜Salaam-E-Saigal’ and it will be a memorable evening remembering mainly K L Saigal and how Mukesh and all the singers of that era copied Saigal. Saigal set a trend making songs the mainstay of any film and till today the Indian film industry survives and makes its millions from songs only. While singers like Saigal, even when highly popular, survived on a paltry salary of Rs 200 a month and were contracted for life to sing songs. No wonder since they struggled so much that songs such as ”˜Jab dil hi toot gaya’ were sung from the very core of one’s heart and that too in a drunken state. The immortal songs of Saigal were part of our homes and of the octogenarian generation of today.

The Salaam-E-Saigal evening not only salutes the great singer but also the parents and the 75-80 year old generation that is alive today as anecdotes from Saigal’s life and his era will be talked about on this evening on April 28, Sunday from 2 to 5pm at Pennant hills Community Centre on Yarrara Road, Pennant Hills.

Come all and relive an era of the old Indian film songs which were purely classical yet with a lot of emotion. Some of the Saigal songs are viewed again and again on Youtube and surprisingly K L Saigal’s poster of ”˜Salaam-E-Saigal ”˜went viral on our Facebook page of The Indian Down Under viewed by over 360 people as we could gage that K L Saigal is still a very popular singer and is nostalgically imprinted on our minds from our parents who loved him and sang him in our childhood years. Do come and pay tribute to the great Saigal and the era of our parents!

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